“Should advancements be worked on during den meetings?” is a common question of new den leaders.
Tigers Cubs. To earn the Tiger Cub badge, Tiger Cubs have a set of 15 requirements to complete: 5 Family Activities, 5 Den Activities, and 5 Go-See-It’s. The requirements themselves make it pretty clear that some (such as the 5 Den Activities) are to be done during den meetings and some (such as the 5 Family Activities) are to be done at home.
Webelos Scouts. The primary method of advancement for Webelos Scouts are Webelos activity badges. “Activity Badge Fun” should be a part of every Webelos den meeting. “Webelos Scouts work on activity badge requirements during their weekly den meetings,” as it says in the Cub Scout Leader Book (p. 21-1, 2006).
Wolf and Bear Den Meetings. The official recommendation regarding Wolf and Bear advancements appears to be in transition. The policy used to be that Wolf and Bear advancements should generally not be done during den meetings.
For example, here is an excerpt from “The Pack’s First Three Months” (13-010, 2003):
“In Cub Scouting, most advancement occurs at home with the parents and family. The den meeting can accomplish an occasional advancement activity. The Wolf Handbook and Bear Handbook are each filled with more than 200 pages of quality family time ideas that can be done at home. Don’t “steal” this opportunity from the boys’ families. Boys get their daily fill of structured bookwork at school, so den meetings should be fun, with some learning on the side.” [Bold added]
But it appears that BSA National now recommends that many Wolf and Bear advancements be done during den meetings. Here is an excerpt from the “2008-09 Tiger Cub and Cub Scout Advancement Plan” from the 2008-2009 Cub Scout Program Helps:
“While much of advancement in Cub Scouting is intended to be accomplished within the family, many requirements may be met by attending organized den meetings. Den meetings outlined in Cub Scout Program Helps include several advancement requirements each month. Completion of den meeting activities along with home assignments will insure that each boy receives his next badge of rank at the blue and gold banquet in February.” [Bold added]
It seems that doing achievements during Wolf and Bear den meetings is now permissible and encouraged although the family should still be involved in the advancement process. Presumably, there will be an update at some point to “The Pack’s First Three Months” to reflect this change.
[Links updated: 10-23-2008]