Cub Scout Program FAQ
Cub Scouts is a program of Boy Scouts of America. Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA are both members of the same organization, however, they are entirely different programs. Cub Scouting is a family-oriented program designed specifically to address the needs of younger Scouts from Kindergarten through fifth grades. Scouts BSA is geared toward older Scouts ages 11 through 18, or in grades sixth through twelfth.
Each Cub Scout Pack comprises of boys and girls from first through fifth grade. The "Pack" is the entire group of Scouts. Each individual grade level comprises a Den. Dens meet separately throughout the year and then once a month the entire Pack comes together. Please visit our About page for additional details on each Den.
Pack 20 meets the third Tuesday of every month in September through May from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Pack meetings are held for all Cub Scouts and their families. Each individual Den meets on a schedule determined by the Den Leader and parents. A Den may hold a special activity, such as a service project or visit to a local museum in addition to or in lieu of a regularly scheduled Den meeting. Likewise, the Pack also conducts special events such as the Blue and Gold Banquet, Pinewood Derby, and Scouting For Food during the year. Check our Activities page for additional details on these fun scouting activities held throughout the year!
Cub Scout Den meetings are intended to be an activity for the individual Scouts. Parental involvement is encouraged and all meetings should be open to your participation. If you would like to contribute at a Den meeting, talk to the Den Leader in advance so that the leader can plan a way for you to participate or talk to the Pack Leaders about becoming more involved. Please note that for Lion (K) and Tiger (1st grade), an adult parent or guardian is required to attend all Den and Pack meetings and other events with the Scout.
Please refer to Uniforms FAQ section on the FAQ page as well as the individual Rank pages linked from the Advancement page for more information about uniforms for each Den.
"Webelos" is an acronym for "We Be Loyal Scouts". Cub Scouts in fourth and fifth grade are referred to as Webelos and Webelos II (working toward the Arrow of Light award), respectively.
The Cub Scout program has a vocabulary all its own! If your family is just starting out, you'll hear Cub Scout terms being tossed around at every Den and pack Meeting. Below are some of the more common terms and their definitions:
- Advancement – The progression that moves the Cub Scouts from rank to rank.
- Adventure – Adventures are "collections of themed, multidisciplinary activities representing approximately two-three den meetings of engaging content." Tigers, Wolves, and Bears complete seven adventures to earn their rank badge. Webelos complete six adventures for their rank, and Arrows of Light complete five.
- Akela – Anyone who is a leader to the Cub Scout. Akela can be a parent, teacher, den leader, Cubmaster, or any other adult who helps guide the Cub Scout.
- Arrow of Light – The highest rank a Cub Scout can achieve. The Arrow of Light (AoL) badge is the only Cub Scout badge that can be worn on the Scouts BSA uniform.
- Blue and Gold Banquet – Because February is the anniversary month of the Boy Scouts of America, many packs celebrate with a Blue and Gold banquet. The banquets are special events that can include games and entertainment. Cub Scouts often bring their whole families including grandparents. Some packs may choose to hold their Blue and Gold Banquet in another month.
- Buddy System – The buddy system is used to help Cub Scouts look out for each other. At Cub Scout events, especially outdoor activities, kids should find a partner. The buddies go everywhere together and know where each other is at all times. This helps ensure that the kids always have a partner to help him or her if they get lost or hurt.
- Chartered Organization – Community or faith-based organizations that own and operate Cub Scout packs. They work under a "charter" from the Boy Scouts of America.
- Class A Uniform – This is the official uniform of Cub Scouts. Lion Cub Scouts wear a t-shirt. Tigers, Wolves and Bears wear a blue shirt, while Webelos and AoLs wear the khaki Scouts BSA shirt. "Class A uniform" is not a BSA official term, but it is widely used by packs.
- Class B Uniform – Class B uniforms are Scouting-related t-shirts. They can be pack t-shirts, day camp t-shirts, or any other Scouting t-shirt. They are officially called special purpose or activity uniforms.
- Council – A council is a service center, chartered by the Boy Scouts of America, that is responsible for Scouting within its geographical area.
- Crossover or Bridging – A Special ceremony where a Webelos Cub Scout "crosses over" or "bridges" from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA. It symbolizes the Scouts' induction into their Scouts BSA troop.
- Cubmaster – A Cubmaster is the "face" of the pack. Cubmasters help plan and carry out the Cub Scout program in his or her pack. They support and motivate den leaders and parents. The Cubmaster serves as the emcee for pack meetings and other events. Cubmasters and pack committees work together to develop fun program ideas and activities.
- Den – A den is a group of Scouts who are in the same grade. They work together to advance to the next level of Cub Scouts.
- Denner – A Cub Scout who has been selected (by vote or appointment) to serve in a leadership role in their den. They have specific duties such as taking attendance, leading a flag ceremony, assisting with den activities, and conducting a closing ceremony. Serving as a denner helps develop the Cub Scout's leadership skills.
- Den Chief – An older Scout who is a member of Scouts BSA who has been selected to work with a Cub Scout den. They assist with den activities and serve as a role model (and often a friend) to the kids in the den. The den chief position is considered a leadership role by the Scouts BSA troop.
- District – The geographic territory within a council is divided into districts. Districts vary in size. Some may span multiple counties, while others are one county. There may be multiple districts within one county, depending on its size.
- District Executive – The District Executive (DE) is a paid employee of the local council. His or her role is to support Scouting in the district.
- Pack – A Cub Scout pack is a collection of dens of all ranks. The pack organizes the dens, holds monthly meetings, and conducts larger events such as the Pinewood Derby or Blue & Gold banquet. Packs belong to a community organization, such as a church or a service club, which is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America to operate the Scouting program.
- Pinewood Derby – Cub Scout racing event. With help from their parents, Cub Scouts design and build a race car using a kit that contains a block of wood, plastic wheels, and axles made from nails.
- Raingutter Regatta – Cub Scout racing event. For this race, Scouts build sailboats with balsa wood, a mast, a plastic sail, a plastic rudder and a metal keel.
- Rank – Cub Scouts are grouped by grade or age into specific ranks. Kindergarteners are Lions, first graders are Tigers, second graders are Wolves, third graders are Bears, fourth graders are Webelos, and fifth graders are Arrows of Light. Some people call fifth graders "Webelos," but they're working on the Arrow of Light rank. The Scouts work toward their rank badge throughout the year. For example, the second grader is a Wolf, but they don't get their Wolf rank badge until they complete seven Wolf adventures.
- Space Derby – Cub Scout racing event. Similar to the Pinewood Derby, Scouts build rockets that fly across a line using a rubber band-powered propeller.
- Webelos – This rank's name has special meaning. It stands for WE'll BE LOyal Scouts. Always use the S even when referring to one Webelos. So, one Webelos, not one Webelo.
- Webelos Colors – The Webelos Colors consist of a blue metal bar with the word "Webelos" on it. Below the bar are three woven streamers –one each of gold, red and green. The Scouts can display their adventure pins on the streamers. The Webelos Colors are worn on the right sleeve of the Webelos uniform.
- Whittling Chip – The Whittling Chip is an award a Cub Scout can earn that gives them the privilege of carrying a pocketknife to specifically designated events. To earn the Whittling Chip, Cub Scouts have to know how to safely use and care for a pocketknife, make a carving, and promise to abide by the knife safety guidelines and the pocketknife pledge.