In 1930, the Boy Scouts of America launched a home- and neighborhood-centered program for boys 9 to 11 years of age. A key element of the program is an emphasis on building strong, nurturing relationships between boys and their parents, adult leaders, and friends. Currently, Cub Scouting is the largest of the BSA’s three membership divisions. (The others are Boy Scouting and Venturing.)
The Purposes of Cub Scouting
Cub Scouting exists to:
- Positively influence character development and encourage spiritual growth
- Help boys develop habits and attitudes of good citizenship
- Encourage good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body
- Improve understanding within the family
- Strengthen boys’ ability to get along with other boys and respect other people
- Foster a sense of personal achievement by helping boys develop new interests and skills
- Show how to be helpful and do one’s best
- Provide fun and exciting new things to do
- Prepare boys to become Boy Scouts
Cub Scouting has program components for boys in the first through fifth grades (or ages 7, 8, 9, or 10). Members join a Cub Scout Pack and are assigned to a Den, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight boys who are in the same grade. First-grade boys (Tiger Cubs) meet twice a month, while Wolf Cub Scouts (second graders), Bear Cub Scouts (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 the Pack Committee. The Pack 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 - including unit leaders, the Pack Committee Chair, Committee Members, Pack Trainer, and Chartered Organization Representatives.
Like other phases of the Scouting program, Cub Scouting is made available to groups having similar interests and goals, including professional organizations, government bodies, and religious, educational, civic, fraternal, business, labor, and citizens’ groups. These sponsors are called Chartered Organizations. 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. 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 Scout 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.
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 Sports and Academics
The Cub Scout Sports and Academics program provides the opportunity for boys to learn new techniques, develop sportsmanship, increase scholarship skills, 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 Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts into the world of imagination. 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 members enjoy camping in local council camps and council-approved national, state, county, or city parks. 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 Cub Scout and leader publications, including the Wolf Cub Scout Book, Bear Cub Scout Book, Webelos Scout Book, Cub Scout Leader Book, Cub Scout Program Helps, and Webelos Leader Guide.
Cub Scouting Ideals
Apart from the fun and excitement of Cub Scout activities, a number of ideals are expressed in the day-to-day life of the boy and his leaders.
Cub Scout Promise
I, (name), promise to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To help other people, and
To obey the Law of the Pack.
Cub Scout Motto
Do Your Best.
Tiger Cub Promise
I promise to love God,
my family, and my country,
and to learn about the world.
Tiger Cub Motto
Search, Discover, Share.
Law of the Pack
The Cub Scout follows Akela.
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill.
The Cub Scout colors are blue and gold. The blue stands for truth and spirituality, steadfast loyalty, and the sky above. The gold stands for warm sunlight, good cheer, and happiness. Together, they symbolize what Cub Scouting is all about.