The Methods of Cub Scouting
Cub Scouting uses seven specific methods to achieve Scouting's aims of helping boys and young adults build character, train in the responsibilities of citizenship, and develop personal fitness. These methods are incorporated into all aspects of the program. Through these methods, Cub Scouting happens in the lives of boys and their families.
1. The Ideals
The Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, the Tiger Cub Motto and Promise, and the Cub Scout Sign, Handshake, Motto, and Salute all teach good citizenship and contribute to a boy's sense of belonging.
2. The Den
Boys like to belong to a group. The den is the place where boys learn new skills and develop interests in new things. They have fun in den meetings, during indoor and outdoor activities, and on field trips. As part of a small group of six to eight boys, they are able to learn sportsmanship and good citizenship. They learn how to get along with others. They learn how to do their best, not just for themselves but also for the den.
Recognition is important to boys. The advancement plan provides fun for the boys, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members work with boys on advancement projects.
4. Family Involvement
Family involvement is an essential part of Cub Scouting. When we speak of parents or families, we are not referring to any particular family structure. Some boys live with two parents, some live with one parent, some have foster parents, and some live with other relatives or guardians. Whoever a boy calls his family is his family in Cub Scouting.
In Cub Scouting, boys participate in a wide variety of den and pack activities, such as games, projects, skits, stunts, songs, outdoor activities, and trips. Also, the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program and Cub Scouting's BSA Family program include activities that encourage personal achievement and family involvement.
6. Home and Neighborhood Centered
Cub Scouting meetings and activities happen in urban areas, in rural communities, in large cities, in small towns—wherever boys live.
7. The Uniform
The Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout uniforms help build pride, loyalty, and self-respect. Wearing the uniform to all den and pack meetings and activities also encourages a neat appearance, a sense of belonging, and good behavior.
Since its origin, the Scouting program has been an educational experience concerned with values. In 1910, the first activities for Scouts were designed to build character, physical fitness, practical skills, and service. These elements were part of the original Cub Scout program and continue to be part of Cub Scouting today
Character development should extend into every aspect of a boy's life. Character development should also extend into every aspect of Cub Scouting. Cub Scout leaders should strive to use Cub Scouting's 12 core values throughout all elements of the program—service projects, ceremonies, games, skits, songs, crafts, and all the other activities enjoyed at den and pack meetings
Cub Scouting's 12 Core Values
- Citizenship: Contributing service and showing responsibility to local, state, and national communities.
- Compassion: Being kind and considerate, and showing concern for the well-being of others.
- Cooperation: Being helpful and working together with others toward a common goal
- Courage: Being brave and doing what is right regardless of our fears, the difficulties, or the consequences.
- Faith: Having inner strength and confidence based on our trust in God.
- Health and Fitness: clean and fit. Being personally committed to keeping our minds and bodies
- Honesty: Telling the truth and being worthy of trust.
- Perseverance: Sticking with something and not giving up, even if it is difficult.
- Positive Attitude: Being cheerful and setting our minds to look for and find the best in all situations.
- Resourcefulness: Using human and other resources to their fullest.
- Respect: Showing regard for the worth of something or someone.
- Responsibility: Fulfilling our duty to God, country, other people, and ourselves.
The goals of the Cub Scout leader are
- to seek out and maximize the many opportunities to incorporate character development
- to convince the young Cub Scout that character is important to the individual, to his family, community, country, world, and God
Character development should not be viewed as something done occasionally as part of a separate program, or as part of only one area of life. For in reality, character development is a part of everything a Cub Scout does. Character development lessons can be found in every aspect of the Cub Scouting experience.
When it comes to developing character, the complete person must be considered. Character development involves at least three critical areas:
- Know (thought)
- Commit (feeling)
- Practice (behavior)
In Cub Scouting, addressing these three critical areas and relating them to values is referred to as Character Connections.
Character Connections asks the Cub Scout to:
Character development includes moral knowledge—both awareness and reasoning. For example, children must understand what honesty means and they must be able to reason about and interpret each situation, and then decide how to apply the principles of honesty.
What do I think or know about the core value? How does the context of this situation affect this core value? What are some historical, literary, or religious examples representing the core value?
Character development includes attention to moral motivation. Children must be committed to doing what they know is right. They must be able to understand the perspectives of others, to consider how others feel, and to develop an active moral conscience.
Why is this core value important? What makes living out this core value different? What will it take to live out this core value?
Character development includes the development of moral habits through guided practice. Children need opportunities to practice the social and emotional skills necessary for doing what is right but difficult, and to experience the core values in their lives.
How can I act according to this core value? How do I live out this core value? How can I practice this value at school, at home, and with my friends?
To make Character Connections an integral part of Cub Scouting, the 12 core values are being integrated throughout the boys' handbooks and advancement program. Program support for character development can be found in Cub Scout Program Helps, in the Cub Scout Leader Book, and at your monthly round table meetings.
- Core values are the basis of good character development.
- Character must be broadly defined to include thinking, feeling, and behavior.
- Core values should be promoted throughout all phases of life.