posted Sep 8, 2011, 5:05 PM by Bob Tormey   [ updated Sep 8, 2011, 8:34 PM ]
So you've passed Cub Scouts 101, otherwise known as Tiger Cubs, and you're ready for higher adventures as a Wolf Den.  Congratulations!

1. Twelve Achievements?  No Problem!
If at first-pass through the Handbook the Wolf program seems larger than the Tiger offering,  your sense is serving you well.  However, while there are definitely more achievements, the Wolf  requirements themselves are just as achievable as the Tiger's.  The largest challenge to the Wolf Leader is not in the increased activities, but in forging how the life of the den fits into the process.

Some Wolf achievements have Character Connections, which generally take place within the family setting.  The majority of requirements take place in the scout's home.  The Handbook isn't a clearly formatted with regard to what takes place in a den meeting, and what may require or suggest a day trip.  Rather than handing a fixed program to you like the Tiger year, the Wolf program will require some collective creativity. 

2. Ideas for Den Meetings and Activities
Feats of Skill can be adapted for the group setting.  Try doing the front roll and back roll as a race between two or three teams, or go for a group jog.  Consider the High School athletic field as your venue for these activities.  Flag ceremonies are HUGE for scouts; you will be assigned to open a Pack Meeting by presenting colors, and by leading the pledge and a patriotic anthem in the late Fall.  Practice different flag ceremonies at every den meeting so that they become very familiar with them as a respectful, group activity.  In some ways, the Your Flag achievement is a year-long staple of Cub Scouting.  Before the days become too short and cold, go on a den bike ride, emphasizing bike safety found in Be Safe at Home and on the Street.  Clean-up trash at a school, playground, or church, and then take it to the Medfield Transfer Station, where you can talk to the attendants at the recycling area for Your Living World.

As the winter weather arrives, visit the Historical Society to satisfy Know Your Home and Community.  Scout Shops have low-cost, wood working kits, such as simple bird houses, to assemble for Tools for Fixing and Building.  Consider arrangements to visit a local cabinet maker or carpenter shop.  If pursued in December, these woodworking activities can create momentum for building a Pinewood Derby car in January.  Sharing collections at a den meeting in satisfaction of Start a Collection can be fun, while emphasizing the virtue of respect of persons and property.

3. Keeping Focused
To earn the Wolf Badge in March, you will need to keep track of what your scouts are doing with their families, while taking advantage of opportunities for group activities along the way.  The "Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide" interjects Electives throughout the calendar to create group situations, but focus instead on March rank recognition, and strive to have all of your scouts complete all of their Wolf Achievements by the end of February.  The family focus of the program can actually make February Vacation a very productive time toward earning rank.

4. Beyond the Badge

The Wolf Electives provide many opportunities for group and outside activities.  As the days lengthen and warm, allow your den to choose electives to entertain itself while earning Arrow Points!  Even after your Wolf Scouts have crossed over to Bears in May, they may continue to work on Wolf Electives to compile as many Gold and Silver Arrows as they can possibly fit on their uniform.  (Unlike Achievements, Elective activities can be repeated.)  Continue to meet until the end of the school year to keep the scouting momentum strong.

[Feel free to add your comments, suggestions, etc., below.]