Scouting activities contribute to the academic development of the children who participate. In the elementary grades, the program is built around a series of theme-based explorations. As a Cub Scout advances, the requirements get more challenging, to match the new skills and abilities they have learned. Cub Scout advancement supports over 120 elementary TEKS. In the middle and high school grades, service, community engagement and leadership development become increasingly important parts of the program as youth lead their own activities. More than 85% of merit badges include requirements that meet National Science Education Standards, giving Scouts a foundation in everything from nuclear science to robotics. Learn more at www.shac.org/education.
BSA has resources to help both parents and leaders support Scouting at home, with stay-at-home activities for any Scout rank, and tips for continuing to work on advancement.
Here are some additional great ideas to use at home to keep your Scout's skills sharp! Check back regularly and let your friends know about theses great options for at-home fun and learning for Scouting families and non-Scouting families alike. Read the important digital safety guidelines from BSA National Council.
Digital Safety Guidelines
When considering advancement opportunities for your Scout, especially merit badge classes, please keep the following in mind:
- Is the presenter following youth protection guidelines and digital safety guidelines?
- Is the presenter's process in line with basic BSA advancement procedures (see merit badge program and Guide to Advancement)
- Is the presenter charging a fee?
- How is the presenter ensuring that each youth actually and personally completes each requirement? (see Guide to Advancement section 220.127.116.11, which gives specific requirements and guidance for group instruction.)
- Do you have approval from your unit leader?
- Is the class occurring in a different time zone?
The new Scoutbook App makes it easier than ever for youth and their parents to view and track advancement. Find the advancements your Scout needs to work on to finish their rank.
Boys' Life App
BSA has just released an entire year’s worth of Boys’ Life issues for free on their app! Find projects you can create from home and stories that will take your minds on adventures all over the world.
Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI)
April 3-5, 2020
This is a one-of-a-kind special edition of JOTI and will bring Scouting to the homes of young people around the world during a challenging time. Scouts can learn about safety measures, mental and physical health and digitally engage as global citizens through a range of different activities. The best part is, they’ll make new friends from around the world! Scouts can also work on the BSA International Spirit Award.
Merit Badge Classes
The Big Cypress District, Sam Houston Area Council is offering several online merit badges and STEM/Nova Cub Scout classes. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. Space is limited. Registration closes 4/4/20. (Central Daylight Time)
Cub Scout STEM/Nova (2nd - 5th grades)
- Cub Scout Science Everywhere
- Cub Scout Tech Talk
- Cub Scout Fearful Symmetry
- Citizenship in the Community
- Citizenship in the Nation
- Family Life
Merit Badge Classes
The Circle Ten Council is offering several online merit badges. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. The cost is $5. (Central Daylight Time)
Merit Badge Classes
The Caddo Area Council is offering several online merit badges. There are some pre-requisites that need to be completed prior to the course. (Central Daylight Time)
Merit Badge Classes
The Black Warrior Council is offering three virtual Merit badge classes via Zoom. Class sizes are limited. (Central Daylight Time)
Heart of America Council has a series of online merit badge courses. (Central Daylight Time)
- Scout Connect
- Animation Merit Badge
- Emergency Preparedness
- Coming soon
- Scouting Heritage
- Personal Management
- Public Health
The Cascade Pacific Council has an Advancement Academy with digital den meetings and online merit badge class. Digital den meetings are offered through Zoom and promoted through Facebook. Participants are asked to sign up in advance. (Pacific Time Zone)
Scouting at Home
The Atlanta Area Council has a list of features content directly from Scoutbook and includes ideas of other activities Scouts can do. Plus, suggestions for video platforms – and of course, reminders about the importance of following youth protection standards.
- Scouting at Home
- Digital Den Meetings
- Reading Merit Badge - April 7
- Cooking Merit Badge - April 9
30-Day Challenges and Bingo
Download a 30-day challenge for Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelos Scouts and Scouts BSA.
Merit Badges at Home
Scouting Magazine shared a list of 58 merit badges that Scouts can complete from home.
For the next few weeks, the Greater St. Louis Area Council is posting a Weekly Scout Challenge with a variety of Scouting at home challenges every Friday. By the way, parents and Scouters are not left out! Why let the youth have all the fun!
Seneca Waterways Council has set up a site to share ideas on how to do Scouting remotely, plus suggestions on how to work on documents together, and how to hold meetings together if you’re not in the same room.
Daily Scouting Videos
The Dan Beard Council is posting daily Scouting videos and activities that can be done at home!
Fun Projects for Cub Scouts
Scouting Magazine lists a variety of fun projects for Cub Scouts to do from home
Connecticut Rivers Council has useful programs for all types of Scouts, leaders and parents.
Online Scouting Resources
Digital Safety in a Time of Increased Online Activity
As local councils and units use digital and online resources, such as video conferencing, to continue Scouting meetings, projects and advancement during the COVID-19 outbreak, the National Council is providing the following guidance. Note this guidance is not comprehensive and may differ from the legal requirements of state or local jurisdiction.
- BSA’s youth protection policies apply to all online activities. All online activities, including video and audio conferencing through platforms such as Zoom and Skype, must adhere to the BSA’s current youth protection guidelines for digital communications, including the BSA’s Digital Privacy guidelines and the BSA’s Social Media Guidelines. Because safety features and privacy controls vary widely from platform to platform, and out of respect for families’ own preferences concerning social media usage, we strongly recommend using business-oriented conferencing platforms—for example, Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting and others—to conduct online group activities instead of platforms intended for online gaming (e.g., Discord, Robolux, Twitch).
BSA’s Digital Privacy Guidelines BSA’s Social Media Guidelines
- Safeguard personal information. If you collect a person’s personal information online—for example, through web forms used to register people for online meetings—then you should post a notice or disclosure at the point of collection describing how you will use the information. The notice should be conspicuous and written in plain English. Keep in mind, video conferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom) have their own privacy policies which apply to data collected through the platform (e.g., if the platform is hosting your web form). Organizers of Zoom and Skype meetings—for example, unit leaders and Merit Badge counselors—may obtain personal information about a youth, such as his or her name, phone number or email address. Meeting organizers must keep such information private and not share a youth’s personal information with anyone else except that youths’ parent or guardian or the unit leader responsible for recording advancements. For example, a Merit Badge counselor should not publicly post or otherwise disclose a roster containing personal information of Scouts who the counselor has worked with.
- Recording online meetings is not authorized. As a reminder, Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse prohibits any one-on-one contact between an adult leader and youth members – in person, online, through a web conference, over the phone, via text, or in any other form. Electronic communication between adults and youth should always include another registered leader or parent. We believe our existing policy is the best way to protect youth and volunteers, and we do not believe recording online meetings would provide any additional material benefit. To the contrary, recording calls would increase personal risk as call recording is subject to various legal requirements under U.S. law and the laws of individual states, some of which require all parties to a call consent to recording. Considering those potential regulatory risks and the effect of BSA’s existing policies, we are not authorizing the recording of online meetings.
Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse
- Collecting personal information from youth under 13 is not recommended. We advise against collecting personal information directly from youth under 13 years of age due to the parental notice and consent requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). COPPA does not restrict the collection of personal information about a youth from his or her parent or guardian. For the purposes of COPPA, “personal information” includes first and last name; home or other physical address; screen name or username that functions as online contact information; telephone number; a social security number; or a photograph, video, or audio file containing the child’s image or voice.
Den and troop meetings, boards of review and Scoutmaster conferences don't have to be put on hold just because we're practicing social distancing. Here are a few resources to help you get started.
HMNS at Home
The Houston Museum of Natural Science is offering digital museum experiences right in the comfort of your home. Dive into their online collection with video archives and virtual tours, connect with our social media and dig even deeper with Beyond Bones.
- Smithsonian Fun Stuff for Kids - science games and apps, learn about conservation, meet the residents at the zoo, and discover fun facts
- San Diego Zoo - amazing videos, activities, and games
- Live Cams at the San Diego Zoo
- Monterey Bay Aquarium live cams
- Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta
- 6 Animal Cams at Houston Zoo
- Georgia Aquarium has Jellyfish, Beluga Whales cams, and more
- Canadian FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs.
NASA STEM @ Home
NASA offers a variety STEM activities for kids in grades K-4 with ideas to build, problems to solve, books to read, pages to color and games to play.
Interactive activities about water topics including water cycle, ocean, fresh water, watersheds, water conservation and protection, indirect and direct water use and more.
Cub Scout Advancements
Here is a list of Cub Scout Advancements that are easy to complete at home. Reach out to your leader and ask which Adventures you should work on at home. They may have some additional ideas.
Let us know about any additional Scouting resources we can add to the list.
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Council Communications on COVID-19 BSA Statement on COVID-19 Rank Advancement Update