So you are a scout parent now!
Welcome! This guide’s goal is to familiarize you with the Hamilton Cub Scout Pack. Much of this information is also located on the pack website found at http://pack3033.scoutlander.com. From there we’d recommend you go to the Parents page (link on the left) and particularly visit the Cub Scout Parents’ Site.
Purpose of Cub Scouts
Cub Scouting is designed to allow boys and their families to “have fun and adventure in a program that builds character and instills values”. The goal of the program is to give elementary age boys the chance to explore new areas with their families and fellow den members. Scouting isn’t just about the scout, but about the scout and his relationship to Akela.
Who is Akela? Akela is any adult leader in a boys’ life: parents, grandparents, teachers, and Cub Scout leaders. Cub Scouting is meant to be a program for both the boy and his family. It teaches him the ten purposes of Cub Scouting:
Character development Respectful relationships
Spiritual Growth Personal Achievement
Good Citizenship Friendly service
Sportsmanship and fitness Fun and adventure
Family understanding Preparation for boy scouts
Boys + Family + Leaders = Successful scouting!
Cub Scouts is organized into packs and dens. A pack serves a geographical area and includes one or more dens. The dens are the regular groups that meet together – in our pack they represent the different ages/ranks of the boys. The dens are divided as follows:
Tigers – 1st grade
Wolves – 2nd grade
Bears – 3rd grade
Webelos 1 – 4th grade
Webelos 2 – 5th grade
* note – there may be more than one den at any level if there are too many boys
Den meetings are typically held twice a month, and then all of the dens get together at one monthly pack meeting. Above the 3 regular meetings, other den and pack events may occur, some of which will be explained below. Den meetings start mid-September and end mid-May. The "meat" of the den meeting program is October-April, since sports tend to take boys away in September and May. Do not let doing soccer/baseball discourage your Scout from also particpating in Scouting - many boys make both work.
Parents are STRONGLY encouraged (and required for Tigers) to attend all meetings. Cub Scouting is a family event.
Each boy is required to have the following uniform components:
· shirt (short or long sleeved…either is fine)
· neckerchief (provided by pack)
· neckerchief slide (may be handmade, often in den meetings)
· World crest insignia for over left pocket
· Council patch (Gerald R Ford) to wear at top of left sleeve
· Patch numerals (3033) to wear under council patch
Everything else is optional: hat, pants, belt (though belt is good if the scout earns belt loops), brag vest, etc.
The uniform should be worn in a respectful manner (tucked in, neat, button properly); once a year a uniform inspection is held at a pack meeting.
Uniforms can be purchased at Cobblestone Hobbies in Holland or from scoutstuff.org.
Dues are $35 / year per scout and include the year’s neckerchief and handbook. The dues cover all supplies for meetings, council support, and awards to be presented.
The first award that every Cub Scout must earn is the Bobcat badge. This only has to be earned once in a scout’s career, but must be earned before any other award can be given. The Bobcat teaches basic Cub Scout knowledge – handshake, motto, save scouting, etc.
Each rank of Cub Scouts works towards achieving its rank badge, e.g., Tigers work on the Tiger badge, Wolves work on the Wolf badge, etc. There are various achievements that are required to earn this badge, all of which are outlined in the handbook. Achievements should be worked on before any other award.
Above the rank badge, there may be electives or academic/sports (belt loops and pins), and other awards that can be optionally earned. The handbooks explain all of the awards. Links to requirements for academics/sports can be found on the pack website.
Leaders will try to incorporate as many achievements into the bi-weekly meetings as possible, but it is generally not possible to work on them all as a den. In fact, some of the achievements REQUIRE that they be completed with family. Achievements are not meant to be seen as “homework”, but as opportunities for the boys to grow as individuals and as part of the family. See them as learning experiences, and encourage your scout to take initiative and work on them when he has spare time.
Each leader will have different requirements on how to communicate when achievements are completed. Most will NOT check the handbook – the handbook is a tool for you to help your scout track those that are completed. Most leaders will request a note or an email with any NEW achievements that were completed in the last month. Check with him/her on the policy for tracking achievements.
Remember – it is NOT homework for the boy, but a chance for him to explore new areas.
Throughout the year there are various pack and council sponsored events that are fun for all. The following is a list of typical events for the pack and their timeframe in the year.
September: First meetings, Berlin raceway (council)
October: Popcorn sales (the one fundraiser the pack does each year)
December: Griffin’s or other sport game (council)
February: Blue and Gold banquet (potluck dinner/ceremony where the boys that have earned their badges receive it)
March: Scouting for food (door to door pickup of non-perishable food for local food pantry)
April: Pinewood derby (build your car at home and come race it for prizes!)
May: Cross-over (receive your handbook and neckerchief for the next scouting year)
Summer: Cub Scout/Webelos camp
Pack 3033 does one fundraiser each year, and this is the sale of Trails End popcorn. It occurs in the October and November timeframe and really is key to the scouting program for the pack. Boys are encouraged (but not required) to sell popcorn, both individually or as a den, and are rewarded for the various levels of selling (including the “infamous” pie-in-the-leader’s face). The fundraising comes quick at the beginning of the program year, but truly it is critical to the success of the pack. Without the popcorn sales, much of scouting would not happen, including the many events (that are frequently paid for by the pack).
All pack leadership is strictly volunteer, generally parents of scouts currently in the program. The structure/roles are as follows:
Committee Chair – Runs the monthly committee/leader’s meeting and takes care of pack “business”. Ensures that proper leadership exists and leaders have the resources necessary to do their jobs.
Cubmaster – Runs the monthly pack meeting and works with the committee to plan and carry out the Cub Scout program.
Leaders/Assistant Leaders – Plans and runs the individual den meetings.
Activities director – Coordinates all of the extra activities and events of the pack
Activity coordinator – Coordinates one (or more) specific pack activity.
Treasurer – Takes care of the pack finances.
Committee member – Any person that wants to attend the monthly committee meetings, providing feedback and input into the program.
Popcorn Kernel – Runs the popcorn fundraising project.
Remember, all of these positions are volunteer parents that are scout parents just like you. Want to get involved – you can always volunteer for one of the above positions or as a Committee Member. The more parents the stronger the program will be for all boys.
Questions and Feedback?
If you have more questions, PLEASE do not hesitate to ask your den leader or one of the pack leaders. The website has a lot of information on it specific to scouting, the pack and each den, so please visit that.
We hope you and your scout enjoy Cub Scouting together!