Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award for Cub Scouts

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Cub Scout Outdoor Activity   Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award   Scout Award

This Award is meant for Cub Scouts.

Cub Scouts at all levels from Tiger to Webelos can earn the Outdoor Activity Award. When the award is first earned, the scout receives the pocket flap award, worn on the right pocket flap of his uniform. In each additional year that he earns the award, a wolf track pin is attached to the flap. The Summertime Pack Award pin should be pinned through this patch just like the wolf track pins.
Successive years should build on skills and experiences from earlier years, having the scouts participate in more extensive activities.

Scouts at all ranks must attend Cub Scout day camp or Cub Scout/Webelos Scout resident camp in the current program year.

Tiger Cubs
Complete one requirement in Achievement 5, 'Let's Go Outdoors' (Tiger Cub Handbook) and complete three of the outdoor activities listed below.

Wolf Cub Scouts
Assemble the 'Six Essentials for Going Outdoors' (Wolf Handbook, Elective 23b) and discuss their purpose, and complete four of the outdoor activities listed below.

Bear Cub Scouts
Earn the Cub Scout Leave No Trace Award (Bear Handbook, Elective 25h) and complete five of the outdoor activities listed below.

Webelos Scouts
Earn the Outdoorsman Activity Badge (Webelos Handbook) and complete six of the outdoor activities listed below.

Outdoor Activities:
With your den, pack, or family:
  1. Participate in a nature hike in your local area. This can be on an organized, marked trail, or just a hike to observe nature in your area.
  2. Participate in an outdoor activity such as a picnic or park fun day.
  3. Explain the buddy system and tell what to do if lost. Explain the importance of cooperation.
  4. Attend a pack overnighter. Be responsible by being prepared for the event.
  5. Complete an outdoor service project in your community.
  6. Complete a nature/conservation project in your area. This project should involve improving, beautifying, or supporting natural habitats. Discuss how this project helped you to respect nature.
  7. Earn the Summertime Pack Award.
  8. Participate in a nature observation activity. Describe or illustrate and display your observations at a den or pack meeting.
  9. Participate in an outdoor aquatic activity. This can be an organized swim meet or just a den or pack swim.
  10. Participate in an outdoor campfire program. Perform in a skit, sing a song, or take part in a ceremony.
  11. Participate in an outdoor sporting event.
  12. Participate in an outdoor Scout's Own or other worship service.
  13. Explore a local city, county, state, or national park. Discuss with your den how a good citizen obeys the park rules.

Did you try it and like it?             Or hate it?
Click a thumb to vote:              

 Mar 11, 2013 - Chris B.
I'm a Tiger parent. My son joined his pack in November of 2012 and has been so excited and interested in everything scouting. We've been working on his Outdoor Activity Award recently, and after a pack hike this upcoming weekend he'll have completed all of the steps required except for the Day Camp.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Day Camp occurs after bridging to Wolf, so it won't be achieved as a Tiger Cub. It seems unfair to me that my son won't have a chance to earn the Outdoor Activity Award as a Tiger Cub, even though he completed all the rest of the steps. I don't feel that's fair to have kids do the other work and have nothing to show for it, especially since it WOULD get him the award if the camp were 2 weeks earlier.

Is there anything that can be done about that? My son has been really excited about this award because it's not like the rest. He's going to be devastated if I have to tell him he can't have it yet and has to do a bunch more stuff.
Apr 25, 2013 - Rob N.
Chris B, ditto.  Registered my Tiger at the announced Sept 2012 registration.  My mistake for not joining after kindergarten??  Who thinks of Day & Resident Camps before joining a den?

Completed all the reqts except Camp.  We're bridging to Wolf on May 19th.  Registered for the earliest Day Camp starting on June 10th.  A difference of 22 days.  

Why isn't Day Camp a year-end culminating event?  Tiger parents don't all know that the 'program year' starts in June.  This equals exactly 1 Wolf Track Pin for subsequent awards that our current group of boys will never be able to earn although they were "eligible".  A 5th-grade Scout should be able to have earned up to 5 awards total, one for each year.  If he didn't attend Camp after kindergarten he can only earn 4?

This rule directly contradicts criteria for the National Summertime Pack Award (awarded at end of summer at previous year's rank).  Either count Day Camp as Year-END or make Tigers ineligible for the award without Camp first.
Apr 26, 2013 - Rob N.
I learned the interpretation in our Pack is to allow Day Camp credit to be applied to the rank just completed for first-year Scouts.  Leaders would have to be mindful not to double-dip and count the same camp period twice to support the award at two different ranks.

The Logic:
1) Most boys (all grades) join Scouts when the school year starts -- they have already missed the cornerstone requirement for the award (Day/Resident Camp).  The spirit of this award is to incentivize outdoor activities, not to create a maze of requirement-interpretation.  In theory a first-year Scout could "earn-backward" for Day Camp, then attend Resident Camp that same summer and be back on track, earning "forward".

2) One of the requirement options for this award is "Earn the Summertime Pack Award", which can only be earned/awarded at the end of summer, and at the rank just completed, not the rank the Scout is pursuing in that summer.  This to me is earning-backward.
May 04, 2013 - MJ
Oh, I can answer that one. The Outdoor Activity Award refers BACK to what the Scout was - not to what they currently are as of June 1st. So Scouts who joined in fall of 2012 who have just completed their Tiger trails earn the Tiger OAA. Next Summer they earn the Wolf, and so on. Summers are gray area. A lot of what we do refers back to the prior year - like Elective beads and Arrow points for the older boys - but they're also eligible to begin work on their next rank. In our Pack we designate September 1st as the cut off point. Anything done after that date cannot be retroactively added to the previous year's rank's awards.
May 06, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Packs have the discretion to define their 'program year'.  It is usually either June 1st or start of the school year.  The way MJ describes summer being a "gray area" is common among packs trying to do the right thing for the scouts, but with incomplete or conflicting definition of award requirements.
Your pack leaders should try to be consistent and fair, but not forego requirements for any awards.  For this OAA and the Summertime Pack award, it just seems to be simpler and make more sense to apply it to the rank just being completed.  
May 19, 2013 - Jodi H
Also, keep in mind that councils frequently offer Fall and Spring Day Camps, such as Outing for Scouting, so it is possible to earn the Outdoor Activity Award during the school year as, say a Tiger, then be on track to get a Wolf Track Pin as a Wolf by going to summer camp and following up with the Wolf requirements over the course of the program year.
May 21, 2013 - Dwight S
My son recently completed his "Leave no Trace" award as a Wolf.  (My understanding is the LNT is a one-time Cub Scout Award...)  His wolf year is technically over since the Pack had their bridging/graduation ceremony.  My son is interested in the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award.  Does he need to repeat the LNT award to be eligable to earn the Outdoor Activity Award, or can he move forward with the 5 outdoor activities needed?
May 23, 2013 - Yvonne N P
No, Dwight S.
He doesn't have to repeat LNT.
Just needs to complete the number of outdoor activities for his level.
May 27, 2013 - Rob N.
Thank you all for your responses.  End of year picnic took place...he's a Wolf now.  The Pack confirmed that he can start doing the at-home Wolf activities, and attend the June Day Camp to earn his OAA for his Tiger year.  The Pack Overnighter is in July and we'll be able to count that toward the OAA for the Wolf year, followed by Resident Camp in August as a Wolf as well.  Common sense prevails!  Thanks again all.
May 30, 2013 - Dwight S
Thanks Yvonne N P.
That's what I was thinking and hoping!
He'll be happy he's that close.
Jun 07, 2013 - Scouter Tim
Everyone keep in mind for the last year for the OA award you can only get one add on pin for Webelos Rank. So it does not matter if you get the OAA first as a Tiger you can only get the award 4 times for the 4 different ranks. You would not get a pin for WebelosI and WebelosII.
Nov 01, 2013 - Tiffany
I'm trying to resolve a discrepancy between what's listed here (and on the official site), and what is in the handbook.

It states that for Wolves, they must assemble the SIX essentials listed in Elective 23b. The handbook, however, lists EIGHT in 23b. Does anyone know why that discrepancy exists?
Nov 23, 2013 - Nogitron
Tiffany:  I assume it has to do with just a bit of outdated information. I went ahead and just had my son do the eight which are in the Wolf handbook. Our cubmaster and awards chair were happy with that.
Nov 25, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Tiffany - Conflicts between documents appear as different versions come out.  The 1999 version of the Wolf handbook had no Elective #23.  In 2003, the "Essentials" list was six items rather than eight, and did not include a pocketknife or raingear.  The Outdoor Activity award requirements were written using the then current Wolf handbook and mentioned the "Six Essentials".  
Around 2010, using the then current age-appropriate activity guidelines, the Wolf handbook modified Elective #23 to include a pocketknife and raingear.
In 2013, the age-appropriate activity guidelines were changed so Wolf scouts do not use knives.
I expect the Wolf handbook will see a change to Elective #23 in its next printing.

You could have your Wolfs assemble Seven essentials without the pocketknife.
Mar 20, 2014 - Deb
Here, Tiger Cubs are allowed to go to day camps IF they are with an adult.  June 1st is the date that Cub Scouts move up.  My son is a wolf right now.  But he will be considered a bear as of June 1st.  He has the summer to work on his requirement/electives as a Bear.
Apr 06, 2014 - Danielle H
Here's a new hitch...when assembling all our awards for the B&G in March I was looking for the LNT patches for 2 of our scouts, only to be told that program no longer exists and now you should be working on "Outdoor Ethics"....given that the paperwork and manuals have not yet been updated (they're coming for scout year 2015-2016 I've been told), we are going forward with changing the OOA to reflect the Outdoor Ethics program (found on else going ahead with this change...or are you going to let them do the old program, but not reward with a patch?
Apr 11, 2014 - Eileen
Does attending a cub scout activity day at your cub scout camp count for the day camp requirement?
Apr 11, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Eileen - "Cub Scout Day Camp" is a specifically defined event as shown on this page.
I would not count going on a hike, or picnic, or ... that just happened to take place at scout camp.

Apr 27, 2014 - Eileen
Sorry Paul.  Maybe I wasn't clear.  I meant going to an activity day at cub scout camp, a one day family event, to count for the day camp requirement.  Everything else would be a separate outdoor activity on other days so as not to count something more than once.  Was unsure if that fulfills the day camp requirement, but think it does since it's at an official cub scout campground.  After reading earlier posts, just wanted to make sure my son can still earn this award since the day camp happens after his crossing over ceremony.  Figure it will be okay for him to still earn this as a tiger, even though he would have become a wolf.  Am I correct in my reasoning?
Jun 18, 2014 - Erin
I know most of these comments are a bit old, but I thought I would share what I found on from scouting magazine about this award:

DURING WHICH PERIOD MUST THE REQUIREMENTS BE COMPLETED? Requirements for each rank must be completed during the time period a Scout is eligible to be working on that specific rank.

So according to this, they would not be able to count it towards the previous year as most camps are June 1st or after.
Aug 26, 2014 - Kelly
With the changing of the LNT award to Outdoor Ethics Awards, what do we do for the Outdoor Activity Award for the Bear year? The OAA states that Bear scouts need to "Earn the Cub Scout Leave No Trace Award (Bear Handbook, Elective 25h)". Does the Bear scout have to earn both Outdoor Ethics awareness and Outdoor Ethics Action Awards to complete the OAA award for his bear year? Or do they still do the requirements listed in the LNT award?
Aug 27, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Kelly - If you review the requirements for the LNT award and compare those to the Outdoor Ethics awards, they most closely match the 'Action' award.  I would either use the LNT requirements, or the new Outdoor Ethics Action award requirements until specific guidance comes from your council.
Dec 06, 2014 - Scouter Dennis
What is the difference between and cub scout day camp and a resident camp?  If the cub scout uses a BSA facility for the day (i.e. Archery, BB Guns and fishing) does this count as the day camp requirement for the outdoor activity award?
Dec 07, 2014 - Blair Counts
@ Dennis. No, that is not day camp. Day Camp is a weeklong event held by your local Scouting districts each year, usually in early summer. The Cub Scout usually attends from 8-3, Monday to Friday. Attending is the only way to meet the Day Camp requirement.
Dec 09, 2014 - Joe
@Scouter Dennis & Blair Counts, Every Council is different in the way  they deliver their Cub Scout summer camps. It could last an entire week or just be one day. Our Council in Utah does two days at two different camps (Same location though).

As long as it's a Council run camp, it would fulfill the requirement  
Apr 05, 2015 - Scout Mom Melissa
For the aquatic activity what does that mean? Does it have to be something organized with a group? We joined a the pool over the summer and he passed his swim test this year. He also participated in swimming lessons. do any of those things count towards it?  
Apr 08, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Melissa - As long as the swimming is done outdoors, and with his den, pack, or family, it sounds to me like it should count.  If you dropped him off for swim lessons, it doesn't sound like it was done with den, pack or family.

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