What is Scouting?

The History of Cub Scouting

Since 1930, the Boy Scouts of America 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 traditional membership divisions. (The others are Boy Scouting and Venturing.)  As of December 2015, there were nearly 1.3 million Cub Scouts in the United States. Click here for a history of scouting.

Membership

Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a group of six to eight boys. Tiger Cubs (first-graders), Wolf Cub Scouts (second-graders), Bear Cub Scouts (third-graders), and Webelos Scouts (fourth- and fifth-graders) typically meet 1-2 times per month.

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.

Volunteer Leadership

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 sponsorship. 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.  The Chartered Organization for Pack 689 is the Ladera Ranch Education Foundation.

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 aid supports leadership training, outdoor programs, council service centers and other facilities, and professional service for units.

The Purposes 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
  2. Spiritual Growth
  3. Good Citizenship
  4. Sportsmanship and Fitness
  5. Family Understanding
  6. Respectful Relationships
  7. Personal Achievement
  8. Friendly Service
  9. Fun and Adventure
  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 boys and the leaders who guide them.
  2. Belonging to a Den. The den—a group of six to eight boys 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 boys. The 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 and their den leader work with boys on advancement projects.
  4. Involving Family and Home.  Whether a Cub Scout lives with two parents or one, a foster family, or other relatives, his family is an important part of Cub Scouting. Parents and adult family members provide leadership and support for Cub Scouting and help ensure that boys 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 boys 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 (boys 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.

Advancement Plan

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.

  • Bobcat. No matter what age or grade a boy joins Cub Scouting, he must earn his Bobcat badge before he can advance to the rank of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos. A boy must complete the Bobcat requirements, which include: Learn and say the Cub Scout motto, the Scout Oath, and the Scout Law and tell what they mean; Show the Cub Scout sign, salute, and handshake and tell what they mean; and With your parent or guardian complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.
  • Lion.  Lions are a new program for kindergarten boys and their adult partners.
  • Tiger Cub. The Tiger rank is for boys who are in first grade or are age 7. To earn the Tiger badge, a boy must complete six required adventures with his den or family and one elective adventure of his den or family’s choosing. As the boy completes each adventure, he will receive the adventure loop for that adventure, which he can wear on his belt. When the boy has completed the seven required adventures, he can receive the Tiger badge. The Tiger badge is given to the boy’s adult partner at a pack meeting. Then, during a grand ceremony, the adult gives the badge to the boy.

    After he has earned the Tiger badge, a Tiger Scout can work on the remaining 12 Tiger electives until he finishes first grade (or turn 8 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure loop to wear on his belt.

  • Wolf. The Wolf rank is for boys who have finished first grade (or who are 8 years old). To earn the Wolf badge, a boy must complete six required adventures and one elective adventure. His parent or guardian and den leader approves each requirement by signing his book, and the boy receives an adventure loop for each adventure. When the boy has met all requirements, the Wolf badge is presented to his parent or guardian at the next pack meeting. During an impressive ceremony, the parent or guardian then presents the badge to the boy.

    After he has earned the Wolf badge, a Wolf Scout can work on the remaining 12 Wolf electives until he finishes second grade (or turns 9 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure loop to wear on his belt..

  • Bear. The Bear rank is for boys who have finished second grade (or who are 9 years old). To earn the Bear badge, a boy must complete six required adventures and one elective adventure. His parent or guardian and den leader approves each requirement by signing his book, and the boy receives an adventure loop for each adventure. When the boy has met all requirements, the Bear badge is presented to his parent or guardian at the next pack meeting. During an impressive ceremony, the parent or guardian then presents the badge to the boy.

    After he has earned the Bear badge, a Bear Scout can work on the remaining 12 Bear electives until he finishes third grade (or turn 10 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure loop to wear on his belt.

  • Webelos. Webelos dens are for boys who have completed third grade (or reached age 10). Webelos Scouts get to work on the five required Webelos adventures and choose two of the 18 elective adventures that are shared by the Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks. When a boy has done the requirements for an adventure, the Webelos den leader, rather than a parent, approves most of the adventures. For each adventure a boy completes, he receives a pin to wear on the Webelos colors or on his hat. After completing seven adventures, including five required adventures and two elective adventures, a Scout can receive the Webelos badge.

    After he has earned the Webelos badge, a Webelos Scout can work on the remaining 18 shared Webelos and Arrow of Light electives until he finishes fourth grade (or turns 11 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure pin to wear on the Webelos colors or on his hat.

  • Arrow of Light. The highest rank in Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light. Earning this rank prepares a Webelos Scout to become a Boy Scout. Scouts must complete four required adventures and three elective adventures to earn the Arrow of Light rank. For each adventure a boy completes, he receives a pin to wear on the Webelos colors or on his hat.

    The Arrow of Light badge is the only Cub Scout badge that can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform when a boy graduates into a troop. Adult leaders who earned the Arrow of Light rank when they were young may also show their achievement by wearing a special square knot on their adult uniform.

Colors

The Cub Scouting 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.