With one year of experience, feedback suggests that the new design of the Cub Scout program did successfully address many original concerns, but also indicates an opportunity for further modifications. Cub advancement was down after the first year of implementation and we know that correlates to lower member satisfaction and subsequently, lower retention. Some Den Leaders are having difficulty fitting all the Adventures required for advancement into their program year given their number of Den meetings and weather/daylight issues for outdoor activities. Overnight camping is a significant hurdle for some. Duty to God requirements connote organized religion to some and are not seen as embracing a belief in God and spirituality outside of specific faiths.
A task force was formed to draft modifications to the Cub Scout Program that would address this feedback. These modifications are designed to ensure that Adventure requirements are achievable by today’s Cub Scout dens within a program year and achievable by Cub Scouts from a wide range of backgrounds and socio-cultural experiences.
In order to maintain the integrity of the engaging, mission-driven, and user-friendly new Cub Scouting program, every effort was made to change as little as possible. All adjustments are intended to strengthen and support the new program as well as to assist the youth, families, and volunteers engaged in Cub Scouting.
Flexibility is key. Most modifications involve the number of requirements to be completed, reducing the mandate to a number achievable within the limited time available to many dens, while retaining rich program options that allow leaders to build strong programs adapted to local needs and situations. Some rewording fosters participation by boys who could not otherwise complete an Adventure.
Resources and Contributors
Guidance and input was from a wide variety of stakeholder groups and individuals. Contributors and reviewers included representatives from faith-based organizations and cultural groups as well as BSA volunteers with specific program expertise, recent grassroots experience, and current engagement in regional and national BSA leadership. We greatly appreciate the thoughtful suggestions, support, and engagement of all those consulted.