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By Chris T ucke r NEWS YOU NEED


Outdoor Awards Revamped


It’s offi cial: The National Outdoor Awards, which call on Scouts to demonstrate


knowledge and experience in camping, hiking, aquat- ics, riding or adventure, now have an exciting new dimension. Joining the fi ve existing


National Outdoor badges is a conservation badge, which will incorporate sustainabil- ity and environmental science. “We wanted


to emphasize the impor- tance of conservation in Scouting’s outdoor programs and the need for an ‘entry- level’ conservation award to supplement the Hornaday


Awards,” says Keith Christopher, property depart- ments manager. “The badge will encourage learning about conservation skills and con- tinued conservation service” by awarding additional devices for additional hours of conservation service. The requirements for the


National Outdoor badges have also been changed. Now the Outdoor Award can be earned by any youth of any age and any program in Scouting. Previously, Venturers and Sea Scouts could not earn the award because they could not attain the required First Class rank. “Today the whole country


is more focused on getting kids outdoors,” Christopher says. “Now, all our Scouts will be able to prove that they are knowledgeable, safe and comfortable in the outdoors.”


Conservation will join the five patch segments seen above: camping, hik- ing, aquatics, adventure and riding. Conservation will go below riding.


THIS JUST IN


2015’s Arrow of Light Transition Plan Revised


There’s still a year of Cub Scout fun before the new program debuts next year. But a just-announced update affects those who like to plan ahead. A Cub Scout who has earned the Webelos rank as of


June 1, 2015, and is moving on to earning the Arrow of Light will now have two options for completing the Arrow of Light: OPTION 1: He may continue to work from the current


handbook and complete the Arrow of Light requirements as stated. OPTION 2: He may begin using the new Webelos


4 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2014


Handbook and the Webelos Den Leader Guide for the Webelos adventures. If he chooses this option: He must complete the four defined required


adventures. To satisfy the requirement for three electives, he may


use EITHER the new adventure electives OR activity badges earned under the current program but not used to fulfill Webelos rank requirements.


Previously only Option 2 was available, meaning


when first-year Webelos transitioned to the second-year Webelos program in 2015, they would need to get the new book and earn their Arrow of Light Award under the rede- signed program. Which option is right for your Scouts? Consider the


options carefully by reviewing the requirements at scouting.org/programupdates.


– Bryan Wendell


FROM LEFT: CHRIS GRANGER; DAN BARHAM


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