Announcing "Lion Cubs"
One of my earliest childhood memories was waiting upstairs in our home in Michigan while my mom, who was then a Den Mother, was hosting a meeting for my older brotherâ€™s Wolf Cub Scout den in our basement. (Donâ€™t call them Den Mothers now. If you do, youâ€™ll hear the retort, â€œIâ€™m not their mother!â€ Instead use the more current term, Den Leader) I was too young but so much wanted to be a Cub Scout, to wear the uniform, to take part in the fun activities. To me it seemed like forever before Iâ€™d actually get to join.
The anticipation of younger siblings to join the Scouting program is unbearable for many little tikes, but now five year olds can have their own Scouting experience with a pilot program that the Orange County Council will be participating in. Lion Cubs begins in kindergarten and has been wildly successful in other councils where it has been tested. Extending the Cub Scout program a year earlier than Tigers, it is a simplified parent/child program that involves a small time commitment to allow families to test the waters with Scouting. Rather than a full uniform, boys wear a t-shirt and earn stickers for their accomplishments. Here are some other features of the program:
- In Lions, youâ€™ll find the familiar concepts of character development, leadership skills, personal fitness and citizenship weaved into activities that are age-appropriate and fun.
- â€œAdventures,â€ which are themed sets of activities and experiences, will help families explore the world around them.
- Lions will form into dens of six to eight boys. Parents will serve as â€œLion Guides.â€
- Lion dens may be invited to some pack meetings, but Scouters should make sure any meetings the Lions attend include age-appropriate activities.
- At the end of the kindergarten year, Lions will graduate into Cub Scouting as Tigers, where even more fun and adventure await!
I applaud the Boy Scouts of America for opening its ranks to even younger kids at a time in their lives when they are first discovering their interests. If youâ€™ve got a soon-to-be kindergartner yearning to join Scouts, check out the new program that will be rolled out at your local round table meeting tomorrow night, Thursday, June 9th. Check out your districtâ€™s round table time and meeting location here.