Having been a parent involved in Scouting for more than 10 years, I think it’s easy to forget that there are so many exceptional BSA resources out there. When accepting a new role, we often rely on training from a predecessor, or just jumping in and wing it. However, overlooking key BSA resources can easily add a lot of stress and wasted time!
What Resources Are Available From The BSA For Cub Scout Packs? The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) offers comprehensive online resources for Cub Scout Packs at their national, council, and local levels. These include recruitment materials, training guides, safety protocols, award information, and detailed instructions for activities like camping and the Pinewood Derby.
PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Cub Scouting volunteer Jaci H and Cole 🙂
If you ever get the feeling you could use more help or guidance in your Cub Scout pack, remember that there’s a larger entity with tons of resources made specifically for you! Before reinventing the wheel, every Scout leader should check if there are already resources made— because there most likely are!
In this guide, I’ll be sharing with you (and linking) the most important and helpful resources put out on the BSA’s national, council, and local levels. From recruitment materials to meeting structures, camping information to youth protection, let’s dive into the multitude of helpful information the BSA has compiled to make your role as a Cub Scouting volunteer even easier!
Helpful Scouts BSA Resources for Cub Scout Packs
In Cub Scouting, there are many roles without a “predecessor.” For example, Lion parents are as new as the Scouts! If you find yourself as a new den leader, remember that you don’t have to come up with a ton of amazing ideas on your own. Instead, always first check for existing resources to take advantage of! 🙂
Fun Fact: According to the Scouts BSA website, “The Scouting organization is composed of more than 1 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and more than 628,000 volunteers (like you!) in local councils throughout the United States and its territories.”
Curious about how exactly packs are laid out? Be sure to check out our article on Cub pack leadership structure!
Brandon V. from the Pathway to the Rockies Council in Colorado said, “Everything a leader needs is really in the leader book. If you’re keeping the kids engaged and following the program as written, you’re doing it right.” The national Den Leader Resources page is very helpful too!
In fact, Scouts BSA has many resources available to you at the national, council, and district levels. Sometimes these lower levels get overlooked. In this article, we’ll highlight — from a parent’s perspective — some of those most helpful resources that you should keep in your back pocket for the future!
BSA Resources for Cub Scouting: The National Level
At the national level, you’ll find all the information about the various levels of Cub Scouting as well as parent and volunteer resources. There are links to info about training, safety, awards, and more. Most people first learning about joining Cub Scouting will probably end up here. 😀
Fun Fact: According to Wikipedia, the states of New York, Maryland, Utah, Texas, and Minnesota have the largest Scouts BSA memberships. Some councils operate in just one city, while others cover a whole state!
Make sure not to overlook the site’s awesome recruitment materials! You can customize and print materials, get ideas for social media posts, and access kits to help promote a Pinewood Derby and other popular Cub Scout events. You can even watch their national “marketing bootcamp” webinar!
BSA Resources for Cub Scouting: The Council Level
The national Scouting website isn’t the only place you can find resources for your Cub Scout pack: you can turn to your council as well! Cruising through different councils’ websites, I found top menu items like Calendars, Support Scouting, Programs, Resources, and Camp. Below, I’ll share some interesting aspects of the council sites I visited!
Fun Fact: Scouts BSA has more than 240 councils across the United States. Within those councils are districts, then units, charter organizations, and finally packs. Each council usually has an assigned number, headquarters city, lodge, and camps!
Cub Scout Recruitment Resources
Council sites often offer support for recruitment. I loved the “Got a Story to Share?” button at the bottom of Pathway to the Rockies home page and how it was located near the Council Recruitment Center post. (Another terrific resource this council has is the Den in a Box… keep reading to find out what that is! 😉 )
Cub Scout Training Resources
In addition to the calendar menu item, the home page for my council offers a listing of upcoming events that include leadership training, University of Scouting, Wood Badge, and a Pinewood Derby Champ Camp. Visitors can immediately see the dates and click to get information on registering!
Scouting Tip: One of the best resources available to Cub Scout volunteers is supplemental leadership training. This experience will leave you feeling motivated, informed, and energized! Emily W. from California recently attended Wood Badge training and reflected, “A major theme I learned in Scouts — you are not alone. We are better together.”
Brandon V. from the Pathway to the Rockies Council shared a unique program to train new leaders within the pack. He said that some packs reported their biggest obstacle as recruiting new den leaders, and the packs were shrinking as a result. The council decided to streamline resources to make it easier to lead!
Each pack was provided with a “Den in a Box”— materials to get a leader going for the first four to five months. At least four required rank adventures, along with the supplies, were provided. There were separate boxes for each Cub Scout rank: Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves, and Webelos. What a smart idea! 😀
Youth Protection Training
Youth Protection Training (YPT) is another type of training critical within Scouting as it helps to ensure the safety of our Scouts. All councils should provide easy access to YPT training as it is annually required of all Scout leaders. My council and district websites both had prominent paths to this training!
For a helpful overview of Youth Protection and what to know, check out our other article.
Cub Scout Fundraising Resources
Whether you fundraise with camp cards, popcorn, or something else entirely, you’ll probably find helpful info on your council website. There are some key details to note — for example, many packs don’t realize they are supposed to complete the Unit Money-Earning Application for any fundraisers that aren’t council events!
BSA Camping Resources
Another area your council website might help you out with: camping! Our council’s site has information for all of the summer camps, high adventure, and camping and hiking areas near us. It showcases the names and dates of the summer camps in our council, as well as a little description of each!
Brandon M. from the council’s office said that one of the best resources for Cubs is the information about camping events in the spring and fall. “We offer family camp to engage our families right away and give them a taste of our outdoor experience,” he said.
More Cub Scout Resources
I was curious about the “Tips and Tricks” section on my council site, so I checked it out. It actually linked to a page on the national site with help for den leaders! The page has a ton of videos with topics ranging from communications to crafts to the buddy system. 🙂
BSA Resources for Cub Scouting: The District Level
Remember, districts fall under councils in the Cub Scout organization! While my district’s website is similar to that of the council, it did have two unique resources: a contact page with names and emails and another page with information about becoming a merit badge counselor.
The calendar posted on the district page was less cluttered than the one on the council page, as it only listed district events. For example, Roundtable is a monthly event that “provides unit leaders with the skill and the will to do what is needed to ensure that every member of every unit has a great Scouting experience.”
The Roundtable meetings bring together pack leaders monthly to share information in person, virtually, or both. I remember meeting my son’s Scoutmaster at a Roundtable meeting. That conversation was a key part of how my son selected his future Scouts BSA troop!
Finally, if you’re looking for more resources, I always recommend the CubChat YouTube channel! This video (31:20) below goes into much more detail about the many Cub Scouting resources you can utilize to support your pack. 😀
Sometimes the best things in life are overlooked. Is that a saying you’ve heard? 😉 When it comes to Scouts BSA districts and councils, that statement could be true. It’s vital — and stress-reducing — to take advantage of all the incredible BSA resources available to you.
We hope this article inspires you to dig a little deeper within your national, council, and district websites. And of course, don’t forget to dig around ScoutSmarts.com! If you liked what we shared here, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:
- Cub Scout Annual Calendars: Monthly Ideas For Pack Activities
- Supporting Your Child In Cub Scouting: A Parent’s Guide
- Cub Scouting Total Costs: Uniforms, Fees, And More
- Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Events: Your Complete Planning Guide
- The 3 Biggest Benefits Of Cub Scouting (Also Written by Jaci H)
That’s all for now! I hope these BSA resources help you to help your pack be the best it can possibly be. Hope to see you back here at ScoutSmarts again soon. Until next time, I’m wishing you and your family an incredible time in Cub Scouting! 😀