Something Roaring in the Jungle
There is an exciting new Scouting program called “Lion” for Kindergarten-aged boys that will be available as a national pilot for select councils this fall. But it’s not a program that changes any of the current ranks and organization of other Scouting programs. It’s unique as it reaches out to a slightly younger group of boys.
Research shows that childhood development accelerates around ages 4 and 5, about the time youth begin formal education. That’s where Scouting comes in. Like many of the BSA’s programs which supplement the learning and growth boys experience at home and in an educational environment at that age, the Boy Scouts of America has developed this pilot program for 5-year-old Kindergarten boys.
The Lion program weaves traditional Scouting concepts of character development, leadership skills, personal fitness and citizenship into activities that are age-appropriate and fun for the boys and their parents. The activities introduce the family to Scouting activities and principles, and provide an exciting way for the little guys to explore the world around them. The program will fuel their imagination, creativity and fun as they experience the growth Scouting can provide. At the end of the Lion year, they “graduate” to Tiger, and advance through Cub Scouting.
Will Lions Be in Your Council?
As a national pilot, Lions is the only approved Kindergarten program. Councils can apply to become a national pilot site for Fall 2016. Scout Executives have been made aware of the procedures to do that. If approved, councils will track their experiences and provide feedback to national development teams for further study.
More information will be made available in the coming months around the specifics of the program, FAQ’s, and much more. But until then, we can join the excitement for this initial roar of the Lion program, as the BSA tests new ways to reach America’s youth with the benefits of Scouting!