Cub Scouts is an organization under the umbrella of Boy Scouts of America. Cub Scouts is for boys in first grade until sometime in their fifth-grade year and teaches skills like morals, citizenship and survival skills.
The earliest that boys can join Cub Scouts is at the end of their Kindergarten year as tiger scouts. Kindergarten and first-grade boys are considered tigers. Second-grade boys are wolves, third graders are bear and fourth-and fifth-grade boys are webelos.
Boys in webelos have more lengthy requirements to pass than younger boys, so it can take anywhere from 15 months to two years depending on the den they’re in. In Osceola, webelos are in the program for 18 months.
Webelos den leader Stacey Feehan has had all three of her sons in the program and has seen many benefits.
“We wanted our boys to have a basic understanding of citizenship and learn about skills like camping, cooking, safety and the outdoors in fun activities with their peers,” said Feehan.
When boys join Cub Scouts, they join with the group that matches their grade or age. They do not have to start in the lower ranks just because they join later on.
As they move up the ranks each year, there are different sets of requirements to pass in fitness, using tools, safety, the outdoors, camping and religion that are suitable for the age of the boys.
“As a parent and a citizen I want our youth to become knowledgeable, caring adults. Our youth will one day be the decision-makers in our community and in the world. Programs like scouts help to prepare them for these roles,” said Feehan.
All adults in the organization are volunteers. Pack 101, the local Cub Scouts group, is chartered through the First Christian Church in Osceola. The scouts are from Clarke Community Schools, surrounding districts and home-schooled students.
“I have also witnessed all three of my boys forge strong friendships with their peers in scouts. I think shared experiences like camping, community service and the annual pinewood derby build strong bonds that extend beyond the den meetings into the classrooms, playground and community,” said Feehan.
Feehan’s webelos moved up the ranks from Cub Scouts to Boys Scouts at a bridging ceremony Tuesday in the Clarke Elementary cafeteria.
“My role as den leader means that I use the scout handbook to plan and provide activities to help my scouts learn skills and schedule speakers or outings to help them gain knowledge or experience. As we learn together, we check off requirements and electives and earn badges,” said Feehan.
When they boys move from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, they are no longer in dens but in troops. The troops are boy-led, as opposed to being adult-led like the Cub Scouts.
Some events that the Cub Scouts do every year are food collection for local food pantries, gently used winter clothing collection for the Toys for Christmas program, popcorn sales in the fall, camp cards, which are going on now to assist with costs for camps and a baked goods and cake auction in March.
There are some changes coming up in the Boy Scouts of America program at the highest level. Next fall, two new groups will be enrolled. A lion’s den, strictly for Kindergarteners, is being added. The program is working on guidelines to add females to the organization as well.
“Our local leaders are excited about the opportunity to bring more youth into our pack. We are still looking through those guidelines to decide how we will respond to those changes locally,” said Feehan.