When and how you can start welcoming girls into Cub Scouting

They’re called early adopter Cub Scout packs. These Scout units, with council approval, have been welcoming girls since Jan. 15.

Early feedback from this soft launch of Family Scouting has been excellent. One den leader told me the girls in her den “are curious and want new experiences in a fun and positive environment. … It’s kids and Scouting, and the two have been successful together for a long time.”

Seeing that enthusiasm among early adopter packs has been high, some early adopter councils are continuing that enthusiasm into spring recruiting, with registration options for girls available to all councils starting June 11, 2018.

Here are seven ways to Be Prepared.

1. Understand how packs will be structured.

There will be three types of Cub Scout packs: all-boy packs, all-girl packs and packs that include a mix of girl dens and boy dens. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender: all boys or all girls.

This hybrid model builds on the benefit of a single-gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

2. Get chartered organization approval.

The choice about whether to form a new all-girl pack or add girl dens to an existing pack is left to the chartered organization, in consultation with unit leaders.

Now’s the time to begin having those conversations with your chartered organization representative, pack committee members and fellow volunteers. Be sure to consult this Chartered Organization Toolkit for guidance.

3. Mark your calendar.

New materials for your Cub Scout pack will start start showing up in Scout Shops as early as June 1.

The BSA knows councils launch the program year at different times, but girls can begin registering in the system as early as June 11.

4. Get volunteers primed to launch.

Start approaching parents who might want to serve as den leaders or assistant Cubmasters for your new dens or pack.

Remember that Youth Protection rules of two-deep leadership apply.

For all-boy dens, the rule is unchanged. You must have one registered adult leader and one other adult present at all times. One of these adults must be at least 21.

For all-girl dens, at least one of the leaders (den leader or assistant den leader) must be a registered female at least 21.

5. Start thinking about program.

Cub Scouts activities and the requirements for Cub Scout Adventures won’t change.

Two Arrow of Light Adventure Trails will be renamed: Outdoorsman will become Outdoor Adventurer, and Sportsman will simply become Sports.

The pack or den will continue to decide when and where to meet. Dens for girls and dens for boys could meet at the same time and place if the leaders so choose.

6. Ask your fellow volunteers to begin recruiting families.

It’s never too early to tell families about all the fun, character-building things Cub Scouts get to do.

7. Know where to go with questions.

Start by checking the resources on the BSA’s Family Scouting page.

Have a question about Family Scouting? Your unit commissioner — a volunteer who serves as a friend, representative and counselor for Scout units — remains the best person to talk to about the Scouting program.

You may also want to contact your district executive — a professional who works for your local BSA council.

You’re also welcome to reach out to family.scouting@scouting.org to ask your questions directly.