In Cub Scouting you'll have lots of fun, adventure, and activities with your den and pack. But there's more to it than that. Being a Cub Scout means you are a member of a worldwide youth movement that stands for certain values and beliefs. Cub Scouting is more than something to do. It's all about the boy you are and the person you will become.
What is Cub Scouting?
What do Cub Scouts do? How old are they? What awards can they earn? Look here for quick answers.
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. You can be 6 years old and be eligible to join Cub Scouts since you are in 1st grade. Cub Scouts is 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. All of the Cub Scouts in a den are about the same age and live in the same neighborhood.
Tigers (1st Graders)
Wolves (2nd Graders)
Bears (3rd Graders)
Webelos 1 (4th graders)
Webelos 2 (5th graders)
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.
Cub Scout Values
Everything you do in Cub Scouting has a purpose. Find out what the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack mean.
As a Cub Scout, you do your best and you help others. You learn the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack. You also learn what they mean.
The Cub Scout Promise
I 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.
It's important not just to say the Promise, but to know what it means.
- I promise
- When you say "I promise," it means you will do your best to keep your word. It is very important to keep your promises and to stand by the things you say. This shows people that they can trust you and rely on you.
- To do my best
- Giving your best effort is right and honest. Always remember that your best is not the same as someone else's best. Doing the best you can is more important than trying to be better than someone else.
- To do my duty to God
- Doing what is right and not doing things we know are wrong is one way to do our duty to God. Another way is to practice our religion at home and at our place of worship. We should respect other people's religious beliefs even if they are different from our own.
- And my country
- Duty to country starts with being a good citizen. This means caring about the people in your community and helping people. Good citizenship also means obeying the law. It means standing up for the rights of all Americans. Good citizens also take care of America's land, water, and natural places.
- To help other people
- Helping other people means doing things to help those around you—your family, friends, classmates, neighbors, and others in your community—without having to be told.
- And to obey the Law of the Pack
- Besides obeying the Law of the Pack (below), you should obey the laws in your community and state, the rules in your school, the rules at home, and the code of conduct in your den.
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.
Just as the parts of the Cub Scout Promise have a meaning, each part of the Law of the Pack has a meaning.
- The Cub Scout follows Akela
- Akela means "good leader." To a Cub Scout, Akela may be a parent, a teacher, a religious leader, a Cub Scout leader, or another guide. A Cub Scout should choose a good leader to follow.
- The Cub Scout helps the pack go
- Your pack needs you to be a good member. A good member goes to all meetings, follows the leaders, and pitches in to make the pack better. Being a good member of the pack means doing your share, and sometimes a little more, to help the pack.
- The pack helps the Cub Scout grow
- With the leaders and Cub Scouts all working together, the pack helps you grow into a better person. You will learn new things and new skills. You'll learn the right way to do the right things. And along the way, you will help others.
- The Cub Scout gives goodwill
- Doing good things for others doesn't just make them happy. It also gives them the desire (or the "will") to do good things for others in turn. In this way, the good things you do for others make ripples that pass the goodwill from person to person. The spirit of helpfulness and good cheer spreads from you to others in your neighborhood.
Scouting for All Ages
Cub Scouting is the first step on the Scouting trail. Learn more about Scouting's family of programs, and how you can stay an active member your whole life.
By joining the Cub Scouts, you've taken your first step on the Scouting trail. Many people stay in Scouting, one way or another, for many years. Some stay for a lifetime.
Boys of different ages have different ranks in Cub Scouting. As you go from Tiger Cub (age 7) to Webelos Scout (age 10), you learn new things and new skills that you use to meet new challenges as you get older.
- Tiger Cubs. First-grade boys join a Tiger Cub den, where each boy works with an adult partner on the requirements to earn his Tiger Cub badge.
- Wolf Cub Scouts. Second-grade boys graduate into a Wolf den. They go to weekly den meetings on their own, but their families still help them work on the requirements for the Wolf badge.
- Bear Cub Scouts. Boys in the third grade are members of a Bear den. They also work with their families to do the requirements for the Bear badge, but boys this old have enough knowledge and skill to take on more of the work by themselves.
- Webelos Scouts. Boys in the fourth and fifth grades become Webelos Scouts. Webelos Scouts do more advanced activities to get ready to graduate into Boy Scouting.
Where you begin in Cub Scouting depends on your age at the time you join. If you join when you're in first grade, you will begin as a Tiger Cub. If you do not join until the third grade, you'll begin as a Bear Cub Scout. You won't have to go back and earn the Tiger Cub and Wolf badges.
The Arrow of Light Award
The highest award in Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light Award, which you will begin working on as a Webelos Scout. It is the only Cub Scout badge that you can wear on the Boy Scout uniform. As you work on the Arrow of Light Award, you practice outdoor skills, get physically fit, and learn more about citizenship and working with others. All of these things prepare you for the next stage of Scouting.
The Boy Scout program is for boys who are 11 years old, are at least ten years old and have finished the fifth grade, or are at least ten years old and have earned the Arrow of Light award as a Cub Scout. The purpose of Boy Scouting is the same as it is for Cub Scouts: to help boys grow into good citizens who are strong in character and personally fit. But because they're older, Boy Scouts have a program with more and bigger challenges.
Boy Scouts work together in groups called patrols. The patrol leader is an older boy, not an adult. The Scouts in the patrol elect their patrol leader.
Patrols are part of a troop. The troop has adult leaders, but their job is to give guidance and advice to the Boy Scouts. The Scouts run their own program.
Boy Scouts have exciting outdoor activities. They go on long camping trips and long-distance hikes. They go canoeing and whitewater rafting, and more. They move through the Boy Scout ranks, from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout. They earn merit badges that show many kinds of knowledge and skills. Scouts can also earn special awards for feats of skill, such as completing a mile swim or 50 miles of hiking.
Venturing is for young men and women who are 14 (and have finished the eighth grade) through 20 years old. Venturing has six experience areas: social, citizenship, service, leadership, fitness, and outdoor. The activities in Venturing help young people become adults, follow their special interests, get skills as leaders, and become good citizens.
Venturing is the last of the three Scouting programs for young people. But it isn't the end of the Scouting trail. You can stay in Scouting even as a grown-up by becoming a member of the National Eagle Scout Association or Order of the Arrow, volunteering as an adult leader, or taking a job in professional Scouting.
Around the World
Cub Scouting is bigger than your den and pack. Millions of boys are Cub Scouts across the nation and around the world.
Cub Scouting Around the World
You meet and have fun in your neighborhood den and Cub Scout pack. Millions of other boys are also in Cub Scouting across the nation and around the world.
Your Den and Pack
Every Cub Scout is a member of a large group of boys called a pack. The pack has 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.
Most of the things that Cub Scouts do happen in the pack and its dens. You have weekly den meetings and monthly pack meetings. You also go to special events and activities with the members of your pack. You may take part in district and council activities as a member of your pack.
Across America and Beyond
Cub Scouting is bigger than your own pack. Cub Scouting is nationwide, with Cub Scout packs in every single state and in places overseas. Even in far-off places where only a few boys live, those boys can be in the program as Lone Cub Scouts. And so, you are part of something huge.
The last time we counted (in December 2004), there were almost two million Cub Scouts in more than 50,000 packs, helped by more than half a million adult leaders. And that's just the Cub Scouts who belong to the Boy Scouts of America. Countries around the world have similar programs. The World Organization of the Scout Movement says there are Scouting programs in almost every nation.