What is the structure of Cub Scouts?
Cub Scouts is organized as follows:
- The Council, which oversees the Cub Scout activities in an area and runs area-wide events, such as Cub Scout Summer Camp (we are in the CT Rivers Council--www.ctrivers.org)
- The District, which acts as a link between local Packs and the Cub Scouts at large. Districts also plan district-wide events, such as Fishing Derbies, Camporees, etc. (we are in the Mattabesett Trail district).
- The Pack, which is a group of Dens made up of boys of various age groups (1st grade through 5th grade).
- Each Pack is given a number (we are Pack 82).
- Dens, which are groups of boys of six to ten boys in the same grade or of the same age group.
- Each Den is based on rank, as follows:
- Tiger Den (1st grade)
- Wolf Den (2nd grade)
- Bear Den (3rd grade)
- Webelos I Den (4th grade)
- Webelos II Den (5th grade)
What is the role of the Pack?
The Pack organizes monthly Pack nights and coordinates community service projects (such as our annual food drive for the East Haddam Food Bank). It also plans Pack-wide events, such as our Pinewood Derby Race and our annual Blue & Gold Awards Banquet. The Pack Committee also plans the events for the year and makes sure that the den leaders and the Cubmaster have what they need to make Cub Scouts a fun experience for our Scouts.
Does the Pack meet as a group?
Yes, the Pack meets every month (September through May). These meetings are organized with theme-oriented activities (for 2012-2013, the theme is "Communication") or events such as our annual Raingutter Regatta (a Scout-propelled model boat race where your boys can use their hot air for a purpose!). This is a time for the whole family to enjoy. The start time is usually 7:00 p.m., and meetings run about 1 hour.
Then, what are Den Meetings?
Den meetings are a time for the Scouts to do age-appropriate activities in a smaller group of their same-age friends (see below, Merit Badges). Dens are led by a team of adult volunteers -- the den leader and assistant den leader(s). Den leaders are usually adult family members of boys in the den. These meetings follow the scouting program and allow the scout to experience a wide variety of new activities and projects.
How often do Cub Scouts meet in their Den?
Den meetings start in the month of September and run through mid-April the following year. The day, time, and place are coordinated by the den leader with input from all the parents of the Scouts. Meetings are generally weekly, during the weeks when there is not a Pack meeting (i.e. you won't have a Pack meeting and a Den meeting during the same week unless there is a very special event, such as Pinewood Derby).
Will my child be pressured to earn merit badges?
Cub Scouting is, primarily, meant to be a fun way for boys to learn about new things while also learning about their role within the community.
For grades 1 through 3, the only goal is to earn the rank badge for that year (Tiger, Wolf, Bear). While there will be some things that parents must do with their Scouts at home, many of the requirements will be met during the Den meetings. The things remaining are typically things that kids and their families might do anyway--help Mom & Dad grocery shop and plan a menu; walk around the house and figure out a fire escape route; talk to Mom & Dad about something they collect and make a collection of their own; etc.
Grades 4 & 5 (Webelos) are considered to be transitional years that prepare boys for Boy Scouts. The end goal is to earn the Arrow of Light, which boys who continue into Boy Scouts can continue to wear on their uniforms. Den leaders, parents, and Scouts work together to plan which activity pins the Scouts want to earn; there are also some that are required. Den leaders will plan for most of the tougher requirements (i.e. getting an engineer to discuss various topics; hikes; field trips); parents and Scouts will clearly know what they need to do and will have plenty of time to do it. Most of the activities are relatively simple; many are fun things that families can do together.
Do Scouts go on any trips?
Travel activities happen throughout the course of the Scouting Year. These activities change depending on the Scout rank and can range from hikes and trips to different points of interest to baseball games and hockey games. Any activity is open to all of the scout's family members to attend. Due to the rules of Cub Scouting, in most cases Scouts going on outings must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.
What does it cost to join scouting?
Cost is $40.00 per scout year, paid to the Pack. This cost covers the annual fee along with a one year subscription to Boys Life Magazine.
Uniforms and books are an additional cost.
How can I help?
Keeping a Pack running requires a lot of effort, and we can always use more help.
There is no requirement that you have a boy in the Pack before you can help. There are a number of recordskeeping and administrative positions in the Pack which need to be filled, as well as leadership positions (no Scout knowledge required) and assistance with events and activities. No time? Financial donations are gratefully accepted.
If you have a Scout joining Pack 82, consider volunteering as a Den leader or to help with events during your Scout's first year. We also have a number of administrative positions that, while not difficult or time-consuming, habitually go unfilled. Even a few hours of donated time helps your Pack leaders concentrate on what they really need to be doing--planning great activities for your boys.