Cub Scouting is easy, once you learn a few things. Here’s a quick guide; you’ll pick up the rest along the way.
Cub Scouting is by nature a family affair. All of our activities are designed with your entire family — siblings too! — in mind. We fully expect you to bring a three year old sister along for the ride. She will have a great time with the group!
Boys are grouped according to their grade in school into Dens:
- Tiger Cubs – 1st Grade
- Wolves - 2nd Grade
- Bears - 3rd Grade
- Webelos 1 - 4th Grade
- Webelos 2 - 5th Grade
Dens typically meet once a week or every other week. Collectively, our Dens form our Pack – Pack 551, which generally meets once each month. Camping trips and other major outings are done as a Pack.
All of the Packs in Gwinnett and Walton Counties are in the Sweetwater District (sweetwater-bsa.org).
The various Districts in our area form the Northeast Georgia Council (nega-bsa.org).
The Pack Leadership is comprised of parent volunteers of our Scouts.
All of the existing leaders started out just like you — unsure of how to go about this Scouting experience, and wondering how to make the most of it for our boys. Once we decided to get involved ourselves, much of it just comes naturally. Of course, the Boy Scouts of America requires leaders to undergo a series of training exercises which ensures the safety of the Scouts. The BSA takes safety very seriously! We have many other opportunities for more specific training in areas such as weather alertness, swimming safety, boating safety, planning an outdoor event and lots more.
Leaders come from all walks of life, and we are all volunteers. Each year, at the Fall Roundup, we ask two parents of new Scouts to take on the Tiger Cub Den as Leader and Assistant Leader. The BSA doesn't provide leaders — the parents have to do it! The more experienced leaders in the Pack will help you out at first, just until you get your bearings. I promise it will be some of the most excellent times of your life!
Many of the advancement activities are done at home, not just at our meetings.
Each year, the Scouts experience different activities, some at meetings, some at home, and some at day outings or overnight camping trips. The purpose of these activities (apart from developing these guys into confident, caring, and capable Scouts) is to give them opportunities to advance their ranks with badges, belt loops, pins, patches, and other neat things. It is expected that the Scouts will complete their rank advancement each year and graduate into the next rank — a Wolf will graduate to Bear rank for instance.
The Den meetings are conducted in a fun setting where the Scouts learn about their world and each other. They will also get ready for the monthly Pack meeting by practicing a skit or song. Some awards may be given out at the Den level.
The Pack meetings each month are a time for each Den to show off to the Pack what they have learned in the past few weeks. The Dens may have a skit or song prepared. We like jokes a lot too. We give out the awards and advancements, like belt loops, at Pack meetings. These are a time for the leaders to share news with parents about upcoming events such as camping trips, fundraisers, or other items of interest.
We schedule two major camping trips each year, one in the fall and another one in the spring. There are other outings and events we take part in throughout the year as well. Camping trips have very specific rules, the first being that your child may only be in a tent with a parent or legal guardian. We can help you with the details if you have limited camping experience, but if your Scout goes, then so do you.
As a non-profit, self-sustaining organization, we have to have revenue to exist.
Since we are also parents of Scouts in the Pack, obviously, we don't want to bankroll the entire operation by ourselves. It takes several thousand dollars each year to run a Pack. Our solution, and the one that is sanctioned by the Boy Scouts of America, is to conduct a series of fundraising events. We do some of these in conjunction with the Council or District, and some others, we do independently. It feels strange at first, to join and immediately find yourself in the midst of a fundraiser, but know that we will already have our fall fundraiser — selling pine straw — underway and in full swing. Some new folks are comfortable embracing this more quickly than others. The alternative is to ask the parents for a whole lot more money each year to operate the Pack.