Cub Scout Den vs. Pack Meetings: What’s Different? What’s Similar?

Den meetings and pack meetings are some of the most important aspects of being a Cub Scout, but do you know the differences between the two? After reading this article, you will! Plus, you’ll even learn about the awesome activities done during each of these gatherings, so you can have a better time as a Cub!

As a Cub Scout or parent, it’s crucial to understand the difference between a den meeting and a pack meeting. Den meetings may feel small, but that’s because your den is only one part of the whole pack. Every den comes together to form the pack, and belonging to each den is important on your journey to becoming a successful Scout! 

What is the difference between a Cub Scout den and pack? A Cub Scout pack includes Cubs of all ages and grades, while a Den is a smaller group within the pack, typically consisting of 6-8 Cub Scouts. Dens meetings are organized by the same grade level and pack meetings are when all dens come together.

PS. This article is a guest post collaboration with Eagle Scout and AOL recipient, Jonathan K🙂

When I was a Cub Scout, every week I looked forward to our den meeting. The other Cubs were friends of mine from school, and even if we weren’t in the same class, we were always in the same grade. Not only did I get to see my friends, but we’d always do something fun and interesting at each meeting, thanks to our den leader! 

Pack meetings were also fun, but in a different way – because every den was together! Instead of the same eight to twelve Cub Scouts, the pack meeting was filled with over a hundred Scouts. The number of Scouts is the largest difference between a den and pack meeting, but it’s not the only one. This chart outlines a few key differences.

Den Meetings VS. Pack Meetings

Den MeetingPack Meeting
Small group (8-12 Scouts)Large group (75-100 Scouts)
Rank advancement activitiesDemonstrate learned skills 
Includes speakers and field tripsSpecial pack events 
Only for ScoutsIncludes friends and family

What Do You Do at a Den Meeting?

During a den meeting, you might learn a new skill, discover more about what it means to be a Scout, or progress towards your next rank. The den leader and other adult volunteers plan out each den meeting. You don’t know what the meeting will be about until you get there, but sometimes, it might even be something special! 😀

My den leader made sure that we were well-rounded Cub Scouts and knew about our town. This meant taking fun field trips to local businesses and hearing speakers who came in to talk to us. For one trip, we went to a flower shop that had a massive greenhouse because they raised their own flowers!  

Activities at a Den Meeting

  • Progress toward your next ranks 
  • Learn a new skill
  • Listen to a guest speaker 
  • Explore your town

I even know what it’s like to be a local expert coming to talk, because a few years ago, I attended a den meeting and spoke to the Scouts! As a librarian, I came in with books and explained how to read a call number, sign up for a library card, and find any book you could possibly want. Pretty cool, if you ask me! 😉

What Do You Do at a Pack Meeting?

Pack meetings are fun in a whole different way because they include every den in the pack. After listening to the Cubmaster speak, each den comes up in front of the pack and shows what they learned that month at their den meetings. From square knots to campfire skits, it’s amazing what every den has learned! 

Not every Cub Scout has to go up in front of the pack, but believe me, it’s more fun if you do. Scouts support each other, so no matter what your den is doing, the other Scouts will be cheering for you! The den I spoke to went up and had two Scouts explain a library call number to the entire pack.

Activities at a Pack Meeting

  • Demonstrate what you learned at den meetings
  • See what every other den did 
  • Celebrate individual awards
  • Learn about pack-wide events

A pack meeting is also when Cub Scouts are honored with individual awards. These are awards that Scouts work on outside of their den. When I earned an individual award, from my religious emblem to the Weather belt loop, it was an honor to be celebrated by the entire pack. 🙂

Helpful Link: Do you know what kinds of awards you can receive as a Scout? Check out the Awards Central page of the official Scouting website to browse them all. It might even get you motivated to achieve more in Scouting!

At the same time, I would always cheer, laugh, and applaud my fellow Scouts whenever they earned an award. The pack meeting lets everyone celebrate their fellow Scouts, learn what other dens are doing, and sometimes even take part in pack-wide special activities! For more info and examples, check out my other article on What To Expect During A Pack Meeting!

Den Meetings Are for Scouts; Pack Meetings Are for Families

Another big difference between den meetings and pack meetings is who can attend. A den meeting is just for the Scouts and the den leaders, while pack meetings welcome the entire family! Have a younger sibling who isn’t old enough to be a Scout? They can attend a pack meeting!

Involving the entire family makes pack meetings fun. Earning an award or performing a skit in front of your own family is a very exciting event, and as a Scout, you get to do this every month! Your family doesn’t get to see you practice and learn at a den meeting, but make sure they get to see what you’ve accomplished at the pack meeting. 

When a pack meeting has a special event, like a Pinewood Derby or a Blue and Gold ceremony, families are welcome to attend! Win or lose, participating in a derby is a blast, and it’s even better with more people 😀

Helpful Link: Want to come in first this year? Check out our article on how to win a Pinewood Derby!

Which Is More Important, A Den Meeting or a Pack Meeting?

You might be wondering which type of meeting is more important. The answer: both den and pack meetings are vital for every Cub Scout to attend! Though den meetings and pack meetings are different, they each work together in sync to help Cub Scouts succeed on their Scouting journeys.

The den meetings help Scouts make progress toward ranks and accomplish monthly milestones, while the pack meetings allow them to be officially recognized and celebrated by friends and family. It’s at a pack meeting that a Scout advances rank, but at a den meeting when a Scout learns what it means to earn each rank! 

Graphic showing Cub Scout Pack Leadership: the Pack Committee is at the top, then the Cubmaster, then the Den Leaders.

If you attend den meetings but skip the pack meetings, you’re going to miss out on half the fun of being a Cub Scout! There are so many fun pack-wide events, like Halloween Trick-or-Treat events, fundraisers, and even special camping trips. To be a well-rounded Scout, you need to attend every den meeting and pack meeting that you can! 

Conclusion: Dens and Packs Help Cub Scouts Succeed!

I hope you’ve learned how important both the den and the pack are to your success as a Scout! At weekly den meetings, you bond with friends while learning new skills and exploring what it means to be a Scout. What you learn and achieve here helps you advance to the next rank – and eventually earn your Arrow of Light!

At monthly pack meetings, you get to meet other dens, learn what other Scouts are doing, and celebrate with friends and family. The den meeting is for Scouts, but the pack meeting is for everyone! It’s at the pack meeting that you connect to a larger community, one that will help you learn and grow for years. 

Picture it this way: each den meeting is taking one step on the journey up a mountain, while the pack meeting is the campsite along the trail to stop and celebrate the progress you’ve made. I enjoyed every step on my journey to becoming part of Scouts BSA, and I hope you will too! 

Thanks so much for reading! I’m wishing you some awesome den and pack meetings in your near future. If you enjoyed this article, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of these other awesome posts on ScoutSmarts if they spark your interest:

That’s all for now! Hope to see you back here again soon. Until next time, I’m wishing you all the best on your Cub Scouting journey! 😀


I'm constantly writing new content because I believe in Scouts like you! Thanks so much for reading, and for making our world a better place. Until next time, I'm wishing you all the best on your journey to Eagle and beyond!

Recent Content