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 through 5th grade. Kindergartners work toward the Lion rank. A first grader, and anyone beyond that grade who is new to Cub Scouting, completes the Bobcat Badge prior to working on their grade-specific badge of rank. Kindergartners do not work on the Bobcat Badge. On the advancement trail, a Cub Scout progresses towards a badge of rank based on his grade. They need not have earned the previous rank in order to earn the next. Each of the ranks in Cub Scouting has its own requirements that are age appropriate, so earning a rank below a Cub Scout’s current grade is not permitted. As a Cub Scout advances through the ranks, the requirements get more challenging, to match the new skills and abilities they have learned. The kindergartner meets with his den and an adult partner and works on adventures required to earn the Lion rank. The first grader continues to meet with his den and an adult partner as he works on adventures to earn the Tiger rank. The second grader joins the Wolf den, and completes more adventures on his way to earning the Wolf rank. The third grader joins the Bear den, where he learns new skills and has lots of fun while preparing to become a Boy Scout. He continues working on adventures on his way to earning the Bear rank. The fourth grader joins the Webelos den as he completes additional adventures. Once he earns his Webelos rank as a fourth grader, or when he becomes a fifth grader, his ultimate goal 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 joins the Boy Scout troop. Ideally each den will meet weekly, and once a month in a pack meeting in which all the dens participate. Each year in Cub Scouting the boy and his parent, guardian, or other caring adult will complete certain exercises in which they discuss how to avoid and report child abuse. Boys in the first grade and above must earn the Cyber Chip Award (Internet safety instruction) appropriate to his age.
Boy Scouting is the BSA program for boys ages 11 through 17. At age 10 and 1/2 or 11, the boys join Boy Scouts and work on requirements for the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks. For the ensuing years they work through several rank advancements and will try to earn at least 21 merit badges before turning 18. The goal is eventually achieving the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.
Do you want to assist in the Cub Scout or Boy Scout organizations? Supportive leaders are always much appreciated!