|1. Character Development||6. Respectful Relationships|
|2. Spiritual Growth||7. Personal Achievement|
|3. Good Citizenship||8. Friendly Service|
|4. Sportsmanship and Fitness||9. Fun and Adventure|
|5. Family Understanding||10. Preparation for Boy Scouts|
We have already discussed the first and most important relationship that a boy will have in his life—his family. Let’s look at some of the other relationships he may have or may learn about and what he can do to be sure that he is respectful of and to those involved.
The majority of boys in our council (Utah National Parks) join Cub Scouting when they turn eight years old. At age eight, all boys are already in various relationships but may not think of them as such. He is a member of both his immediate and extended family. He is a member of his school class. He is a member of his Sunday/Primary class if he attends church. He might be a member of a 4H club. He might be a member of a sports team. When he joins Cub Scouting he adds at least two new relationships. He is now a member of a den and of a pack. He may not have thought about it before, but will definitely be taught about citizenship and how he is also a member of his community, his state, his country and the world. Of course, we have not just expanded his world, but we want to help him look at his many roles respectfully as well.
Family Relationships – As a boy grows he can be of more help and understand his role in helping the family be strong (like I talked about in my Family Understanding article). His relationships with his parents and his siblings become more important and closer as they do things together. Families are invited to pack meetings each month to help celebrate his achievements and to have fun together. His relationships with his family, current and future, are the most important he will ever have.
School Relationships – At school he is a student, but he has various other relationships as well. By the time he is an eight-year-old Cub Scout he is most likely in the 3rd or 4th grade. By now, he probably understands how to respectfully relate to the various people at school. He does not treat the other students the same as he does the teacher or the principal. He has a different relationship with the lunch lady, the custodian, the librarian and the janitor. Knowing who you are and how you fit helps you know how to treat others.
Church Relationships – Much like school, a boy’s church probably involves a few different relationships with other children and adults. Odds are, a boy has been attending church even longer than he has school and so how to act with whom is probably well understood. With the new Duty to God adventures that are required for each Cub Scout rank, a Cub Scout is encouraged to learn more about his relationship with God and how to “live his religion”.
Den Relationships – A boy’s den probably includes boys in his neighborhood that he might play with on weekends and after school, but his den may also involve others who don’t live as close by. It’s also a group of boys just his age—no older boys, no younger boys and certainly no girls. These relationships may be hard to figure out at first. Who is the leader? Who knows this or does that? That’s where the den leaders (adults) come in. Den leaders plan fun activities for the boys to do together. Dens should all have a denner and assistant denner so boys take turns being leaders and assisting the leader. Everyone wears the same uniform and is working toward the same rank. In the den, it should be easy to see how the golden rule applies and how competition can be different as we each try to do our best.
Pack Relationships – This is where all the dens come together with their families and show off what they have learned. It’s where you get to give your den yell and root for your fellow den members in competitions against the other dens. Its where you can have competitions of kids vs adults. A boy’s relationship with his den leader is going to be different than that with the Cubmaster or even the pack committee members. There are various adventures that have the boys interact with different members of the pack.
Community Relationships – Since citizenship is one of the aims of Scouting and “Good Citizenship” is one of the purposes of Cub Scouting, it makes sense that a boy will learn about how being a citizen requires respectful relationships as well—not only relationships with other people (neighbors, police and firemen, etc.), but also how to respect the relationship we have with/to the earth itself. Cub Scouts also learn about service and often learn that they may be little, but they can do big things—especially when they work together.
Nature Relationships – Let’s face it, most boys have a natural affinity to dirt. Ask any mother… So most boys need to be taught how to act in nature and that the rules for what they are allowed to do in their backyard are different from those at the park and those in the mountains. Cub Scouting teaches boys how to respect nature. Using the Leave No Trace principals for kids to show respect for and leave the nature for others to enjoy as well are practiced on outings. Cub Scouting may give some boys their first taste of nature outside the city park and their first exposure to how one part of nature effects another.
As a Cub Scout grows older, he will have a better understanding of how his being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent can affect each of those relationships differently. They also learn how each relationship is different. Cub Scouts learn how to show respect for themselves, others and the world around them.
Author: Annaleis Smith is a “stay at home” mother of 5 children (3 boys, 2 girls). She has been a Cub Scout leader (Cubmaster, Den Leader, Pack Trainer, Roundtable Commissioner, Akela’s Council staff & more) for over 12 years. She is currently a Cubmaster (2nd time), a Unit Commissioner and Assistant Council Commissioner for Cub Scouting in the Utah National Parks Council.