My son has been in Cub Scouts since he was a first grade Tiger. It has been a constant in our lives ever since. It is the extracurricular that he enjoys the most and the one that has probably had the most positive effect on his life so far.
Here are some reasons that WE love Cub Scouts:
Power of Achievement – One of the things that I have always loved about Cub Scouts is that your accomplishments are awarded often and with a bit of fanfare and fuss. Every Cub Scout level has a book and throughout that book there are different adventures that your Cub Scout will need to complete to advance from rank to rank (there are 5 levels of advancement in Cub Scouts: Tigers, Wolves, Bears, Webelo 1 an Webelo 2).
Some of these you will work on as a Den and some you can work on on your own. Your Cub Scout will earn adventure belt loops, patches, etc for these accomplishments. It’s a very black and white process…you do this = you earn this. This is great for instilling pride and a feeling of accomplishments in young children. If you have a child that struggles with academics or sports, Cub Scouts is a GREAT place for them to earn that sense of pride that comes from doing a great job (this is NOT to say that Cub Scouts is not for kids who are straight A students or the starring pitcher of their little league…ALL kids can and will flourish in Cub Scouts!).
Friendship – Your Cub Scout could make life long friends in Cub Scouts! Some dens stick together from Tigers, all the way up to Boy Scouts and then earn their Eagle Scout together (even though these upper levels are very personal, the kids still lean on each other for support)!
I’m not going to lie, some dens fall apart. Even within our own pack, we’ve had dens completely fall apart (for instance, this year we don’t have ANY Webelo 1’s). Parent involvement is essential in Cub Scouts and having a strong leader who the boys respect is HUGE.
Teamwork – I would honestly say that I think my son has learned just as much about teamwork from Scouts as he has from any sport he has played (even baseball!). A lot of the accomplishments involve the boys working together towards a common goal.
Life Skills – I mean…where do I even start? This is probably the FIRST thing people think of when they think of Cub/Boy Scouts. In fact, THIS is the reason we signed my son up in the first place. These kids will learn how to hike, how to survive in the outdoors, how to canoe, how to fish, how to tie knots, how to be respectful, how to be a leader, how to work in a team, how to care for the environment. The list is endless.
Family Bonding – This was an unexpected bonus of Cub Scouts for us. I’m not going to lie, I leave most of the Cub Scout volunteering to my husband (I volunteer for LITERALLY EVERY OTHER THING MY KIDS ARE INVOLVED IN, so I leave this one to him). That doesn’t mean I am not involved though. I try to go to most pack meetings (once a month, the whole pack gets together to do awards and talk about upcoming events) and I always go camping with them.
My nephews (well…I guess just one now! My older nephew just advanced to Boy Scouts!) are part of our pack as well. In fact, my nephew is in the same den as my son. It has been incredible watching their bond grow over the years. Not to mention, my husband and his brother have grown closer (although they probably would both be annoyed with me writing that here) due to Cub Scouts.
The biggest thing that I LOVE is that when we camp, my daughter gets to do all of the same things my son gets to do. I love Girl Scouts, but they go at a much slower pace then Cub Scouts do. So because of Cub Scouts my daughter has already shot BB guns, been in a canoe, shot a bow and arrow, etc.
Cool Stories – Something I have been told repeatedly in parent/teacher conferences in regards to my son is how he has so much to contribute to the classroom discussions. 9 times out of 10, when they ask him “Oh where did you hear that?” or “When did you do that”, they say his answer is Cub Scouts!
I have been told by multiple people that they are so impressed with how BIG his world is for such a young kiddo. A lot of that is Cub Scouts! It definitely pushes all of us out of our comfort zone.
I love that he has such great stories to tell about all the fun he has in Cub Scouts. I know, the older he gets, the more stories he’ll have. I love listening to my brother in law talk about scouting (he obtained his Eagle Scout) and my husband’s step brother (so did he!) has told some fun stories as well!
The Statistics – At our very first Blue & Gold Banquet, they shared some stats with us regarding scouting. I’ll let the facts speak for themselves.
Character Development – Scouting builds character! Respect, loyalty, faith, responsibility, grit, kindness, compassion, dedication are just a few of the many many MANY aspects of character development covered in Cub Scouts. And they do it all while having a great time.
Bragging Rights – In addition to the “Cool Stories” point I made above, Cub Scouts offers kids many many opportunities to earn bragging rights! My kid comes back from camping with stories about canoing on a lake, hiking and walking feet away from an alligator, going into a planeterium and looking through a high powered telescope at the moon, touching snakes (ewww!), eating s’mores and peeing in the woods. I mean, for a 9 year old boy…those are some exciting things!
Fun! – Finally…the most obvious of all! Cub Scouts is fun! When you get a bunch of boys together with their peers to do the things that boys enjoy doing…they are going to have fun. Of course!
Are you a Cub Scout family? How has it made a difference in your lives? Do you have questions about Cub Scouts? Comment below! (political or unsupportive comments will be deleted)