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The Benefits of Cub Scouting
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 Scout Oath is a pledge of duty to God and family. The Scout Law is a simple formula for good Cub Scouting and good citizenship. The Cub Scout motto, “Do Your Best,” is a code of excellence. 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.
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. A variety of adventure themes let a boy play the role of an astronaut, clown, explorer, scientist, or other exciting characters. 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.
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 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.
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What do YOU think?
Like I said above, I thought this was a pretty good list and just wanted to share. So… how many of those benefits have you seen in your own son? In your pack? Are there other benefits that you have seen that are not listed here? Are there some things listed that maybe you should work on/do a little better? How has Cub Scouting benefited you? As a family? As a leader? As a parent?
One of the things I like most about Cub Scouting is that there is something there for every boy. Some boys will love one part of it more than another, but every boy can participate and benefit from the Cub Scouting program. Cub Scouting is for ALL boys!
Think about the boys in your pack. Do they have friends that are not involved? Do they have friends that would like to be a Cub Scout? Ask around, and I bet you will find someone who needs to join your pack. Help him join. Help him and his family benefit from Cub Scouting too.
Author: Annaleis Smith has been a Cub Scout leader ( in multiple positions) since 2003. She loves Cub Scouting and how it can help a boy grow into a fine young man. She currently serves as the Cubmaster in her ward/pack, Unit Commissioner for her LDS Stake and is the Utah National Park’s Council’s Vice President of Membership.