As a worldwide brotherhood, Scouting is unique. It is based on the principles of loving and serving God, of human dignity and the rights of individuals, and of recognizing the obligation of members to develop and use their potential. It is a movement dedicated to bringing out the best in people. Cub Scouting doesn't emphasize winning as an end result, but rather the far more demanding task of doing one's best.
When Scouting can help nurture courage and kindness and allow boys to play, to laugh, to develop their imaginations, and to express their feelings, then we will have helped them grow. We want boys to become useful and stable individuals who are aware of their own potential. Helping a boy to learn the value of his own worth is the greatest gift we can give him.
Cub Scouting Is Fun
Boys join Cub Scouting because they want to have fun. For boys, however, fun means a lot more than just having a good time. "Fun" is a boy's code word for the satisfaction he gets from meeting challenges, having friends, feeling good about himself, and feeling he is important to other people. While the boys are having fun and doing things they like to do, they also learn new things, discover and master new skills, gain self-confidence, and develop strong friendships.
Cub Scouting Has Ideals
Cub Scouting has ideals of spiritual and character growth, citizenship training, and personal fitness. The Cub Scout Promise is a pledge of duty to God and family. The Law of the Pack is a simple formula for good Cub Scouting and good citizenship. The Cub Scout motto, "Do Your Best," is a code of excellence. The Tiger Cub motto, "Search, Discover, Share," encourages personal growth and fitness. Symbols, such as the Cub Scout sign, Cub Scout salute, and the Living Circle, help boys feel a part of a distinct group and add to the appeal of belonging to a widely respected organization.
Cub Scouting Strengthens Families
The family is an important influence on our nation's youth. There are many different types of family structures in today's world. Scouting is a support to all types of families as well as to organizations to which families belong. We believe in involving families in the training of youth, and we are sensitive to the needs of present-day families. Cub Scouting provides opportunities for family members to work and play together, to have fun together, and to get to know each other a little better.
Cub Scouting Helps Boys Develop Interests and Skills
In Cub Scouting, boys participate in a broad array of activities. Cub Scouts develop ability and dexterity, and they learn to use tools and to follow directions. Recognition and awards encourage them to learn about a variety of subjects, such as conservation, safety, physical fitness, community awareness, academic subjects, sports, and religious activities. These interests might become a hobby or even a career later in life.
Cub Scouting Provides Adventure
Cub Scouting helps fulfill a boy's desire for adventure and allows him to use his vivid imagination while taking part in skits, games, field trips, service projects, outdoor activities, and more. The use of a monthly theme lets a boy play the role of an astronaut, clown, explorer, scientist, or other exciting character. Boys find adventure in exploring the outdoors, learning about nature, and gaining a greater appreciation for our beautiful world.
Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan
The advancement plan recognizes a boy's efforts and achievements. It provides fun for the boys, teaches them to do their best, and helps strengthen understanding as family members work with boys on advancement requirements. Badges are awarded to recognize advancement, and boys like to receive and wear these badges. The real benefit comes from the worthwhile things the boy learns while he is earning the badges, as his self-confidence and self-esteem grow.
Cub Scouting Creates Fellowship
Boys like to be accepted as part of a group. In Cub Scouting, boys belong to a small group called a den where they take part in interesting and meaningful activities with their friends. The Cub Scout den and pack are positive places where boys can feel emotionally secure and find support. Each boy gains status and recognition and has a sense of belonging to this group.
Cub Scouting Promotes Diversity
In Cub Scouting, boys may learn to interact in a group that may include boys of various ethnicities, income levels, religions, and levels of physical ability. By having fun together and working as a group toward common goals, Cub Scouts learn the importance of not only getting along, but also of working side by side with other boys of different races, classes, religions, cultures, etc.
Cub Scouting Teaches Duty to God and Country
The BSA believes that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God, and encourages both youth and adult leaders to be faithful in their religious duties. The Scouting movement has long been known for service to others. Scouting believes that patriotism plays a significant role in preparing our nation's youth to become useful and participating citizens. A Cub Scout learns his duty to God, country, others, and self.
Cub Scouting Provides a Year-Round Program
Cub Scouting has no specific "season"—it's a year-round program. While spring and summer pack activities are informal and there are many activities that Cub Scouts do outdoors, there's still plenty of fun to be had in the fall and winter: the pinewood derby, blue and gold banquet, skits, stunts, craft projects, and indoor games help to round out an entire year of fun and activities.
Cub Scouting Is a Positive Place
With all the negative influences in today's society, Scouting provides your son with a positive peer group who can encourage him in all the right ways. Carefully selected leaders provide good role models and a group setting where values are taught and help to reinforce positive qualities of character.
Purposes and Methods of Cub Scouting
Cub Scouting is a year-round family-oriented part of the BSA program designed for boys who are in first through fifth grades (or are 7, 8, 9, and 10 years of age). Parents, leaders, and organizations work together to achieve the 10 purposes of Cub Scouting:
1. Character Development
2. Spiritual Growth
3. Good Citizenship
4. Sportsmanship and Fitness
5. Family Understanding
6. Respectful Relationships
7. Personal Achievement
8. Friendly Service
9. Fun and Adventure
10. Preparation for Boy Scouts
All the activities leaders plan and boys enjoy should relate to one or more of these purposes. These purposes help us achieve the overall aims of the BSA of character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.
The Methods of Cub Scouting
Cub Scouting uses seven specific methods to achieve Scouting's aims of helping boys and young adults build character, train in the responsibilities of citizenship, and develop personal fitness. These methods are incorporated into all aspects of the program. Through these methods, Cub Scouting happens in the lives of boys and their families.
1. The Ideals
The Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, the Tiger Cub motto and Promise, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto, and salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a boy's sense of belonging.
2. The Den
Boys like to belong to a group. The den is the place where boys learn new skills and develop interests in new things. They have fun in den meetings, during indoor and outdoor activities, and on field trips. As part of a small group of six to eight boys, they are able to learn sportsmanship and good citizenship. They learn how to get along with others. They learn how to do their best, not just for themselves but also for the den.
Recognition is important to boys. The advancement plan provides fun for the boys, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members work with boys on advancement projects.
4. Family Involvement
Family involvement is an essential part of Cub Scouting. When we speak of parents or families, we are not referring to any particular family structure. Some boys live with two parents, some live with one parent, some have foster parents, and some live with other relatives or guardians. Whoever a boy calls his family is his family in Cub Scouting.
In Cub Scouting, boys participate in a wide variety of den and pack activities, such as games, projects, skits, stunts, songs, outdoor activities, and trips. Also, the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program and Cub Scouting's BSA Family program include activities that encourage personal achievement and family involvement.
6. Home and Neighborhood Centered
Cub Scouting meetings and activities happen in urban areas, in rural communities, in large cities, in small towns—wherever boys live.
7. The Uniform
The Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout uniforms help build pride, loyalty, and self-respect. Wearing the uniform to all den and pack meetings and activities also encourages a neat appearance, a sense of belonging, and good behavior.