A Family-Led Fun Program

Family-Led Cub Scouting - Led by Parents, Parents Guided by Den + Pack Leaders

As described on this "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?" page, many Dens and Packs will operate very differently this year. The safest approach is a Family-Led Fun Program (it was described there as Plan "B"), and assumes that group activities are limited, either by regulation or reluctance and that Dens and Packs who want to do Scouting will want to use a program of Family-Led Activities.  

  • Most of the program would be family-led done at home by families, and maybe sometimes done at the same time (or approximately the same time) as a "virtual" Den or Pack activity.
  • Under a Family-Led Fun Program, a key role of a Den or Pack Leader changes from "lead the Scouts in program activity" to "guide the Parents so the Parents can lead their Scouts in program activity". 
  • Family-Led Activity Plans are posted as Adventure by Adventure attachments on, respectively, our Bobcat page, and the Adventure pages for the "Required" Adventures (other than the family faith adventures) for TigerWolfBear and Webelos Ranks.

Family-Led Fun Program 

Under a Family-Led Fun Program (f/k/a Plan "B"), few or no group in-person activities will be held because most of the Cub Scout program can be done through family activities and virtual Den and Pack connectivity and communication -- and because of the risk of group activities.

  • Family Activities: Most of the program would be family-led and on the family’s schedule, led by a parent with guidance from a Den or Pack Leader – almost all advancement elements are done at home by Parent and Scout or with the full family. Parents are essential as leaders of their Scouts – Den + Pack leaders guide the parents about how to lead their Scouts. Some activities may be done at the same time so as to be a "virtual" Den or Pack activity where families can check in with each other.
  • Den Coordination (Some Virtual Meetings):  A Den Leader's primary role becomes guiding parents about how to do Cub Scout activities at home; the secondary role is “checking in”, with parents and Scouts, either in group calls or Zooms. Maybe some “virtual” meetings (likely shorter than “in-person” meetings) -- but sharing need not be on Zoom or at the same time. Sharing can be pictures, videos, written stories, shared by text, email, social media. The phone can be used to check in with each other. 
  • Pack Activities:  Maybe monthly or less often since group outings are limited and larger “virtual” events are difficult -- even in regular times, it's hard to get everyone on the same schedule. Activities can be “virtual” - campouts on the same night (or weekend, or month - whenever the family can), hikes on the same day/weekend/month. Maybe Pinewood Derby with staggered "live" in-person attendance and broadcasts to all over the video feed.  

FYI, there can be small group activities conducted safely, for example, if you and another family are in a limited "cohort" group -- sometimes called a "pod" or "bubble" who are completely comfortable with each other's adherence to physical distancing and safety. 

Note: this is not the same as a random group of a small number of people, so few dens would be true "cohort groups" even though there may be "cohort groups" in a den -- or "quasi" cohort groups like the youth who are in school in person in the same classroom or classroom cohort.

Sharing a Family-Led Fun Program will be valuable even if and when you are permitted to hold "in-person" events (when it is safe and permitted – see https://www.atlantabsa.org/safety-health for all of the guidelines about that.  Holding a safe social distancing activity and coupling it with the resources to let parents conduct family-led remote activities will make Scouting more accessible for families who are more cautious about group contacts in these times – and they need Scouting too.

Why Would Parents Put Their Kid in a Pack if Someone Else Isn't Doing All of the Leadership? 

  1. If it's not safe to meet in groups, or many families don't feel it is safe, we need to find effective ways to have Scouting adventures.  
  2. While we are safe and physically distancing, our children must grow up – and Scouting is a great help in raising children.
  3. Parents are Leaders of their Children, and those children need to grow up whether or not we're physically distant. 
  4. Family members can and should be a leader to their own Scout because Family Involvement is a key method of Cub Scouting
  5. For best results, Dens and Packs should use shared or collective leadership, with every parent leading something.  

So this is just an extension of being a parent and an extension of the best type of Den and Pack participation.  Through the support of the Den, the Pack, and beyond in the BSA, parents will get helpful tips on how to parent.

  • So the reason to join and lead your own child as part of a Den and Pack is because it will help you raise your child.  
  • "Cub Scouting is fun for the whole family. In Scouting, boys and girls start with their best right now selves and grow into their very best future selves. It’s fun, hands-on learning and achievement that puts kids in the middle of the action and prepares them for today – and for life".
  • Families joining together in Dens and Packs are just working together to prepare their kids for life.  

What Does a Family-Led Fun Program Look Like? 

Assuming that Dens and Packs want to leverage off existing programs of the Atlanta Area Council as well as other local resources, it would look like a series of fun activities, done family by family on their own schedule, with field trips, and Advancement activities so that Scouts can earn loops, pins, Rank badges and other awards.  

  • A Family-Led Fun program does not need everyone to do an activity at the same time. 
    • While you might do a "live broadcast" over Facebook or Zoom, be sure to let families know that they can do the activity on their own schedule -- and let them know how to do the activity -- like with these Family-Led Adventures.
      • If you "live broadcast", don't limit the sharing to just the live broadcast -- share by text, email, social media, and encourage families to share their pictures, video and stories back to the Den. 
  • A Den Leader could develop (in consultation with parents) a plan of activities, and then share Adventure plans monthly.  
  • In family-led Adventures, Den Leaders might make suggestions for the whole den, and for individual families, on matters like:
    • When to do Required Adventures, keeping in mind weather and other opportunities.  
    • Which electives to do to "earn the Rank" -- and there might be different electives for different Scouts, depending on parental skills and hobbies.  
    • Which "options" to do to "complete an Adventure.
    • Where families might go to do outdoor components -- you'll know your neighborhood best, and find great locations that are not as crowded as others.    
  • A recent program of the Atlanta Area Council on Den and Pack Leader Roles in Family-Led Program shared ideas about how to lead in this environment. See the PowerPoint attached, and a video of that Webinar is attached here.

A Possible Pack Program Plan for Family-Led Fun.

Here's a possible Pack Program plan, below, and in the attachment in a form that could be on the backside of a Pack Promotional Flyer -- plus tailored versions for all Den levels that just lists and links to the Adventures available in their dens. This is just one way:

  • This front-end loads more "Required" Adventures, but you can adjust the schedule as you like. Like if you start in September, go ahead and work in the fun game events from August and Labor Day Weekend when it works for you.
  • You can dial-up or down the level of "live" broadcasting you might do:
    • This assumes someone will be able to Facebook Live or Zoom some of the events.
    • You might be able to just follow along with pictures and videos after the fact on Facebook or Instagram or Website or Emails.
  • As noted above, you can also dial-up or down the level of "in-person" events you might do – when it is safe and permitted (see https://www.atlantabsa.org/safety-health for all of the guidelines about that, and how to do safe events):
    • If you know Dens can do hikes or other activities safely in small groups, you can add that.
    • You can revise language in a Den to say “We will plan a social distancing den hike on September __”.
    • A Pack flyer might say “We will plan a series of small social distancing den hikes on September __ and __”.
    • Putting both a safe social distancing activity and the family-led remote activity will make it easier if circumstances change, that will make Scouting more accessible for families who are more cautious about COVID-19.
  • This flyer assumes you might attend a live Council event in October, but you can write that option out if you believe it is safest, and just go with family-selected local and backyard outdoor activities.
  • Pick Electives you like, that your families would like.
    • To help guide "multi-Den" activities, here's a resource page that shows which Adventures have similar elements
    • We’ve also attached a document called “Themes for Adventures Month by Month” that extends into the new year, if you want to start to plan into next year and continue with similar Adventures across all Den levels.
  • Pack and Den Leaders might want to coordinate on universal activities so that families with kids at different ranks can do similar Adventures together.
    • Dens can then add their own copy to the Pack Flyer, cut the Adventures from "other" ranks, and add any special Den flavor

Excerpt from the attached Pack Program Page:

"If you’re thinking “we can’t do Cub Scouts – it’s not safe to have meetings!”, please think again and join us!  Even while we are safe and physically distancing, our children must grow up – and Scouting is a great help in raising children. We will do Cub Scouting with Fun Family Adventures – you can do these on your own schedule, and we’ll provide “how-to” tips.  Every Scout can get a Handbook of Adventures and our tips will help bring those Adventures to life as family activities – we describe some below, including the ones highlighted below for K through 5th Grade (flagged as K, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 below).  As you do Adventures on your schedule, we’ll find ways to safely share and connect with our Cub Scout community.

When it becomes safe, we’ll add in-person activities so that families who want to can do Adventures together.

Here are some of the fun things that Cub Scouts in our Pack can do over the next year*:

Fun Family Adventure Schedule – Fall of 2020

August:  Roll On!  Bike riding and/or marble racing.  We’ll have live bike rodeo video sharing the weekend of August 29-30, while you ride in your neighborhood any time in August. We’ll share “how to” tips about bike safety and more – all Scouts can earn the Rolling Tigers and/or Marble Madness Adventure Loop.

Labor Day Weekend: Cub Scout Game Day Live!  No Olympics less College Football, so pick a family game or sport and play.  We’ll share video highlights on Labor Day.  Plus tips about how Scouts can earn the Lion's Honor and Fun on the Run (K)Games Tigers Play (1)Running with the Pack (2) or Roaring Laughter (3) Adventure Loops, or the Stronger, Higher, Faster (4) or Sports (4/5) Adventure Pins.

September: Hike On!  Hike your neighborhood or beyond.  We’ll have live hiking video sharing September 18-19 – you can hike anytime.  We’ll share tips about hiking – Scouts can earn the Mountain Lion (K)Tigers in the Wild (1)Paws on the Path (2) or Fur, Feathers and Ferns (3) Adventure Loop, or Webelos Walkabout (4) or Outdoor Adventurer (5) Pin.

October: Camp On – or Camp In!  We might go to Bert Adams Scout Camp for Trailblazer on October 3 or October 24 for Spooky-Ree, as they plan socially distant exploration activities – or your family can go to a more physically distant location anytime.  There may be overnight camping at Bert Adams – not required – or you can backyard camp at home!  Scouts can earn the King of the Jungle (K)Backyard Jungle (1)Call of the Wild (2) or Bear Necessities (3) Adventure Loop, or Cast Iron Chef (4) or Outdoor Adventurer (5) Pin.  We’ll share tips about how to do that.

November: Citizen On!  Learn more about your community and service.  We plan to share activities for November 14-15 – you can do yours anytime – and your Scout can earn the Animal Kingdom (K)Team Tiger (1)Council Fire (2) or Paws for Action (3) Adventure Loops, or the Aware and Care (4/5) or Building a Better World (5) Pins.  We’ll tell you how.

December: Know Your Family Beliefs.  Take a pause to reflect on what your family faith beliefs are.  Scouts can earn family faith Adventure Loops or Pins for TigerWolfBearWebelos and Arrow of Light ranks.

Winter Break: Cook On!  Time to make something delicious and share with families.  If you share a recipe, we’ll share how to earn the Fun on the Run (K)Tiger Bites (1)Running with the Pack (2) and Bear Picnic Basket (3) and Bear Claws (3) Adventure Loops, or the Cast Iron Chef (4) Pins.

At this point in the calendar, every Scout participating in those events will be no more than 1 Adventure away from earning their Rank badge!  Some may be finished and completing further fun elective Adventures. 

By then, we should have a better idea of how the rest of the program year will look for live in-person events and additional coordinated family-led activities. Either way, we will have more outdoor activity opportunities, plus a Pinewood Derbyservice projects, and a “Blue & Gold Banquet” with Awards and Recognition.

And if all is returned to normal by next Summer:

Let’s do the Cub Scout Twilight Camp, probably in June 

Cub Adventure Camp at Bert Adams Scout Camp near Covington, GA, with several 2- or 3-night sessions (details will emerge at www.AtlantaBSA.org, under “Camp”)"

See below the attached copies of the Pack and Den flyers in Word, and you can edit away to highlight how your Pack and Dens might want to plan a program year.  

File Name Description
Den and Pack Leader Roles in Family-Led Cub Scouting Download
Sample Arrow of Light Family-Led Fun Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Family Led Activities Download
Sample Bear Family-Led Fun Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Family Led Activities Download
Sample Lion Family-Led Fun Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Family Led Activities Download
Sample Pack Family-Led Fun Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Family Led Activities Download
Sample Tiger Family-Led Fun Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Family Led Activities Download
Sample Webelos Family-Led Fun Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Family Led Activities Download
Sample Wolf Family-Led Fun Flyer Back Page with Your Calendar of Family Led Activities Download
Themes for Adventures Month by Month Download