Frequently Asked Questions:
This page is dedicated to answering any and all questions you may have regarding our Cub Scout program.
Q: What do I need to purchase in order for my son to be a uniformed Scout?
A: While a full Class-A uniform is the ideal, we understand that parents may not be able to afford a full uniform right away. At a bare minimum, each Scout should have his rank’s neckerchief, neckerchief slide, and the Cub Scout belt. The neckerchief makes it easier to sort the different age groups in a crowd and the belt is essential since the Cub Scout reward system is now completely belt loops. Gone are the days of recognition beads. A Webelos Scout should have either the Webelos hat or shoulder straps since they still use pins as a reward system.
With that being said, the Class-A uniform, either a blue shirt (Tigers thru Bears), or tan shirt (Webelos I and II), complete with insignia, neckerchief, neckerchief slide, and Cub Scout belt (Tigers thru Bears) or shoulder strap (Webelos I and II) create a unifying experience between scouts both in den meetings and out in the field. It’s a profound statement to the public that you are supporting your scout’s efforts to become an upstanding citizen.
Q: Den meetings, pack meetings, outdoor practical experience meetings…what does it all mean?
A: Den meetings are the instructional phase of a Cub Scout’s particular adventure. For example, learning how to care for a campfire and proper food safety techniques would be something your Scout might learn in a classroom setting. Outdoor practical experience meetings are, as the name implies, outdoors where Scouts apply what they learned in den meetings. Pack meetings are specially reserved meetings at the end of each month where Scouts are recognized for their achievements with either belt loops or pins (and sometimes patches). Of course, there are also special occasions, such a holiday parties, Scouting’s birthday (Scout Sunday), and sportsmanship events like The Pinewood Derby.
Q: Why do we use the 3 finger salute and shake with the left hand when the handbooks say otherwise?
A: As a pack, we believe in staying as on-point with the Boy Scouts program as much as possible. In Boy Scouts, the customary scout salute is with three fingers. The two-finger salute is a carryover from the old methods of Cub Scouting. Likewise, we shake with the left hand for the same reason. These differences are addressed during Bobcat Badge training.
Q: Do parents need to remain on property for meetings?
A: YES! Unlike Boy Scouts, where boys learn from their peers, Cub Scouts is a family experience. Unlike many structured after-school activities, Cub Scouts allow parents to participate in their son’s progress. There may be occasions where a Scout’s building project needs a helping hand from a parent or guardian. Or participating in a CPR demonstration requires a little over the shoulder reassurance. Don’t exclude yourself from the fun you can SHARE with your Scout.
Q: It feels like everyone has a fundraiser of some sort at the start of the school year. Does Cub Scouts really need to have one as well?
A: We are a completely self-funded pack. As such, we receive no financial assistance from Cape Fear Council or our charter organization. Recognition items, such as belt loops and patches, vary in price from $1.50 to $5.00 each. When you factor in a number of these items per Scout, it becomes a considerable cost. Not to mention money spent on materials for den meetings, holiday parties, Pinewood Derby kits, and other expenses. If we did not participate in a fundraiser, we would have to mandate award patch fees and activity fees. The Trail’s End Popcorn fundraiser removes that burden from parents. We ask that each scout sell $160 worth of popcorn (either by direct sales, online sales, or participation in Show and Sells). For those not interested in participating in our annual fundraiser, you will be required to pay pack dues ($50) by the end of January. If you do not participate in the fundraiser or pay pack dues, we will be unable to purchase award items for you scout past January.
At the end of every Scouting year, we like to provide our Scouting Family the opportunity to spend a weekend together full of fun and fellowship. We have been fortunate to be able to offer significantly discounted camping with associated activities at places like Camp Kirkwood and Shallotte River Swamp Park. Typically, we ask the parents to pay for some of the costs, while we cover the cost of food. To achieve that end, we participate in an annual Camp Card Fundraiser. This fundraiser is dual purposed; For those families who are able to sell 40 Camp Cards, we pay for their scout and a parent to attend Spring Resident Camp at Camp McNeill. The balance of the money raised during the fundraiser goes towards paying for food and activities for Family Fun Weekend. We usually need to raise around $400 in order to cover the cost of the food (based on 50-55 attendees). Any additional funds raised will be applied towards the cost of activities. The more money we are able to raise, the cheaper the event becomes for everyone who wishes to attend.
If you have any questions regarding our annual Popcorn or Camp Card Fundraisers, please contact Tammy Albright, our Fundraiser Chairwoman, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I’ve never been camping before. What do I need to have (at a minimum) in order to have a successful camping trip with other members of the pack?
A: First and foremost, a tent will be essential. There are times when we go camping and it rains. That’s just part of the experience. No matter what tent you choose, be sure to set it up AT HOME prior to going camping. The better you understand how to assemble your tent, the better off you will be able to do so if the conditions are not ideal when you get to the campsite. Depending on the time of year, a quality sleeping bag may be in order. However, an old comforter, blankets, and sheets will do fine in a pinch. And finally, be sure to have some sort of drinking device (canteen, water bottle, etc) and mosquito repellant on hand.
Keep in mind, these are the bare minimum essentials. When it comes to camping, you can purchase a wide variety of comfort items to enhance your experience. To give you an idea…there are air mattresses, bedrolls, folding cots, and portable fans…just to name a few. You may be asking, how can I get all this stuff to the campsite? Fortunately, our pack has a trailer that can easily fit plenty of camping gear inside (and protected from the elements). Typically, the Thursday night before a camping trip, we will have the trailer available at a centralized location in Leland for families to drop off their gear to be loaded in the trailer for delivery the next day to the campsite.
Q: What else besides camping equipment should I consider when packing for a camping trip?
A: First and foremost, you will be required to fill out a health form (the link to that form is on the home page of this website) for each member of your family attending camp. Be sure to bring these with you to camp, otherwise you will need to spend time filling out another one at the registration office. Consider the time of year you are going camping, and bring clothing suitable for the weather. Any regularly used medication should be brought with (do not pack medication in the pack trailer). Easy to eat snacks and plenty of bottled water is recommended. And finally, a good flashlight is handy at nightfall. Please note: Only Bears and Webelos are allowed to bring folding pocket knives to camp and ONLY if they possess a Whittling Chip card. Any other rank found with a knife in their possession will have it confiscated until after the camping trip is concluded. Also, no alcohol is permitted on camping trips.
Q: What if my Scout becomes ill and misses a den or pack meeting?
A: As was stated previously, Cub Scouts is a family experience. Many elements that are worked on in den meetings can usually be done at home with a parent or guardian (with some exceptions such as special visits or guest speakers). There are usually several optional steps in an adventure that can be done at home in place of what was missed. It will be up to the parent or guardian to work with their Scout to make up for the missed material and report back to their den leader that such work has been completed. We operate on the honor system when it comes to matters such as this. A Scout is Trustworthy.
Q: I’d like to be involved by helping out at various social gatherings, like holiday parties and special occasions. Who should I discuss this with?
A: We would be more than happy to discuss how you can help out at any of these type of events. Den Leaders are usually involved with their dens, making it difficult for them to also run the various aspects of a celebration. Therefore, anyone willing to help with decorating, serving, or running activities will be put to good use. Should you wish to volunteer for these special activities, contact us at email@example.com
Q: What is Scout Sunday?
A: Every year on the second Sunday in February, we pay respect to the founder of Scouting and show reverence to God by attending a special worship service at our charter organization, Closer Walk Methodist Church. On that Sunday, Scouts of all ranks will participate in the various aspects of the church service, followed by a Scout-themed message. We encourage as many Scouts to attend. A Scout is Reverent.
Q: What’s The Pinewood Derby?
A: Back in the early 1950’s, a perceptive Cub Scout leader by the name of Don Murphy noticed that Cub Scouts lacked the equivalent of the character building soapbox racing that Boy Scouts participated in at the time. In an effort to bring that quality of sportsmanship to the Cub Scout level, he designed the very first racetrack and vehicles made out of pinewood blocks. That tradition has been passed on from generation to generation to the grand event it is today.
The Pinewood Derby allows for parents or guardians to work together with their Scout to craft a racing vehicle and then compete (in a friendly fashion) with the other Scouts in the pack. No matter how successful their vehicle does on the track, everyone is a winner because it brings Scouts closer to their loved ones who simply took the time to devote to them working on something together.
Q: What’s a Crossover Celebration?
A: Crossover (or Bridging) is the year-end event where Scouts transition from one rank to the next. Usually, this is centered around activities and refreshments. It is also a time to recognize all the leaders and volunteers who make Cub Scouting possible.
There is also a separate event, specifically for Webelos II Scouts, known as the Arrow of Light. We refer to Webelos II Scouts as Arrow of Light Candidates. This is the highest award in Cub Scouts and signals a boy’s readiness to transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. This event may occur at the same time as Crossover, or may happen earlier in the year (usually mid-March) at a specially ordained pack meeting.
Q: How can I volunteer to help with my son’s den?
A: Youth Protection is of the utmost importance in Scouting. Should you wish to assume a leadership position, you will first need to contact our Cubmaster, Ken Kasten at firstname.lastname@example.org (Attention Cubmaster). He will in turn guide you on the necessary steps to become registered and trained for the position you seek. Volunteering for pack leadership is a rewarding experience. It can improve your outlook on society, your work attitude, your personal life, and most importantly your relationship with your scout.