What is Cub Scouting?

What do Cub Scouts do? And what’s the mission of the program?

The answer is actually pretty simple.

Cub Scouts is a program within the Boy Scouts of America that serves youth from from 5 to 11 years old. The Cub Scouts program aims to prepare youth to grow into self-reliant and dependable adults.

Cub Scouts achieve this with a lineup of hands-on activities and adventures focused on:

  • Character Development
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Good Citizenship
  • Sportsmanship and Fitness
  • Family Understanding
  • Respectful Relationships
  • Personal Achievement
  • Friendly Service
  • Fun and Adventure
  • Preparation for Boy Scouts

Are Cub Scouts Part of Boy Scouts?

If you’re a parent new to Cub Scouting or even in the beginning phases of learning about Scouting in general, we’re here to answer the questions you may not want to utter aloud.

First up: Are Cub Scouts part of Boy Scouts? Let’s get right to the point – Yes, Cub Scouts is one of the Boy Scouts of America’s youth development programs. But the Cub Scouts program is distinct from the Boy Scouts program. As Bryan of Bryan on Scouting explained, “The difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts encompasses critical categories like group structure, leadership, parental involvement, earning awards and camping.”

Cub Scouting is tailored to boys 5 to 11 years old. When boys finish fifth grade, they can enter the Boy Scouts program. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are part of what you’ll often hear referred to as the Scouting movement.

A Brief History of Cub Scouts

Officially launching in 1930, Cub Scouting came to the U.S. from Lord Baden-Powell’s U.K. pilot program (called Wolf Cubbing). The program’s mission was to introduce boys to Scouting’s value at a young age without introducing activities developed for the older boys. Instead, the program created activities to wholly engage and develop the youngest of men. While Cub Scouts simply enjoyed fun activities with friends, the program stealthily helped them learn. In fact, a recent Tufts University study showed boys who spent time in Scouting had higher positive character attributes. That means they were more cheerful, helpful, kind, obedient, trustworthy, and hopeful than boys outside of Scouting. Right from the start, Cub Scouting relied on parents who volunteered and guided their sons’ adventures. Women immediately took a very active role launching the program, hosting Cub Scout dens, and leading activities. Many men joined in volunteer roles, as well. Since then, Cub Scouting’s aim to build strong, smart, kind boys has remained unchanged, while program specifics have evolved with each generation.