What is Cub Scouting?
Cub Scouting is a program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), whose overall mission is to help young people build character, learn citizenship, and develop personal fitness. While the BSA serves youth from ages 6 through 20 and girls from ages 6 through 20, Cub Scouting focuses on youth in kindergarten through fifth grade (or from ages 6 through 10).
The Purposes of Cub Scouting
Since 1930, the Boy Scouts of America has helped younger youth through Cub Scouting. It is a year-round family program designed for youth who are in the first grade through fifth grade (or 7, 8, 9, and 10 years of age). Parents, leaders, and organizations work together to achieve the purposes of Cub Scouting. Currently, Cub Scouting is the largest of the BSA’s three membership divisions. (The others are Boy Scouting and Venturing) The 10 purposes of Cub Scouting are:
Sportsmanship and Fitness
Fun and Adventure
Preparation for Boy Scouts
Cub Scouting Ideals
Apart from the fun and excitement of Cub Scout activities, the Scout Oath and Law, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto, and salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a youth’s sense of belonging.
Membership & Leadership
Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a group of six to eight youth. Tiger Cubs (first-graders), Wolf Cub Scouts (second-graders), Bear Cub Scouts (third-graders), and Webelos I (fourth-graders), and Webelos II Scouts (fifth-graders) meet at least monthly.
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 youth 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 chairmen, committee members, den leaders, and chartered organization representatives.
Like other phases of the Scouting program, a Cub Scout pack belongs to an organization with interests similar to those of the BSA. This organization, which might be a church, school, community organization, or group of interested citizens, is chartered by the BSA local council to use the Scouting program. This chartered organization provides a suitable meeting place, adult leadership, supervision, and opportunities for a healthy Scouting life for the youth under its care. 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.
Costs, Advancement & Activities
Who Pays For It?
Groups responsible for supporting Cub Scouting are the youth and their parents, the pack, the chartered organization, and the community. The youth are 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, Friends of Scouting 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.
Recognition is important to youth. The Cub Scouting advancement plan provides fun for the youth, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members work with youth on advancement projects.
Cub Scouting means “doing.” Everything in Cub Scouting is designed to have the youth doing things. Activities are used to achieve the aims of Scouting—citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness. Many of the activities happen right in the den and pack. The most important are the weekly den meetings and the monthly pack meetings.
Age-appropriate camping programs are packed with theme-oriented action that brings Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts into the great out-of-doors. Day camping comes to the youth 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 families enjoy camping in local council camps and other council-approved campsites. 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.