cub scouting essentials
By Julia Thompson
Jun 26, 2018

Cub Scouting Essentials: Doing Your Best and Where to Start

So, you are a new leader or have a child who is new to Cub Scouts, now what? Although Cub Scouting can seem daunting, as it is the first step many youth, leaders and parents often take into Scouting, it is well worth it. The skills learned in this program will be the essential building blocks for a future in Scouting. Cub Scouting also provides children with opportunities to work with their peers, explore the outdoors, build confidence and so much more. Check out this beginners survival guide packed with all the Cub Scouting essentials you will need.

cub scouting essentials

First Things First

Every Cub Scout needs a few items for meetings and activities. Here is a basic list that will get them started. These basics are also part of the foundation of gear and materials youth will enjoy having throughout their Scouting experience.

  • cub scouting essentialsUniform (complete with patches)
  • Handbook
  • Filled water bottle
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Flashlight
  • Sun protection
  • Trail food (for day camps and other outdoor or longer activities)

Cub Scouting also has a few signature events that make the program exciting to both youth and their families. Some offer friendly competition while some introduce youth to programs that are more similar to those found in Scouting. Here are some of the special events you can expect: 

Pack vs. Den

cub scoutingKnowing the difference between these two groups can help any Cub Scouting beginner. A den is a smaller group of the same age youth that comes together weekly for meetings and activities. A pack is a larger group that meets monthly with all of the leaders and families. These meetings are more formal and include announcements and recognition.

With the introduction of Family Scouting, starting June 11, 2018, girls can join Cub Scouting. With this change, it is important to remember that DENS will remain separated by gender. Packs, however, can be made up of multiple dens of either gender. And, this will only happen if the chartered organization decides to include girl dens in their Cub Scouting program. 

Cub Scouting Essentials for Leaders

Training for all leaders is just as essential as water is to the human body. The first and most important piece of training is the Youth Protection Training. The training includes crucial information relating to youth and working with them in a safe way. Parents are encouraged to take this course as well. 

cub scouting essentialsAfter Youth Protection Training has been completed, the next step is to complete position specific training. For example, Cubmasters and Den Leaders have different duties and must prepare in different ways.

If you are enthusiastic and committed to being the best leader you can be, try Akela’s Council. This fast-paced, five-day course takes leadership skills to the next level. The whole family can even participate!

The biggest hurdle to getting trained is setting aside time to do it. However, it is essential to the Cub Scouting program and definitely worth the time.

For more information on training, click here.

Every child needs you. Progress is key and support is crucial. Remember, Cub Scouting is an important step in preparing youth for their futures in Scouting and beyond!


Author: Julia Thompson | BA in English from BYU | Fund Development Associate | Boy Scouts of America, Utah National Parks Council

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One thought on “Cub Scouting Essentials: Doing Your Best and Where to Start

  1. AvatarLinda Larsson

    This was really helpful! Thanks. Also the video is a great and fun way to introduce our new leaders and families to Cub Scouting. Very well done.


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