While it is up to the individual Scout to advance, it is our job as parents/guardians to encourage our Scouts, motivate them, and keep them pointed in the right direction. Scouting is such an asset to our boys as it teaches them important life skills and helps them grow into capable young men.
Making sure that your Scout attends Den/Pack Meetings regularly is quite possibly one of the the most important things you can do to ensure his advancement. You are always welcome (and encouraged) to do additional activities at home. Read through your Scout's book for the rank he's working on and determine if there is anything you would like to do together as a family. Scouts don't earn their rank together/at the same time. A Scout earns his rank as soon as he completes the requirements for that rank. If you complete an activity at home, ensure that you tell your Den Leader so s/he can record your Scout's progress in Scout Track. Additionally, if your Scout earns any Belt Loops, Pins, or Special Awards (see below) please ensure that you inform your Den Leader. Your Scout should always be prepared to show his work.
Finally, it is every parent/guardian's responsibility to their Scout to check the Scout database regularly. You should have received an invitation to Scout Track or Scout Book after joining the Pack. If you have not received an invitation, please check the spam folder for your email. If you still cannot find your invitation, let your Den Leader or the Advancements Chairperson know and an invitation will be sent to you. Invitations can be sent to both parents/guardians. Den Leaders are very busy taking care of their families as well as trying to prepare for weekly Den Meetings. They do their best to ensure that Scout records are up to date, but mistakes happen and it is up to us as parents and guardians to check our Scout's records to ensure they are correct. If we fail to check our Scout's records on a regular basis and there is a mistake then the Scout won't receive that award/segment/advancement as long as the mistake exists.
Remember that Scouting is not just for our sons and their fathers. Scouting is for our sons and our families. Mothers and female guardians are encouraged to participate with their sons. Help participate in your Scout's success! We are all here to help our boys grow into the best men they can be!
Basic Requirements for Joining Cub Scouts.
Boys of different ages have different ranks in Cub Scouting.
■ Tiger Cub Scouts. First-grade boys can join a Tiger Cub den, where each boy works with an adult partner on the requirements to earn his Tiger Cub badge.
■ Wolf Cub Scouts. Second-grade boys graduate into a Wolf den. They go to weekly den meetings on their own, but their families still help them work on the requirements for the Wolf badge.
■ Bear Cub Scouts. Third grade boys are members of a Bear den. They also work with their families to do the requirements for the Bear badge, but boys this old have enough knowledge and skill to take on more of the work by themselves.
■ Fourth and fifth graders are called Webelos. The term is an acronym and means "We'll be loyal scouts." Some larger packs have enough scouts to have separate dens for 1st and 2nd year Webelos (4th / 5th graders, respectively). In smaller packs, all the Webelos may be grouped together. Advancement during the 2-year Webelos program works a bit differently than for the Tiger, Wolf, and Bear ranks. Similar to the merit badge system in Boy Scouting, Webelos Scouts earn a series of "activity pins." These may be worked on in any order, which is why it works for 1st and 2nd year Webelos to be grouped together.
■ Second year Webelos are also called Arrow of Light Scouts and will work on earning the Arrow of Light Award, The requirements for this award are taken directly from the requirements to become a Boy Scout. One of the major goals of the Webelos program is to prepare Cub Scouts to eventually "graduate" into Boy Scouting. One way to help prepare them for this transition is for Webelos dens to go hiking, camping, and participate in other activities with a local Boy Scout troop (so long as the activities are appropriate for boys of their age). Boys who have a positive experience all the way through Cub Scouting almost always want to continue into Boy Scouting. Many will "walk the Eagle Trail" to its summit and become Eagle Scouts.
As with just about any extracurricular activity, a greater commitment typically results in a greater benefit. Boys whose parents put forth an effort to be involved in the pack and pack activities will get a whole lot more out of the program than those whose parents can't or won't.
There are so many various awards that your Scout can earn. Some are more involved and some are relatively easy. Awards are great motivators and they can even rejuvenate someone's who's interest is fading! Below are some links to the various awards that your Scout can earn. Just click on the image to find out more!The list isn't all-inclusive and new awards come out all the time, so if you discover an award that isn't listed just let us know!
Conservation Good Turn Award
Outdoor Activity Award
Emergency Preparedness Award
BSA Family (Earned by the whole family)
National Summertime Pack Award
Leave No Trace
World Conservation Award
NOTE: Always ensure that you inform your den leader of awards that your child is working on. Many awards require your Scout to either show their work, or show their knowledge to their den leader. When your Scout has completed all requirements for an award, make sure your den leader knows so the Pack's Awards & Advancements Chair can get the award. Don't forget to check your Scout's information on ScoutTrack too!
Religious Knot & Award
Sometimes earning the Religious Knot & Award can lead to some confusion, but don't be discouraged! When a Scout earns this award it stays with him into Boy Scouts and even should he become an Adult Leader some day!
When your Scout is working toward their various ranks, there is a "Duty to God" section. Completing this section does NOT qualify the Scout for the Religious Knot or Award. How a Scout earns the knot and award is based on what faith the Scout is. Various faiths have different requirements and books. Additionally, the Religious Award which is usually a pin, certificate, etc is purchased and presented by your church, synagogue, mosque, temple, etc. Once a Scout has completed the requirements for the award and his religious leader signs off on the paperwork (usually found at the end of the book you will need to purchase), the den leader needs to be notified so s/he can submit the Scout for the Religious Knot, which is paid for by the Pack.
Now how do you get started? There's lots of great information found on the Scouting.org website:
Segments are earned by Scouts through participation in various activities throughout the year. New Scouts will receive our Cub Scout Pack 248 center patch the first time segments are presented to them. The Pack's patch is worn in the center on the back of the "Brag/Red Vest" and the segments are sewn around the patch in the order that they were earned. Segments are also earned to represent the year that you were with the Pack as well as the ranks you earned. The more a Scout participates, the more segments he is able to earn. Segments are usually presented 3 times a year.
1) At the first Pack Meeting of the new school year (usually this is in September) - These segments will be presented to anyone that participated in the Summer Activities
2) At the December Holiday Party - The segments include everything that Scouts participated in since the school year began.
3) At the final Pack/Bridging Ceremony - These segments will include everything that Scouts participated from the end of Winter Break through the end of the school year.
As a parent it is your responsibility to ensure that your Den Leader or the Leader in charge of the activity that your Scout is there. Additionally, it is your responsibility to check the Scout Track program regularly to ensure that your Scout's attendance is correct in the system as this is where the Awards Chairperson will pull information to award segments. If you do not ensure your Scout's records are correct and up-to-date, your Scout's Awards and Segments will not be correct.