Thank you for your interest in Cub Scouts. It is a program designed to provide a safe, fun, and supportive environment for children to learn valuable skills that will help them throughout life. The following overview is taken from the overall Cub Scout program description at various pages on scouting.org. For those who like org charts, you can check out
. Otherwise, a very brief summary is under the What Is Cub Scouting? heading below.
What Is Cub Scouting?
Cub Scouting is fun! No matter what grade you are in, first through fifth, it can be a blast. Do you like to learn by doing? This is just the place. You can learn to tie knots, set up a tent, or shoot a bow and arrow (archery). Have you ever cooked a meal on a campfire? Sent a secret code to a buddy? Built a birdhouse? Hiked? Earn rewards for doing these things in Cub Scouts.
Cub Scouts Belong to Packs and Dens
As a Cub Scout, you will be part of your own pack.
The pack is divided into smaller groups called dens. Each den has about six to eight Scouts. All of the Cub Scouts in your den are in the same grade and may even go to the same school.
The Cub Scout pack belongs to a church, a school, or some other group of people in your community or neighborhood. This group makes sure your pack has good adult leaders, a place to meet, and exciting things to do. The group gets help from the Boy Scouts of America, which is part of Scouting around the world.
Cub Scouts Do Things and Go Places
Have you been to the local police station and talked to the policemen on duty? Or visited the fire station and sat in the driver's seat of the pumper truck? Or visited the local TV station and sat in the news anchor's chair? These are some of the places you might go with your den or pack.
You might also build a pinewood derby car and race it on the track, build a sailboat or trimaran and race it in the raingutter regatta, or build a spaceship and race it to the stars in the pack space derby.
Cub Scouts Earn Awards
Each time you complete an accomplishment or learn a new skill, you will be rewarded. Sometimes the reward is a loop for your belt, a pin, or a patch. Sometimes it is a smile on your parents' faces to see you grow and learn.
Purposes and Methods of Cub Scouting
The Cub Scouting program has 10 purposes related to the overall mission of the Boy Scouts of America – to build character, learn citizenship, and develop personal fitness:
1. Character Development
6. Respectful Relationships
2. Spiritual Growth
7. Personal Achievement
3. Good Citizenship
8. Friendly Service
4. Sportsmanship and Fitness
9. Fun and Adventure
5. Family Understanding
10. Preparation for Boy Scouts
Every Cub Scouting activity should help fulfill one of these purposes. When considering a new activity, ask which purpose or purposes it supports. Not everything in Cub Scouting has to be serious – far from it! Silly songs, energetic games, and yummy snacks all have their place in the program.
The Methods of Cub Scouting
To accomplish its purposes and achieve the overall goals of building character, learning citizenship, and developing personal fitness, Cub Scouting uses seven methods:
1. Living the Ideals
Cub Scouting’s values are embedded in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Cub Scout motto, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, and salute. These practices help establish and reinforce the program’s values in Scouts and the leaders who guide them.
2. Belonging to a Den
The den—a group of six to eight children who are about the same age—is the place where Cub Scouting starts. In the den, Cub Scouts develop new skills and interests, they practice sportsmanship and good citizenship, and they learn to do their best, not just for themselves but for the den as well.
3. Using Advancement
Recognition is important to everyone. The advancement plan provides fun for the Scouts, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members and their den leader work with them on advancement projects.
4. Involving Family and Home
Whether a Cub Scout lives with two parents or one, a foster family, or other relatives, their family is an important part of Cub Scouting. Parents and adult family members provide leadership and support for Cub Scouting and help ensure that Scouts have a good experience in the program.
5. Participating in Activities
Cub Scouts participate in a huge array of activities, including games, projects, skits, stunts, songs, outdoor activities, trips and service projects. Besides being fun, these activities offer opportunities for growth, achievement, and family involvement.
6. Serving Home and Neighborhood
Cub Scouting focuses on the home and neighborhood. It helps Scouts strengthen connections to their local communities, which in turn support the boys’ growth and development.
7. Wearing the Uniform
Cub Scout uniforms serve a dual purpose, demonstrating membership in the group (everyone is dressed alike) and individual achievement (Scouts wear the badges they’ve earned). Wearing the uniform to meetings and activities also encourages a neat appearance, a sense of belonging, and good behavior.
The Benefits of Cub Scouting
As a worldwide brotherhood, Scouting is unique. It is based on the principles of loving and serving God, of human dignity and the rights of individuals, and of recognizing the obligation of members to develop and use their potential. It is a movement dedicated to bringing out the best in people. Cub Scouting doesn't emphasize winning as an end result, but rather the far more demanding task of doing one's best.
When Scouting can help nurture courage and kindness and allow children to play, to laugh, to develop their imaginations, and to express their feelings, then we will have helped them grow. We want children to become useful and stable individuals who are aware of their own potential. Helping a child learn the value of their own worth is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.
Cub Scouting Is Fun
Kids join Cub Scouting because they want to have fun, but fun means a lot more than just having a good time. "Fun" is a child's code word for the satisfaction gained from meeting challenges, having friends, feeling good about themselves, and feeling they are important to other people. While the Scouts are having fun and doing things they like to do, they also learn new things, discover and master new skills, gain self-confidence, and develop strong friendships.
Cub Scouting Has Ideals
Cub Scouting has ideals of spiritual and character growth, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The Scout Oath is a pledge of duty to God and family. The Scout Law is a simple formula for good Cub Scouting and good citizenship. The Cub Scout motto, "Do Your Best," is a code of excellence. Symbols, such as the Cub Scout sign, Cub Scout salute, and the Living Circle, help boys feel a part of a distinct group and add to the appeal of belonging to a widely respected organization.
Cub Scouting Strengthens Families
The family is an important influence on our nation's youth. There are many different types of family structures in today's world. Scouting is a support to all types of families as well as to organizations to which families belong. We believe in involving families in the training of youth, and we are sensitive to the needs of present-day families. Cub Scouting provides opportunities for family members to work and play together, to have fun together, and to get to know each other a little better.
Cub Scouting Helps Children Develop Interests and Skills
In Cub Scouting, children participate in a broad array of activities. Cub Scouts develop ability and dexterity, and they learn to use tools and to follow directions. Recognition and awards encourage them to learn about a variety of subjects, such as conservation, safety, physical fitness, community awareness, academic subjects, sports, and religious activities. These interests might become a hobby or even a career later in life.
Cub Scouting Provides Adventure
Cub Scouting helps fulfill a child's desire for adventure and allows them to use their vivid imagination while taking part in skits, games, field trips, service projects, outdoor activities, and more. A variety of adventure themes let a Scout play the role of an astronaut, clown, explorer, scientist, or other exciting character. Scouts find adventure in exploring the outdoors, learning about nature, and gaining a greater appreciation for our beautiful world.
Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan
The advancement plan recognizes a Scout's efforts and achievements. It provides fun for the Scouts, teaches them to do their best, and helps strengthen understanding as family members work with them on advancement requirements. Badges are awarded to recognize advancement, and Scouts like to receive and wear these badges. The real benefit comes from the worthwhile things the Scout learns while earning the badges, as self-confidence and self-esteem grow.
Cub Scouting Creates Fellowship
Kids like to be accepted as part of a group. In Cub Scouting, children belong to a small group called a den where they take part in interesting and meaningful activities with their friends. The Cub Scout den and pack are positive places where they can feel emotionally secure and find support. Each Scout gains status and recognition and has a sense of belonging to this group.
Cub Scouting Promotes Diversity
In Cub Scouting, Scouts may learn to interact in a group that may include children of various ethnicities, income levels, religions, and levels of physical ability. By having fun together and working as a group toward common goals, Cub Scouts learn the importance of not only getting along, but also of working side by side with other boys of different races, classes, religions, cultures, etc.
Cub Scouting Teaches Duty to God and Country
The BSA believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God, and encourages both youth and adult leaders to be faithful in their religious duties. The Scouting movement has long been known for service to others. Scouting believes that patriotism plays a significant role in preparing our nation's youth to become useful and participating citizens. A Cub Scout learns his duty to God, country, others, and self.
Cub Scouting Provides a Year-Round Program
Cub Scouting has no specific "season"—it's a year-round program. While spring and summer pack activities are informal and there are many activities that Cub Scouts do outdoors, there's still plenty of fun to be had in the fall and winter: the pinewood derby, blue and gold banquet, skits, stunts, craft projects, and indoor games help to round out an entire year of fun and activities.
Cub Scouting Is a Positive Place
With all the negative influences in today's society, Scouting provides your child with a positive peer group who can provide encouragement in all the right ways. Carefully selected leaders provide good role models and a group setting where values are taught and help to reinforce positive qualities of character.