What is Scouting?
Scouting is a program of fun with a purpose that teaches boys how to work with others, make new friends, do their best, and appreciate the outdoors. Since 1910, Scouting has offered high quality youth development experiences to our nation’s young people. Besides building your son's confidence and responsibility while having a great time, Scouting gives you the opportunity to watch him grow and mature into an active member of the community.
What do Scouts Learn?
Members learn a great deal including teamwork, responsibility, a service ethic, decision-making, and leadership. For example, an independent survey of Scouting member's parents in Minnesota by the Wilder Research Center showed that without exception, all parents identified at least one ability or attitude that had improved since joining Scouting. The most commonly reported areas of personal growth were: ability to work as a team member (83%); willingness to carry out responsibilities (68%); willingness to help others (67%); ability to make good decisions (65%). These results reveal that aside from the fun and excitement of Scout activities, Scouting helps boys learn skills and ideals they can apply to everyday life. Click here to view the full report on the Wilder Research web site.
How are Scouts organized?
It is a year-round family program designed for boys who are in the first grade through fifth grade (or 7, 8, 9, and 10 years of age). Each Scout is a part of a den of about 6-8 boys, which usually meet three times a month for about 1-1/2 hours. Each month, all the dens within a neighboring community come together as a pack. At these monthly pack meetings the whole family is invited and boys are recognized for their individual and group achievements as well as take part in games, songs, activities and skits. Leaders are volunteers and almost all parents are involved in some way to make the program work.
What can I expect to get out of having a Scout in the family?
As much as or more than what you put in. Scouting helps strengthen your relationship with your son and gives you a chance to spend real quality time having fun and learning together.
Can my son join if he has a disability or special need?
Absolutely. The Cub Scout's motto is "Do Your Best" which means each boy is encouraged to perform to the best of his ability. If you have any questions about your son's special needs, contact your local council service center. Contact information is shown when you do a find a pack search using your zip code
How do I get my son involved in Scouting?
Find a pack close to your home or son’s school by using the find a pack search on our website. It will list open house times and dates when you can go to a meeting to sign up or will provide contact information so you can call or email a leader to sign up (or receive more information). It’s best if you can make the sign meeting to meet the pack leaders and other new families, but f you can't make the scheduled meeting, don't worry, you can join at any time. Just contact call or email the contact person listed.
What does it cost?
Membership with the Boy Scouts of America is a $36.00 per year, but all boys can join regardless of their ability to pay through scholarships. The award winning “Boy’s Life” magazine is a recommended option at only $12.00 for twelve issues. Other expenses include uniforms, books, camp and some activity fees. Each pack sets their own budget and many use pack fund raisers to cover many of the operating costs of activities and camps.
Learn more about the fun of Cub Scouting on our National Council's web site www.JoinCubScouting.org .
New Health Form and Requirements begins January 2010
Beginning January 1, 2010 there will be a new health form replacing all class 1, 2, & 3 forms. This will be used for all events except where specialized forms for national high adventure bases like Philmont and Sea Base are required. Special note: this requires all information and physicals be within one year of going to camp. This applies to both youth and adults. No longer will a physical in last 3 years be accepted.
For camping 72 hours or less only Part A and C need to be used. Part B (doctor’s physical) needs to be filled out when the camp experience is over 72 hours.
This form is currently here and on the national website. Also note, it can be filled in on line.
Making the most of your family's scouting experience
As published in Northern Star Council's "Navigator"
Whether this is your first experience or you've had a child involved for several years, there are many things you can do to take advantage of the opportunities available. As parents, you have varying roles to play depending upon the program and age of participant.
Direct involvement is highest in Cub Scouting, and decreases as members grow in their responsibility for program leadership and implementation through Webelos, Boy Scouting, Venturing and Exploring.
However, at all levels there are two keys ways you can help:
Show an interest in your son's/daughter's Scouting accomplishments and achievements
Take on tasks in support of the unit's leadership such as phone calls, event planning, driving to activities, or serving in a more formal leadership role as an assistant or primary unit leader.
Kids do grow up so fast. The time families spend together in scouting is cherished and talked about at gatherings long after participants have moved on to other stages of their lives. Make scouting part of you own family tradition.