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Cub Scout Pack 167
(Perrysburg, Ohio)
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What is Tiger Cubs?


In the early 1980s, as part of the "Foundations For Growth" study, a survey was developed to find out if and how Scouting could meet the abilities, needs, and desires of 7-year-old boys and their families. The boys wanted to have fun, with other boys and with their parents. The parents wanted a program in which they could work directly with their sons, exposing them to a variety of experiences. The parents also wanted simplicity and a meeting pattern-once or twice a month-that would fit into a busy schedule.

A group of Cub Scouters and educators gathered the survey results and data from pilot programs to design a program that matches the desires found in the survey with the developmental needs of boys in this age group. Tiger Cubs BSA was field tested and approved, and officially became a part of the Boy Scouts of America.

Over the years, parts of the program's structure have evolved, but the basic elements have remained the same: Tiger Cubs BSA is a simple and fun program for first-grade boys and their families. Tiger Cubs introduces boys and their adult partners to the excitement of Cub Scouting as they "Search, Discover, and Share" together.




Tiger Cubs are unique among the rest of Cub Scouting in regard to their organization and leadership.  Wolves, Bears, and Webelos have a specific Den Leader and Assistant Den Leader responsible for providing the majority of the Den program.  A newly formed Tiger Den should select one adult from within the den to act as Tiger Cub Den Leader (as more of a coordinator role).

Tiger Cubs operate using the concept of shared leadership. Each boy-adult partner team assumes the responsibility of hosting one or more den meetings. (The actual number will depend on the size of the den.) The host team plans the meeting program and location.

Through this sharing of leadership, each boy and adult is given an opportunity to lead without the pressure of a continuing leadership commitment.  Shared leadership is an important part of Tiger Cubs because direct partner involvement is important for boys of this age.

The Parent Partner who volunteers or is elected/selected as Den Leader is to:

  • Coordinate plans for involving the Tiger Cub Den in all Pack activities.
  • Maintain shared leadership by seeing to it that the responsibility for hosting den activities rotates among boy-adult partner teams within the den.
  • Attend a short orientation conducted by the Cubmaster or Pack Trainer prior to the first den meeting.
  • Maintain the Tiger Cub Resource Book and distribute appropriate big idea support pages to the host team. Also, maintain the Tiger Cub Instant Recognition Kit and distribute the paw and beads as indicated.
  • Attend monthly Pack Leader's meetings - participating as a member of the Pack Committee.
  • Work with the Cubmaster and Pack Trainer to  coordinate the Tiger Cub Den graduation.


Tiger Cubs is the part of the program of the Boy Scouts of America, and of Pack 167 that is for boys who are in the first grade and their adult partners.  Seven-year-old boys and their partners may join Tiger Cubs.

The basic element of Tiger Cubs BSA is the Boy-Adult Team.  The adult may be a parent, grandparent, adult brother or sister, aunt or uncle, or even a neighbor. The only requirements are that the adult be 18 years of age or older, care about the boy, and have a strong commitment to his well-being.  The boy and his adult partner join Tiger Cubs BSA together.



Normally, six to eight Tiger Cub boy-adult teams are formed into a Tiger Cub den, which is part of Pack 167.  The Tiger Cub den meets with the whole Pack for monthly meetings, typically the third Thursday of each calendar month.  If we are fortunate enough to have more than one Tiger Cub den, each Tiger Cub den has its own meetings. 


Our Tiger Cub dens typically meet twice a month, as a den. Their meetings are based on the Big Ideas the den has chosen from the Tiger Cub Family Activity Book.  One of these meetings should be an activity or field trip, such as attending a community event or visiting a place of interest.  The second meeting can be another big idea, or an age-appropriate activity. 


Tiger Cubs follow a school-year cycle.  The boys and their adult partners join Tiger Cubs at the beginning of the first-grade school year and remain in the program until the completion of first grade.  At that time, they graduate into Cub Scouting and can begin working toward the Wolf rank.  Pack 167 tries to maintain the group and den identity the boys have established as Tigers throughout their time in the Pack - through Webelos.

This sense of "togetherness" is one of the keys to success of the program.  As a general rule, additional Tiger Cub teams are not usually added once the den has established its identity by conducting Big Idea #1, "Getting to Know You." Instead, a new den should be formed.  However, after conducting Big Idea #1, the den may decide to add one or two additional teams in order to bring a small den to a more workable size, or to accept a team that wishes to transfer from another den because of a family move, etc.  We like to recruit new members (particularly Tigers) in the spring of each year and then again in the fall.  Waiting until falll for everyone not only adds to the load of coordinating two new dens, but ideally allows those expressing an interest in joining Pack 167 in the spring to participate in all of our summer-time activities.



Everyone benefits from a strong Tiger Cub program.  The Tiger Cubs and their adult partners have fun together while developing closer relationships within the family.  Pack 167 benefits by gaining a den of future Cub Scouts who are ready and eager to join the pack.  The Pack also gains a pool of adults who are already experienced in leading activities for boys and are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Cub Scouting.  Our experience has shown that many of our Tiger Cub adult partners assume leadership roles in the Pack when their Tiger Cubs become Cub Scouts.  Typically, unless a Tiger Cub Adult Partner specifically volunteers for additional involvement, the Pack Committee will not ask them to take on a Cub Scout Pack assignment until after Tiger Cub graduation.  The time as a Tiger Cub team is meant to be a special time of maximum fun and activity for both the boy and the adult partner.  Pack 167 will not compromise that time.

The pack is not limited in the number of Tiger Cub dens it may have, and plans to have enough Tiger Cub dens to allow every eligible and interested boy anywhere in the vicinity of Perrysburg to be a Tiger Cub.



There is a defined role in some packs known as "The Tiger Cub Coach".  By definition this person is the liaison between the Tiger Cub den(s) and the Pack Committee, and is selected by the Pack Committe for this important responsibility. The coach becomes a member of the pack committee. He or she helps organize the Tiger Cub Den(s) and assists in planning the first meeting (Big Idea #1).  The coach then steps back and lets the den(s) operate with its/their own leadership, but maintains frequent contact with the Den(s). The coach also coordinates Tiger Cub participation in Pack and/or Council activities, and arranges for the graduation of Tiger Cubs into Cub Scouting.

As Cubmaster of Pack 167 I have opted not to include this role in the structure of our Pack.  It is an optional (superfluous) role in that I feel that the activities attributed to this role are well-within the combined scopes of the Cubmaster, the Pack Trainer, and the parents that are directly involved with the Tigers, namely the parents and their elected/selected Tiger Cub Den Leader.  I feel it's important though, that you be familiar with the term in case it ever comes up in conversation.



Hopefully this overview of the Tiger Cub program helps, but if it leaves you with questions unanswered  I welcome you - and encourage you - to contact me.  I'd be more than happy to do all that I can to see that all of your questions are answered to your satisfaction.

Thank you,
Dan Cieply,
Cubmaster - Pack 167