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 boys from ages 7 through 20 and girls from ages 14 through 20, Cub Scouting focuses on boys in the first through fifth grades (or from ages 7 through 10).
Purposes of Cub Scouting:
Cub Scouting is a year-round, family-oriented part of the Boy Scouts of America program designed for boys who are in first through fifth grades (or are 7, 8, 9, and 10 years of age). Parents, leaders, and organizations work together to achieve the 10 purposes of scouting:
- Character Development
- Spiritual Growth
- Good Citizenship
- Sportsmanship & Fitness
- Family Understanding
- Respectful Relationships
- Personal Achievement
- Friendly Service
- Fun & Adventure
- Preparation for Boy Scouts
All the activities leaders plan and boys enjoy should relate to one or more of these purposes.
The Methods of Cub Scouting:
Cub Scouting uses eight specific methods to achieve Scouting's aims of helping boys and young adults build character, train in the responsibilities of citizenship, and develop personal fitness. These methods are incorporated into all aspects of the program. Through these methods, Cub Scouting happens in the lives of boys and their families.
1. The ideals:
The Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto, and salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a boy's sense of belonging.
2. The den:
Boys like to belong to a group. The den is the place where boys learn new skills and develop interests in new things. They have fun in den meetings, during indoor and outdoor activities, and on field trips. As part of a small group of six to eight boys, they are able to learn sportsmanship and good citizenship. They learn how to get along with others. They learn how to do their best, not just for themselves but also for the den.
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. Cub Scout leaders and adult family members work with boys on advancement projects.
4. Family involvement:
Family involvement is an essential part of Cub Scouting. When we speak of parents or families, we are not referring to any particular family structure. Some boys live with two parents, some live with one parent, some have foster parents, and some live with other relatives or guardians. Whomever a boy calls his family is his family in Cub Scouting.
In Cub Scouting, boys participate in a wide variety of den and pack activities, such as games, projects, skits, stunts, songs, outdoor activities, and trips. Also, the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program and Cub Scouting's Fun for the Family include activities that encourage personal achievement and family involvement.
6. Home- and neighborhood-centered:
Cub Scouting meetings and activities happen in urban areas, in rural communities, in large cities, in small towns - wherever boys live.
7. The uniform:
The Cub Scout uniform helps build pride, loyalty, and self-respect. Wearing the uniform to all den and pack meetings and activities also encourages a neat appearance, a sense of belonging, and good behavior.
8. Making Character Connections:
Throughout the program, leaders learn to identify and use character lessons in activities so boys can learn to know, commit, and practice the 12 core values of Cub Scouting. Character Connections are included in all the methods of Cub Scouting and are the program themes for monthly pack meetings.
The 12 Core Values of Cub Scouting:
- Citizenship: Contributing service and showing responsibility to local, state, and national communities.
- Compassion: Being kind and considerate, and showing concern for the well-being of others.
- Cooperation: Being helpful and working together with others toward a common goal.
- Courage: Being brave and doing what is right regardless of our fears, the difficulties, or the consequences.
- Faith: Having inner strength and confidence based on our trust in God.
- Health and Fitness: Being personally committed to keeping our minds and bodies clean and fit.
- Honesty: Telling the truth and being worthy of trust.
- Perseverance: Sticking with something and not giving up, even if it is difficult.
- Positive Attitude: Being cheerful and setting our minds to look for and find the best in all situations.
- Resourcefulness: Using human and other resources to their fullest.
- Respect: Showing regard for the worth of something or someone.
- Responsibility: Fulfilling our duty to God, country, other people, and ourselves.
The Cub Scout Colors:
The Cub Scouts of America 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.
The Cub Scout program has an organizational structure that puts boys into groups called dens with recommended size of from 6 to 8 scouts. Dens of boys in a community form a pack which is part of a district. Districts combine to make a council.
The Bobcat rank is the first rank earned by Cub Scouts, no matter which grade they begin scouting. After earning the Bobcat rank, a boy then begins earning the rank of his grade. First graders work toward the "Tiger" cub rank, second graders work toward the "Wolf" cub rank, third graders work toward the "Bear" cub rank, fourth and fifth graders prepare for Boy Scouts in a 20 month program called "Webelos".