Pack Organization

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

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 parent.

The Den

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 the boys).

Dens are organized by rank. Ranks are organized by grade and age:


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 "or"):

  • 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 years old)
  • 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 organization.
  • 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 Pack program.
  • Provides the finances and fundraising coordination for the Pack.
  • 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
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Advancement
  • 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)

Chartered Organization Representative

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 organization.

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 serves all.

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 Pack Committee.


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 positions.
  • Making sure the dens are functioning well.
  • Planning the den and pack programs with the help of the other leaders.
    Coordinating the total Cub Scout program for the pack.
  • Helping recruit den leaders and coaches.
  • Establishing and maintaining good relationships with Boy Scout Troops.

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 Training.
  • 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 America.
  • Help is available for new den leaders.
  • Cub Scout leader recognition awards are available to the leaders.
  • 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.

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