Making cub scouts work smoothly can be a challenge. In fact, there seems to be three major barriers in terms of having a Cub Scout program work well. But if these common pitfalls are addressed and solved, the other smaller problems will take care of themselves. Training
Problem number one: leaders and families
are unfamiliar with the program. The solution
to this is found in one word--training.
Any leader, in any situation, needs
to understand their responsibilities and
duties, as well as those of whom they work
with. The Boy Scouts of America, through
local districts, provides a series of training
beginning with an online course
called "fast start training" designed to help
understand their job. The Boy Scouts
of America website (scouting.org) has fast start
training for every position from den leaders
to the Primary president and can answer
many of the questions both new and experienced
leaders may have.
The next level of training is called Basic
Training. This covers training for specific
positions, like a den leader or committee
chair. After this training, leaders will know
how the program works as a whole and receive leader-specific training that will,
among other things, help den leaders learn
to keep records and give ideas to Cubmasters
for providing simultaneous entertainment
and instruction to a spirited group of eightto
In addition to these one-time trainings,
roundtable meetings are provided each
month by the sponsoring district and are
especially great for Cub Scout leaders. At
these meetings, the next month's theme and
activities are discussed. Ideas, and in some
cases supplies, are given to den leaders and
Cubmasters. Most districts or councils also
sponsor an annual training conference called
a pow wow. While pow wow attendance is
not required training, the curriculum is very
useful, and many classes and ideas offered
are relevant to every Cub Scout position.
If leaders are properly educated and supported
in their training, they will gain an
understanding of and appreciation for
the aims and purposes of Cub Scouting.
This will help alleviate the second major
In the 2007 Aaronic Priesthood/Scouting
Broadcast, President Charles W. Dahlquist
II, Young Men General President, discussed
tenure in Scouting. "Over time, leaders
become trained, establish strong Scouting
traditions and build relationships of trust
with the boys and their families. . . . Ideally,
it would be wonderful to leave leaders of the
youth in callings as long as possible."
Lack of tenure makes smooth operation
of the Cub Scouting program difficult. In a
well-run program, the boys will be able to
look forward with anticipation to activities
with leaders they can expect in future years.
The third problem faced by many Cub Scout
programs is one of correlation. It is difficult
for some to see how Primary and Cub Scouts
fit together and support one another. There
are several ways Cub Scout requirements
dovetail with Primary's goals: the family,
Character Connections, and Faith in God.
Cub Scouting is a family program. Family
and parental involvement is actually crucial
to the workings of the program. Many
requirements revolve around life at home
and encourage participation with family
members in family activities.
Another way the programs work together is
through Character Connections. Character
Connections reinforce gospel principles and
subjects taught in Primary and at Cub meetings.
Found as requirements throughout all
three den's books, Character Connections
discuss topics like respect, faith, courage
and honesty. Passing off these requirements
necessitates the boys to know, commit to, and
practice these values.
Faith in God
A third way Primary and Cub Scouts reinforce
one another is through the Faith in
God program. This small booklet provides
the requirements for the religious square
knot patch. After he has earned it, this
purple and silver patch is the only one that
will remain with him on all his Scouting
uniforms. He will wear it on his Boy Scout
uniform and on his adult uniform as he
becomes a leader.
The Faith in God program also uses other
Scouting activities to reinforce gospel teachings
that help these young boys prepare for
the priesthood through hands-on activities.
Many leaders try to incorporate one Faith in
God achievement at least once a month in
their Cub Scout meetings.
The Cub Scouting program is a way to
build and support boys as they prepare to
receive the priesthood. In 2007, when speaking
to Scout leaders about Scouts, President
Monson said, "They depend on you. Their
very salvation may be at stake. You can build
a bridge to the heart of a boy and can help
guide his precious soul back to our Father in
Heaven." Leaders and parents who recognize
and follow this counsel concerning Scouting
will do a great service to future generations
of the world as we help these young boys
grow and mature.