Parents guide to Cubs
Cub Scouting is one of the great success stories of the last 100 years
Cubs is the second section of the Scouting movement, originally started in 1916 for younger brothers who wanted a “look-in’. In nearly a century, the section has constantly evolved and adapted its programme and methods to meet the changing needs of each generation of young people, and these days admits girls as well as boys.
Cub Scouts are young people aged between 8 and 10 1/2, who make up the second section of the scouting family, between Beavers and Scouts.
Under some circumstances, Cub Scouts can join the pack as young as 7 1/2, for example they have friends joining at the same time, or are mature enough to move on early from Beavers, (and there is a space in the Pack). Such decisions are taken by the Cub and Beaver Scout leaders.
During their time in the Pack, Cub Scouts will get a chance to try lots of different activities like swimming, music, exploring, computing and collecting.
There are a range of badges available which Cub Scouts can wear on their uniforms to show everyone how well they’re doing.
Cub Scouts also get to go on trips and days out, to places like the zoo, theme parks or a farm. Sometimes they will be able to go camping with the rest of the Pack and take part in all kinds of outdoor activities. For all the details about Cubs, click here
Traditions and phrases
Historically, 8 to 10 year olds within the Scouts were known as ‘Wolf Cubs’. Although this term is no longer used, its influence can still be felt, with many of the everyday words and phrases Cubs still use today originating from old traditions.
For example, Cub groups are called ‘Packs’ and Cub leaders are traditionally called Akela after the wise leader of the wolf pack in Rudyard Kipling’s novel, The Jungle Book. If you want to embrace this tradition in your own group, you and your leadership team could choose to go by Jungle Book themed nicknames. Common examples include Baloo, Kaa and Bagheera. Or, if you’d rather use your real names, that’s fine, too.
Most Cub packs have an opening and closing ceremony – something that they do at the beginning and end of every meeting to kick things off and wind them down. Some Cub packs use a traditional greeting called the ‘Grand Howl’ to do this. Others create something new.
Making the Promise
As well as enjoying plenty of adventures, being a Cub is about going on a journey to understand who you are and what you stand for. When they join the Pack, your Cubs will explore these ideas by making the Cub Scout promise.
The promise reflects the fact that there are some things all Cubs agree on – such as the importance of treating everyone in the Pack with kindness, and doing their best to care for the community and wider world in which they live.
Cubs make their promise to do their best to make a positive contribution to society and stick by their values.
There are a number of versions of the promise to choose from. Options can be found here. It’s the leaders job to chat through all of them, helping your Cub to pick the one they feel is most appropriate for them.
Making the promise is a big celebration within the Pack. Every time a new Cub decides to join permanently, they chat through their promise before making it. Usually, they do this by saying their promise out loud in front of their fellow Cubs. Family and friends might come along to see this, too. The process is known as being ‘invested’ into Cubs, and it usually takes place a few weeks into their Cub experience, once they’ve had time to settle in.