Lion is the first rank in Cub Scouts. In order to join Cub Scouting as a Lion, a child must either be in kindergarten or at least five years old. Through the adventures in earning Lion rank, a Cub Scout will be introduced to the world of Scouting, and set off on the right path of to learning and self-confidence!
PS. This article is a collaboration between Arrow Of Light, Chandler M, and Cole 🙂
There are five required adventures and one optional adventure for Lion rank. These will take your child through the basics of the Cub program and get their feet wet with some of the outdoor activities that make Scouting so special! Plus, as parents you’re encouraged to get involved, so this is sure to be a roaring good time for the whole family! 😉
In this guide, I’ll help you through each of the required Lion rank adventures and provide you with some useful pointers! Some adventures will have Cub Scouts learning Scout sayings, others will involve physical fitness, and some will even be about emergency prep! Let’s take a look at the official Lion rank requirements:
What Are The Lion Rank Requirements?
- Complete each of the following Lion Required Adventures with your den or family:
- Lions are encouraged to also complete any Elective Adventures that interest them:
- I’ll Do It Myself
- Pick My Path
- Gizmos and Gadgets
- On Your Mark
- Build It Up, Knock It Down
- Rumble in the Jungle
- Ready, Set, Grow
- With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet entitled How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.
When I was a Cub, I loved learning these super-useful skills, and I’m sure your cub will too! Cubs often complete adventures as a den, but it can be helpful for parents to know this information too as they help their Cub. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into learning how to complete the Lion’s Honor adventure. 😀
I) Complete each of the following Lion Required Adventures with your den or family:
Completing The ‘Lion’s Honor’ Lion Adventure
The Lion’s Honor adventure serves as an introduction to Scouting as a whole. In this adventure, your Cub will need to learn the Cub Scout sign, motto, and salute, and learn how to participate in the den and pack. Below are the official requirements for Lion’s Honor:
- Show the Cub Scout sign. Tell what it means.
- Repeat the Cub Scout motto. Tell what it means.
- Show the Cub Scout salute. Tell what it means.
- Show teamwork and good sportsmanship by playing a game with your den.
- Participate in an outing.
Your Cub may already have some exposure to these topics, but if not they should pick it up pretty quickly! Even if they haven’t encountered the Scout sign, motto, or salute before, every Cub learns them at some point. Below, I’ll give you further details on each of these requirements so you can help your Cub be successful!
Helpful Link: By the way, not quite sure what the difference is between a pack meeting and a den meeting? Check out this helpful ScoutSmarts article comparing these two essential Cub Scout get-togethers!
1.1) Show the Cub Scout sign. Tell what it means.
The Cub Scout sign is used regularly during Cub Scout functions. The sign is used when reciting the Scout Oath or as a way to quiet the pack/den. The sign consists of holding up two fingers, almost like a peace sign. The two fingers up represent wolf ears pointing up, ready to listen.
If you’re ever trying to get your den or pack’s attention, hold up your Cub Scout sign! In my pack and troop, when calling for attention, the leader would silently hold up their sign. And, as people noticed, they’d stop talking and put their signs up too. We always tried never to be the last one to notice and raise our signs!
1.2) Repeat the Cub Scout motto. Tell what it means.
The Cub Scout motto is typically said at the beginning of any pack meeting, but is meant to be applicable to your Cub at all times. The motto itself is really simple: “Do Your Best.” All this means is that your Cub should always be putting in their best effort! Fun fact: Did you know the Scouts BSA motto is “Be Prepared?”
1.3) Show the Cub Scout salute. Tell what it means.
The Cub Scout salute is similar to a traditional salute, except it only uses two fingers and is done on the brim of the Cub’s hat. This salute is used whenever saying the Pledge of Allegiance or presenting the flag, as long as your Cub is in uniform.
Like in the Cub Scout sign, the two fingers of the Cub Scout salute signify the ears of a wolf. For the BSA Scout salute, it’d essentially look the same, except instead of using 2 fingers like Cubs, BSA Scouts use their middle 3 fingers!
1.4) Show teamwork and good sportsmanship by playing a game with your den.
We all know that kids love to play — and play helps them learn, too! Games are a regular occurrence during den meetings (in fact, check out My 11 Favorite Cub Scout Games 🙂 ). These games let Cubs get to know each other, have some fun, and learn about teamwork.
It’s likely your Cub has already played some games with their den if they’ve been around for more than a few weeks. If your Cub hasn’t yet fulfilled this requirement though, you can help organize a game for the den like capture the flag, relay races, a memorization game, or any easy game I share in the article above. These games are sure to keep Cubs engaged and excited during a meeting!
Helpful Link: If you want some ideas for activities and more, check out our article on how to plan a fun Cub Scout den meeting!
1.5) Participate in an outing.
The last requirement for this adventure is to participate in an outing. This requirement is pretty self-explanatory and just involves you and your Cub participating in a planned outing by the pack or den. Visiting a park, doing a service project, or going to a museum would all be great choices!
Completing The ‘Fun On The Run’ Lion Adventure
Every Cub Scout rank has an adventure revolving around fitness and nutrition. These adventures help guide your Cub into making healthy choices and staying active! Fun on the Run is a great introduction to some of these principles, and helps set the foundation for a healthy life! This adventure consists of four steps:
- Learn and demonstrate three exercises you can do each day.
- Have Lions make a nutritious snack for the den.
- Understand the importance of rest.
- Participate as a den in Jungle Field Day.
The activities are a fun way to introduce the ideas of a balanced diet and frequent exercise to your Cub. None of these requirements is intense; they just go over the basic principles — all while eating a yummy snack and getting the wiggles out! 😀
2.1) Learn and demonstrate three exercises you can do each day.
Your Cub may be involved in sports or some other physical activity, but they may have not been introduced to formal exercise yet. The goal of this requirement is to teach your Cub three exercises they can do every day. It doesn’t need to be strenuous, just something to get their heart rate and strength up!
These short videos (all super quick and informative) demonstrate three examples. These exercises are great because they can all be modified based on your Cub’s flexibility and athleticism. The exercises don’t need to be perfect, just something that they can try each day and demonstrate to the den.
2.2) Have Lions make a nutritious snack for the den.
Along with exercise, eating well is another important part of staying healthy. For this requirement, you and your Cub are tasked with making a nutritious snack for your den. This doesn’t need to be anything extravagant! Here are some simple snack ideas:
- Carrot sticks
- Fruit Cups
- Cheese sticks
Before sharing your snack with the den, it is important to coordinate what you’re bringing with other den members — it’s not as fun if everyone brings celery! 😉 In addition, some Cubs may have food allergies, so you may need to avoid certain snack options. For ideas, see this article on 5 Awesome Scout Trail Snacks!
2.3) Understand the importance of rest.
Rest is extremely important if you want to have enough energy to go about your daily activities. This is something that many people neglect, so reinforcing this topic to your Cub early on can help keep them healthy and able to put their best foot forward!
For a typical school-aged child, the Centers for Disease Control recommends 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Having this rest can help promote growth, improve memory, help behavior and attention, and keep your Cub feeling their best!
2.4) Participate as a den in Jungle Field Day.
Jungle Field Day is a Scouting activity, typically led by the pack, in which Cubs participate in various physical activities. Examples include short sprints, relay races, long jumps, and tug-of-war. These activities can help your Cub stay healthy, get to know other Cubs, and just have fun!
Completing The ‘Animal Kingdom’ Lion Adventure
Participating in one’s community is a big part of being a Cub, or a BSA Scout. In Scouting, there is a lot of emphasis on giving back to the community and learning about citizenship. That’s why, Animal Kingdom is only the first of many adventures where your Cub will learn about these important topics.
- Learn the role of someone who provides a service to your community.
- Demonstrate you know what to do in an emergency.
- Choose two energy-saving projects to practice in your home for two weeks.
- Participate in a Lion den family service project for others.
This adventure will be a lot of fun and a key learning experience for your Cub. Animal Kingdom covers so much — it’s a great exercise in emergency preparedness, energy conservation, and service to the community! 😀
3.1) Learn the role of someone who provides a service to your community.
There are a lot of people who serve our communities, but some of the most important include police, firefighters, and emergency medical services. If your Cub is interested in one of these three groups, I’ve included some videos to help you fulfill this requirement!
These videos should provide your Cub with a good overview of what these professionals do and how they help others. If you want to go the extra mile, arrange for your Cub or den to visit a police or fire station to meet some real people serving your community!
3.2) Demonstrate you know what to do in an emergency.
Like every child, your Cub needs to know what to do in an emergency. Maybe you and your Cub’s school have already taught them these important lessons. Regardless, it never hurts to review! Here are some basic steps that you should teach your Cub:
- Stay calm.
- Call 911.
- Explain to the operator what kind of emergency they’re in.
- Explain where they are.
- Stay on the line until help arrives.
If possible, your Cub should always seek help from a trusted adult, but that’s not always an option. Thankfully, there are phones everywhere, allowing your Cub to dial 911 in the event of an emergency. It’s also a great idea to make sure they know your home address in case they are lost or have to tell emergency services where to go!
3.3) Choose two energy-saving projects to practice in your home for two weeks.
Your household may already have some energy-saving habits to protect the environment and keep your power bill down, but it’s important to get your Cub involved and learning! Here are some examples of the many different energy-saving projects to choose from that your Cub can help with:
- Take shorter showers.
- Put a timer in the bathroom to help decrease the amount of time spent in the shower.
- Turn everything off when leaving home.
- Before leaving home, have your Cub check every room for lights or TVs that may still be running.
- Spend less time on screens.
- For two weeks, make an effort to limit screen or electronic time.
There are plenty of more projects that you can do; these are just some simple examples to get you started. Encourage your Cub to come up with some more ideas for this requirement! You can also find resources online for more energy-saving tips.
3.4) Participate in a Lion den family service project for others.
This requirement may already be completed for you — if you did a service project for your outing in Lion’s Honor, it also counts for this requirement! 🙂 If not, I recommend signing up for an impactful Cub Scout service outing with your pack. Here are 57 excellent BSA Service Projects to serve as inspiration!
Completing The ‘Mountain Lion’ Lion Adventure
Mountain Lion will likely be your Cub’s first taste of outdoor outings within Scouting. In this adventure, your Cub will learn how to be prepared for an outing, what to do when lost, and how to show respect to animals and their environment.
- Gather the outdoor items you need to have with you when you go on an outdoor adventure, and understand how they are used. Also understand and commit to practicing the buddy system.
- Learn what SAW (Stay, Answer, Whistle) means. Demonstrate what you can do to stay safe if you become separated from the group when you are outdoors.
- Demonstrate an understanding of respect for animals and nature when participating in a learning hike.
These topics will keep coming up throughout their adventures in Cub Scouts and Scouting. This adventure is just laying the groundwork for all of the hiking, camping, and overall outdoor fun ahead!
4.1) Gather the outdoor items you need to have with you when you go on an outdoor adventure, and understand how they are used. Also understand and commit to practicing the buddy system.
When preparing for an outdoor adventure in Cub Scouts, I always look to the Cub Scout Six Essentials. As the name implies, these items are the most important things for your Cub to carry when they go out into nature. The 6 Cub Scout essential safety must-haves are the following:
- First Aid Kit
- Water Bottle
- Trail Food
- Sun Protection
- A Whistle
I also recommend rain gear, just in case there is inclement weather. I’ve been on plenty of outdoor adventures where there was no rain on the forecast but it still ended up raining! The second part of this requirement is the buddy system.
Used in both Cubs and Scouting, the buddy system requires that every Cub be paired with a buddy. If something were to happen to one Cub, there would be someone else present to call for help. The buddy system also prevents Cubs from getting lost and making bad decisions, and teaches them to look out for each other!
4.2) Learn what SAW (Stay, Answer, Whistle) means. Demonstrate what you can do to stay safe if you become separated from the group when you are outdoors.
SAW is the guiding principle for what to do when lost outdoors. As we saw in the last requirement, a whistle is a required item when camping. This allows your Cub to call for help if they get lost. Here is what SAW entails:
- Once the Cub realizes that they’re separated from the group, they should stay there! If the Cub keeps walking, they could be harder to find.
- If your Cub hears someone calling out, they need to answer. This will help others locate them.
- If your Cub is still separated, they need to blow their whistle. This will alert others (not just your group) that someone needs help and can help locate the lost Cub.
This may be a good thing to practice in a controlled environment. That way, they’ll feel confident if they ever have to use these steps. Getting lost is scary, but as long as the Cub stays calm and follows these guiding principles, they will be found and returned to their group!
4.3) Demonstrate an understanding of respect for animals and nature when participating in a learning hike.
When on an outing anywhere, it is important for Cubs and Scouts to be respectful. Other people use the same trails, campsites, and areas that you will be using, so we want to make sure they’re preserved for future campers!
There are several guidelines your Cub should keep in mind in order to adventure responsibly. When outside, it’s important to remember to leave things where you found them, not touch wild animals, avoid leaving trash, and make as little an impact on the area as possible. The Outdoor Code is a crucial Scouting principle that goes into this in more detail. 🙂
Completing The ‘King of the Jungle’ Lion Adventure
The final adventure in the Lion rank, King of the Jungle requires your Cub to participate in a flag ceremony, learn what it means to be a good citizen, and learn what it means to be a leader. In fact, these are the only three requirements in this exciting adventure:
- Participate in a flag ceremony with your den.
- Explain what it means to be a good citizen.
- Explain what it means to be a leader.
This adventure will fly by, as it mostly consists of conversations with the Cubs. We’ll go through some talking points for each requirement to help you guide your Cub in learning these concepts. Make sure they pay close attention because these lessons will follow your Cub throughout their entire Scouting journey!
5.1) Participate in a flag ceremony with your den.
Flag ceremonies are an integral part of both Cubbing and Scouting. A flag ceremony allows Scouts to show reverence to the flag, come together, and pay their respects to the nation. These are typically led by older Cubs, so your Cub will just need to participate and be present. Your Cub will need to wear their full Class A uniform for this. 🙂
5.2) Explain what it means to be a good citizen.
What are the principles of good citizenship? The answer to this question can differ depending on whom you ask! However, the big points are usually the same. Here are some key things to remember and consider when completing this requirement.
- Do your duties
- For adults, this would include voting, paying taxes, and jury duty.
- Follow the law
- Part of being a good citizen is acting in accordance with the law.
- Help others
- This can include doing service, giving to those who are in need, or spending time with the elderly.
These are just the main points that your Cub should know when answering this requirement. It’s always encouraged to go into more detail if they want, but I’d recommend making sure your Cub has these three main points down first!
5.3) Explain what it means to be a leader.
Being a leader is a constant theme in both Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA. Leadership was one of my biggest takeaways when I earned my Eagle and left the Scouting program – and still continues to help me out a ton throughout my life today! There are a few key things that every leader should do:
- Guide others
- Help show the people that you’re leading what they need to do and how to do it.
- Be patient
- It can be easy to get frustrated as a leader. When leading other people, it is important that you take a breath and be patient!
- Others may have valuable input on how to do something. Take their suggestions into account when making a decision.
- All leaders encounter problems. Working to solve them is a big component of guiding others.
- Be a role model
- Finally, leaders should be someone for others to look up to. This means being on your best behavior, following rules, and listening to others.
As with the last requirement, there are plenty of other things that could be added to this list! These are just the main points. When going over this requirement with your Cub, it’s important that they know these principles, but you should also feel free to discuss what leadership means to you!
II) Lions are encouraged to also complete any Elective Adventures that interest them:
— I’ll Do It Myself
— Pick My Path
— Gizmos and Gadgets
— On Your Mark
— Build It Up, Knock It Down
— Rumble in the Jungle
— Ready, Set, Grow
While you aren’t required to complete these adventures, they’re a lot of fun for any Cub to work on! Some requirements involve making a preparedness bag, while others cover topics like gardening, good choices, and jungle animals. I’d highly encourage your den to work on a few of these if they have some free time. 🙂
III) With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet entitled How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.
You can find the Lion How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: Parent’s Guide resources on the Scouting.org website by clicking here. While child abuse may feel a bit difficult a topic to discuss with your Cub, it’s extremely important to make them aware of measures they should take to protect themselves.
It’s also important to note that instances of child abuse are incredibly rare in Scouting, as all volunteers have background checks, and all participants follow rules like 2-deep, where an adult can never be alone with a Cub/Scout. So, do your best and take your time to go over all of this information thoroughly, but know it most likely is just for preparedness and won’t need to be used!
Wow, great work completing all of those adventures! Everything a Lion Cub learns won’t only just be enjoyable, but will also help to prepare them for life. From discovering how to be a better citizen, to learning about health, earning the Lion rank is the perfect start to an incredible Scouting journey ahead!
With that, you’re now prepared to advance past Cub Scouting’s first rank! To find my helpful explainers for the next ranks, be sure to check out my article on Cub Scout Ranks And Advancement. Also, wonderful job making it this far! If you enjoyed reading this, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles:
- Cub Scouting Costs Explained: Uniforms, Fees, And More
- The Biggest Benefits Of Cub Scouting (For My Child and Family)
- Is Cub Scouts Still Worth Joining? 6 Epic Personal Takeaways
- Cub Scout Camping: Top Tips For Parents On Packing and Prep
- How To Win A Pinewood Derby: 6 Science-Backed Tips For Cub Scouts
I hope this article helped you out a ton! Be sure to share it with the other Cub Scout families who are working on Lion rank if they need a hand. Also, come back to ScoutSmarts soon for more Cub Scouting support! Until next time, I’m wishing you and your family some fun and memorable times with your pack. 😀