Families

This group can help your kids have fun, make friends and learn leadership skills

Ryan Kepley, 10, center, and his brother Jonny Kepley, 7, start their climb up the climbing wall during the Cub Scout Stampede with Ropes course as program director George Oxborrow of Bellingham and climbing director Sean Keller help on Oct. 21, 2017, at the Fire Mountain Scout Camp in Mount Vernon, Washington. The annual stampede is organized by the Boy Scouts of America Mount Baker District.
Ryan Kepley, 10, center, and his brother Jonny Kepley, 7, start their climb up the climbing wall during the Cub Scout Stampede with Ropes course as program director George Oxborrow of Bellingham and climbing director Sean Keller help on Oct. 21, 2017, at the Fire Mountain Scout Camp in Mount Vernon, Washington. The annual stampede is organized by the Boy Scouts of America Mount Baker District. For The Bellingham Herald

Cub Scouts join the more than 2.4 million youth who are members of the Boy Scouts of America. Here’s who is eligible to become a Cub Scout and other details for those interested in joining.

Who can join the Cub Scouts?

Cub Scouts is available to boys over the age of 7 or have entered the first grade. Girls will be able to join in the fall of 2018. Cub Scout packs are made up from several dens that serve each grade level. Boy Scouts intends that each den will be single gender but the Cub Scout Pack will serve both boys and girls, according to Michael A. Hawks, development director of the Mount Baker Council, Boy Scouts of America. Each charter organization (churches, service clubs, parent-teacher groups, etc.) will decide whether to offer a male-only or mixed-gender Cub Scout program in 2018, he said. Boy Scout troops for ages 11-17 will be single-gender groups, starting in 2019.

What are the qualifications for Cub Scouts?

The qualifications for joining are meeting the age or grade requirement and “willingness to have a great time,” said, Sven Gilkey, senior district executive for the Mount Baker Council, Whatcom District. Seven-year-olds/first graders are known as Tiger Cubs, and for that age group they are required to have an adult partner with them. This could be a family member like mom, dad, uncle or grandparent.

Who are leaders?

Most leaders are parents of boys involved, but some are just lifelong scouters looking to help out and give back. Scouting is a volunteer organization that relies on the adult volunteers to run a great program with the support of other volunteers and a regional professional.

Where do they meet?

Cub Scouts meet all over Whatcom County in church basements, schools or members’ homes. Go online to whatcomscouting.org and search for a pack near you.

What do they do?

Scouting has three goals: to teach citizenship, help youth grow into adulthood and learn ethical decision making. We do this in a fun way through games and outdoor adventures that help youth explore the world around them and challenge them in age-appropriate activities.

What does it cost?

The cost of Scouting varies depending on the pack you join and what kind of fundraising the pack does.

Why should I join the Cub Scouts?

“Cub Scouts is a doorway to a life of adventure with a real purpose. The friendships you make, the leadership skills you acquire and character growth found in Scouting really does stick with you for the rest of your life. And, it starts with Cub Scouting,” Gilkey said.

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