Highly successful Cubmasters say that they and their Den Leaders design meetings where "advancement just happens." But when you really start talking with them, these Cub Scout leaders put a lot of thought into incorporating advancement opportunities into their Pack and Den Meetings. They talk about reading Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelos handbooks and planning fun activities to meet advancement needs. They offer suggestions to parents about what the parents can do at home to help their sons advance, especially during Wolf and Bear years.
Baden-Powell said that "our method of training is to educate from within rather than to instruct from without; to offer games and activities which, while being attractive to the boy, will seriously educate him morally, mentally and physically." Cub Scouting's advancement program is designed to guide you in helping boys learn, in a fun way, how to be better individuals in every phase of their life.
The US Scouting Service Project website lists all the rank requirements in one easy place. To see this, click on:
Tiger Badge requirements Tiger Cub electives
Bobcat Badge requirements
Wolf Badge requirements Wolf electives
Bear Badge Requirements Bear electives
Webelos Badge Requirements Webelos activities badges
Arrow of Light requirements
Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide
The Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide (also known as "Cub Scout 2010 program enhancements" is a great "cookbook" for you to use to help you in planning fun, advancement oriented meetings. Many highly successful Cubmasters I've talked with say that it is "too organized" and they want to plan their own meetings, and that's OK. Many say that it is a good resource, especially to give new Den Leaders ideas for having successful den meetings. I think it is well worth taking a look at, even if you only use it for a couple of den meetings. To me, it's like the "teacher's syllabus" for your year of Cub Scouting. You can download each section of the Pack and Den Leaders Resource Guide by clicking here.
BSA Guide to Advancement 2011
A new BSA publication is the BSA Guide to Advancement 2011. As a Cub Scouter, you should read Advancement Defined and Mechanics of Advancement in Cub Scouting.
Advancement Recordkeeping using Cub Tracker spreadsheets
Keeping track of individual Cub Scout advancement is a lot of work. When I was a Den Leader, that was a job of one of the parents. At every meeting, the boys brought their books to him, and he checked off their advancement. In those days, we used the "paper" Cub Scout individual advancement form. In this electronic age, you can download spreadsheets that work with Excel, Microsoft Works or the FREE OpenOffice OfficeCalc. A special thanks to Dave Blogett and Roxanne Prahser for their efforts at creating the FREE Cub Tracker. You can get more information at www.madsenco.com/scouting.shtml.
Download what you want:
Cub Scout record
Tiger den advancement record documentation
Wolf den advancement record documentation
Bear den advancement record documentation
Webelos den advancement record documentation
Academic and sports pins,den advancement record documentation
more from BSA about Adademic and Sports pins and belt loops (click on each icon to get requirements)
The cost of academic and sports pins and belt loops can add up pretty quickly. Our Pack's policy was that the parents purchased any belt loops or pins that their sons earned. Other Packs pay for a limited amount each year (and no duplicates) and the parents pick up the remaining costs.
In this example, you see the record of Wolf Cub "Mike Leih" When you click on the tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet that says "Cub 1" and change it to "Mike Leih" then his record is customized for his name. DO NOT enter anything in the "blue areas" because this is where the spreadsheet makes automatic calculations to determine the Cub Scout's individual progress towards rank advancement.
During our June Pack outing, we had a Cub Scout Olympics. The boys were having a great time, but it's no accident that the events for the Tigers who just became a Wolf den were activities that would count towards Wolf requirement 1. After the Pack outing, our Assistant Den Leader in charge of advancement records entered "A" for Achievement into requiremetns 1 a-g and 1 j-l.
At the summertime Pack Planning Conference, our den volunteered for the October skit. At our October den meetings we worked on fire safety (for National Fire Safety Week), made scenery and practiced our skit. At the Pack meeting, everyone had fun and gained confidence presenting in front of a group, and made silly sounding sound effects. After the Pack meeting, our Assistant Den Leader updated each of our Wolf Den's Cub Scouts with an "E" for Elective into 2a-c. The boy who announced the skit also got an "E" in column 2d.
Every month our Assistant Den Leader printed out an advancement report for each parent, to help them plan things to do at home with their son to help him advance. By February all the boys in the den were awarded their Wolf badges.
If you scroll back up and look at Mike Leih's May 1st record, he earned his Wolf rank, five arrow points, four progress beads, his World Conservation Award and the Leave No Trace Awareness Award. We should review his progress on the Emergency Preparedness Award, because he has a "P" partial there, to see if he can earn it before the May pack meeting, when his den becomes Bears.
Other Advancement Recordkeeping Methods
Trax Scouting is another advancement tracking tool (Donna Jarowski suggestion). http://trax.boy-scouts.net/
Packmaster is a software program and web application that your Pack can subscribe to. It has very powerful reporting capabilities. I knew a few Packs and many Troops who are using their software programs. If your Pack has the money and has a lot of dens, Packmaster can save your Pack advancement chairperson a LOT OF TIME. http://www.troopmaster.com/products/cubscouts/cub_scouts.php
Cub Tracker is a new app for Android tablets, that you can check out online at: http://cubtracker.com/
Paper and pencil forms are available from the National BSA website. When I was a Den Leader, we used them in conjunction with spreadsheets like Cub Tracker, because the paper forms let you put in dates for major awards that each Cub Scout earned. In Cub Tracker, you don't know the date an award was earned, just what is completed. For den meeting planning purposes and advancement review, that is just what you need to know. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/Leaders/Forms.aspx#TigerCubDenLeaderSpecificForms