If a Cub Scout has completed the second grade and has earned the Bobcat Badge, the youth may start earning the Bear rank. The scout receives a Bear Scout handbook, Bear neckerchief, and Bear neckerchief slide when beginning the Bear portion of the scouting trail. A blue Cub Scout Uniform will also be needed. This part of the scouting trail is intended to take one school year, preparing the scout to begin earning the Webelos rank after completing third grade.
How to Join:
- Go to BeAScout.org
- Click the 'Cub Scouts' tab.
- Enter your zipcode and click the arrow button.
- Click on a Pack near you to see its contact info so you can call the Pack or your local Council about joining.
- Complete a BSA Youth Application and Health Record and give them to the Cubmaster of the Pack you choose.
Your Bear den will have opportunities to participate in Pack meetings. Prepare your scouts by having them ready to perform a couple of Skits and lead the pack in some Games. By having a Bear favorite ready, your scouts will look good, have fun, and increase their confidence through leading the pack.
Tip: Choose 2 skits and games before September and do them at your first den meeting. Don't wait until your Cubmaster calls on you for a skit.
Tip: Many packs award the Bear badge at their Blue Gold banquet in February. If you begin your Bear program in September, this means you have less than 5 months to complete the Bear requirements. You should plan out what requirements your den will do and make a schedule so everyone knows what is expected. A calendar kept up to date helps families keep track of their scouting commitments.
Bear Scouts do adventures described in their Bear handbook that advance them towards their Bear rank. By completing seven adventures, the Bear rank is earned.
Bear Rank Requirements:
- Complete each of the six Bear required adventures:
- In addition to the six required adventures listed previously, complete at least one Bear elective adventure of your den's or family's choosing from this list: A Bear Goes Fishing, Bear Picnic Basket, Beat of the Drum, Critter Care, Forensics, Grin and Bear It, Make It Move, Marble Madness, Roaring Laughter, Robotics, Salmon Run, Super Science, A World of Sound
- With your parent, guardian, or caring adult, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.
- Earn the Cyber Chip award for your age. (The Cyber Chip portion of this requirement may be waived by your parent or guardian if you do not have access to the internet.)
Akela is the name given to the Cub Scout's parent or guardian, the caring adult guiding the youth along the Cub Scouting trail. Akela is responsible for acknowledging completion of each adventure requirement by signing and dating the appropriate spot in the Bear's handbook. There is also a spot for the Bear Den Leader to sign for each requirement. The Adventure Tracking pages in the back of the Bear handbook can be used by the Bear to track progress all in one spot, and some dens use advancement charts or den doodles to publicly display advancement.
After completing rank requirements, a Bear can stay active throughout the program year by completing elective adventures with the youth's Akela or den, or at district and council hosted events. The scout may try to earn all adventure belt loops before moving on to a Webelos den.
Bear Den Leader:
An encouraging, organized, and supportive Bear Den Leader makes a Bear Den a success. The Den Leader plans the program of activities for the year and makes that plan available to all den parents. The Den Leader should enjoy being outside and comfortable exploring the environment in a safe manner.
A well-run Bear den gives each scout a chance to practice leadership skills on the rest of the den in manageable amounts. The Denner position is a great way for individual scouts to practice leadership for a short time. The Den Chief is a Boy Scout that has volunteered to work with a den in order to practice skills and be a role model for younger scouts. The Den Leader is responsible for training and assisting a Den Chief, if the den has been assigned one.
Bear Den Leader is a registered volunteer BSA position whose responsibilities are:
- Work directly with other den and pack leaders to ensure that their den is an active and successful part of the pack.
- Plan, prepare for, and conduct den meetings with the assistant den leader and den chief.
- Attend pack leaders' meetings.
- Lead the den at the monthly pack meeting and pack activities.
- Ensure the transition of scouts in the Bear den into a Webelos den at the end of the year.
- Keep accurate records.
- Help the den earn the National Den Award.
There are many resources available to help the den leader plan and run a successful, interesting program for the scouts. The Bear Den Leader Guide is the most important one. It has complete den meeting plans for each adventure and many ideas for activities that promote the purposes of Cub Scouting. This guide takes much of the planning burden off over-extended volunteers.
Tip: Remember that the Cub Scout motto of Do Your Best is central to the program. There is no level of competence or skill required to complete adventures. Putting in personal effort and having fun with fellow scouts is success.
Tip: Many available Awards are never earned, especially by Wolf and Bear dens. Learn about additional awards offered to your scouts such as the World Conservation Award and Outdoor Ethics Award and try to work them into your schedule - especially in the spring and summer months.
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