Overview of Cub Scouting


The Cub Scout den leader guide for each rank is designed to have everything a leader needs to plan and conduct den and pack meetings. The activities found in the den leader guide are designed to support the purposes of Cub Scouting and are chosen to help promote the overall aims of Scouting:

  • To develop character
  • Citizenship
  • Physical Fitness
  • Leadership


The Methods of Cub Scouting

Cub Scouting uses eight specific methods to achieve Scouting’s aims of helping children and young adults build character, train in the responsibilities of citizenship, develop personal fitness, and leadership. These methods are incorporated into all aspects of the program. Through these methods, Cub Scouting happens in the lives of children and their families.

Living the Ideals. Cub Scouting’s values are embedded in the Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the Cub Scout motto, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, and salute. These practices help establish and reinforce the program’s values in Cub Scouts and the leaders who guide them.

Belonging to a Den. The den—a group of six to eight boys or six to eight girls who are about the same age—is the place where Cub Scouting starts. In the den, Cub Scouts develop new skills and interests, they practice sportsmanship and good citizenship, and they learn to do their best, not just for themselves but for the den as well.

Using Advancement. Recognition is important to everyone. The advancement plan provides fun for Cub Scouts and gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges. It also strengthens family understanding as the den leader and adult family members work with the Scouts on advancement projects.

Involving Family and Home. Whether a Cub Scout lives with two parents or one, a foster family, or other relatives, the family is an important part of Cub Scouting. Parents and adult family members provide leadership and support for Cub Scouting and help ensure that children have a good experience in the program.

Participating in Activities. Cub Scouts participate in a huge array of activities, including games, projects, skits, stunts, songs, outdoor activities, trips, and service projects. Besides being fun, these activities offer opportunities for growth, achievement, and family involvement.

Serving Home and Neighborhood. Cub Scouting focuses on the home and neighborhood. It helps youth strengthen connections to their local communities, which in turn will support their growth and development.

Wearing the Uniform. Cub Scout uniforms serve a dual purpose, demonstrating membership in the group (everyone is dressed alike) and individual achievement (they wear the badges they’ve earned). Wearing the uniform to meetings and activities also encourages a neat appearance, a sense of belonging, and good behavior. It provides a level playing ground; the only thing you can tell about a Cub Scout when they wear their uniform is what they have achieved as an individual regardless of their economic or social background.

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 everyone in the program. 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 the den leader 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 Cub Scout—The individual child is the basic building block for Cub Scouting and is its most important element. It is only when each child’s character, citizenship, fitness, and leadership is enhanced that the program is successful.
  • A den—Each Cub Scout belongs to a den of the same gender and same grade. The den is the Cub Scout’s family where they learn 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 Cub Scouts 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.