One of the biggest questions that new or perspective Cub Scout parents have after “what is required of my child” is “what is required of me?” What is required of your scout is fairly straight forward, the requirements can be found here. What is required of you the parents isn’t quite as straight forward, but there isn’t a scary amount of time or effort involved.
Cub Scouts Needs Parents (or other family members/guardians)
First you should know that someone, a parent, adult family member or guardian, has to be present during Cub Scout activities. This is for the safety of your child. Scout leaders and volunteers attend extensive training, but for everyone’s safety Cub Scout rules does not allow children to be dropped off at meetings or activities.
If that sounds like too much of a commitment you should visit Pack 350 during one of the Pack meetings or at one of the public events like Pinewood Derby Day. You’ll find that parents are having fun with their scout and parents are having fun meeting and getting to know the other parents.
What about the campouts?
The Pack campouts are fun, you’ll find a mix of parents and scouts that range from experienced outdoors people to others who are unboxing their first tent that was purchased the day before. What you’ll also find are that everyone is eager to help. These types of events are very much a group effort and happily so. We do 4 campouts a year. These are optional but a ton of fun!
What about the popcorn?
We understand, we totally do. It seems like our sons are coming home from school with new fund raising things to sell nearly every week, it is all a bit much. However, Pack 350, like other Cub Scout pack is able to function practically only due to good popcorn sales. Yes a significant amount of the money from the popcorn sales goes right back to the pack. That allows Pack 350 to do things like reserve venues for camping or provide for fun activities for the scouts. If you don’t sell a single box of popcorn no one will say anything to you. All Pack 350 does is recognize the scouts who sell a lot of popcorn, so no one will say a word to your scout about not selling enough either.
How Many Days a Month?
Pack meetings are generally once a month. Den meetings are often held weekly on Monday evenings. If you can’t make a Den meeting that is ok, if you miss a Pack meeting that is ok too. However, Pack meetings are where the scouts get recognized for different achievements and awards and Den meetings are where the scouts get a chance to work on those achievements and awards. Other activities like pack hikes or campouts aren’t required, but Pack 350 uses those activities to help the scouts complete the requirements for different awards. Some of the awards and achievements take some work at home, but some of that work is probably stuff you would do anyways (riding a bicycle, bicycle safety, swimming, etc).
Any Homework, How Much?
Den meetings are where a lot of the work on advancements and awards happen, same with Pack Hikes and Pack Campouts, but there is still a little bit to be completed at home. How much? It depends on what your scout’s goals are and your motivation to help your scout earn advancement and awards. If you look at the requirements linked on this website you can find what the list of all advancements and awards for each Den (grade level), but also note that not everything has to be earned. In fact nothing at all has to be earned, but your scout will probably want to earn some awards and advancements when their friends do. The activities aren’t hard and an example of what you might work on at home if your scout is a new Tiger Cub (first grade) is learning the Scout Law.
There are some fun extra awards that can be earned with family activities, like the Hiking Mileage awards. Your scout can even earn those while walking with the family at the zoo or a museum.
Is Cub Scouts the right fit for your child and your family? Maybe, come visit Pack 350 to see!
By David Lund