Chief Pontiac Programs, Lil' Brave Program

Little Brave Program Manual

A Program of the
Chief Pontiac Programs Committee
for use by all youth organizations including Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts,
Boy Scouts, Explorers, Venturers and other non - BSA Youth Organizations

Chief Pontiac Programs Lil' Brave Program Unit Manual

Chief Pontiac Program Committee

This manual explains the Lil' Brave Program, an outdoor activities program for use by all youth organizations. The program is available to organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Y-Guides, Campfire Units, Pathfinders, Royal Rangers, 4-H and others.

Outings must be conducted by registered leaders of the participating group, subject to the rules, regulations and policies of each organization. The program is not for use by individuals or families without such Leaders. However, parents, siblings and friends may participate.

The Chief Pontiac Programs Committee (CPPC) does not assume responsibility for accidents or injuries sustained in connection with the use of the Lil' Brave Program. All outings must be conducted by, and at the discretion of, appropriate leadership with parental permission for all minor participants.

The Chief Pontiac Program Committee
The Chief Pontiac Program Committee (CPP Committee) develops programs for use in conjunction with the "Lil Brave Program. These programs are available for all levels of scouting and may be used by non-BSA groups.

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Where to Get What You Need (Info, Materials, Etc.)

The forms and recognition items referenced in this manual are available on this web site.

Any Unit with questions, comments, suggestions, criticisms or accolades concerning the Lil' Brave Program should send them to the Chief Pontiac Program Committee at the address shown at the bottom of this page.

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Location of Program Areas

The Lil' Brave program is designed to structure and promote group activities in the great outdoors. This can be at any public park or organizational property that will promote an outdoor learning experience.

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How To Use The Program

The 'Lil Brave Program affords many activity opportunities. Hiking is the most obvious. Beyond that, cooking, swimming and fishing activities are available. Ecology can be studied or nature photographed. Cross-country ski trails are numerous. Picnics can be held. Service projects are possible and there are places to camp.

The available segments suggest the broad range of activities that are possible. These activities may be carried out in either of two (2) ways: 1) Unit Planned Events and 2) Committee Sponsored Events.

1) Unit Planned Events
Units may organize and conduct their own outings. For BSA Units this could be a Pack, Troop, Den or Patrol event. Or it could be a joint activity such as: Webelos / Boy Scout, Boy Scout / Girl Scout, Cub Scout / Brownie, etc.

All regular Segments can be earned in this way without prior approval (except for Service). Activities should relate in some specific way to the Segment earned. However, the suggested Segment activities listed later in this manual are just that, suggestions. You are free to use your imagination in planning your outing, subject to the rules and guidelines described later on.

You may contact the CPP Committee for specific information or suggestions concerning which activities are most appropriate for the 'Lil brave Program at different times of the year. Groups wishing to sponsor large scale events should contact the CPP Committee.

2) Sponsored Events
Members of your Unit may participate in an official 'Lil Brave event, sponsored and organized by the Chief Pontiac Program Committee or an event sponsored by another park or organization such as a nature center, farm learning center, zoo, etc .

These events make great unit outings! All the organization is done for you; just get your people together, show up, pay your fees, participate, have a great time and take back the great memories to share with those who didn't attend!!!

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Obtaining Recognition Items

Patches and segments must be purchased and may be ordered on line or by mail. Patches and segments may be presented in a unit award ceremony or simply handed out to the participants.

The Segment Order form must be submitted after the event, along with the appropriate fees for patches and segments. You may order on line or use the "CPP - Lil' Brave Program - Unit Event Form" to request segments. The form should be completed by the registered adult leader who organizes and conducts the outing.

For your convenience and for your own unit records, you can use the following form to assist you in tracking what has been completed by your Scouts. This form is not to be turned in. It is just for your own use. Tracking form: CPP - LIL' BRAVE PROGRAM TRACKING CHART"

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The Central Patches

The Lil' Brave Program recognition system consists of three (3) central hexagonal Patches, approximately 3 inches across which are surrounded by Segments as they are earned. The Segments are designed such that six Segments complete a Patch as a circle.

For BSA Units the Patches may be worn as temporary insignia on the right uniform shirt pocket or may be displayed on a patch vest or other patch display.

There are four (4) central Patches which will accommodate the 18 different segments plus extra service segments that may be earned over time. The Center Patches are:

  1. Lil' Brave use segments 1-6
  2. Brave use segments 7-12
  3. Lil' Chief use segments 13-18
  4. Service Center Patch use Service segments #2 through #7

Note: The First Service segment earned is reserved for the number 1 position at the bottom of the  Lil' Brave center patch. Additional Service segments must be placed on the Service Center patch.

Lil Brave
Lil Chief
CPP Brave Service Patch
Lil Brave
Lil Chief
Service Project

The Lil" Brave Patch is filled first. The Brave Patch is for the 7th through 12th segments earned. The Lil' Chief Patch is for the 13th through 18th segments earned.

Patches and Segments are purchased at nominal prices as they are earned (except the Service Segment, which is free). Proceeds from the sale of Patches and Segments are used to support the activities of the CPP Committee.

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The Segments -- Activities to Earn Them

The following Segments are defined and are available.

To assist you in tracking your Den or Pack’s progress with the Lil’ Brave program, you can use the following tracking sheet: CPP - LIL' BRAVE PROGRAM TRACKING CHART. This sheet does not get turned in. It is just for your use, to aid in tracking segments earned.


There are many excellent group camping opportunities. Although not that far from the "big city", you soon discover that the night sky is very dark, the stars are a lot clearer, the sounds are those of the forest, and the experience is not like sleeping at home. Discover camping only a short drive from where you live. Camping really brings people together. There is nothing quite like a friendship sealed around a campfire. (Note there are particular restrictions and requirements for camping with scouts. You must follow your organizations current policy at all times).

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Cooking Cooking
Plain or fancy, cooking is a basic outdoor skill; and the results are so much fun! Earn this Segment for preparing a cooked meal using a propane stove, charcoal, or wood. Be sure to use designated areas and follow outdoor fire safety procedures.

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Ecology Ecology
Nature is everywhere. On an ecology outing you could learn about plants, animals, water systems or geology and how they interact. You could go bird watching and learn to identify birds by appearance, flight, calls, and songs. An occasional chipmunk or rabbit may surprise you as you visit the parks.

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Fall Fall
Fall colors, cool days, animals, preparing for the coming Winter, and mushrooms sprouting in the parks (look, but don't eat). What a great time for a hike in the outdoors. The Fall Segment is earned for an event occurring from September 21st through December 20th.

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Fishing Fishing
Every Kid loves to fish, young and old. From small streams to large lakes, fish abound. Don't overlook ice fishing in the winter time. Be sure to follow all laws and fishing regulations.

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Friendship Friendship
Whatever your activity, outings are great ways to form new friendships and renew old ones. Perhaps your Unit could arrange an outing with another Unit. A Pack and a Troop could become better acquainted with an eye towards Webelos-to-Scout transition. Why not invite your Grandparents or some Senior Citizens to join you for a walk in the woods? Expand your circle of Friendships using the 'Lil Brave Program.

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Hike Hike
Take a hike and earn this segment. The distance and Trail section should be appropriate to the age(s) involved, but should be at least 1 hour, with 1 to 2 hours being typical. Although many of the other Segments may involve a hike related activity, earn this one for the pure joy of hiking.

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Indian Lore Indian Lore
Have you ever wondered about the Native People who once populated your area, traveled the same woods and fished from the same streams? Or how the area was settled and brought to its current form? Plan an outing around this Segment and discover the history of the local Native people.

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Land Transportation Land Transportation
The settlers around the 1700's used covered wagons to go from place to place. Some of these wagons wound up in your area and may be seen at some Historical sites. Plan a trip to your next Lil' Brave unit or Council event using road maps and maybe some travel literature. Compare how we travel to today to how the early settlers traveled. Take your unit bicycling or on a hay ride in the parks. This segment is available for an event which includes traveling on wheels of some sort.

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Map/Compass Map/Compass
Learn the skills of map and compass, and how to "read" the terrain. Maps may be available form a local Orienteering Club. Topographic maps are available for any where in North America. A simple Orienteering event could add an interesting twist to your experience of the surrounding area.

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Night Sky Night Sky
Although many of the Parks are not far from the "big city", they are surprisingly removed from the light pollution that exists "in town". With the right weather conditions, you can enjoy star gazing at its finest. Bring binoculars and/or a telescope and don't forget your planisphere. Plan this activity in conjunction with a campout.

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Photography Photography
Introduce your youth to the wonderful world of photography. The Parks offer photo opportunities for scenery, plants, animals and people (people often make the most interesting photos). This would make an excellent project for a Scout working on the Photography Merit Badge. It's also a great way to share your outdoor experience with friends and family.

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The Lil Brave Program is administered on public lands. In the course of a year they are used by many people, not just Scouts. The DNR and Metroparks do an excellent job of maintaining trail systems, but there is always more that can be done. Clean-up service projects are always welcomed and other projects are possible.  The projects should also be approved by the ranger of that particular park.  Two hours of service is the minimum requirement to earn this patch.  The hours do not have to be all completed at one time.  If you need ideas, you can contact the Chief Pontiac Program Committee or one of your local parks.  The service segment patch is free.  Just fill out the same form you do for all other segments.

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Snow Event Snow Event
Cross-Country skiing along a Trail is great! Come out and enjoy this increasingly popular activity. If you are a devoted hiker and "sliding" through the woods in the snow isn't quite your thing, try snowshoeing. The woods and meadows are very different in the Winter, and few people see them. You can make simple snowshoes or they can be rented. Other snow related activities include sledding, tobogganing or building a snowman. Or, you can identify animal tracks. What's your idea?

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Spring Spring
Spring is a great time to see the woods and watch for birds building nests. Take a hike in the Parks and look for wild flowers (but don't pick them). Spring is also a great time to fly a kite or play an outdoor game. The Spring Segment is earned for an event occurring from March 21st through June 20th.

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Summer Summer
Looking for something your Unit can do during the summer? How about a picnic and a hike. The Summer Segment is earned for an event occurring from June 21st through September 20th.

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Water Event Water Event
A picnic and swimming party makes a great summertime Unit event. There are supervised swimming beaches at many parks. Go ahead, make a splash! Kent Lake in Kensington Metropark and the lake at Stony Creek offer opportunities for sailing. Or try out your fins, mask and snorkel tube at one of the beach areas (with proper supervision).

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Winter Winter
Come play in the snow and earn your Winter Segment. Hike, snowshoe or cross-country ski. Make a snowman or have a snowball throw. Try ice fishing. Make a snowsnake. The Parks abound with things to do when the white stuff falls. The Winter Segment is earned for an event occurring from December 21st through March 20th.

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As you organize and conduct activities in the 'Lil Brave Program and share them with the CPP Committee we will be able to pass them on to other users. When you share, everyone is potentially enriched by your experience. The Lil' Brave program is exciting and it's growing. Your participation will ensure the program's success, and yours!

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Program Rules

You may register on line or use the "CPP - Lil' Brave Program - Unit Event Form" to request segments.

You may earn only one segment per person in one day.

Make your creed to:

Take - nothing but pictures;
Leave - nothing but footprints;
Kill - nothing but time;

Follow the Outdoor Code:

Be Clean in your outdoor habits;
Be Careful with fire;
Be Considerate of others;
Be Conservation minded;

Observe and obey all park rules and regulations and pay required fees.

Outings must be organized under the direction of an adult leader, at least 21 years of age, as required by your organization, although youth and non-registered adults may certainly assist and participate.

BSA Outings must be lead by registered adult leaders. The two-deep leadership policy must be followed. On larger Unit events, it is recommended that there be at least two (2) leaders for every six to eight (6-8) Cubs or eight to ten (8-10) Scouts. Under no circumstances should any Unit undertake any Lil' Brave activity without at least two (2) adult leaders present.

The Safe Swim Defense program should be employed by BSA Units whenever Scouts are in or near water. It is highly recommended that no Unit undertake water related activities, especially Cub Scout Packs and Dens, unless there is one-to-one parent/child supervision and the parents take full responsibility for their children.

Do not drink ground or stream water. Water from pumps in campground areas may be used if it is known to be safe for drinking. On hikes of any length, each person should carry sufficient water and take along some high energy snacks such as nuts and dried fruits. And remember, REMOVE ALL OF YOUR TRASH. One candy wrapper spoils the parks for those who follow.

Take care of your sanitary needs in the parks and other locations with appropriate facilities. If you must relieve yourself in the woods, do NOT do so within 200 feet of a stream or lake. Better still, just don't do it.

Overnight activities for organizations have special restrictions and requirements. You must follow current policy in effect at the time of the outing.

Remember, when you hike as a group, in your uniform, you represent your entire organization. Don't pollute the parks with trash, unnecessary noise or rude behavior. Be sure your behavior in the parks reflects pride in your organization.

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Guidelines (for Planning and Conducting Activities)

Let Common Sense prevail.
Safety must be the first consideration in all planning.
Make KISMIF (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun) your guiding principle.
BE PREPARED! The 'Lil Brave Program activities are safe, and never far from civilization. Even so, it is always advisable that someone in the outing party, an adult or older youth, be trained in First Aid and carry a first aid kit. It is strongly advised that BSA recommendations for a minimum hiking party of four (4) persons be adhered to. In the event of an injury or illness, one person can stay with the injured while two others go for help, ensuring that help is obtained.

Units should always hike in uniform, but should be dressed appropriately for the season and daily weather conditions. Scout or organization T-shirts, shorts, and hiking shoes would be suitable for warm weather events, for instance.

You should structure your activities to earn only one Segment on a day outing. You may earn no more than one (1) segment on any given single day outing. An overnight activity could result in two segments being earned over two days.

Share your experience with others. When submitting your "CPP - LIL' BRAVE PROGRAM - UNIT EVENT FORM", which includes a description of your event. Share your experience with others in your Unit, perhaps making a presentation at a meeting, and encourage them to use this wonderful resource.

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Using the Lil' Brave Program - Service Segment Pre-Approval Form

Service segments are to be earned at approved Lil’ Brave locations.

Make sure to discuss what your service project is with the Ranger at the Park beforehand.  Other than that, you do not have to get pre-approved by anyone else.  Many parks have service projects already planned in which you can participate.

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Home Home All refund requests must be made in writing prior to the event.
Refunds may be subject to an administrative fee and some deposits are non-refundable. Details can be found under each activity sign-up page.