If you’re considering joining the Cub Scouts, you’re probably wondering whether it’s worth the time, energy, and dedication you’d put in. Well, you’ve come to the right place! As someone who’s been down that road before, I can tell you that in my own experience: The answer is undoubtedly yes!
Is Joining Cub Scouts Worth It? Cub Scouting has so many benefits for kids today, such as meaningful friendships, exciting adventures, independence, personal accomplishments, and a sense of community. Being a Cub Scout is also incredibly worthwhile because it prepares kids to be confident and resourceful as they grow older.
P.S. This article is a guest post collaboration with Eagle Scout and AOL recipient, Michael M🙂
I started my journey as a Cub Scout over twenty years ago, and I got way more out of it than I ever could have expected. There are so many benefits that it offers, ranging from new friends to thrilling adventures!
I’m going to break down a few of the biggest advantages that Cub Scouting has to offer, along with some personal stories from my own time as a Scout. But before we get into it, here’s a real quick video (0:30) to show you what a current Cub Scout thinks of Scouting!
Now, it’s time to take a tour of the biggest benefits of Cub Scouting to determine for yourself whether the program is still worth joining today. By the time we’re done, you’ll understand just how many benefits the program has to offer today’s youth! Ready to dive in? Then, let’s get to it! 😀
6 Reasons Why Kids Join Cub Scouts
Without a doubt, the biggest benefit of my Cub Scouting journey was the group of friends I made along the way. In my den and my pack, I met so many interesting and like-minded Cubs. As we grew together throughout the program, they became some of my closest friends.
Eleanor Roosevelt, our 32nd First Lady, made a very wise comment about friendship: “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart.”
In other words, true friends are the ones who leave a real and lasting mark on you. They’re the ones you always remember, no matter how much time has passed. These special people aren’t always easy to find. Lucky for us, Cub Scouting is a perfect way to find true friends! 😀
As you spend time with kids in your age group and get to know them, it’s only natural that you’ll start to get close to them. The feeling of following the same path to reach the same goal will also tighten your connection with the other Scouts in your pack.
While growing close with friends does happen naturally, it never hurts to put in the extra mile and help friendships bloom! Here are two helpful tips that I learned on my own path to making tons of close friendships in Cub Scouting:
- Get to know others better: Be curious! Pay attention to what the people around you like to talk about. This will give you a good idea of what’s important to them.
- Figure out what interests and hobbies you have in common: Finding someone who likes the same things as you will instantly bring the two of you closer together. Plus, it gives you two so much more to talk about!
Before Cub Scouting, I spent most of my time at home. Then, once I started Cub Scouting, I met lots of new kids and made so many new friends! We did fun activities led by our Den Leader at a local community room, which brought us that much closer to each other.
Who doesn’t like adventures? They’re a great way to get out of your comfort zone and explore the world around you. Plus, they’re just plain fun! As a Scout, you’ll be a part of all sorts of cool activities that will give you a chance to learn and grow. Because of this, make sure to try to attend every pack outing you can!
One of my favorite Cub Scouting adventures that I went on involved a ship from the US Navy. My pack toured the whole ship as a group, and we even stayed there overnight, sleeping onboard in bunk beds! The experience brought the history of the ship to life. By the time we all left, the place felt almost like home 😜
Of course, that’s not all we did together — far from it! Just to give you a quick sample, here are a few more awesome Cub Scout activities we all took part in:
- Marching in our town’s Memorial Day parades
- Visiting local historical landmarks
- Going swimming at a local public pool
- Exploring a glass-making factory
Here’s a little video (1:41) that shows the sorts of activities you can expect as a Cub Scout. I’d recommend watching through the whole thing so you can get a good idea of how fun Cub Scouting really is!
A Mix of Help and Independence
Independence is really amazing, right? When the people around you believe that you can take care of yourself, it means that they trust you and have faith in you. Of course, their confidence in you makes you feel good about yourself!
“The greatest gifts we can give to our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”Dr. Maria Montessori
Most kids can’t get enough of the idea of being independent! We all want to show we can handle new responsibilities and important tasks. One cool thing about Cub Scouting is how it lets kids develop independence. The higher your rank, the more responsibilities you’re given! Of course, adults will always be there to help out when needed.
If you’d like a helpful reminder, here’s a quick breakdown of the ranks in Cub Scouting. Every time you go up a rank, you’ll have so much more independence than you did before!
- Arrow of Light
By the time you’re a Webelos, you’ll have a level of freedom that’s miles above a Lion Scout’s. You’ll go camping in the great outdoors, play an active role in your den, and enjoy the trust and respect of the Scouts around you. And the best part is, you’ll know in your heart that you earned it!
When talking about independence, I think of the pinewood derby. The event gave me more time with my dad, who helped me with the project. Even though he played a part in building my car, I played a big role too. Thanks to my deep involvement, I felt that it was my own project as I watched my car race against the others! 🙂
Feelings of Accomplishment
If you put in the time to progress, it’s important to feel that your effort means something. In Cub Scouting, you’ll always get recognition for your hard work! From ranks to badges to pins, there are so many symbols that show your effort is paying off. This video (2:52) shows just how far you can go if you stick with Scouting!
I’ll always remember the day I got my first badge. My pack recognized my success at the monthly meeting, which made it clear that my accomplishment was both noticed and respected. It was a sense of pride like I’d never felt before!
Still, my proudest achievement was getting the Arrow of Light award. It was the ultimate symbol of my success as a Cub Scout, one that I could look at and hold right in my hands. That was the moment I knew all my efforts were really worth it!
The pride you feel as you accomplish your goals alongside your pack is second to none. Here are just a few amazing achievements you can make in Cub Scouting:
- Taking part in a conservation project
- Learning the ins and outs of a shooting sport
- Earning the Whittling Chip to use and carry a pocketknife
Pretty cool, right? These are the sorts of accomplishments that anyone, of any age, should be proud of! So, it’s extremely impressive for a young Scout to have them under their belt. Interested in seeing some more? Then, check out this list of Cub Scout awards!
A Sense of Belonging
Belonging is something we all want to feel, whether we realize it fully or not. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t belong, you know how important it is to have a place where you’re accepted. In fact, some would say belonging is not just a want, but a need.
“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people.”Brenè Brown
The feeling that you belong is something you’ll carry with you every last moment you’re a Cub Scout! With so many peers who share the same passion for fun and adventure, it’s only natural to feel that you have a place in your pack. You’ll all even follow the same motto: “Do Your Best.”
The sense of belonging was one of my very favorite parts of Cub Scouting. As part of a close community of like-minded people, it really felt like I was part of a family. Looking back on the times I spent with them all, I honestly can’t help but smile. 🙂
A Close Community
Now, we’ve made it to the final benefit on this list! Before we get started on this part, there’s an important question to cover: Just what is a community? According to Oxford Languages, community means “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”
Communities come in all shapes and sizes, from your class at school to your friends and family. There are many benefits to being part of a community, ranging from support to acceptance to belonging. In my experience, a Cub Scout pack is one of the closest and homiest communities you can find!
I grew up in the countryside with lots of farms and open space. There wasn’t much interaction with neighbors, and my parents worked a lot. We also had no extended family close by, so there weren’t many chances to spend time with people, other than school and church. That all changed when I joined the Cub Scouts!
A lot of parents took part in my pack’s events, and we engaged a ton with the community around us. As we did these things together, our world grew much larger and more fun. Through our shared adventures and activities, our Cub Scout pack became its own little community, and I felt at home with my own group of friends.
Cub Scouting is about making new friends, going on exciting trips, and learning useful things. Participating in interesting activities like camps and town parades is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the fun that’s had as a Cub. From personal experience, I’d definitely say that joining Cub Scouts is worthwhile for almost any kid! 🙂
I hope this article was really helpful! It’s always amazing to see for the first time just how much Cub Scouting has to offer. If what you’ve read here caught your eye, I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot as a Cub Scout, and also checking out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:
- What To Expect At A Cub Scout Pack Meeting (To Be Prepared)
- 99 Quotes For BSA Scouts: Inspiration On Your Scouting Adventure
- Cub Scouting Costs In 2023: Uniforms, Fees, And More
- What Is Scouting? Scouts BSA Explained by 39 Scouts and Scouters
- The 3 Biggest Benefits Of Cub Scouting (From a Cub Parent)
That’s all for now! Thanks for stopping by ScoutSmarts, one of the best online resources for preparing you to make the best of your Cub and BSA Scouting journey! Hope to see you back here again soon and, until next time, I’m wishing you nothing but the best. 😀