What Is Cub Scouting?

Cub Scouting is a program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), whose overall mission is to help young people build character, learn citizenship, and develop personal fitness and leadership. While the BSA serves youth from ages 6 through 20, Cub Scouting focuses on kindergarten through fifth grades (or from ages 6 through 10).

Cub Scouting Is for All Children. Cub Scouting is for children of all sizes, shapes, colors, and backgrounds. Some are gifted students or talented athletes; others struggle in these areas. Some have strong, stable families; others face social and economic challenges. Some live in cities, some live in suburban areas, and some live in rural communities. Some have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities that make ordinary activities difficult. Because of its flexibility and its emphasis on doing one’s best, Cub Scouting easily adapts to all these situations.

Cub Scouting Is for Families. The family is the most important influence on a child’s development. Cub Scouting seeks to support the family—whatever it looks like—and to involve families in Scouting activities. Cub Scouting is sensitive to the needs of today’s families, and it provides opportunities for family members to work and play together, to have fun together, and to get to know each other better.

Cub Scouting Is Fun. Children join Cub Scouting because they want to have fun, but they instinctively understand that fun means more than just having a good time. It also means getting satisfaction from meeting challenges, having friends, and feeling they are important to other people. When Cub Scouts are having fun, they are also learning new things, discovering and mastering new skills, gaining self-confidence, and developing strong friendships.

Cub Scouting Has Ideals. Cub Scouting provides an opportunity for parents to reinforce their family values that center around the ideals of character development, citizenship training, personal fitness, and leadership. The Scout Oath is a pledge of duty to God and country, to other people, and to one’s self. The Scout Law is a simple formula for good citizenship. The Cub Scout motto is a code of excellence.

Cub Scouting Provides Adventure. Cub Scouting helps fulfill children’s desire for adventure and allows them to use their vivid imaginations while taking part in games, field trips, service projects, science investigations, and more. Each child finds adventure in exploring the outdoors, learning about nature, and gaining a greater appreciation for our beautiful world.

Cub Scouting Helps Develop Skills and Interests. Cub Scouts learn many useful and varied skills. They develop ability and dexterity, and they explore a variety of subjects, including conservation, safety, physical fitness, community awareness, sports, and their family’s faith and traditions. The skills they learn and interests they develop could lead them to careers or lifelong hobbies.

Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan. The Cub Scout advancement plan recognizes individual efforts and achievements, teaches them to do their best, and strengthens family ties as leaders and family members work with them on requirements. Cub Scouts enjoy receiving badges for their achievements, but the real benefit comes from the skills, knowledge, and self-esteem they develop along the way.

Cub Scouts Belong. Belonging is important to everyone—to be accepted as part of a group. In Cub Scouting, children take part in interesting and meaningful activities with their friends, learning sportsmanship, citizenship, and loyalty. The Cub Scout uniform, symbols like the Cub Scout sign, and being a member of a den helps everyone feel part of a distinct group that shares a common purpose.

Cub Scouting Teaches Children to Reach Out. Cub Scouting provides opportunities for youth to reach out into the wider community while maintaining a link with secure foundations at home, school, and religious organizations. Through field trips, they get to know their community better. Through service projects and other community activities, they learn what it means to be a good citizen.

Cub Scouting Teaches Duty to God and Country. Through the religious emblems program, Cub Scouting helps children explore their family’s faith and traditions so they can fulfill their duty to God. Through flag ceremonies, service projects, and other activities, Cub Scouting helps them become useful and participating citizens.

Cub Scouting Provides a Year-round Program. When school ends, Cub Scouting continues. Children have more free time during the summer, so summer is a great time for Cub Scouting. Den and pack activities take on a more informal feel and are often held outdoors. Day camp and resident camp programs run by Scouting districts and councils are often the highlight of the Cub Scout year, offering activities that local packs couldn’t easily provide.

Cub Scouting Helps Organizations. A Cub Scout pack is chartered by an organization in your community—a school-based parents’ organization, a religious organization, or a service club or organization. Cub Scouting is a resource that organization uses to further its outreach and achieve its goals for serving young people. It is a partnership with the BSA, the chartered organization, and the parents and volunteer leaders in the pack. When this partnership is focused on serving youth in the community, the Scouting program has the greatest impact.


Many Cub Scout traditions come from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.