Enrolling your sons in Cub Scouts is a great way for them to have outdoor fun with other boys their age. It’s also a great way for dads to connect with their sons and to give them an opportunity to mold them into responsible young men. And the best part is that cub scout activities are fun!
The Boy Scouts of America has three main goals to teach all of their boys in four major ways: citizenship, physical development, mental development, and character development.
Cub Scouts teaches citizenship. One of the first things every boy in scouting learns is the Cub Scout Promise – in which they pledge to help other people. Good citizens realize they have a responsibility to others in the community, to the environment, and to obey the law.
Cub Scouts are taught to be respectful of others as well as their country. They are taught these skills by learning how to properly salute, care for, and fold the flag. The boys are taught patriotism from the very beginning of scouting.
Every year, our pack participates in a September 11th All Day Flag Salute where the boys take turns saluting the flag for 3 minutes. Before one group stops saluting, the next group starts their salute. The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are joined by area military, fire and police departments.
It is heartwarming to see the respect that the boys have picked up from participating in community events with our hometown heroes. Participating in hands-on events such as these will instill a respect for our country deep into their hearts.
The boys also learn citizenship by making friends and learning how to work together as a team. Scouting isn’t competitive like sports. Boys aren’t pitted against one another – rather, they are put into situations where they learn cooperation and respect for other people. Boys spend time together in weekly den meetings where they participate in a variety of activities. As the year goes by, they become very close friends.
Scouting does many things to advance a boy’s physical development and help them have fun at the same time. Every summer, the boys have the opportunity to attend camp. Younger scouts attend day camps while older scouts attend overnight camp. While at camp, the boys are taught many skills. Sportsmanship and teamwork are emphasized. Cub Scouts always tries to get each boy to do their individual best and to improve their own skills while cheering on their fellow scouts.
Many times, dens will also take overnight camping trips with parents. These adventures offer opportunities for hiking, campfires, and more bonding time between fathers and sons.
Cub Scouts have achievements they work on throughout the year. These achievements include many outdoor activities which can be done as a family such as learning to row a boat. From year to year, the emphasis is always on the boy improving their own skills versus competing with each other. Boys learn self-confidence as their skills improve.
Spending quality time with dad is one of our sons’ favorite things about cub scouts. The more involved their father is, the more the boys will enjoy this experience. The boys learn lots of outdoor skills such as fishing.
They also learn specialized skills such as bb gun shooting. These skills are only earned at camp, where they can be supervised and taught by trained professionals. Safety is very important to everyone in Cub Scouts.
Archery is another skill which can only be badge which can only be earned at camp. The boys really look forward to this time! I remember before we went to camp, I was nervous about my sons learning to use weapons. After seeing how it was taught and seeing their eagerness to acquire these skills, however, I have changed my attitude toward these tools. Seeing my sons learn how to use them responsibly and safely has been a wonderful experience for our family.
Another great aspect of Scouting is that other fathers are able to pitch in and help your child learn things you aren’t proficient in yourself. Scouting encourages parents to get involved and to teach all of the boys. This works out well because no one father can possibly know how to do everything well.
Consider using Cub Scouts as part of your overall plan for physical development for your sons. You may be surprised at all of the opportunities for physical development that they are given.
Another aspect of scouting is that your sons are given many opportunities to learn new skills. Scouts meet weekly in den meetings, where material is presented by their den leader. The den meeting is where the bulk of the learning is provided for the scouts. Boys are given hands-on lessons in their den meetings and are allowed to practice their new skills. Scouts are taught how to build things and how to follow directions.
Scouts are also taught how to follow the rules as they are taught new games. They are taught teamwork and the value of working together to solve problems.
As the boys attempt new skills, there are plenty of dads around to help the boys gain self-confidence.
A very important aspect of scouting is that the boys are awarded badges for all of their hard work. These badges are awarded monthly in a pack meeting. These pack meetings allow all of the dens to come together to share the projects they’ve completed and to get recognition for their hard work. The boys are also taught to respect those in authority over them.
Scouting provides many opportunities for mental development. These boys grow up to be outstanding citizens and leaders in their communities.
Our sons participated in several years of Cub Scouts and we have been very happy with some of the growth we’ve seen in them. Before they were scouts, they were afraid to look adults in the eye. After being in scouts for one year, they have enough self-confidence to interact with adults. It has been a wonderful experience to see them come out of their shell and really blossom.