The Cub Scouts Academics and Sports Program is one method of addressing the third aim of Scouting: the development of physical, mental and emotional fitness. Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect). As in most activities in Cub Scouting, this is not meant to be a highly competitive program, instead, the boys are encouraged to DO THEIR BEST.
The Academic and Sports Program is an optional program for all Cub Scouts. It is not part of the normal requirements towards ranks, except where used in obtaining various Webelos activity badges and Wolf Elective 20 (Sports). Its purpose is to assist the Scouts in learning a new skill, or improving one they already posses.
A variety of recognition items are available for the boys (Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, or Webelos Scouts) who participate in the program. (Adults are NOT awarded with belt loops or pins.)
- Belt loops are awarded to boys who complete the three belt loop requirements in an academic subject or sport. Academic belt loops are gold, and Sports belt loops are silver (except for the Archery and BB-gun Shooting belt loops, which are brass colored)
- Pins are awarded to boys who choose to continue their involvement in an Academics or Sports area and earn the pin by meeting the appropriate requirements. Pins are worn on the Cub Scout Academic and Sports letter
- The Academic and Sports letter (pictured above) is available to boys for displaying Academics and Sports pins that Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts earn. The letter, a large Blue and Gold "C", representing Cub Scouts can be worn on a sweater or jacket, or displayed or framed. It does NOT go on the uniform. There are NO specific requirements for earning the letter, as it is designed merely to display the pins.
- There are also Pocket Certificates, Activity Medals, and Trophies, and the Participation Emblem (pictured below), which can be awarded as the Pack decides.
The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program is a supplemental enrichment program that complements the existing Cub Scout program. The Academics subjects and, Sports activities allow boys to learn new techniques, increase scholarship skills, develop sportsmanship - and have fun. Boys participating in the program will be recognized for enjoying teamwork, developing physical fitness, and discovering and building new talents. The Academics and Sports program encourages a boy to do his best.
Concepts and Guidelines
The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program is based on the following concepts and guidelines
- The program supplements the existing advancement and recognition program for Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts; it does not replace it. The program is one element of Cub Scouting, as are den and pack meetings, day camp, and other activities.
- All registered Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts have an opportunity to participate in the Academics and Sports program.
- Participation may take place at home, with the family, or within a den, a pack, or the community.
- Adult participation by a parent or adult relative, if possible, is strongly recommended for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts and is required for Tiger Cubs.
- Emphasis is placed on introducing a boy to a sport or academic subject, allowing him to participate in it and encouraging him to do his best. The Academics and Sports program focuses on learning and skill development, not winning.
- The primary focus of the program is on scholarship and sportsmanship.
- Each Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout will be presented with the appropriate recognition item for completing the requirements, whether he does so as an individual Scout, with his family, with his den or pack, or in his school or community.
- The Academics portion of the program covers a variety of subjects, including art, chess, citizenship, communicating, computers, geography, heritages, mathematics, music, science, weather, and wildlife conservation.
- The Sports portion of the program includes summer and winter sports, indoor and outdoor sports, active and less-active sports, and team and individual sports.
- Cub Scouts who have disabilities may select their own activities and design their own fitness or academic program with the help of a physician, teacher, or parent.
The Purposes of Cub Scouting
The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program relates directly to the nine purposes of Cub Scouting:
- Positively influencing a boy's character development and encouraging spiritual growth
- Helping boys develop habits and attitudes of good citizenship
- Encouraging good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body
- Improving understanding within the family
- Strengthening the ability to get along with other boys and to respect other people
- Fostering a sense of personal achievement by helping boys develop new interests and skills
- Showing how to be helpful and do one's best
- Providing fun and exciting new things to do
- Preparing boys to become Boy Scouts