Our son joined the Cub Scout program when he turned 8 years old. It’s sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America and focuses on the Cub Scout and his family.
Cub Scout Packs and Dens
Our Cub Scout pack was through our church and our dens consisted of boys of the same age. Some dens are boys of the same grade and may also be organized by a school or other organization in your community. Either way, all boys in a den work on the same badge.
He looked good in his oversized uniform, but I wasn’t expecting the cost. Thankfully our pack had a supply of used uniforms. Talk with your pack if you find yourself in the same situation. Other costs were application fees, activity fees and a new handbook each year.
Badges and Ranks
The first badge or rank any scout earns, no matter when they join, is the Bobcat. We worked closely with our son and felt we should have received the badge too.
The first badge a scout earns after the Bobcat, is the Tiger Cub. This rank comes in two parts. Our son quickly earned the Tiger Cub Emblem because he learned its requirements as part of the Bobcat. But he almost didn’t earn his Tiger Cub badge. When we discovered we needed to help him with tasks done outside the weekly meetings, we took an active role. I’m thankful I learned this early because a Cub Scout can’t go back and earn earlier badges.
Through his cub years he also earned his Wolf, Bear and Webelos badges. The requirements and activities of these badges helped create the responsible young man our son is today. This became clear when he joined the Webelos. We watched him transition from being led by his pack and den leader to leading his den and well on his way to becoming a Boy Scout.
I love that the Cub Scout program emphasizes families and family life. Our son wasn’t too keen on household chores, but then I don’t think I was either at that age. But, he loved learning about preparing and cooking food, budgeting, and his ancestors.
I think his favorite “go see it” activity was the visit to the police department. This may be why he plans to enter the Criminal Justice System as his chosen career and has spent his high school years accumulating and studying criminal justice books.
One activity that strengthens a cub's social skills, some of his friendships and his father-son bond is the Pinewood Derby. Each year our son's skills and knowledge grew as he took a rectangular piece of wood, cut, carved and painted until he had a car and raced it against others in his pack. We have always stood back as our children made their decisions and allowed them to learn from their accomplishments and mistakes. This activity was no different.
His cars won some events and lost some. He had fun and was there encouraging his friends, even when they were racing against him. And if there was a failure beyond their control, he was always asking for a rematch once that was fixed.
Arrow of Light
The Arrow of Light is the highest rank in the Cub Scout Program. It is the only badge carried over to the Boy Scout Uniform. When a scout earns this rank, he is well on his way to earning the rank of Scout, the first rank in the Boy Scout Program.
It’s important to keep track of your son’s accomplishments, especially the Arrow of Light. Yes, the leaders may have a tracking program, but sometimes stuff is lost and this was our son's case. We had to prove he earned it and the leaders had to go through their paperwork as well. He wears it proudly on his Scout uniform as should your son.
I saw our son’s attitude, dedication and desire to earn his Arrow of Light help him in the Boy Scout Program, as he strove to earn the highest rank a Boy Scout can earn — the Eagle Scout Rank, and as he plans his future career and educational needs.