Cub Scout Leader
Cub Scouting’s volunteer leaders work with Scouts and their families to improve their communities by enriching the lives of the families who live there. Cub Scout leaders support the family. They take an active part in helping to strengthen families and their children by providing a fun-filled, worthwhile program that teaches values.
Cub Scouting: Confidence, Character, and Citizenship building in a wrapper of FUN!
The Cub Scout Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide (avaible at your local Scout Shop) is designed to have everything a leader needs to plan and conduct den and pack meetings. The activities found in the Resource Guide are designed to support the purposes of Cub Scouting and are chosen to help promote the overall aims of Scouting:
- To develop a child's character,
- Train him/her in good citizenship,
- And encourage him/her to become more fit—physically, mentally, and morally.
Purposes of Cub Scouting
Cub Scouting is a year-round, family-oriented part of the Scouts, BSA program designed for children 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:
- Character Development
- Spiritual Growth
- Good Citizenship
- Sportsmanship and Fitness
- Family Understanding
- Respectful Relationships
- Personal Achievement
- Friendly Service
- Fun and Adventure
- Preparation for Boy Scouts, Exploring or Venturing
All the activities leaders plan and children enjoy should relate to one or more of these purposes.
The Methods of Cub Scouting
Cub Scouting uses eight specific methods to achieve Scouting’s aims of helping young children 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 children and their families.
1. The ideals: The Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, motto, and salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a child's sense of belonging.
2. The den: Children like to belong to a group. The den is the place where children 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 children, 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.
3. Advancement: Recognition is important to young children. The advancement plan provides fun for the Scouts, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding. Cub Scout leaders and adult family members work with Scouts 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 children live with two parents, some live with one parent, some have foster parents, and some live with other relatives or guardians. Whomever a child calls his family is his family in Cub Scouting.
5. Activities: In Cub Scouting, children 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 Fun for the Family 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 children live.
7. The uniform: The Cub Scout uniform helps 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.
8. Making Character Connections: Throughout the program, leaders learn to identify and use character lessons in activities so children can learn to know, commit, and practice the 12 core values of Cub Scouting. Character Connections are included in all the methods of Cub Scouting and are the program themes for monthly pack meetings.
Cub Scouts: A Positive Place
The Boy Scouts of America emphasizes a positive place in Cub Scouting. Any Cub Scouting activity should take place in a positive atmosphere where boys can feel emotionally secure and find support, not ridicule. Activities should be positive and meaningful and should help support the purpose of the BSA.Delivering the Cub Scout Program
The Cub Scout program can be extremely rewarding for the children in the program and their adult leaders. At the same time, it can be challenging, especially for the new leader facing his or her first group of Cub Scouts. The purpose of this Resource Guide is to break down how to deliver the program, beginning with the den meeting, such that the planning and execution are simplified and new leader confidence is increased.
Part of the inherent strength of the Cub Scout program is its organization. At its most basic, CubScouting consists of:
- A child —The individual child is the basic building block for Cub Scouting and is its most important element. It is only when each childs's character, citizenship, and fitness are enhanced that the program is successful.
- A den—Each child belongs to a den of similarly aged youth. The den is the child’s Cub Scout family where he learns cooperation and team building, and finds support and encouragement.
- A leader—Adult leadership is critical to achieving the purposes and aims of Scouting. By example, organized presentations, and one-on-one coaching, the Cub Scout learns the value and importance of adult interaction.
- A pack—Each den is part of a larger group of children of different ages and experience levels in Cub Scouting. The pack provides the resources for enhanced activities, opportunities for leadership,and a platform for recognition.
While there are other parts of the Cub Scout organization (districts, councils, etc.) which are important administratively and to support adult leaders, they are more or less transparent to the child in Cub Scouting.
Responsibilities to the Chidlren
All Cub Scout leaders have certain responsibilities to the children in Cub Scouts. Each leader should:
- Respect childs’ rights as individuals and treat them as such. In addition to common-sense approaches this means that all parents/guardians should have reviewed How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide, and all youth leaders must have taken the BSA’s Youth Protection training.
- See that children find the excitement, fun, and adventure that they expected when they joined Cub Scouting.
- Provide enthusiasm, encouragement, and praise for childs’ efforts and achievements.
- Develop among the children a feeling of togetherness and team spirit that gives them security and pride.
- Provide opportunities for child to experience new dimensions in their world.
Den Leader Responsibilities
In addition to the leader’s general responsibility to the boys in Cub Scouting, the den leader has certain other leadership responsibilities that may be summarized as follows:
- Work directly with other den and pack leaders to ensure that their den is an active and successful part of the pack.
- Plan, prepare for, and conduct den meetings with the assistant den leader and den chief (if Wolf, Bear or Webelos den leaders) or adult partners (if Tiger Cub den leaders).
- Attend the pack leaders’ meetings.
- Lead the den at the monthly pack activity.
- Ensure the transition of their Cub Scouts to a den of the next rank (or to a Boy Scout troop if Webelos) at the end of the year.
Den leaders and Cubmasters (with supporting unit committee members) represent the leadership team that makes the pack go. In general, the Cubmaster (sometimes referred to as the unit leader) is the guiding hand behind the work of other pack leaders and serves as program adviser to the pack committee. He or she is a recruiter, supervisor, director, planner, and motivator of other leaders. The Cubmaster’s main responsibilities are:
Role of Training
Core to succeeding with these responsibilities is the concept that every Cub Scout deserves a trained leader. Being a trained leader helps you deliver the program in a way that is effective and efficient with a focus on the core objectives for the child.
Becoming a trained leader requires completion of the following training:
Consult with your pack trainer or visit my.scouting.org for training options.
The den meeting plans for each rank are designed to be conducted in sequential order. Certain activities are partially completed in one meeting and finished in another. Other activities or skills are natural prerequisites for things that come later in the den’s year.
Local conditions (weather, events, etc.) or your den’s schedule may make altering the order of the den meetings attractive. As a den leader, you may change the order so long as you make sure the change does not jeopardize the childs’ opportunity to earn their rank in the allotted time or disrupt the logical order of the activities and achievements. When there is any doubt, the planned order should be used. Discuss with your Cubmaster any changes, as they may also affect pack activities.
Why the Method Underlying the Resource Guide Works
Success of the Cub Scout program, defined as developing character, building citizenship, and developing personal fitness, is demonstrated by a cascading process of outcomes:
These are the foundation of the Cub Scout delivery method. As such, the Resource Guide offers, for each rank, the following:
Throughout the Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide, leaders will find many ideas for helping them capture the moment and gently give children a glimpse of the deeper purposes within the fun of Cub Scouting.
Cubmaster’s and Den Leader’s Minutes: A den or pack meeting may close with a den leader’s or Cubmaster’s Minute—a one- or two-minute story that emphasizes values, Scouting ideals, or character. It relates to everyday life encounters of Cub Scout–age boys and ends the meeting with a thought-provoking moment or challenge.
Reflecting: Reflecting is a method for leaders to guide Cub Scouts to their own understanding of the deeper purpose of an activity. Open-ended questions guide children into discussing their thoughts, feelings, and actions about an activity and its effects. Guidelines on leading a reflecting session are found in the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book which you can get from your local Scout Shop.