If you are a boy in first grade through fifth grade—or you're 7 to 10 years old—then Cub Scouting is for you. It's for your family, too. This is the first and the biggest of the three Scouting programs (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing) from the Boy Scouts of America.
Cub Scouts Belong to Pack and Den
Every Cub Scout is a member of a Cub Scout pack. A pack is a large group of boys.
The pack is divided into smaller groups called dens. Each den has about six to eight boys. All of the Cub Scouts in a den are about the same age and live in the same neighborhood.
The Cub Scout pack belongs to a church, a school, or some other group of people in your community or neighborhood. This group makes sure your pack has good adult leaders, a place to meet, and exciting things to do. The group gets help from the Boy Scouts of America, which is part of Scouting around the world.
Cub Scouts Do Things and Go Places
Cub Scouting means "doing." You have lots to do as a Cub Scout—crafts, games, sports, songs, stories, and puzzles, to name a few things. Much of the fun happens right in the den and pack. The den usually meets every week, and the pack meets once a month all year long. At den meetings and pack meetings, Cub Scouts do different things for fun and learning.
Cub Scouts also go to events like the annual blue and gold banquet, field contests, and derbies such as the pinewood derby. They go on field trips. They go camping and have other kinds of outdoor adventures. They take part in community events. Cub Scouts do all sorts of exciting stuff! Whatever it is that you enjoy, you'll have a chance to do it in Cub Scouting.
Cub Scouts Earn Awards
While you're having fun, you'll also be earning badges and awards. You'll work on projects with your parents or other adults in your family, and all of you will feel good about the things you accomplish. When you have earned a badge, you and an adult member of your family take part in a ceremony. The badge is given to the adult, and he or she then gives it to you in front of the whole pack. This is a way of saying "thank you" to your family for their help in earning your award.
The most popular awards for Cub Scouts are the advancement awards. Boys do requirements to advance and earn their badges of rank: Tiger Cub, Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and the Arrow of Light Award. The Arrow of Light is the highest award in Cub Scouting. Webelos Scouts also earn activity badges.
The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program is popular, too. Cub Scouts get to learn about favorite subjects such as art, math, science, and citizenship. Or they play individual and team sports such as archery, gymnastics, skating, or soccer. You don't need to be a star athlete to play Cub Scout Sports. You're a winner when you do your best.
Cub Scouts can earn many other awards and medals too, sometimes by themselves and sometimes as members of their pack. They can earn or help their pack earn Quality Unit awards, religious emblems, the Emergency Preparedness Award, the Outdoor Activity Award, or the World Conservation Award.
When you earn an award in Cub Scouting, you learn new skills. You also get to use your new skills and your new knowledge in projects and demonstrations. You show what you know. People get to see what you've learned as a Cub Scout.
Cub Scouting Has a Purpose
There is a reason for everything boys do in Cub Scouting. Apart from the fun and excitement, the aim of Cub Scouting is to help boys grow into good citizens who are strong in character and personally fit. This is why we say that Cub Scouting is fun with a purpose.
As a worldwide brotherhood, Scouting is unique. It is based on the principles of loving and serving God, of human dignity and the rights of individuals, and of recognizing the obligation of members to develop and use their potential. It is a movement dedicated to bringing out the best in people. Cub Scouting doesn't emphasize winning as an end result, but rather the far more demanding task of doing one's best.
When Scouting can help nurture courage and kindness and allow boys to play, to laugh, to develop their imaginations, and to express their feelings, then we will have helped them grow. We want boys to become useful and stable individuals who are aware of their own potential. Helping a boy to learn the value of his own worth is the greatest gift we can give him.
- Cub Scouting Is Fun
- Boys join Cub Scouting because they want to have fun. For boys, however, fun means a lot more than just having a good time. "Fun" is a boy's code word for the satisfaction he gets from meeting challenges, having friends, feeling good about himself, and feeling he is important to other people. While the boys are having fun and doing things they like to do, they also learn new things, discover and master new skills, gain self-confidence, and develop strong friendships.
- Cub Scouting Has Ideals
- Cub Scouting has ideals of spiritual and character growth, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The Cub Scout Promise is a pledge of duty to God and family. The Law of the Pack is a simple formula for good Cub Scouting and good citizenship. The Cub Scout motto, "Do Your Best," is a code of excellence. The Tiger Cub motto, "Search, Discover, Share," encourages personal growth and fitness. Symbols, such as the Cub Scout sign, Cub Scout salute, and the Living Circle, help boys feel a part of a distinct group and add to the appeal of belonging to a widely respected organization.
- Cub Scouting Strengthens Families
- The family is an important influence on our nation's youth. There are many different types of family structures in today's world. Scouting is a support to all types of families as well as to organizations to which families belong. We believe in involving families in the training of youth, and we are sensitive to the needs of present-day families. Cub Scouting provides opportunities for family members to work and play together, to have fun together, and to get to know each other a little better.
- Cub Scouting Helps Boys Develop Interests and Skills
- In Cub Scouting, boys participate in a broad array of activities. Cub Scouts develop ability and dexterity, and they learn to use tools and to follow directions. Recognition and awards encourage them to learn about a variety of subjects, such as conservation, safety, physical fitness, community awareness, academic subjects, sports, and religious activities. These interests might become a hobby or even a career later in life.
- Cub Scouting Provides Adventure
- Cub Scouting helps fulfill a boy's desire for adventure and allows him to use his vivid imagination while taking part in skits, games, field trips, service projects, outdoor activities, and more. The use of a monthly theme lets a boy play the role of an astronaut, clown, explorer, scientist, or other exciting character. Boys find adventure in exploring the outdoors, learning about nature, and gaining a greater appreciation for our beautiful world.
- Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan
- The advancement plan recognizes a boy's efforts and achievements. It provides fun for the boys, teaches them to do their best, and helps strengthen understanding as family members work with boys on advancement requirements. Badges are awarded to recognize advancement, and boys like to receive and wear these badges. The real benefit comes from the worthwhile things the boy learns while he is earning the badges, as his self-confidence and self-esteem grow.
- Cub Scouting Creates Fellowship
- Boys like to be accepted as part of a group. In Cub Scouting, boys belong to a small group called a den where they take part in interesting and meaningful activities with their friends. The Cub Scout den and pack are positive places where boys can feel emotionally secure and find support. Each boy gains status and recognition and has a sense of belonging to this group.
- Cub Scouting Promotes Diversity
- In Cub Scouting, boys may learn to interact in a group that may include boys of various ethnicities, income levels, religions, and levels of physical ability. By having fun together and working as a group toward common goals, Cub Scouts learn the importance of not only getting along, but also of working side by side with other boys of different races, classes, religions, cultures, etc.
- Cub Scouting Teaches Duty to God and Country
- The BSA believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God, and encourages both youth and adult leaders to be faithful in their religious duties. The Scouting movement has long been known for service to others. Scouting believes that patriotism plays a significant role in preparing our nation's youth to become useful and participating citizens. A Cub Scout learns his duty to God, country, others, and self.
- Cub Scouting Provides a Year-Round Program
- Cub Scouting has no specific "season"—it's a year-round program. While spring and summer pack activities are informal and there are many activities that Cub Scouts do outdoors, there's still plenty of fun to be had in the fall and winter: the pinewood derby, blue and gold banquet, skits, stunts, craft projects, and indoor games help to round out an entire year of fun and activities.
- Cub Scouting Is a Positive Place
- With all the negative influences in today's society, Scouting provides your son with a positive peer group who can encourage him in all the right ways. Carefully selected leaders provide good role models and a group setting where values are taught and help to reinforce positive qualities of character.