Many parents are nervous when their boy becomes old enough to participate in Scouts. Many questions might cross their minds: How does this all work? How can I help? What are the leaders supposed to do?
These pages are designed to help you feel more confident as your son first joins the Cub Scout pack and then advances from Cub Scouting to Boy Scouting and beyond.
Cub Scouting is a family-centered program designed for those in kindergarten to 5th grade. A new Cub Scout (no matter his age) begins by earning his Bobcat badge. During his first year, the eight-year-old meets weekly with his den and works on earning adventure belt loops as he completes the requirements for the Wolf badge. When he turns nine he joins the Bear den, and completes more adventures (and earns Bear adventure belt loops) on his way to earning the Bear rank. At age ten, he joins the Webelos den, where he learns new skills and has lots of fun while preparing to become a Boy Scout. He continues working on adventures, but now he earns a pin for each adventure completed. Webelos dens choose to focus on earning one or two ranks during the Webelos year (the Webelos badge and/or the Arrow of Light). The ultimate goal of the Webelos Scout is to earn the Arrow of Light, the highest rank in Cub Scouting, and the only rank badge which a boy may wear on his uniform when he turns eleven and joins the Boy Scout troop.
Boy Scouting is the BSA program for boys ages 11 through 17. At age 11, the boys join the patrol for 11-year-old Scouts and work on requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. At age 12 they join the patrol for deacon-age Scouts, and for the ensuing years they work through several rank advancements and will earn at least 21 merit badges before turning 18. The boys usually register as members of the Varsity team at age 14, and when they turn 16 they join the ward’s Venturing crew. The goal is eventually achieving the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout before reaching the age of 18.
Do you want to assist in the Cub Scout or Boy Scout organizations? Supportive leaders are always much appreciated! Please see the Leader Guides section of this website for more information.