Den outings are an important part of the Cub Scout experience. They are a time not only for fun but for learning. And they are critical steps in your boys’ earning their badge of rank. It is important that you plan in advance for these field trips. Planning should include the following, at a minimum, for each field trip:

  • Arrange for the visit with the point of contact at your destination (if needed).
  • Work with the parents or guardians in the den to arrange transportation, or get an adult to carry out the planning.
  • Fill out a tour and activity plan (No. 680-014). You can also find online help as well at Scouting.org on how to fill it out. This plan is a tool for best practices so you will be prepared for safe and fun adventures. Completing the plan may not address all possible challenges, but it can help ensure that you have conducted appropriate planning, that qualified and trained leadership is in place, and that the right equipment is available for the adventure. The plan also helps to organize safe and appropriate transportation to and from an event, and it defines driver qualifications and minimum limits of insurance coverage for drivers and vehicles used to transport participants. This plan should be submitted 21 days in advance (check with your local council to confirm submission date) to ensure your council has enough time to review the plan and assist as necessary.
  • It is MANDATORY to fill out a tour and activity plan for:— Trips of 500 miles or more; or— Trips outside of council borders (exception: not to your council-owned property); or— Trips to Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont Scout Ranch, Summit Bechtel Reserve (you will be asked to present a copy of your tour and activity plan upon arrival), national Scout jamboree, National Order of the Arrow Conference, or a regionally sponsored event; or— When conducting any of the following activities outside of council or district events:
    • Aquatics activities (swimming, boating, floating, scuba, etc.)
    • Climbing and rappelling
    • At a council’s request (Contact your local council for additional guidelines or regulations concerning tour and activity plans; many have set guidelines for events or activities within council boundaries, such as for Cub Scout overnight camping.)

When in doubt, check with your local council for their guidelines and regulations for tour and activity plans. Your Cubmaster or pack trainer may be able to provide you with this information as well.

There is an activity consent form form available to use as well at the den level for outings. This is a permission slip the parents sign for their son to attend the outing. Each Tiger’s adult partner should be with him at all meetings, including outings!

It’s a good idea at your first den meeting to distribute the Family Talent Survey Sheet to the parents, asking them to complete it and return it to you at the next meeting. The survey serves as a useful tool for you to identify family resources within your den.

Working with Cub Scout–Age Boys

If you are a parent, you probably have learned a lot about working with boys. If you have more than one child, you probably learned quickly that, while they are different from one another, they do have some common attributes. Knowing and understanding boys is one of the most important skills you bring to your service as a den leader.

Boys of this age are full of energy. Den meetings should focus more on doing things and less on talking. Most of the activities designed in the Cub Scout adventures are designed to do exactly this. Physical activities, such as hiking, sports, playing active games, and bike riding, are important. Be sure to make time for physical activity during every meeting. Doing so will not only help boys burn off energy and have greater focus, but it will help them develop this healthy habit. Even talking activities can take place while walking from place to place, allowing boys to be active and burn off some of their energy.

Youth develop strength, balance, and coordination at this point in their development. Because these changes take place rapidly, they may appear clumsy, uncoordinated, and awkward. Ensuring that boys have support to try new things is important, but so is focusing on the success they achieve more than awkwardness or failure. Boys of this age will typically enjoy a variety of activities, ranging from craft projects to active involvement in physical activities. Be sure to use the entire den meeting plan as designed, as it is intended to reach the varied interests of youth during the time that the den meets together.

During this phase of childhood, children are concerned with developing a social circle, particularly of the same gender. A Cub Scout den serves this purpose very well. Work to ensure that all boys are welcome within the den. Boys begin to feel loyalty to clubs and groups, and the peer group that Cub Scouting can provide is an ideal place to develop this sort of affiliation. Cub Scout–age boys also begin to look up to older youth and will begin to imitate their behavior. For this reason, if you can recruit a den chief as an older role model, you will be serving the boys in your den especially well.

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