Re: Cub Rank Advancement
Lawrence E. Faust (lfaust@ATLANTIC.NET)
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 11:41:34 -0400
> I am curious to get the groups opinion on timing of Cub Scout rank
>advancement (Bobcat, Wolf, Bear). As I understand the "ideal" the kids
>work on advancement in Den meetings (and at home) with the goal of
>advancing up to, say, Wolf at the Blue and Gold. After that they focus
>more on arrow points. Contrast this with our Committee Chair/CoR bragging
>how his son who crossed over from Tigers to Cubs in May, got his Bobcat,
>then the following September (same year) at the first Pack meeting got
>his Wolf and an arrow point. Am I the only one this bothers?
Let's see if I understand your point: You think that the boys should be
doing rank work at home/den meetings until Feb. (Blue & Gold), then work on
arrow points. You are bothered by the boy who crossed to Cubs and got Bobcat
in May, then, after working at home during the summer earned Wolf & a point
If my understanding is correct, you 1) are worried that one boy is
working harder/faster than the rest 2) need to let it go- you've apparently
let the issue eat at you for a year now.
My points as a fellow Cub Scout Leader (Bear): Your concept of working
slowly on rank until Feb, and then arrow points is admirable and should be
considered as a GOAL for the den and NOT the "ideal" (it's a distinction
with a difference!). The boys in any given den will all work at different
paces- some will shoot ahead & overachieve, while some need a 2X4 to get
started <g>, and some may barely make rank by graduation in May. Don't get
stressed about an overachiever- chances are that either parent or son
decided to fight the summer boredom by working on Cub Scout stuff. I'd be
doing the happy dance right about now.
Anyway, there's LOTS of stuff that this kid can work on during his
tenure as a Wolf- Crime Prevention Award, Conservation Award, beltloops,
sports & academic pins/letters, religious award, and more arrow points. He
can even be given the responsibility of helping the others in the den earn
rank (like a PL in a BS Patrol)
>It seems that we negate one of the main reasons for weekly Den meetings.
>is the case why even take my son to the meetings?
You're questioning the value of Cub Scouting for your son, just because
some other kid earned a stupid piece of cloth faster?? C'mon, here. Take a
deep breath, gain a bit of perspective, and repeat after me: "Earning rank
is NOT the reason for Cub Scouts". You're putting WAY too much emphasis on
that. Are you taking your son to Scouts so that he can learn Scouting
values & have fun while doing so, or are you doing it so that YOU can see
that he earns rank while there.
>Our CC/CoR is trained and is also our Unit Commish. When I asked one of
our District trainers
>(our DE was standing there) they were agast and said he should know better
(not that helps me any).
OK, and THAT's my point- have YOU attended appropriate CURRENT training?
Your sig block indicates that you've attended Cub Scout Wood Badge
(essentially Train-the-Trainer). Your CC/CoR attended CC & CoR training, and
your Unit Commish attended Commish Basic. Maybe they both even attended Den
Leader Training some time in the distant past.
You may not currently be a DEN leader and therefore see no need to
attend Den Leader Training. But, believe me, it'll help you see the BIG
picture (and you'll be better able to help your son's den). The comments of
the the aghast District Trainer & DE are understandable in context. Believe
me, it's a familar pattern.
Y'see, if the Cub has done the work, well you can't do anything BUT give
him the award- any other action leads directly toward losing the boy. If the
parent PUSHED the boy to do the work this quickly, then that parent HAS done
a slight disservice to the boy. Either way sets the boy up for boredom with
the remainder of the year and has just made the Den Leader's job a bit
harder by having to combat that boredom. IMHO. I say a "slight disservice"
and a "bit harder" because it's NOT, as stated earlier, an insurmountable
> My question is should I push for the long term advancement program (I
am the Pack Training Chair) or just let it go.
The answer, IMHO, is to let it go. Your job is to see that all leaders
get appropriate CURRENT basic and supplemental training, and NOT to
micromanage the dens. The Den Leader training adequately covers the need for
gradual advancement balanced with the absolute necessity of awarding the
badge WHEN the boy earns it.
>There is a point to let the kids get the award when they earn it, but....
Cubs MUST get the award when they earn it- no option, no "buts". Check
the Cub Scout Leader Book.
>...the slow trickle of Wolf and Bears every Pack meeting does not allow for
any real emphasis or ceremony.
Huh??? You've thrown me here! First, you're bothered by someone
advancing too fast, now you question allowing boys to earn badges at their
own pace. Oh,I see... you argue for withholding or controlling advancement
so that they all earn rank at the same time. Wrong answer, thanks for
playing- there's PLENTY of opportunity for emphasis AND ceremony for
awarding all ranks at ANY given Pack meeting. It's up to the Cubmaster or
whoever's running that part of the pack meeting to allow for that needed
ceremony- and absolutely essential to insure that he/she does it.
If you'd like- and this would be a REAL NICE touch- the Pack could have
a special ceremony at Feb./ Blue & Gold, recognizing the achievement of all
who have earned rank by that time (maybe start and display a career arrow
for 'em at that time). In fact, thanks- that's an idea I'll bring back to
OUR Pack Committee.
Scouting is a way of life.......ooooooooommmmm (repeat as needed)
Email: email@example.com UIN: 657022
Cub Scout Pack 303, Spring Hill, Florida
(visit us @ http://rio.atlantic.net/~lfaust/pack303/index.html)
Withlachoochee District Cub RT Commish
(visit the RT @ http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Rapids/1292/csa.html)
"Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps."
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City