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Bear Adventure Plans -- The Complete Den Leader Guide, and Comments and Ideas from the District Cub Trainer ...

The attachments on this page have all of the Adventure Plans for Wolf Rank Adventures -- Required Adventures in the attached pdf and Elective Adventures in this attached pdf -- and on our main Cub Scout Meeting Plans page, we've attached the Introduction Section to each Den Leader Guide (which is exactly the same in each Guide, except for a few pages about the specific Adventures for Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos, so we've added each of those pages all in one place) and the Appendix of Resources (which is exactly the same in each Guide).  And in the attachments, and the notes below, here's some ideas and comments from the District Cub Leader Trainer (who helped with the design of this new Cub Scout Advancement program ... and who has some ideas about easier delivery of that program, including "better to have more fun and adventure with family participation than to have more meetings!") ... let's make the most of your time with your boys, whether after school, in the evening or on weekends.  

And don't forget ... the Bobcat and First Meeting Adventure Plans found on the resource page called Getting Started Tips: Plans for First Meetings + Bobcat may be a better and easier way for you to start your Den's program and ensure that your new Scouts earn the Bobcat Rank (there are two meetings there ... with a lot of returning Scouts, it could be one).  

So, for the "Easy Button" way to do these Bear Rank Adventures, including ideas about how to do them with fewer "after school" or evening meetings (that are often hard for parents to do) and more completion on weekends "at campouts" or weekend daytime activities when more parents can participate (note: use these shortcut "Easy Button" approaches only where you need it ... there's lots of good activities in the Leader Guides of the Bear Rank Adventures that -- when parents share the leadership of activities -- will make the program so much better for the boys). If you have questions, email the Cub Leader Trainer.

Update:  as noted on this page, on November 30, 2016, modifications to Cub Scout Advancement requirements were announced that make some elements optional, that revise the language of some requirements, and that re-number some requirements.  You can follow the original Handbook requirements, or use the revised versions.  Comments are on that page as a Guide to how to proceed (scroll down to the attachment that goes rank by rank).  Comments are also added to the Required Adventure Plans attached here, with inserts about what changed and how you might approach the changes.

Here's ideas on the Bear Rank Adventures -- these have a lot of great outdoor activities perfect for weekends, so if you aspire to be a TOPRATE Cub Scout Program (a "Totally Outdoor, Parent Run, Actively Targeting Excellence" Den), there's great ways to do that here:

  • Bear Claws is a "required" adventure, but one that is great for weekend events and maybe not much for meeting at a school, because it's all about pocketknife safety ... and, admit it, your son wants to use a pocketknife.  Now, the soap carving and safety instruction can be done in a classroom ... best to alert the school if you meet there ... but if you did this on a campout or a hike, it would be awesome. (pages 7-13 in the attached pdf, 33-39 of the Guide)  
    • How many meetings: easily done as one Prep Meeting, plus a Campout or Weekend event.
    • Can this be a TOPRATE (outdoor, multiple parents involved) Adventure?  You betcha.  And this one is universal ... Dads will claim to be pocketknife experts, but unless they are the main chef in the house, Moms probably slice more than anyone!
  • Bear Necessities is a "required" adventure all about camping and cooking and campfire fun (pages 14-27 in the attached pdf, 41-54 of the Guide). 
    • How many meetings: I'd say 1 prep meeting where you plan for the campout, maybe practice tent setup, plus ... the campout!
    • Can this be a TOPRATE (outdoor, multiple parents involved) Adventure?  Absolutely.  Even the prep meeting is good to do outside, just to be sure everyone has a sense of the temperature and gets in the mood for camping.
  • Like other "faith" required Adventures, "Fellowship and Duty to God" will probably be an "at home" adventure, because faith beliefs in Scouting are determined by the family -- everyone's duty is different.  Note that this refers to "as you are taught in your home or place of worship or spiritual community" ... every family is different. (pages 28-34 in the attached pdf, 55-61 of the Guide)  
    • How many meetings: easily done as zero meetings -- all at home) 
  • Fur, Feathers and Ferns is a "required" adventure that fairly cries out "field trip", what with a one mile walk, visit to a zoo or other nature place, observing wildlife, examining plants, and planting a garden. (pages 35-45 in the attached pdf, 63-73 of the Guide) 
    • How many meetings: I'd say 1 prep meeting where you might plant some garden at school or church or someone's house nearby, plus a weekend day walk around a nature center.
    • Can this be a TOPRATE (outdoor, multiple parents involved) Adventure?  A pox upon anyone who does any part of this Adventure indoors, absent horrible rain.  Even in dense urban areas, the garden and compost parts can be better done in whatever patch of land you have than a classroom or cafeteria table.
  • Grin and Bear It is a "required" adventure, covering games and ... games, including a "carnival".  Sort of easy to do as an "after school" or evening meeting, because it involves different games and could involve lots of activity, so it should be fun.  But it could also be done as a weekend activity, especially because part of it involves leading younger Scouts in those games as a "carnival" -- but if done "after school" or evening, you might also make a Wolf or Tiger Den Leader very very happy if you ask "would you like to come to our 'Grin + Bear It' Carnival instead of leading your own meeting?". (pages 46-54 in the attached pdf, 75-83 of the Guide)  
    • How many meetings: probably a prep meeting, plus either more meetings for "carnival" or do it at a weekend event as part of the program of fun.
    • Can this be a TOPRATE (outdoor, multiple parents involved) Adventure?  OK, how many awesome "carnivals" are done inside?  Yes, none.  Outside is more fun.  This can also really benefit from parental participation, since they may wish they were still playing at carnivals. 
  • Paws for Action is a "required" adventure that's all about history/patriotism, visiting a law enforcement facility (OK to have a local community police officer come visit you guys!), basic emergency preparedness (like a fire drill), energy conservation and a cleanup service project. (pages 55-65 in the attached pdf, 85-95 of the Guide)
    • How many meetings: could be done as two after school or evening Meetings, with one a field trip or visit by law enforcement.
    • Can this be a TOPRATE (outdoor, multiple parents involved) Adventure?  OK, this one may not be "outside", but it definately is "out and about" with a police/sheriff visit.  

So, there's your Six Required Adventures ... add one more from the list of 13 Elective Adventures found in the Handbook and Meeting Plans for the Bear Rank Adventures, and with the Cyber Chip program your son will earn the Rank.  Some of those electives should be very very easy to do on weekends or at meetings -- every parent in the Den should look at those Bear Rank Adventures and find one that fits your passion, hobby or history!

  • Note:  don't "aim" to do "just the minimum" ...
  • ... where your parents / extended families / teachers you recruit / field trips you schedule find more Bear Rank Adventures to do, do them!
  • Your kids are kids only once ... enjoy every adventure!

The Bear Elective Adventures are:

  • Baloo the Builder is about using TOOLS and wood tools (pages 7-11 in the attached pdf, 99-103 of the Guide)
  • A Bear Goes Fishing is about FISHING, so would be a great day event (pages 12-16 in the attached pdf, 105-109 of the Guide)
  • Bear Picnic Basket is about COOKING (pages 18-24 in the attached pdf, 111-117 of the Guide)
  • Beat of the Drum is about Native Americans, music and crafts (pages 25-30 in the attached pdf, 119-124 of the Guide)
  • Critter Care is about PETS (pages 31-36 in the attached pdf, 125-130 of the Guide)
  • Forensics is about CRIME solving science (pages 37-43 in the attached pdf, 131-137 of the Guide)
  • Make It Move is about fun Engineering (pages 44-51 in the attached pdf, 139-146 of the Guide)
  • Marble Madness is about Marbles Games (pages 52-58 in the attached pdf, 147-153 of the Guide)
  • Roaring Laughter is about Fun, Jokes, Stories, Games (pages 59-64 in the attached pdf, 155-160 of the Guide)
  • Robotics is about ROBOTS (pages 65-70 in the attached pdf, 161-166 of the Guide)
  • Salmon Run is about SWIMMING and BOATING (pages 71-77 in the attached pdf, 167-173 of the Guide)
  • Super Science, is about Fun Science experiments (pages 78-85 in the attached pdf, 175-182 of the Guide)
  • A World of Sound, is about World Music and Instruments (pages 86-91 in the attached pdf, 183-188 of the Guide)

For more ideas, or questions, or comments, feel free to email the Cub Leader Trainer.