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  • When to seek information?

    Hi all, new here. I've been reading past threads, trying to gather information, because my son is very excited to be a Cub Scout. He is 6 years old and will be in 1st grade next September. Do I start seeking information now, or wait until school starts again in the fall? There are quite a few packs near us, do I just pick one at random? Do we "shop around" so to speak?

  • #2
    Start shopping around now. Does he have any friends looking to join a Pack ? Where are they going. See if the Packs have a summer program. Technically he join June 1st and even if there is not a den formed yet he can participate in the summer activities. Go to some pack meetings and see how they are run. Are they fun?


    • #3
      Yes, do your homework on all the packs which are of interest. You might want to call some of the den leaders or parents of cubs to ask about the way the packs run, their growth or decline, support by the charter organization, etc. You will also need to know if any of them have restrictions. In our area a troop announced that only boys from one particular pack would be allowed to join the troop and that had a strong effect on other units. Let your son have strong input as well, see if his buddies are going to join cub scouts and which packs they are interested in.
      And...once you're in, enjoy it. Cub Scouts is the best thing BSA has in my opinion.


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. I'm glad to hear we're not jumping the gun, my son is so excited to get started. He doesn't have any friends who are interested in Cub Scouts as far as I know. I will ask around though at t ball practice. I would like to get him in a pack with his classmates, if any other classmates participate, but that's not a requirement. He's a friendly, outgoing kid, so he doesn't really need to have a buddy for confidence or anything. So should I start out by contacting the different packs and ask for their Tiger den leaders information? Also, my husband is worried if we get him started now, when it's time for the current Tigers to move on, he will have to start all over again with a new leader and new den. Is that a valid reason to wait until the start of school to actually join? I don't mind checking out packs/dens now to get a feel for them, but I don't want him to basically have two start twice.


        • #5
          All packs run differently. In general, your current Tiger Den Leaders will become Wolf Den Leaders on June 1. It is probably not a great idea to get him integrated with a particular den right now but more involved the the Pack as a whole. Many Packs, especially school based ones don't meet much in the summer except for a Summerime Pack Activity once each month. Maybe that is a fishing outing or a pack swim, picnic, hike, maybe a campout. Your council may have Parent and Pal, Mom and Me or similar overnight campouts you can attend or even some 9-3 day camps that would be fun. In most cases Tiger Dens are formed at a recruitment night and guess who the new Tiger Den Leader is ? The one parent willing to put in "One hour a week". My best suggestion is to call the council office now and find out when the next cub leader training class is and then attend it. It should only cost $20 and that is to cover the manuals they will give you. You will meet great district level Scouters who will be a great resource and can get a great feel for the whole program and what to look for. If there is not a live class before fall, go to creat an account and start taking the online classes, including youth protection training. Most modules are about a half hour. You do not need to be a member of the BSA to do this. Have fun and welcome to Scouting!


          • #6
            Your son can not actually join a Cub Scout Pack until June 1st. At that point he is done with kindergarten, and for BSA's purposes, officially a 1st grader.

            He will be joining a brand new den of Tiger Cubs. Unless the Pack you choose has a dedicated, permanent Tiger den leader (and few do), the leader of your son's Tiger den will be chosen from the group of new Tiger parents. That usually happens after the summer, with the big start of the year recruitment push.

            All Tigers are required by BSA to have a Tiger Adult Partner register with them. This Adult Partner (you), and the Tiger Scout, are a team, and attend/do everything together.

            You have 2.5 months until summer. Contact the Cub Scout Packs in your area. Talk to their Cubmaster, and find out what kind of a summer program they have. Find out if you can visit one of their Pack meetings between now and summer. Pack meetings are usually held once a month during the school year, so you should have a number of opportunities. Talk to the Cubmaster, the leaders, and the Pack families. This will give you a fairly good feel for the Pack.

            Talk to the families in your son's school. Find out which Pack the boys in the school usually attend. That should be the first one on your list to check out.

            Once you pick out a Pack, you can register with them as of 06/01. Once registered, you, and your son can attend any/all of your council's summer events open to Tiger Scouts. Check out your council's website for information. You can also attend all of your new Pack's summer activities.

            Regular Tiger den meetings will not start until the start of the school year, after the other new Tigers for his Tiger den have been recruited.

            If you do not want to commit to a specific Pack before Fall, and are not interested in attending any council activities this summer, you can ask your area Packs if you can visit some of their Pack activities during the summer. This would give you more time to get to know the different Packs. You can then register with the Pack of your choice in the Fall.

            Have FUN!!
            Last edited by ScoutNut; 03-23-2014, 01:42 PM.


            • #7
              Lenae, go to the scout shop and buy a tiger book, read it to see what fun you all will have. (I wouldn't do the achievements in advance with your son as he and you should have many of these experiences with the den he joins.)

              With regards to your son's friends, I have yet to meet a first grade boy who doesn't want to join a special club and do things like play games, race pinewood derby cars, go for hikes, make snacks together, go interesting places, and go camping. Your son's friends really probably do not know what cub scouts is. Once you know what pack you want to go, recruit some other friends of your son. I find talking to the parents is the best way.

              -- AK


              • #8
                Thanks again for all the responses. I appreciate the input. I discussed with my husband about checking packs out now and getting our son involved in June, and he thinks it's a good idea. So another question then. My husband loves to be involved in our sons activities. He's assistant coached soccer, wrestling, and now t-ball. We discussed him volunteering to be den leader, but there is one snafu. He is a fire fighter, and works 48 hours on, then 96 hours off. That schedule makes it difficult to plan events to happen the same day every week. Would it be possible for us to be co-den leaders? Or I could be an assistant den leader I suppose, and just fill in on the days my husband is at work? We would both be willing to do whatever training necessary. One last question, I also have a 4 year old daughter. Is she allowed to attend den meetings with me on the days my husband isn't available to be my sons adult helper?


                • #9
                  If I were in your shoes, I would sign up as the Den Leader, and have your husband sign up as the assistant. As for your daughter, when I was Cubmaster, we encouraged sibling attendance at most events, especially as that makes it easier for families to attend in the first place. My daughter is 3 years younger than my son, who is just finishing up his first year as a Boy Scout. She went on several camping trips, which were always family events for our Pack. We always invited siblings to participate in activities at Pack meetings as well. Some Packs even have a sibling class in the Pinewood Derby. Bott9om line is that Cub Scouting is a family oriented program, but the particulars are generally left up to the individual Pack to decide. Given that you are interested in providing the Pack with a needed resource (Den Leaders can sometimes be very hard to find), they should be willing to take on your whole family.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lenae View Post
                    I also have a 4 year old daughter. Is she allowed to attend den meetings with me on the days my husband isn't available to be my sons adult helper?
                    Many of my female venturers (including my daughter) were younger-sibling-tag-alongs during those cub years! That may be a little disconcerting if you think a decade forward and consider your daughter troddling off to adventure with these fellas once they begin to resemble the occasional 14-20 year-old boys in your neighborhood. But, on the whole the consequences are more positive than parents' worst worries.

                    Any cub-master would be encouraged about a parent/couple being willing to step up as den leaders! But, you want to be in a position of cultivating leaders among the other parents. Keep in mind that an ideal tiger den would rotate who is responsible for setting up "go-see-it's". For example, your husband might arrange a visit to the fire house, a dad who is into sports might try to score discount tickets to a pro- game -- maybe with a visit to the locker room or announcer's booth, a mom who works at a newspaper might help the boys visit with the editor, ... You get the idea. So, the best DL candidate would like recruiting and communicating. The best ADL would like making sure that supplies are in order and costs are contained.

                    But, a lot of these issues will become clearer as you and your husband visit a pack or meet with the cubmaster. Needless to say, that Pack who has a couple of events in the summer may be a good fit for you all.


                    • #11
                      Co-den leaders is a WONDERFUL idea!! Any Pack would likely jump at the prospect of having such involved parents from the get-go!

                      Bringing your daughter with you to Tiger den meetings should not be a problem. Just make sure she has her own activities to keep her busy. If there ends up being multiple siblings, consider asking for an older sibling to tag along and help out (could be a good opportunity for service hours for them).

                      I second the comment to purchase a Tiger Handbook for yourself. The parent introduction at the front of the book does a great job of explaining the Tiger program. You can also find out about the training you will need, and do the online training here -


                      Have FUN! And remember -

                      Tigers are G-R-R-R-R-R-R-R-E-A-T ! (ideally done at the top of the lungs - by everyone - with lots of teeth and claws!)


                      • #12
                        We'll take ya in our pack.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Austinole View Post
                          We'll take ya in our pack.
                          You in the Pacific Northwest?


                          • #14
                            We went to the Scout Shop today, talked to some really helpful people. My son is even more excited than before, if that's possible. We bought a Tiger Cub Scout handbook, and just browsed the store, it was pretty cool. I've narrowed down two packs I'm going to call first and ask if we could sit in on a pack meeting to get a feel for things. I also created an account to so some online training, and my husband created an account as well. I feel like we are really getting the ball rolling now. I really appreciate all the advice and help so far. Hopefully I'll be coming back to post with lots of questions on how to be a good assistant den leader!


                            • #15
                              Make sure to check if there are any Cub Scout day camps you can attend this summer as your son will be a Tiger on June 1st.