What Is Cub Scouting?

Last updated: January22, 2004

Cub Scouting is a home and neighborhood centered program for boys in grades one through five.

Cub Scouting was first organized in 1930, when the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) realized that not every boy in the United States was experiencing the fun of Scouting. For years, boys too young to join the Scouting movement – younger brothers, neighbors, and friends had been tagging along on camp outs, service projects, and other fun filled activities with older Scouts but not reaping the full benefits of being a Boy Scout.

To accommodate this younger generation of motivated boys, the BSA created Cub Scouting. An exciting and adventurous program coupled with skills and values development for younger boys, Cub Scouting became an instant hit.
Today, Cub Scouting provides more than two million boys from all backgrounds with healthy doses of constructive fun and an underlying emphasis on traditional values and service.

Cub Scout enrollment is open year round, so you can join at anytime. However, spring and the start of school are usually the most popular times to sign up.


Instilling Values

Today’s world is complicated. Work, school, family, sports, religion and extracurricular activities pull parents and children in several different directions. As a parent, you want your son to grow up to be a self-reliant, dependable, and caring individual.

Cub Scouting achieves these out comes by combining fun with educational activities and lifelong values. It also helps parents strengthen character, develop good citizenship, and enhance both mental and physical fitness in young boys.
Additionally, Cub Scouting provides boys with positive peer groups and tools to shape their future.
In Cub Scouting, boys learn ideals like honesty, bravery, thrift and respect. These values help boys make constructive decisions throughout their lifetimes and give them the confidence they need to grow and develop,

In Cub Scouting, boys, families, leaders, and chartered organizations work together to achieve the following:

  • Influence a boy’s character development and spiritual growth
  • Help boys develop habits and attitudes of good citizenship
  • Encourage good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body
  • Improve understanding within the family
  • Strengthen the ability to get along with others
  • Help boys foster a sense of personal achievement by developing new interests and skills
  • Provide fun and exciting new things to do
  • Prepare him to be a Boy Scout

The Ranks of Cub Scouting

To Ensure that boys are involved with their peers and learn age-appropriate lessons, the Cub Scouting “family” is organized into three age groups, each with it’s own separate uniforms: Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts (Bobcat, Wolf, And Bear), and Webelos Scouts.

Tiger Cubs

Tiger Cubs are first-grade boys who, with their adult partners, learn lessons about building family communication, preparing for emergencies, and understanding the environment. Lessons are age-specific and Tiger Cubs are recognized each time a lesson or activity is completed. Some Tiger Cub activities include obtaining a library card, visiting a zoo or aquarium, learning to us public and private phones to report emergencies, and starting a family photo journal. Tiger Cubs wear the orange Tiger Cub T-shirt or sweatshirt, orange Tiger Cub hat and blue jeans.
Your Tiger Cub will be a member of a den. Most dens have five to nine boy-adult partner teams, meet twice a month, and have one outing a month called a Go See It. The den also takes part in monthly pack meetings.
Each den meeting and den activity is led by a den leader and an adult partner of one of the Tiger Cubs. An adult partner can be a parent, relative, or friend who is at least 18 years old and who cares about the boy.
Your Tiger is also a member of a Cub Scout pack. Most packs are made up of several dens that gather monthly at a pack meeting. Pack meetings usually follow a theme, recognize boys for their accomplishments, perform skits and songs, and have fun with the entire family.


Bobcat is the first advancement rank a boy can earn as a Cub Scout. To do this the boys must know and recite from memory The Cub Scout Promise, The Law of the Pack, tell what Webelos means show the Cub Scout sign and tell what it means, show the Cub Scout handshake and tell what it means, say the Cub Scout motto, and give the Cub Scout salute. No matter what grade a boy joins Cub Scouts, the Bobcat badge is always the first badge he earns. The exception to this is Tiger Cubs. In Tigers, the last thing they do is earn the Bobcat badge before graduating to Wolf.


Wolf is the second advancement rank the boys earn as Cub Scouts. Boys work toward accomplishing achievements and electives outlined in Cub Scout manuals, and are rewarded with the Wolf badge and arrow points for their work. Wolves are second grade boys. As in Tiger Cubs, boys meet as a den twice a month to work on different, age-specific activities. At this level, dens consist of a den leader, co-leader(s) and adults who help out. The den also takes part in monthly pack meetings. To earn the Wolf Badge the boys must pass 12 achievements involving simple physical and mental skills. Some of the activities include feats of skill, learning about the flag, tools for building and fixing things and starting a collection.


Bears are third grade boys. As with Tigers and Wolves, Bears meet in dens consisting of five to nine boys. They are led by a den leader and co-leader(s), along with adults who help out. The den also takes part in monthly pack meetings.
Bear is the third and final rank of advancement before the boy moves onto Webelos. The program is similar to the Wolf program, but there are 24 Bear Achievements in four categories – God, Country, Family, and Self. The Cub Scout must complete 12 of these to earn the Bear Badge. Activities include planning and cooking a family meal, increasing strength and agility through exercise, and camping with the family. Bear Cubs can also earn arrow points for completing extra work.


Webelos is an acronym for We’ll Be Loyal Scouts. Webelos Scouting is designed for fourth and fifth grade boys.
Geared to older boys, Webelos activities include using computers, learning citizens’ role in the nation, studying animals and insects, swimming, and properly caring for the flag.
Boys begin working on the Webelos Badge as soon as their den moves onto Webelos. This is the first step in the transition to a Boy Scout Troop. As they complete the requirements found in the Webelos Scout book, they pursue activity badges for achievements in academic skills, the outdoors, technology, sports, and community involvement. They attend den meetings led by a Webelos den leader and co-leader(s), and become familiar with the Boy Scout requirements, all leading to the Arrow of Light award, the highest award in Cub Scouting.