Dens are divided by grade (K–5), each with an adult Den Leader and adult Assistant Den Leader. All Den Leaders and Assistant Den Leaders are volunteers, registered with the BSA, have undergone a background check, and have taken Youth Protection Training
within the past two years.* The Den Leader organizes den meetings and activities, and ensures Scouts have opportunities to complete requirements for their ranks. The Assistant Den Leader helps the Den Leader. For all Scouting activities, at least two registered leaders must be present at all times.
The den structure allows Cub Scouts to build relationships with leaders and same-age Scouts. The den provides opportunities for activities that would be difficult with a large group. The den also provides leadership opportunities for older Scouts.
While the program year runs from June to May, boys may join Cub Scouts
at any time between kindergarten and fifth grade.
- Lion. Kindergarten-aged youth join a Lion den, where each child works with his adult partner on the requirements to earn Lion rank. Each Lion must always have a caring adult with him. Caring adults are usually parents, but may be a guardian, grandparent, or the like.
- Tiger. First-graders join a Tiger den, where, with an adult partner, each Scout works on the requirements to earn the Tiger rank. Tigers, too, are always accompanied by a caring adult—parent, guardian, aunt, uncle, etc.
- Wolf. Second-graders join a Wolf den. With leader permission, they may go to den meetings on their own, but their families still help them work on the requirements for the Wolf rank.
- Bear. Those in the third grade are members of a Bear den. They also work with their families to do the requirements for the Bear rank, but youth this old have enough knowledge and skill to take on more of the work by themselves.
- Webelos Scouts. Those in the fourth or fifth grades are Webelos Scouts; each grade has its own den(s). (Webelos, a backronym for WE’ll BE LOyal Scouts, always ends with an s.) Webelos Scouts do more advanced activities to get ready to graduate into Scouts BSA (formerly called Boy Scouts). In the second year of Webelos, Scouts work on earning Cub Scouting’s highest honor, the Arrow of Light. In Pack 125, Webelos Scouts who are in the fifth grade cross over to Scouts BSA at the Blue & Gold Banquet in February.
* We encourage all
parents and guardians to take Youth Protection Training
—it's free, and helps you understand how the BSA protects youth in its programs.
[In the picture: Scouts in a Tiger den (first grade) lined up to receive awards they have earned]