Cub Scouting -- A Parent's Call to Action
"There is a battle of significant consequence
taking place in the lives of boys in America today. In simple
terms, it is the battle between doing what is right or wrong. A
recent study conducted by Louis Harris & Associates indicates
that the proportion of boys choosing to do what is wrong is
alarmingly high. Even basic values such as not cheating on
schoolwork and not stealing seem to be unstable.
Clearly, the results of this study indicate that our nation's
youth are struggling with ethical and moral decisions, and that
these difficulties can only increase with age. Therefore, the
need for reinforcing and rewarding strong moral standards and
providing positive role models at a young age is more important
than ever before.
Cub Scouting creates a climate of cooperative and collaborative
relationships between adults and children--a laboratory for
adults and children to get to know one another. It provides
opportunities for children to acquire the capacity for
accomplishment. The program affirms to the child that the world
really is an interesting place.
Cub Scouting is fun! But it is fun with a purpose. Woven though
all the fun is an inspired program that really works. Tried and
proven methods are used that transfer traditional values, build
character, and develop leadership skills -- all in the context of
fun and family togetherness."
(BSA: Operation Tiger Mania 1996)
The Pack is a group made up of several dens.
The Pack includes not only the boys in those dens, but also their
families, and their leaders. The Packs meets once a month with
Cub Scouts, leaders, parents and other family members attending.
The Pack meeting is the climax of the month's den meetings and
activities. It gives the dens something to look forward to and
work toward. This is a chance to recognize the boys, their
parents, and their leaders.
In addition to its regular meetings, the Pack sponsors certain
special projects. These include community projects (e.g., a
Thanksgiving Food Drive for the needy), outdoor activities (e.g.,
field trips, family camp outs, etc.), fund raising activities, and
fun competitions (e.g., Pinewood car Derby).
The Cubmaster is an adult volunteer
who serves as master of ceremonies at all Pack meetings and leads
Pack activities of all kinds. Pack
leadership positions may be held by women or men.
The Pack Committee is a group of
adult volunteers who plan the Pack program and individual
activities as well as managing such things as record keeping,
finance, leadership recruitment, and registration. The Pack
Committee meets monthly and meetings are open to any interested
A Cub Scout Pack is divided into small groups of about eight
boys called dens, who meet weekly under the direction of adult
Den Leaders and, in some cases, Boy Scout
Den Chiefs. The Den Leaders are trained parent volunteers.
The den allows boys to get to know each other better and engage
in activities that would be difficult in a larger group. The den
also provides leadership opportunities for the boys as they elect
"denners" or help to teach each other.
Den meeting activities are planned around the monthly theme and
include games, handicrafts, hikes and other outdoor fun,
practicing skits and stunts in preparation for the next Pack
meeting and taking part in simple ceremonies and songs. Sometimes
work on advancement requirements is included, but most of that
work is accomplished by the boys with their parents (see details
on the Webelos rank for an exception). The Den Leaders may ask
for special help occasionally from parents (helping with a
meeting, sharing a special skill, or just providing a snack for
Dens are organized by rank. Ranks are organized by grade and age:
THE ABOVE WAS TAKEN FROM PACK 1113 PARENTS' MANUAL,
Den Chief The Den Chief is a Boy Scout from a nearby troop
who, usually, has achieved at least the rank of First Class. The
Den Chief is a trained leader who assists a Den Leader in the
running of a Den.
It is the Den Chief's duty to assist the Cub Scouts in their den
with the projects and activities of the Den. His duty also is to
encourage, guide and protect them in all den and pack activities;
and to show them by their example what a Boy Scout is.
Webelos Den Chiefs also will work to interest the Webelos Scouts
in becoming Boy Scouts.
The Den Chief Pledge
I promise to help the Cub Scouts (or Webelos Scouts) in my den
to the best of my ability; to encourage, guide, and protect them
in all den and pack activities; and to show them by my example
what a Boy Scout is.
I will strive to be prompt and dependable, and to cooperate with
the leaders in carrying out the den program.
As each Cub Scout completes the third grade, I will encourage him
to join a Webelos den.
As he becomes eligible, I will do all in my power to interest him
in becoming a Boy Scout.
Den Chief Awards
The Den Chief can earn the Den Chief
Service Award. See, Den Chief Awards
Grade and Age
Several years ago joining and advancement requirements for Cub
Scouting were changed to a grade basis (with age as backup). Age
is still used by some packs whose national organization has made
that determination As a refresher, here are some age/grade
requirements. Keep in mind that grade is the primary
determination and age is the backup (note the work
- TIGER CUBS -- In the first grade, (or 7 years old)
- CUB SCOUTS (Wolves and Bears) -- In the second and third
grade, (or 8 or 9 years old)
- WEBELOS SCOUTS -- In the fourth and fifth grade, (or 10
- ARROW OF LIGHT -- Six months since completing the fourth
grade, or six months since turning 10.
- BOY SCOUTS -- Completed the fifth grade, or age 11, or
have earned the Arrow of Light.
The Pack Leadership
The pack leadership consists of Den Leaders, Den Leader Coach, the
Chartered Organization Representative,
the Pack Committee Chairperson, the
Pack Committee and the Cubmaster. These are adult positions.
Let's look at what each one accomplishes in a Pack.
The Pack Committee
The Pack Committee takes care of the administrative needs of the
pack. It is organized and chaired by the Pack Committee
Chairperson. The committee consists of at least three people and
is responsible for:
- Finding a meeting place
- Setting the Pack policies in accordance with Boy Scouting
and the chartered organization.
- Coordinating the Pack program with that of the charter
- Assist with the annual Pack charter renewal.
- Is responsible for carrying out the policies and
regulations of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Provides encouragement to leaders in carrying out the
- Provides the finances and fundraising coordination for
- Is responsible for Pack property.
- Is responsible for the quality of the adult leadership,
that the leadership is recruited and trained. This is all
adult leadership, including Cubmaster.
- Responsible for recommending this leadership to the
charter organization for final approval.
- Coordination between the Pack and other scouting units.
A good Pack Committee consists of the following people:
- Chartered Organization Representative
- Pack Committee Chair
- Public Relations
- Membership and Registration
- Sustaining Membership Enrollment Chairperson (a.k.a.
Friends of Scouting)
- Cubmaster (is not a voting member)
- Den Leader Coach(es) (non voting member)
This person is the liaison between the Pack, the chartered
organization, and the BSA. They make sure that the chartered
organization is aware of what the Pack is doing, and coordinates
activities between the chartered organization and the Pack. It is
also the responsibility of the chartered organization
representative to communicate any relevant policies that the
charter organization has to the Pack committee.
A point that a new scouter often misses is that the chartered
organization 'owns' the Pack, not the Pack committee. The Pack
committee is simply an administrative arm of the chartered
The Chartered Organization Representative is a voting member of
the local BSA Council and District committees. As such, they
represent the Pack on these committees.
If the chartered organization has more than one unit (e.g., a
Pack and a Troop) the Chartered Organization Representative
Pack Committee Chairperson
The Pack Committee Chairperson organizes and facilitates the
running of the Pack committee.
This person works with the Cubmaster and Chartered Organization
Representative to make sure that the responsibilities of the Pack
Committee are being met.
For more information, see the section on the
The Cubmaster, who is sometimes referred to as the unit leader, is
up front. Most parents think they run the show all by themselves.
Now you know different. So what does a Cubmaster do? Plenty!
The Cubmaster is responsible for:
- Conducting the pack program which includes leading the
monthly Pack meeting, with the help of the other leaders.
- Guiding, supporting, motivating, and inspire the other
adult leaders. Make sure they receive training for their
- Making sure the dens are functioning well.
- Planning the den and pack programs with the help of the
Coordinating the total Cub Scout program for the pack.
- Helping recruit den leaders and coaches.
- Establishing and maintaining good relationships with Boy
Den Leader Coach
The den leader coach is responsible for ensuring stable,
active and enthusiastic den leaders for all Cub Scout and Webelos
dens. They also help to insure that:
- Leaders complete Fast Start and Cub Scout Leader Basic
- A Den Leader Coach Seminar is conducted for the leaders.
- Leaders attend the monthly roundtables.
- Leaders understand the purposes, policies and procedures
of the chartered organization and the Boy Scouts of
- Help is available for new den leaders.
- Cub Scout leader recognition awards are available to the
- Monthly coach-den leader meetings are held to help plan
den activities and programs.
- Information about the current and up to date program
literature and material is passed on to den leaders.
- No den is ever without a leader and assistant.
- New den leaders are recruited.
- There is a communications link (usually the den leader
coach) between the Cubmaster and the den leaders.
Want to learn more? The major source for this information is The
Cub Scout Leader Book.
You may also wish to take a look at the Cub
Scout Promise, Law and Motto which set the standards for Cub
Scouts. You may also want to take a look at the History of the Boy Scouts of America.