Blue Ridge Mountains Council


Lion Rank

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The Lion program has transitioned to an official Cub Scout rank. Created as a simple and fun family-centered program to introduce the Scouting program to boys age 5 or in kindergarten and to their adult partners, the program uses literature specifically designed for the younger age group. The program is designed to help young boys experience the Scouting concepts of character development, leadership, citizenship, and personal fitness through engaging and exciting adventures and to have fun in the outdoors. The Lion Scout Adult Guide contains a detailed plan for each month’s curriculum and breaks down each section into Family/Den Activities, At-Home Activities and Grand Adventures. Lions must be 5 years old by September 30 and not yet 7 years to participate.

The Scouting program encourages the Scout to achieve his full physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual potentials as an individual, as a responsible citizen, and as a member of his local, national, and international communities. Designed to introduce boys and their adult partners to the excitement of Cub Scouting, a youth and his parent or caring adult partner join Scouting together. The Lion program will introduce young people to things like shared leadership, learning about the community, and family understanding as the Lion scouts do lots of really cool things with their adult partners. The program also provides the Lion scout with an opportunity to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, to development ethical decision making skills, and reinforce ethical standards. This program, along with the caring guidance of the adult partners, is intended to open up the world fo scouting to the inquisitive mind of the young Scout. This program requires that an adult partner participate with the young person in all den meetings and activities. The first steps along the Boy Scout Trail are provided here and every rank advancement through the Scouting program builds on the basic categories of adventures done as Lion scouts. lion_book

The Lion program weaves traditional Scouting concepts of character development, leadership skills, personal fitness and citizenship into activities that are age-appropriate and fun for the boys and their parents. The activities introduce the family to Cub Scouting, and provide an exciting way for the little guys to explore the world around them. The program will fuel their imagination, creativity and fun as they experience the growth Scouting can provide. At the end of the Lion year, they “graduate” to Tiger and advance through Cub Scouting.

The Lion program is conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the Lion scout and his adult partner meet monthly with other Lion scouts and their adult partners in what is called a “den.” A den consists of a group of boys, the same age, that come together and work on age appropriate adventures for status, rank, and recognition in the Pack. In the second phase, the Lion scout and his adult partner meet in the home to conduct activities for the whole family. Like our entire Scouting program, the Lion program follows a school-year cycle where boys remain in the Lion program until they complete kindergarten, at which time, they graduate into a Tiger den and are eligible to participate in Cub Scout summer activities, including Cub Scout Day.

Unlike other Scouts who are new to the scouting program, the Lion scout does not earn the Bobcat badge before he can proceed to earn his Lion badge. This badge will be earned once the scout graduates into a Tiger den. Immediately upon joining the program, the Lion scout can work with his den and family on the adventures found in the Lion Adventure handbook. The Lion scout must complete five core Lion adventures and then he can work on any or all of the nine Lion elective adventures. After completing an adventure, the Lion scout will receive an immediate recognition award in the form of a sticker to put in his Lion Adventure Book. The Lion scout will also receive an immediate recognition award in the form of an adventure loop that he can wear on his belt. Once a Lion scout completes his rank, he can wear the rectangular Lion Rank Strip on the upper left, the left of his T-shirt or over his heart. When the Lion scout moves into Tigers, he can sew the patch under the left pocket just below where the Tiger rank patch will go. The previously introduced diamond-shaped Lion patch is going away.

Boys like to belong to a group and the den is the place where boys learn new skills and develop interests in new things. A well-run group of Lion scouts will start out by focusing on the idea of den-wide completions of adventures as a den. Basically, this will help the individual scouts learn sportsmanship and good citizenship as they learn how to get along with others, while making memories together. They also learn how to do their best, not just for themselves but also for the den. A good scout meeting is active, fun, and interesting and is often packed with activities, safe adventures, and games.

Lion Den
Kindergartner or 5-6 years of age

Under the leadership of a Lion den leader, the Lion scout will spend the year working on a series of five adventures described in his Lion Adventure handbook that advances him towards the Lion rank. Adventures are completed during the den meetings and outings. Boys are recognized for their accomplishments as they work toward the Lion Rank Strip. When an adventure is completed, the scout receives a sticker to put in his Lion Adventure handbook as well as an adventure loop that he can wear on his belt.

A knowledgeable, well-trained den leader is critical to the success of a den. All leaders have certain responsibilities to the boys in Cub Scouts. Each leader should respect boys’ rights as individuals and treat them as such; see that boys find the excitement, fun, and adventure that they expected when they joined the program; provide enthusiasm, encouragement, and praise for boys’ efforts and achievements; develop among the boys a feeling of togetherness and team spirit that gives them security and pride; and provide opportunities for boys to experience new dimensions in their world.

The den leader plans the program of activities for the scouting year, carries out that program, and makes that plan available to all den parents. The den leader should enjoy being outside and be comfortable exploring the environment in a safe manner. The den leader also makes advancement opportunities available to each scout and tracks his advancements. The Lion den leader can also recruit other adults to plan and organize individual adventure outings. One of the main roles of the Lion den leader is to be encouraging, organized, and supportive as he or she gives each scout opportunities to lead and make decisions, both individually and for the den.

The Lion den leader is a registered volunteer BSA position. Every Lion den is required to have a registered den leader whose responsibilities include, but are not limited to: working directly with other den and pack leaders to ensure that the den is an active and successful part of the pack; planning, preparing for, and conducting den meetings; attending Pack Committee meetings; leading the den at Pack meetings and activities; keeping accurate records, helping the den earn the National Den Award; and preparing the Lion scout for the future transition to Tiger scout at the end of the year.

The Cub Scout motto Do Your Best is a key part of the Cub Scouting program. There is no level of competence or skill required to complete adventures. Success is achieved by putting forth one’s best personal effort and having fun with fellow scouts.

George Evans

Our Lion den meets the second and fifth Thursdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Scout Room. (The Scout Room is in the basement of the Literacy Volunteers Of America building across the street from the Dollar General Market in downtown Christiansburg at the corner of West Main and Dunkley Streets.)