More often than you would think, boys get thrust into Cub Scouts without their family knowing the basic x’s and o’s of Cub Scouting. Besides dropping their boys off, some parents don’t really understand how it works and what they are supposed to be doing. If the parents are lost and confused, you can only imagine how the boy must feel at the beginning. In this article we will outline some of the basics of Cub Scouting to help new Scouting families.
- Cub Scouting Purposes: The Cub Scouting program has 10 purposes related to the overall mission of the Boy Scouts of America – to build character, learn citizenship, and develop personal fitness. The purposes are: character development, spiritual growth, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fitness, family understanding, respectful relationships, personal achievement, friendly service, fun and adventure and preparation for Boy Scouts.
Every Cub Scouting activity should help fulfill one of these purposes. When considering a new activity, ask which purpose or purposes it supports. However, remember not everything in Cub Scouting has to be serious – far from it! Silly songs, energetic games, and yummy snacks all have their place in the program.
- Methods of Cub Scouting: The methods of Cub Scouting are used to accomplish its purposes and achieve the overall goals of building character, learning citizenship, and developing personal fitness. Cub Scouting uses seven methods: living the ideals, belonging to a den, using advancement, involving family and home, participating in activities, serving neighborhood and community and wearing the uniform. For more information on purposes and methods visit the BSA website.
- Basic Pack Information: These are the details on your charted organization and when and where they meet, time and place.
- Activities and Outings: It is important to know about all of the information for day camps, summertime activities. There are also big events like the pinewood derby and blue and gold banquet.
- Leadership: Parents need to understand how the leadership of Cub Scouts works and what is their role. Explain the program and how they are the “Akela” and can sign things off in their cub scout’s book.
- Finances: It is important to know the charge for day camps, how much the car for the derby will cost and any other expenses to be aware of.
- Uniform: Know where to buy the uniform, the unit numbers to put on their sleeve, which neckerchief to buy and where to put the rank advancement.
- Communication: Get important emails, phone numbers and social media links. Don’t rely on one form of communication. Don’t depend on your Cub Scout to relay the information to you, because we know that will most likely not happen.
- Pack Code of Conduct: Explain what you use for your den and home activities.
This is a basic outline to help new families getting integrated into Cub Scouting. Share it with them and any Den Leader so they can share it along as well. What are some basics that helped you when you first got started with Cub Scouts?