What is Cub Scouting?
In 1930 the Boy Scouts of America launched a home- and neighborhood-centered program for boys 9 to 11 years of age. Today, Cub Scouts is open to boys and girls ages 5 to 10 years old (K-5th grade). A key element of the program is an emphasis on caring, nurturing relationships between children and their parents, adult leaders, and friends. Currently, Cub Scouting is the largest of the BSA’s three membership divisions. (The others are Scouts BSA and Venturing.)
The Purposes of Cub Scouting
Cub Scouting has nine purposes: to
- Positively influence character development and encourage spiritual growth
- Help boys and girls develop habits and attitudes of good citizenship
- Encourage good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body
- Improve understanding within the family
- Strengthen boys’ and girls’ ability to get along with other children and respect other people
- Foster a sense of personal achievement by helping boys and girls develop new interests and skills
- Show how to be helpful and do one’s best
- Provide fun and exciting new things to do
- Prepare boys and girls to become Scouts
Cub Scouting has program components for boys and girls in Kindergarten through fifth grades (or ages 5-10). Members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight scouts. Kindergarteners (Lions) and First-graders (Tigers) meet twice a month, while Wolf Cub Scouts (second graders), Bear Cub Scouts (third graders), and Webelos Scouts (fourth and fifth graders) meet weekly.
Once a month, all of the dens and family members gather for a pack meeting under the direction of a Cubmaster and pack committee. The committee includes parents of Cub Scouts in the pack and members of the chartered organization.
Thousands of volunteer leaders, both men and women, are involved in the Cub Scout program. They serve in a variety of positions, as everything from unit leaders to pack committee chairs, committee members, den leader coaches, and chartered organization representatives.
Like other phases of the Scouting program, Cub Scouting is made available to groups having similar interests and goals, including professional organizations, government bodies, and religious, educational, civic, fraternal, business, labor, and citizens’ groups. These “sponsors” are called chartered organizations. Each organization appoints one of its members as a chartered organization representative. The organization, through the pack committee, is responsible for providing leadership, the meeting place, and support materials for pack activities.
Who Pays for It?
Groups responsible for supporting Cub Scouting are the Cub Scouts and their parents, the pack, the chartered organization, and the community. The Cub Scout is encouraged to pay their own way by contributing dues each week. Packs also obtain income by working on approved money-earning projects. The community, including parents, supports Cub Scouting through the United Way, Investment in Character enrollment, bequests, and special contributions to the BSA local council. This financial support provides leadership training, outdoor programs, council service centers and other facilities, and professional service for units.
Tiger Cubs BSA
Tiger Cubs BSA is a simple and fun program for first-grade children and their families. The Tiger Cub program introduces children and their adult partners to the excitement of Cub Scouting as they “Search, Discover, and Share” together.
The Tiger Cub program is conducted on two levels. First, the Tiger Cub and his/her adult partner meet in the home to conduct activities for the whole family. Second, the Tiger Cub and his/her adult partner meet twice a month with other Tiger Cubs and adult partners in the den, using the planned “big idea” (or theme) for their activity during one of the meetings. Each den meeting is hosted by a Tiger Cub-adult partner team.
Tiger Cubs BSA follows a school-year cycle. Tigers remain in the program until they complete first grade. At that time, they graduate into a Cub Scout den and are eligible to participate in Cub Scout summer activities, including Cub Scout day camp.
Recognition is important to young boys and girls. The Cub Scout advancement plan provides fun for the children, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members work with their Cubs on advancement projects.
Cub Scouting means “doing.” Everything in Cub Scouting is designed to have the Cubs doing things. Activities are used to achieve the aims of Scouting – Character, Citizenship, Personal Fitness, and Leadership. Many of the activities happen right in the den and pack. The most important are the weekly den meetings and the monthly pack meetings.
Cub Scout Sports and Academics
The Cub Scout Sports and Academics program provides the opportunity for Cubs to learn new techniques, develop sportsmanship, increase scholarship skills, and have fun. Participation in the program allows Cubs to be recognized for physical fitness and talent-building activities.
Age-appropriate camping programs are packed with theme-oriented action that brings Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts into the world of imagination. Day camping comes to Cubs in neighborhoods across the country; resident camping is at least a three-day experience in which Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts camp within a developed theme of adventure and excitement. “Cub Scout Worlds” are used by many councils to carry the world of imagination into reality with actual theme structures of castles, forts, ships, etc. Cub Scout pack members enjoy camping in local council camps and council-approved national, state, county, or city parks. Camping programs combine fun and excitement with doing one’s best, getting along with others, and developing an appreciation for ecology and the world of the outdoors.
Volunteers are informed of national news and events through Scouting magazine (circulation 900,000). Boys and girls may subscribe to Scout Life magazine (circulation 1.3 million). Both are published by Scouts BSA. Also available are a number of Cub Scout and leader publications, including the Tiger Cub Scout Handbook, Wolf Cub Scout Handbook, Bear Cub Scout Handbook, Webelos Cub Scout Handbook, and Cub Scouts Leader How-To Handbook.
To learn more about Cub Scouting, or to find out how to start, join, or support a pack, Contact the Council Service Center or the local unit in your area.