Supporting Your Child In Cub Scouting: A Parent’s Guide

Are you the proud parent of a Cub Scout? If so, your child will surely benefit from their experiences in Cub Scouting, as there are tons of skills to develop and lessons to learn. That said, I’m sure you’re wondering how to support their journey and help them get the most out of Scouting. In this article, I’m going to cover exactly that!

P.S. This article is a guest post collaboration with Eagle Scout and AOL recipient, Michael M🙂

I’ll start by giving you some ways that you can directly assist your child in their Scouting adventures. After that, we’ll cover some indirect ways that you can enhance their experience. These methods involve helping their pack as a whole, which will not only support your Cub but also their friends. Let’s do this!

How Can Parents Best Support Their Cub Scout?

Participate With Your Cub and Their Pack

Unlike Scouts BSA, Cub Scouting heavily encourages parent participation. As your child takes part in the activities expected of a Cub Scout, they’re going to want to have you there with them! Your presence alone will greatly improve their experience in Scouting. Renowned civil rights activist Jesse Jackson once said, “Your children need your presence more than your presents.” 😀

He’s absolutely right! And your involvement in the program doesn’t need to stop there. As a parent, you have the opportunity to be more than a passive supporter. Why not go the extra mile and take part in their adventure alongside them? You can act as a companion, an adviser, and even a friend within the pack!

Of course, there will be times when it’s best for your Cub to work alone, and that’s okay too. Exercising independence is a key part of the program, and it will become more and more important as they rise up in the ranks. Scouts BSA will revolve largely around self-sufficiency, so that concept is emphasized more towards the end of the Cub Scout path.

Read Each Cub Scout Handbook

As your Cub moves on from one rank to the next, they’ll also move on to a new handbook that better fits their age, skills, and experience. The handbook for each rank includes information about adventures, requirements, and so much more. It’s important that you pore through what’s inside each handbook so you have a clear idea of what your Cub is learning!

These handbooks are available in both physical and digital formats. Although e-books tend to be cheaper than paperbacks, the physical version is definitely the way to go with Cub Scout handbooks! That way, your child can bring the handbook along on their outdoor adventures and have it freely accessible to reference. 🙂

Also, for more info on progression through Cub Scouts, be sure to check out this helpful article for a full overview of the Cub Scouting Ranks and Advancement Trail!

Learn the Crucial Skills of Cub Scout Camping

Camping is an integral part of the Scouting experience. The program teaches skills and principles your child might not find in other activities. Plus, the wilderness is the perfect setting for imparting many of these lessons! For your Cub, learning the essentials of surviving and thriving in an outdoor environment will be a great confidence booster!

Maybe you’re already an avid camper, but if you’re not, give yourself the time you need to understand these skills properly. Once you have a solid foundation on them all, you can help your Cub get a firm grasp on them too! Some key camping skills include:

  • Pitching and dismantling a tent
  • Setting up and putting out a fire
  • Carrying out first aid
  • Keeping an eye on your surroundings
  • Following the principles of the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself having a lot of fun with this one. Camping is a useful skill, but it’s also a fun pastime! There are lots of people who get a genuine thrill out of spending time in the great outdoors, and who knows? You and your family might end up being some of them 😉

If you’re wondering where to start, why not go with setting up and taking down a tent? The process isn’t as hard as you might think, and I’m sure you’ll master it in no time. You could even camp in your backyard (or living room!) to ease into things. Here’s a handy little video (5:43) to walk you through the process!

Form Relationships With the Other Cub Parents

Making connections in the Scouting community will help you stay in the loop. If you weren’t able to make it to a pack meeting, call up a fellow parent and ask them for a rundown! Getting to know the parents on an individual level makes it easy to do just that. Never underestimate the importance of networking within your pack!

Of course, that’s easier said than done. You might connect with the other parents right away, or you may need to break some ice. Want some ideas on how to form bonds between yourself and your fellow parents? Here are some tried-and-true ways to make that happen:

  • Ask about their Cub’s favorite activities and pack events
  • Try to learn more about the pack and Cub Scouting in general
  • Lend a hand and volunteer whenever you can
  • Show up whenever possible and demonstrate your commitment to the pack

That last one is especially vital! When you show other parents that you’re someone the pack can rely on, your bonds with them will naturally deepen. You’ll earn their respect and make it clear that you’re invested in the success of every last Cub, their own included. 😀

Also, keep in mind that these relationships between parents can serve as a springboard for so much more! After all, your pack is made up of both parents and children. Getting close with the other parents will encourage your child and theirs to get closer as well!

Adult Volunteering in a Cub Scout Pack

Now, let’s go through a few ways that you can help the group as a whole! As I said earlier, assisting your pack will absolutely benefit your child in both the short term and long term. By helping the pack function properly and efficiently, you’ll make it much easier for the group to provide an ideal experience for every Cub!

Wondering how best to keep your pack running smoothly? Well, helping out can take many forms! Here are just a few to get you started:

  • Participating in fundraisers
  • Helping to plan activities
  • Preparing food for events
  • Assisting in carpools/transportation
  • Finding/booking activities
  • Becoming an adult leader
  • Taking BALOO

You may have noticed that helping out at den meetings isn’t on that list. Parental involvement in those events should always be handled with care. Without proper planning, a parent’s presence could distract a Cub from their den activity! If you do want to be there, consult your Den Leader so they can come up with an inconspicuous way for you to take part.

Helpful Link: Want to know more about the difference between a pack meeting and a den meeting? Check out this informative article comparing the two to help your Cub be prepared for either one!

Up next, I’m going to break down the last two bullets on the list in greater detail. Leadership positions and BALOO training are important enough that I believe each one deserves its very own section. They may require a bit more initiative on your part, but they’re necessary roles and will sure to pay off for both your pack and your Cub!

Volunteering as a Cub Scout Adult Leader

I’d highly recommend volunteering for a leadership role if you have the availability and see a vacancy approaching! When a Cub Scout moves on to Scouts BSA, their parents often depart from Cub Scouts with them. If one of those parents is a leader, then that leaves a hole in the pack structure that’s just waiting to be filled!

Are you wondering what sorts of roles exist for you to choose from? Well, look no further! Here are a few of the leadership positions that Cub Scouts offers:

  • Assistant Den Leader
  • Assistant Cubmaster
  • Committee member

There are also positions with more duties and responsibilities, such as Den Leader and Cubmaster. Still, it’s wise to start with a less involved role, then move on to a high-ranking position if a vacancy appears and you feel confident enough to fill it!

For a full guide to pack leadership and a description of the duties for each volunteer position, be sure to check out this helpful ScoutSmarts article: Cub Scout Pack Structure 101: Every Leadership Role Explained!

If you find a role that you’re interested in taking on, the first step is to speak with the Cubmaster or the Committee Chair. They’re sure to have a solid grasp of the functions and tasks assigned to each role. By talking with them beforehand, you’ll have a better idea of whether the position is an ideal fit for you.

Of course, your exploration of the role doesn’t need to stop there! There are lots of resources online to find out more about any position. For example, here’s a short video (4:37) breaking down the tasks and responsibilities of a Den Leader.

Signing Up For BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation)

Now, you may be wondering, “What exactly is BALOO?” BALOO stands for Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation, and it’s a training course meant to introduce leaders to the Cub Scout outdoor program, and help promote safety for the Cubs in a pack. If you want your pack to take part in the excitement and thrills of camping, BALOO is a must!

Here’s what the Guide to Safe Scouting has to say about BALOO: “Additionally, at a minimum, Cub Scout Packs and Webelos / Arrow of Light Dens who camp overnight must have a BALOO trained leader present. It is recommended for all Cub Scout leaders.”

You’ll be happy to know that BALOO isn’t an overly intense or difficult course to complete. In fact, it takes only a day and a half to get through! Note that there is a prerequisite that you must complete online prior to taking the practical component.

Taking BALOO will benefit both your own child and the pack as a whole! By completing the training, you’ll be able to step in and put your knowledge to good use. In fact, every time a camping trip rolls around, your expertise will serve as an invaluable resource!

Have Fun and Make Memories With Your Cub Scout!

Most important of all, remember to enjoy the time you spend with your Cub and their pack! These times you all spend together are ones that the two of you will look back on happily many years from now. Plus, keep in mind that cherishing these times as they happen isn’t only for your own benefit!

Parental happiness is key to a child’s happiness as well. Your Cub wants to see that you’re enjoying the time you two spend together in Scouting. In fact, your emotional involvement in the program is an essential part of your child’s Scouting experience. So, make sure to remember that as you and your Cub have some incredible experiences in Scouting! 🙂

“In the happiest of our childhood memories, our parents were happy, too.”

Robert Brault

As a parent, it’s easy to view Scouting as just one more activity on a busy schedule. Still, it’s vital that you see Cub scouting for what it really is: a fun and irreplaceable experience for both yourself and your Cub. Instead of getting too focused on requirements, cherish these times with your child. Remember to laugh. Remember to smile. They’ll remember that you did!


As you can see, there are quite a few ways to help your Cub have the best Scouting experience possible. And of course, you don’t need to limit yourself to what’s on this list! If you see an opportunity to improve or enhance your child’s Scouting adventure, please don’t hesitate to take full advantage.

Like I said before, Scouting is an experience that both you and your child will look back on fondly. So, take an active role in supporting your Cub and make those memories as great as they can be! If you actively work toward it, you can absolutely make joining Cub Scouting one of the all-time best decisions for your child and family!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you got a lot out of this article, and are ready to support your child in having an incredible journey through Cub Scouting. For more essential info to be prepared for the adventures to come, I’d recommend also checking out any of these other awesome articles:

That’s all for this article! Hope to see you back here at ScoutSmarts again soon. Until next time, I’m wishing you and your Cub some amazing times with the pack! 🙂


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!

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