Dens and Advancement
Pack 230 is organized into six groups, or “dens”: Lions (Kindergarten), Tigers (1st grade), Wolves (2nd grade), Bears (3rd grade), Webelos 1 (4th grade), and Webelos 2 (5th grader). Boys may also join a den based on age if desired (see here), but Pack 230 prefers to base dens on grade.
Traditionally, Wolves and Bears are considered “Cub Scouts” while Lions, Tigers and Webelos are considered separate groups. On the youth application and the leader rank patches, for example, Bears and Wolves are called “Cub Scouts,” while Tigers are called Tigers and Webelos 1 and 2 are called Webelos. In most cases, however all six dens are called “Cub Scouts.”
All new Scouts must first earn the Bobcat badge, regardless of their starting grade. After earning the Bobcat badge, Scouts work towards the rank of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. Each of these ranks has its own unique handbook from which the boys work on their advancement.
Scouts progress from rank to rank, learning new skills as they go. Each of the ranks and awards in Scouting has its own requirements. As Scouts get older and advance, the requirements become more challenging to match newfound skills and abilities.
Each Scout progresses at his own pace as he meets each challenge. Rank advancement is one method used by Scout leaders to help boys fulfill the aims of Scouting: character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness.
Earning merit badges gives Scouts the opportunity to learn important life skills and gain real-world knowledge in more than 130 areas, from American Business to Woodworking.
At the beginning of the scouting year, the Den Leaders will choose a time and day of the week to have their regular den meetings, such as Sunday afternoons or Tuesday evenings. These meetings may occur 1-3 times a month, depending on the other scouting events taking place that month. The den leaders will usually schedule meetings several months in advance, and adjust it as needed (e.g., in response to inclement weather).
Den meetings may take place at Lutheran Church of the Reformation, another church or community building, a park, or a leader’s home. During warmer months, dens will often plan to meet outside, but change to an indoors location on short notice in the event of bad weather. Location details will generally be announced by email.
Den Meetings provide your son with opportunities to enjoy various planned activities, learn new skills, work toward awards, and have great fun.
Should parents attend den meetings?
Parental attendance is required at den meetings for the Lion and Tiger Dens (Kindergarten/1st grade), and is encouraged for the other dens.
Parents are often needed to assist with activities, and den leaders frequently use the meetings to seek input from parents on planning future den activities, making their participation important.
Some dens will require parent participation at specific meetings (e.g., when handling tools). Parental involvement is generally emphasized more often for the younger dens (K-3rd grade) and less often for the older dens (4th-5th grade). If you choose to drop off, please keep in touch with your son’s Den Leader so that you will know what activities are taking place and can track the progress your son is making.
Also, if you choose to drop off your son, it is advised you designate another trusted adult to be responsible for him, so the leaders can focus on leading the whole group.
Please pick your son up promptly at the end of the scheduled meeting time. Leaders are required to stay with your Scout until you pick him up. This is a good opportunity for you to take a few minutes and talk to your son’s Den Leader. Your promptness will help keep these volunteers from being inconvenienced!