The Boy Scouts of America is launching its largest pilot program in response to parents’ increasing desire for more options for after-school programs that help kindergarten-age boys learn new skills, build character and experience new adventures. Available this fall in 198 local councils, the new Lion pilot program will introduce families to the adventures available through Scouting and culminate for boys in the new Lion badge. Designed as an introduction to Cub Scouting, the Lion badge will serve as a precursor to the Tiger rank. The kindergarten-age boys participating in the program will be members of the Cub Scout pack, attend pack meetings, and learn the Cub Scout sign, the Cub Scout salute and the Cub Scout motto.
Research shows nearly one-third of all parents of children age five years or younger enroll their children in after-school activities where they can make friends, explore their surroundings, and further their learning and development. Millennial parents, in particular, are even more likely to engage their young children in after-school activities than older parents.[i] By engaging their children in Scouting, parents can instill in them a strong foundation for which to build their character. In fact, a study conducted by Tufts University found that youth who participate in Scouting exhibit positive character attributes, allowing them to embrace new opportunities, overcome obstacles and become better prepared for future success.[ii]
“Combined with the beginning of formal education, the Lion pilot program helps cultivate positive character-building experiences that are vital for young boys at this stage in their childhood development,” said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America. “We believe families nationwide will see the value of this pilot program – and the value of Scouting – as it builds a solid foundation of character, leadership, values and education that stays with a child for a lifetime.”
As children progress through the pilot program, they will learn new skills by completing at least five of the 12 Lion adventures to earn the Lion badge. These adventures help children learn respect for their peers, the importance of family, building courage and making good choices. Once children complete these adventures, with the help of their parents and adult leaders, they will graduate to Tiger and advance through traditional Cub Scouting.
To read the entire release, please visit Scouting Newsroom. For more information about the Lion pilot program, visit https://scoutingwire.org/lion/. To see if there is a Lion pilot taking place at a BSA council near you, visit http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Participating_Councils.pdf.
Has your son joined a Lion den in your local council? Share your family’s experience in the comments below!
[i] [i] Forrester Research, Inc. Omnibus Survey. (2015).
[ii] Tufts University CAMP Study. (2015).