Cub Scouting is for boys and girls in the first through fifth grades, or 7 to 10 years of age.
In Cub Scouts, children and their families have fun and adventure in a program that builds character and instills values. Scouting embraces the values of citizenship, compassion, cooperation, courage, faith, health and fitness, honesty, perseverance, positive attitude, resourcefulness, respect, and responsibility. These values come to children in all parts of the Cub Scout program - all while they're having a great time with their friends and families.
The Cub Scouting program revolves around 10 purposes related to the overall mission of the Boy Scouts of America – to build character, learn citizenship, and develop personal fitness:
- Character Development
- Spiritual Growth
- Good Citizenship
- Sportsmanship and Fitness
- Family Understanding
- Respectful Relationships
- Personal Achievement
- Friendly Service
- Fun and Adventure
- Preparation for Boy Scouts
Kindergarteners are “Lion” Scouts, first graders are “Tiger” Scouts, second grader are “Wolf” scouts, third graders are “Bear” scouts, and fourth and fifth graders are “WEBLOS” Scouts (an acronym: WE’llBeLOyalScouts). Fourth graders are often referred to as “Junior Weblos” or “Weblos 1” Scouts, while fifth graders are often referred to as “Senior Weblos” or “Arrow of Light” Scouts, the latter in recognition of the highest and final award that can be earned in Cub Scouts: the Arrow of Light.
During the course of the school year, Scouts work to complete a number of requirements that embody the purposes of Scouting to earn the badge associated with their level — so, for example, Bear Scouts are third graders who are working to earn their Bear badges. Most scouts take the full school year to earn their rank badges, although some do so much faster (especially if they attend summer camp).
Children can join Scouts at any time in their elementary school career — there is no requirement to "catch up" by earning prior years' badges. The only badge which all Cub Scouts must earn is their Bobcat badge, which requires learning a few basic things such as the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.
Cub Scouts of the same age and same sex are organized into “Dens” of approximately 5-12 Scouts, lead by one or more parent “Den Leaders”. Dens typically meet 1-2 times per month for meetings and other activities, working on the requirement for their boys to advance through their ranks.
All of the various Dens are then members of a “Pack”, which typically meets once per month. The Pack is thus the larger group and includes a mix of boys and girls of all ages from 1st through 5th grade.
In addition to meetings, Dens and the Pack also have numerous activities throughout the year, which often revolve around enjoying the outdoors, building and racing things, helping others, and learning all sorts of things.