Teaching Bobcat requirements to nonreaders

Because most new Tiger Cubs can’t read, Cub Scout leader H.R. is looking for creative ways to teach Bobcat requirements to these young boys.

I make sure to include the Cub Scout Promise in the den’s opening ceremony and the Law of the Pack in the closing ceremony. At first, the boys had to echo someone, but now they can say both of them in unison.

St. Paul, Minn.

We adapted the game of “Simon Says” and called it “Akela Says.” We included typical items (jump, clap, hop) but also included Scouting items: Make the Cub Scout sign, give the salute, say the motto, etc. The boys had great fun and learned many of the requirements of the Bobcat badge.

Landenberg, Pa.

The first month, we assign each new Tiger Cub a Bear buddy to help him with his Bobcat advancement trail. The second month, we have the den chief bring each Tiger Cub and his buddy forward together to recite the Cub Scout Promise, etc. The younger boys learn their Bobcat requirements, and the older boys earn part of the Be A Leader achievement.

La Habra, Calif.

Run a relay race where boys must pass a correct handshake or salute down the ranks of their team or run to the den leader to recite the Cub Scout motto. This is also a great way to introduce good sportsmanship, physical fitness, and team spirit.

Baltimore, Md.

One of our favorite ways to teach the Cub Scout Promise was to time them with a stopwatch. The boys were spurred on by a little friendly competition and heard many repetitions of the promise, which helped them learn it.

Columbus, Ind.

We’re having a lot of fun with a game similar to “Hollywood Squares.” Draw a tic-tac-toe board on poster board and use parents as a pool of “stars.”

Divide the Scouts into two groups: X’s and O’s. The teams take turns. They pick a square, and that square’s “star” asks a true-or-false Bobcat question.

Correct answers earn the tic-tac-toe mark; incorrect answers give the other team a chance to “steal” the square if they can give the correct answer. The game is won when a team scores three in a row.

Centre Hall, Pa.

When I led a special-needs den, I created workbooks with a page for each requirement. Many of the pages were done in den meetings; others I sent home for the boys to do with a parent.

At den meetings, I often set up easy group activities that I didn’t have to carefully supervise and worked with just one boy so I’d have his full attention. I handed out stars and other instant rewards. All the boys successfully advanced on time.

Alameda, Calif.

Have Boy Scouts teach the meeting. It’s more fun for the boys to learn from an older boy instead of an adult.

Morris Plains, N.J.

Use craft sticks and alphabet macaroni to spell out the Cub Scout Promise as a gathering activity at den meetings.

Print out the promise for the boys to copy. Have them sort the macaroni one word at a time and then glue the words to the sticks.

Limit this activity to a few words or 10 to 15 minutes to keep it fun. This activity helps them learn the promise as well as spell it!

Cape Elizabeth, Me.

It is more fun if the Tiger Cubs or Cub Scouts are being helped by other boys. I took over a Bear den this year with two boys; when we got a new boy, they helped him learn his Bobcat requirements. You can also have older Cub Scouts help the younger boys since they tend to look up to them.

Mesa, Ariz.

I photocopied the requirements from the handbook. At the first meeting, the Cub Scouts cut out the pictures and words and glued them to paper, creating a book cover and a bookmark for their handbooks. We then were able to easily review the requirements at each meeting.

Mastic Beach, N.Y.

Make it fun. Create a Bobcat placemat by writing the Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack, etc., on colored paper and laminating it.

Verona, N.J.

We have refrigerator magnets with the Cub Scout Promise on them. We ask the boys to put them on their refrigerators and say the promise every time they open the door.

Long Beach, Miss.

1 Comment

  1. My son is not in Tigers yet, but I am working with him already. I came up with an active game for the Law of the Pack.
    “The Cub Scout follows Akela.” Follow-the-leader with the den leader first. The parents follow the den leader and the boys follow their parents. All sing/chant “The Cub Scout follows Akela.” Might want to explain who Akela is first.

    “The Cub Scout makes the Pack go.” Explain that without these Tigers, and the Wolves, Bears, and Webelos before them, there wouldn’t be a pack for the next group of cubs. Have a parent bring a younger sibling and a wagon. Label the wagon “Pack”. Have the boys take turns pulling the siblings in the wagon while chanting “The Cub Scout makes the Pack go.”

    “The Pack helps the Cub Scout grow.” Best if you have older scouts available for this one. The older scouts are the “Pack.” The Pack gets on all fours. The Tigers climb on top either one-on-one or pyramid style. Chant “The Pack helps the Cub Scout grow.”

    “The Cub Scout gives goodwill.” Have the boys walk around giving smiles, hugs, and the cubscout handshake while telling each other, “The Cub Scout gives goodwill.”

    My 6 year old said it was fun.

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