A Brief Introduction to Cub Scouts

The Beginning

As a youth, Robert Baden-Powell greatly enjoyed the outdoors, learning about nature and how to live in the wilderness.   After returning as a military hero from service in Africa, Baden-Powell discovered that English boys were reading the manual on stalking and survival in the wilderness he had written for his military regiment.  Gathering ideas from Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, and others, he rewrote the manual as a nonmilitary nature skill book and called it Scouting for Boys. To test his ideas, Baden-Powell brought together 22 boys to camp at Brownsea Island, off the coast of England . This historic campout was a success and resulted in the advent of Scouting. Thus, the imagination and inspiration of Baden-Powell, later proclaimed Chief Scout of the World, brought Scouting to youth the world over.

The Boy Scouts of America

In 1909, Chicago publisher William D. Boyce lost his way in a dense London fog. A boy came to his aid and, after guiding the man, refused a tip, explaining that as a Scout he would not take a tip for doing a Good Turn. This gesture by an unknown Scout inspired a meeting with Robert Baden-Powell. As a result, William Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910 . He also created the Lone Scouts, which merged with the Boy Scouts of America in 1924.

The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America to provide an educational program for boys and young adults to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness.  The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Boy Scout Oath and Law.

Scout Oath    Scout Law
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
  A Scout is:
Trustworthy
Loyal
Helpful
Friendly
  Courteous
Kind
Obedient
Cheerful
Thrifty
Brave
Clean
Reverent

The Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.  In the future Scouting will continue to

Offer young people responsible fun and adventure;
Instill in young people lifetime values and develop in them ethical character as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law;
Train young people in citizenship, service, and leadership;
Serve America's communities and families with its quality, values-based program.

Cub Scouts

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 membership divisions. (The others are Boy Scouting and Venturing.)

The ten purposes of Cub Scouting are:

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

Cub Scouting Ideals

Apart from the fun and excitement of Cub Scout activities, the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, the Tiger Cub motto, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto, and salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a boy's sense of belonging.

Tiger Cub
Motto
Cub Scout
Motto
Cub Scout
Promise
Law of the Pack
Search,
Discover,
Share.
Do Your Best. 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.
The Cub Scout follows Akela.
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

Colors

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.

Membership

Cub Scouting members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a neighborhood 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) 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.

Cub Scout membership* is:

276,090 Tiger Cub Teams 562,958 Pack Leaders
980,555 Cub Scouts 54,148 Packs
786,833 Webelos Scouts As of December 31, 2001

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 BSA 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.

Advancement Plan

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.

Tiger Cub. The Tiger Cub program is for first grade (or age 7) boys and their adult partners. There are five Tiger Cub achievement areas. The Tiger Cub, working with his adult partner, completes 15 requirements within these areas to earn the Tiger Cub Badge. These requirements consist of an exciting series of indoor and outdoor activities just right for a boy in the first grade. Tiger Cubs
Bobcat. The Bobcat rank is for all boys who join Cub Scouting. Bobcat - First Rank
Wolf. The Wolf program is for boys who have completed first grade (or are age 8). To earn the Wolf badge, a boy must pass twelve achievements involving simple physical and mental skills. Wolf
Bear. The Bear rank is for boys who have completed second grade (or are age 9). There are 24 Bear achievements in four categories. The Cub Scout must complete 12 of these to earn the Bear badge. These requirements are somewhat more difficult and challenging than those for Wolf rank. Bear
Webelos. This program is for boys who have completed third grade (or are age 10). A boy may begin working on the Webelos badge as soon as he joins a Webelos den. This is the first step in his transition from the Webelos den to the Boy Scout troop. As he completes the requirements found in the Webelos Scout Book, he will work on activity badges, attend meetings led by adults, and become familiar with the Boy Scout requirements—all leading to the Arrow of Light Award. Webelos
Arrow of Light. Cub Scouting's highest award Arrow of Light

Activities

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.

Camping

Age-appropriate camping programs are packed with theme-oriented action that brings Tiger Cubs, 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 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.

Publications

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 Tiger Cub Handbook, Wolf Cub Scout Book, Bear Cub Scout Book, Webelos Scout Book, Cub Scout Leader Book , Cub Scout Program Helps, and Webelos Leader Guide.