Since 1930, the Boy Scouts of America or BSA has helped younger boys through Cub Scouting. It is a year-round family program designed for boys 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 ten purposes of Cub Scouting are:
- Character Development
- Spiritual Growth
- Good Citizenship
- Sportsmanship and Fitness
- Family Understanding
- Respectful Relationships
- Personal Achievement
- Friendly Service
- Fun and Adventure
- Preparation for Boy Scouts
Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den. Tiger Cubs (first-graders), Wolf Cubs (second-graders), Bear Cubs (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 boys 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 local BSA 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 boys 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.
Who Pays For It?
Groups responsible for supporting Cub Scouting are the boys and their parents, the pack, the chartered organization, and the community. The boy is encouraged to pay his 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 young boys. The Cub Scouting advancement plan provides fun for the boys, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members work with boys on advancement projects. Advancement or ranks progress from Bobcat -> Tigers -> Wolves -> Bears -> Webelos I -> Webelos II.
Cub Scouting means “doing.” Everything in Cub Scouting is designed to have the boys 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.
Cub Scout Academics and Sports
The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program provides the opportunity for boys to learn new techniques, increase scholarship skills, develop sportsmanship, and have fun. Participation in the program allows boys to be recognized for physical fitness and talent-building activities.
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 boy 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.
Volunteers are informed of national news and events through Scouting magazine (circulation 900,000). Boys may subscribe to Boys’ Life magazine (circulation 1.3 million). Both are published by the Boy Scouts of America. Also available are a number of youth and leader publications, including the Tiger Cub Handbook, Wolf Handbook, Bear Handbook, Webelos Handbook, Cub Scout Leader Book, Cub Scout Program Helps, and Webelos Leader Guide.
The Cub Scout colors are blue and gold. They have special meaning, which will help boys see beyond the fun of Cub Scouting to its ultimate goals.
The blue stands for truth and spirituality, steadfast loyalty, and the sky above. The gold stands for warm sunlight, good cheer, and happiness.