Combining Dens Simple Way

(Updated November 2016)

Combining Dens Simply:

A simple, yet effective way to combine dens is to teach all the boys of different ages the same adventure badge or pin at the same time.  Luckily, it possible to keep each boy progressing through the ranks even while doing this because the cycle can be done in about 19 months.  Hopefully by then the dens will be big enough to separate, but if not you can keep going this way. 

Will this work?  Yes.  The topics for each adventure are appropriate for boys of all ages.  If the dens are combined you have the advantage of being able to use the den leader guides to plan den meetings that balance fun and learning. 

Will the boys get their rank advancement?  Yes, each boy will earn his rank.  Webelos and Arrow of Light will earn theirs early, Bears will be one to three months late, and Wolves will earn theirs very late, but in an acceptable time frame because they are so far ahead on Bear.

So will a Wolf or Bear earn his Webelos and Arrow of Light first?  No!  Even if he has earned many Webelos adventures as an 8 year old he will need to go to Webelos camp, earn Duty to God and You, Duty to God in Action, Scouting Adventure, and possibly two more Webelos adventures as a 10 year old. 

What about when we've gone through all the ranks? If you are the den leader for 19 months, you will get all your boys all their rank advancements and the new boys coming in will be ahead for whoever becomes the next den leader, they will appreciate you for that!  If the boys are all ahead, there are tons of fun electives to choose from.  

Rules: Cub Scouting is not picky about the age a boy earns a certain rank, in fact it is intended that they earn their badges by school year where the ages of the boys vary by as much as two years.  When the Wolf cub earns his rank very late it is okay.  Earning a rank by a specific birthday is a tradition in LDS packs, but not a hard and fast rule.  In a combined den like this the boys are still getting rank advancement in a timely manner.

The younger boy(s) unfortunately get more complex adventure badges first, but this makes it simple to prepare den meetings and leaders can take advantage of Den Leader Guides to plan fun meetings.

Sample Plan:
blue=Webelos, brown=Arrow of Light, Teal=Bear, Red=WolfYear 1
1) Webelos Walkabout, (LDS Webelos discuss primary program for one of the requirements in the Duty to God award.) 2) Requirement #1 for Duty to God all ranks.
3)Webelos Stronger, Faster, Higher (optional start Running with the Pack)
4) Cast Iron Chef  (start Bear Picnic Basket)
5) Webelos First Responder (could be done in one activity if needed)
6) Webelos Elective-Build it and 1) Baloo the Builder
1) Arrow of Light Building a Better World (Paws for Action Requirement #1) (Council Fire requirement #1)
2) Arrow of Light Elective (if they will do an elective at camp, you can skip this in den meeting and finish a month early with all the ranks!)
3) Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure taught at a special time to Webelos Only. 4) Webelos finish Duty to God in Action at home
Cyber Chip for 3, 4, 5 grades, Whittling Chip (start Bear Claws) 
5) Arrow of Light Outdoorsman (if they will do this at camp, you can skip this in den meeting and finish a month early with all the ranks!)
2)  Finish Bear Claws and 3) Bear Picnic Basket
4) Bear Necessities  and day camp (count the day camp for the Wolf cubscouts towards Call of the Wild, they can finish Bear Necessities next summer when they go to day camp again.)
5) Bear Fern Feathers Fur 

Year 2
6) Bear Paws for Action (optional for LDS religious emblem teach about Joseph Smith for one of the famous Americans to start Learning and Living the Gospel #2)
7) Bear Duty to God Footsteps.
Note: to work on LDS Religious Emblem and count it toward Bear Duty to God, Do 1) Wolf Howling at the Moon for  "Developing Talents #3" Wolf Duty to God footsteps can pair with Learning and Living #5 and #6, Serving Others #2 is great for Thanksgiving time) Otherwise Howling at the Moon comes in November.
Finish Bear Duty to God (if doing LDS religious emblem see Learning and Living the Gospel #6)
2) Wolf Duty to God Footsteps 
3) Wolf Elective
4) Wolf Council Fire
5) Running with the Pack
6) Wolf Paws on the Path
7) Wolf Call of the Wild (day camp year 1 completes this, then a boy would need to go to day camp year 2 or another outdoor activity to earn their Bear)

Idea on how to teach the Scouting Adventure badge mostly in one night for LDS cub scouts.

“Webelos Night” for Webelos only to earn their “Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure” pin.  LDS version.  This is an accelerated badge night where the boy(s) preparing to leave cub scouts earn this pin rather than the whole combined den meeting.  The boys and their parents if possible should come.  I like to plan this about a month or two before their birthday if possible.

Meet at the same time as the older scouts meet.          

Visit A Scout Meeting:  Boys will briefly visit the 11-year-old or the deacon scouts with a checklist of the following questions and then they will separate to finish the other requirements for this badge.

When do the scouts in our ward meet?
How do scouts help with leadership in the patrol meetings?
What does the opening ceremony include each week? Pledge? Oath? Law?
Learn how patrols correspond to quorums and who the president/patrol leaders are for your ward.
Do the patrols/quorums have names, flags, or cheers?  If yes, what are they?
Who is the 11 year old scout leader?  Assistant?
How many camps do the scouts do per year? What is the plan for this year?  
Any other questions?
Plan to attend the daytime part of a Scout Activity or Plan to Attend A Webelos Day Camp.

25 min Memorization Time: Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, Outdoor Code. Explain to your leaders.  The boys shoud be able to recite the oath and law and motto pretty easily, help them to say it without reading the words, don't penalize a boy if he just can't get it word perfect, just help him understand the meaning and give him prompts if needed so he can recite the whole thing and succeed.  For the outdoor code you can have a visual aide for each line, repeat with the words and pictures and then try it with the pictures only.

5 min Teach: Scout Spirit, Sign, salute, handshake, first class badge insignia (pg 186-187), and how boy scout advancement works (pg 192-196).

15 min Teach: Patrol Method, 4 steps of advancement, ranks in in Boy Scouting, how to earn merit badges (pg 197-199)

20 min Tie a square knot pg 201, two half hitches pg 202, and a taut-line hitch pg 203, Explain what each is used whipping pg 203, fusing pg 203.

Choose a “Patrol Leader”, Make a patrol flag and cheer. 
Plan to show leadership in the den the next month

Cub Scouting at a Glance:
Required Adventures by Type for each rank:

Webelos/Arrow of Light

Outdoor Adventure
Wolf Paws on the Path
Bear Ferns Feathers Fur
Webelos Walkabout

Outdoor Adventure
(day camp)
Wolf Call of the Wild
Bear Necessities
Arrow of Light Outdoorsman

Participatory Citizenship
Wolf Council Fire
Bear Paws for Action
Arrow of Light Building a Better World

Leadership Development
Wolf Howling at the Moon

Arrow of Light Building a Better World

Personal Fitness

Wolf Running with the Pack

Webelos Stronger, Faster, Higher
Webelos Sportsman (if a boy does two team sports he can finish this easily at home)

Baloo the Builder and
Bear Claws
Webelos First Responder and
Webelos Cast Iron Chef

Character Development
Wolf Duty to God Footsteps

Bear Fellowship and Duty to God

Webelos Duty to God and You and
Arrow of Light Duty to God in Action

** "Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure" can be done with the 11-year old scouts.

Cub Scout Elective Adventures (I categorized them myself just to help me sort them more easily)
CC=Culture/Community, STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
S=Sports 0=Outdoors 

1.     CC Wolf -   - Collections and Hobbies (pairs well with the free gem and mineral expo we have each year)
2.     CC Wolf -   - Cubs Who Care   
3.    CC Wolf -   - Digging In the Past*** dinosaur theme lots of fun
4.     CC Wolf -   - Hometown Heroes   
5.     S Wolf -   - Paws of Skill 
6.    S Wolf -   - Spirit of the Water maybe a fun summer adventure?
7.     STEM Wolf -   - Adventures In Coins   
8.     STEM Wolf -   - Air of the Wolf*  cool ideas
9.     STEM Wolf -   - Code of the Wolf*  play go fish, count m&m's, make games, write secret codes!
10.  STEM Wolf -   - Germs Alive! explode balloons, grow mold, make slime, so fun! Chore chart pairs well with Faith in God!
11.  STEM Wolf -   - Motor Away * so much fun!!!!
12.  O Wolf -   - Finding Your Way, a chance to go outside, perhaps do a second hike or a treasure hunt
13. O Wolf -   - Grow Something (springtime?)

1.     CC Bear -   - Bear Picnic Basket- recipe exchange, cooking fun(pairs well with Cast Iron Chef
2.     CC Bear -   - Beat of the Drum- crafty, Native American Culture,
3.    CC Bear -   - Roaring Laughter-Comedy super easy to teach
4.     CC Bear -   - A World of Sound –music around the world, hands on
5.     CC Bear -   - Critter Care   
6.    S Bear -   - Marble Madness *
7.     CC Bear -   - Grin and Bear It 
8.     STEM Bear -   - Forensics  *
9.     STEM Bear -   - Make It Move * 
10.  STEM Bear -   - Robotics, very cool*(order bristle bot kits ahead of time, university robotics lab?) 
11.  STEM Bear -   - Super Science, good, not quite as cool as robotics,   
12.  O Bear -   - A Bear Goes Fishing*
13. O Bear -   - Salmon Run    boating and swimming (best done with families)

1.     CC Webelos -   - Looking Back, Looking Forward (history)   
2.     CC Webelos -   - Fix It (home repairs)
3.    CC Webelos -   - Project Family* (completes three Faith in God activities!) 
4.     CC Webelos -   - Aware and Care   (similar to wolf cubs who care)
5.     CC Webelos -   - Art Explosion* (completes one Faith in God activity)
6.    CC Webelos -   - Build My Own Hero  
7.     CC Webelos -   - Maestro!   
8.     S Webelos -   - Aquanaut (best done at a camp)
9.     S Webelos -   - Sportsman (good for athletic boys to do at home)
10.  STEM Webelos -   - Adventures in Science* 
11.  STEM Webelos -   - Build It* pairs REALLY well with Baloo the Builder
12.  STEM Webelos -   - Earth Rocks! 
13. STEM Webelos -   – Engineer (offered at our camp)
14.  STEM Webelos -   - Game Design 
15.  STEM Webelos -   - Moviemaking 
16. O Webelos -   – Castaway
17.  O Webelos -   - Into the Wild   (offered at our camp with homework)
18.  O Webelos -   - Into the Woods (offered at our camp with homework)    

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