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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Everything you need to know about the Cub Scout program for new or future scout families.

UPDATE(1/19/17): The scouting program has changed quite a bit in the last couple years. While many of the resources below can still be used, I suggest checking out the BSA site for the latest rank requirements to verify they are the most updated versions. 

As many of you know, I have been a leader in the cub scout program for over 11 years. I created a page of info for my pack's website, but thought others wanting to learn about the program, or those new to the program could use it too. 
General Information and Commonly Asked Questions

My son just joined scouts, now what?

There can be quite a lot of information to learn 
when your son first joins cub scouts. As leaders, we want to help, 
so always feel free to ask us anything.

Below, is some general information and links to other websites that will hopefully answer a lot of your questions and 
put your mind at ease. Don't worry if you don't get it all at first. 
We are here to help, and you will be a pro in no time!
Each pack is part of a district. 
Each district is part of a council. 
Your local council can be a great source of information and items. 
You can locate your local council HERE: http://www.scouting.org/LocalCouncilLocator.aspx

Meetings and Pack Events
Pack Meetings:
Pack Meetings are usually held once a month. They usually last 1-1.5 hours
They are usually held at your a charter orginaiztion, such as an elementary school or church. 
Parents must attend pack meetings with their sons. 
Pack Events:
These are fun events such as 
the Pinewood Derby, Blue and Gold Banquet, Cubmobile, Rocket Launch, etc. 
Siblings and whole families are welcome and encouraged!! 
We will send out notification before each event about specific information.

Den Meetings:
Dens get together for den meetings to work on rank advancement activities. 
Tiger parents must attend den meetings with their scout.
Older scout parent attendance will be determined by your den leader. 
Den meeting time and place will be arranged by each individual den leader.
Please ask your den leader about siblings.

This is the scout term for field trips
They are often organized by individual dens, 

but we sometimes have whole pack outings.
Check with your den leader about family/sibling attendance. 

If you have a conflict arise and your son 

cannot attend a pack meeting or den meeting,
just simply let your den leader know and 
they will be happy to accommodate you. 
How Scout Rank is Determined

A boy can join cub scouts at any time between 1st and 5th grade! 

New scouts, regardless of grade will earn Bobcat rank first.
Bobcat(completed before working on grade specific rank)
1st Grade Tiger 
2nd Grade Wolf 
3rd Grade Bear 
4th Grade Webelos I 
5th Grade Webelos II(scouts join Boy Scouts in February.)

A Note to Parents of New Scouts:

All new scouts, regardless of age, must earn their Bobcat Badge before beginning any other badges. One of the requirements for the Bobcat Badge is for parents to read "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parents Guide." Parents can then discuss with their son at their discretion this subject matter. The booklet may be found in the beginning of your son's rank advancement book or online at the following site:http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/46-014.pdf

Scout Uniform
Simply ask anyone in the Scout Store, and they will be happy to 
assist you in getting your correct patches and items.

Your son will need:
A short sleeved Scout blue shirt 
(buy big,they can wear it through 5th grade) 
A rank specific hat
A rank specific neckerchief

A scout belt (this is also worn until 5th grade)
A rank specific neckerchief slide (ask your den leader if they require one.)
The Following Patches:Red Pack Number Patches (sold as individual numbers)
Den Number Patch
World Crest Patch
Council Strip Patch

(Rank Patches will be awarded 
by the Pack when earned.)

The rest:
Closed toe shoes
You do not always need pants from the scout store. (ask your pack)
Pants or shorts are acceptable.
You may wear long sleeved shirts under your uniform on cooler days.

Where to buy uniforms and other scout items
Scout Store
Locate your local scout store through your local council with this local council finder HERE
Badges and Patches
Your son will work each year to earn his rank specific badge.
These will be awarded to your son at our annual 

Blue and Gold Banquet (Birthday of Scouting Party).
The above Badges are the rank badges your son will earn. 
They will be provided by the Pack.
Below is a placement guide for your patches and badges. 

You may sew them on or take them to a tailor and have them sewn on. 
You may also purchase an adhesive called Badge Magic at the Scout Store to "glue" them on. Make sure you read the directions carefully and 
clean and dry your uniform before using. 

Webelos Patches and Colors Placement

Your son will also be awarded patches for activities such as 
selling popcorn, going to summer camp and other fun activities. 
These patches do NOT get placed on the uniform. 
You may collect or display them as you wish. 
One way is a vest available at the scout store. 
Some people make a tapestry. 
Others keep them in binders inside baseball card sleeves. 
What activities will my son need to do?
Each year your son will work towards earning his badge for his specific rank.
These required achievements as they are called are

listed in his rank specific book.
Most packs will provide your son with his new book each year 

at the beginning of the school year, so be sure to ask.

Most activities will be done as a group at den meetings.

Some activities will be done at home as a family.
Your son will be allowed to work on activities as soon as he finishes 
the school year, so you may get a heads start in the summer if you like.

You may visit these links to see the required Achievements and Electives
Bobcat: http://www.boyscouttrail.com/cub-scouts/bobcat-scouts.asp
Tiger: http://www.boyscouttrail.com/cub-scouts/tiger-scouts.asp
Wolf: http://www.boyscouttrail.com/cub-scouts/wolf-scouts.asp
Bear: http://www.boyscouttrail.com/cub-scouts/bear-scouts.asp
Webelos I & II: http://www.boyscouttrail.com/webelos/webelos-scouts.asp
We will camp from time to time as a pack.
We will send out information pertaining to each trip as it comes about.
Camping is usually for the entire family to participate in. 

You will almost always be responsible for bringing your own equipment.
If you do not have camping equipment, and want to camp, 

let someone know, and we will work something out.
Most camping events will NOT require your scout or family to attend. 
It is your choice.
Certain Webelos camping trips are required for advancement. 

Belt Loops and Pins
Your scout may earn fun Belt Loops and Pins.
Belt Loops are displayed on a scout belt, and pins may be worn on hats.
Most will be earned at camp and other fun outings.
You may also complete the required activities as a family and 

tell you den leader to receive credit. 
Please note if your son earns a Webelos required belt loop as a Tiger, Wolf or Bear 
he will need to redo it as a Webelos.

Click here to see all of the Belt Loops and Pins and their requirements:

or simply click on each belt loop and pin category below for a list of specific requirements for that subject

If your son has any learning, physical or other disabilities

Cub Scouts is an all inclusive group.
We will gladly accommodate your son to his individual needs.
Be sure to talk to your den leader to let them know of any limitations 

your son might have and any advice on what he can do.
We are here to make scouting fun and educational for ALL boys.

Scouting is run entirely by volunteers. We gladly welcome any help at any level. Simply ask your den leader or Cubmaster what you can do, or if you'd like to do something specific let us know.

Remember, the cub scout motto is:

Do Your Best

Just do your best and have lots of fun and 

everything else will fall into place.

 For more cub scout resources, check out my Cub Scout Resource Page HERE.

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