The Role of the Parent / Adult Partner

Cub Scouting encourages closeness to family. The program will give you opportunities to take part in activities with your child that you normally couldn’t do. It provides a positive way for parent and child to grow closer together, and encourages you to spend quality time together. In this way, Cub Scouting is a program for the entire family, boys and girls, and your involvement is vital to the program’s success.

Some specific things you can do to help your child in Cub Scouting are

  • Work together on projects

  • Help your Cub Scout along the advancement trail

  • Participate in monthly pack meetings

  • Provide support for your scout’s den and pack

The Cub Scout years are developing years for young kids, falling between the dependence of early childhood and the relative independence of early adolescence. As they grow, your child will gain the ability to do more things “on their own,” but at this stage of their development, your help is critical.

Work with your scout on projects

Scouts often start projects at den meetings and finish them at home with the help of a parent. Such projects become the catalyst for parents and their kids—often joined by siblings and friends—to interact with each other in an informal, relaxed way.

Because the purpose of projects is to teach a new skill, a project will challenge a scout to do tasks that he hasn’t currently mastered. It’s not uncommon, therefore, for a scout to need help from their family to do some of the projects. In Cub Scouting, scouts are not expected to do things entirely on their own. So long as a scout does their best to do as much as they’re capable of, it’s perfectly acceptable for a parent or sibling to help him with the tasks he’s unable to do on their own.

Help your scout along the advancement trail

The advancement plan is designed for parents to use to create a learning environment in their home. With the Cub Scout handbooks as a resource, parents and scouts work together to do the achievements required for each badge. The advancement plan provides fun and gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges. It strengthens family understanding as adult family members work with scouts on advancement projects. While Cub Scouts will learn skills and begin work on projects in their weekly den meetings, the parent remains at the center of the advancement program. As each task is done or each skill is demonstrated, the parent signs the Cub Scout’s handbook to record its completion. And when the scout has completed all the requirements to earn an award, the parent presents that award at the next monthly pack meeting.

Participate in monthly pack meetings

The weekly den meetings are for Cub Scouts and their adult leader. The pack meeting is for the entire family of every Cub Scout. At pack meetings, parents see their children in action with their friends, meet other parents, and join with neighbors in caring and sharing. These types of opportunities are scarce, and pack meetings highlight how Cub Scouting teaches kids cooperation and collaboration. The pack meeting is also a monthly showcase for all that the boys have worked on in their den meetings. Craft projects are on display, skills are demonstrated, and skits are performed to show the scouts’ command of the monthly theme. While kids at this age seem to be struggling toward independence, having the approval of their parents and other adults whom they admire remains important to them—so your presence at these meetings is critical to underscore the importance of the lessons your child has learned.

Provide support for your scout’s den and pack

It’s important to remember that the adult leaders of your scout’s den and pack are volunteers who give their own time to provide a quality program for your child.  Pack events such as the pinewood derby, blue and gold banquet, or field days take a lot of effort—more than the monthly meetings. The pack’s leaders would likely welcome any help you can give. Likewise, den leaders will be grateful to parents who can lend a hand with field trips and outings. By pitching in as needed, you can show your scout the importance of helping others. So be on the lookout for opportunities for you to help the den, the pack, and its leaders.