Scouting 101

Please enjoy this short video that goes over the most common questions we get from Scouting families, and see more FAQs below:

What's a Pack?  What's a Den?

A Pack is all of the Scouts, Leaders and Parents in a Cub Scout group.  We are Pack 186.  The Pack is then broken down into Dens, based on grade level, as follows:


First graders, and anyone beyond that grade who is new to Cub Scouting, completes the Bobcat Badge prior to working on their grade-specific badge of rank. Kindergartners, who are Lions, do not work on the Bobcat Badge.

Lion - Kindergarten

Tiger - 1st Grade

Wolf - 2nd Grade

Bear - 3rd Grade

Webelos - 4th Grade

Arrow of Light - 5th Grade


Who are the leaders, and where do they come from?


Our Pack is led by our Cubmaster, who runs pack-wide events and works with individual Den Leaders to ensure Scouts successfully advance through their ranks; and the Pack Committee, made up of Adult Leaders in various roles throughout the Pack, as well as a representative from our Charter Organization.  Each Den has a Den Leader and in some cases, an Assistant Den Leader, who plan and execute den meetings and lead their Scouts through the requirements to advance in rank.  As an all-volunteer organization, we don't have a group of Leaders waiting to be assigned to new Scouts; we rely on the generosity of parents who believe in what we do for their kids and volunteer their time as Den Leaders or other leadership roles with the Pack.  For more on Leadership, click here.


When and where are meetings?

The entire Pack 186 (all Dens) meets once a month for Pack Meetings, usually the third Thursday evening of each month.  The location varies depending on what the activities are; we often meet at St. Joseph Catholic Church & School in Lake Orion in order to accommodate our large group, but we also have off-site meetings at parks and other special locations.  Each Den typically meets 2-3 times per month; the date, time and location is set by the Den Leader(s).  We also usually have a Pack Hike on the last Sunday of each month, and there are special events throughout the year as well.

Can I just drop my child off at meetings?

Scouts in rank Wolf (2nd Grade) and above are allowed to attend Den and Pack Meetings unaccompanied; however, we strongly encourage a parent or guardian to join the Scout at all activities.  Many activities are designed to include parents / guardians, and your Scout may feel left out.  If you do need to drop off your Scout, make sure you check in with your Den Leader before leaving.  Lions (Kindergarten) and Tigers (1st Grade) MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to all activities.

How involved do I have to be at meetings?

There's a saying in Scouts:  "BSA stands for Boy Scouts of America, not Baby-Sitters of America."  While socializing and getting to know other families is of course a big part of Scouting, parents are expected to be active participants during meetings.  Unlike sports and other extracurriculars, parents don't turn over their kids to a Den Leader and then sit in the back chatting or playing on their phone.  This is valuable time with your Scout, and we expect you to join in.

So girls are now allowed in Cub Scouts? How does that work?

Yes!  Cub Scouts welcomed girls into the ranks in 2018; and Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts) began welcoming them in 2019.  We are thrilled to offer Scouting to both girls and boys and their families!  Female Cub Scouts are in separate Dens from their male counterparts in each rank, with their own Den Leader.  However, girls and boys from the two dens can have joint den meetings with both Den Leaders, with approval.

What are the uniform requirements?

In Pack 186, we take the Scout Uniform seriously.  Scouts and Leaders are expected to wear their full Class A Field Uniform at all Pack Meetings and special events.  The full uniform says you are committed to Scouting and to your Pack.  Scouts should always be neat in appearance and adhere to all uniform requirements; sloppiness, untucked shirts, and incomplete uniforms are not allowed and reflect badly on you, your family, your Den, Pack 186, and the Cub Scouts as a whole. 


The uniforms generally include the official scout shirt (with all patches and insignia), scout pants or shorts, scout belt, scout socks, and rank-specific cap, neckerchief and slide.  For Den Meetings, Scouts may substitute their scout pants and socks for more comfortable wear (shorts, jeans, sneakers, etc.), unless directed otherwise by the Den Leader.  For more active events like hikes and camp, Scouts may wear a Class B t-shirt (an activewear/sport t-shirt available through the Pack) or other shirt, and shorts/jeans or other comfortable wear, at the discretion of the Cubmaster.  

For complete uniform requirements by rank, click here.

Is Pack 186 only for kids who go to St. Joseph Catholic School?

No.  St. Joseph Catholic Church is our charter organization and we enjoy a great relationship with St. Joseph Catholic School as well.  Nearly half of our Scouts attend other schools in the area.

Do we have to be Catholic to be part of Pack 186?

No.  We welcome families from any religion.

Do we have to believe in God to be in Cub Scouts?

From its founding, the Boy Scouts organization has included faith as a key part of its program; the belief in some kind of "higher power" is directly connected to a Scout's mastery of serving others above oneself.  However, the BSA is non-sectarian and does not impose any one religion or means of practice.  For more on this, read this great article from Bryan On Scouting.

Are the Cub Scouts safe for my child?

Like everyone, we are deeply saddened by the abuse crisis in Scouting and the many victims who suffered at the hands of disturbed individuals who had no place in the Scouts.  In Pack 186, the safety of the children in our care is always the top priority.  Today, the BSA has very strict and extensive requirements for its Adult Leaders.  Along with a criminal background check, Leaders must go through in-depth Youth Protection Training (YPT).  One of the cornerstones of YPT is the concept of "2-Deep Leadership."  Scouts are not allowed to be alone with a Leader (unless it's the Scout's parent) without a second leader or trusted adult present as well.  


In addition, since our Charter Organization is St. Joseph Catholic Church, the Church requires that all adults in the Pack -- Leaders, parents and any other adult volunteers -- must attend the "Protecting God's Children" training offered throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Did we miss anything?  Please don't hesitate to contact us with any additional questions!


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