Introduction to Cub Scouting

As you know by now, the urge for companionship is very strong in Cub Scout-age boys. Cub Scouting uses this urge in its organization.

Your son will be a member, first, of a den – a small group of boys who meet once a week in a home, or perhaps in a classroom at the chartering organization’s facility. (e.g. we all meet each week at the church that sponsors our Pack). Chances are the den will be made up of boys from your neighborhood, or church, or your son’s school. He will also be a member of a Pack, comprising several dens. The pack meets one evening each month, usually in the chartering organization’s facility. You are not just welcome at the pack meetings – you are part of them.

Den skits and stunts are staged for your benefit so you can see what your son has learned at the weekly den meetings. You also take part in award ceremonies at these meetings with your son.

The den is the focus of activity, since most of a Cub Scout’s group work and play occurs at the weekly den meetings. Friendly rivalries spring up among the dens in the pack, and den loyalty and spirit are fostered as each den performs in stunts and games at pack meetings.

The dens meet after school in the afternoon or evening either at the home of the Den Leader, or at the chartering organization’s facility (this what our Pack does). There is some benefit to having all of the dens meet at the same location on the same nights. Each den leader can help one another or have programs / speakers that benefit more than one den, and can be shared. The Den Leader is the most important adult in Cub Scouting, with the exception of you the parent. This is mostly because the den leader has the most contact and training time with the boys.

The den leader gets help from an assistant Den Leader; a den chief, who is a Boy Scout who helps at meetings; a den dad or mom who helps by gathering materials needed by the den and who may help at the pack meetings and outings; and last but not least, a denner and assistant denner. The denner and assistant are members of the den who are elected for short periods by the other Cub Scouts to help the den leader.

From time to time, your son will bring home unfinished projects from den meetings. Encourage and help him with problems on them. Remember that Cub Scouting should be a family affair, not just a once-a-week period away from home for him.

Your son’s pack is governed by a pack committee appointed by the sponsor (called chartered institution/organization) that might be a church, PTA, civic organization, or just a group of interested citizens.

The pack committee selects a Cubmaster who is the adult in charge of the pack. He and his assistants lead the pack meetings and other activities and decide on pack and den programs in conference with the den leaders, den moms and dads, and the pack committee.

The first thing your boy does to become a Cub Scout is to register. He will then be asked to complete his Bobcat requirements, unless he is part of the newest addition to the Cub Scouting program, the Tiger Cubs. If he is a Tiger, he will have a whole series of requirements geared to his age (6 years old or in the first grade) after which, he can earn his Bobcat badge. If he is in the second grade, or is 7 years old, he will be in a Wolf den, and must first earn his Bobcat to begin earning his Wolf badge. The requirements for Tiger, Bobcat, Wolf, Bear and Webelos are all spelled out in their respective books. However, with the exception of Tiger, no rank may be earned until the Cub has successfully completed the requirements for Bobcat. So say if you son was in the third grade, and/or eight years old, he would be a Bear Scout. He would first have to earn his Bobcat, before pursuing the requirements for Bear. The requirements for Bobcat are quite simple – at least for an adult – but be prepared to help learn and understand them.

When he has passed the Bobcat requirements to you satisfaction, you would then notify the den leader, den mom or dad, or even the den chief who will probably give him a small quiz to insure his retention of the knowledge, and make him feel proud of his accomplishment. Then at the next pack meeting, you will be asked to take part in a brief ceremony during which time he will be invested with his Bobcat pin, patch, and rank card.