The Virtual Cub Leader's Handbook


Daddy Tiger
Robert Untch
National Cub Scouting Director, 1971 - 1982
The Father of Tiger Cubs - BSA

- 1978 to 2001 -

In 1978, BSA's fifth National Cub Scouting Director, Robert Untch, recognized a need for keeping the Cub Scouting programs up to date with the needs of American youth. Scouting undertook a research plan that was initiated by sending out 19,000 questionaires of which 10,500 were returned. From these and 200 one-on-one interviews, 50 prospective program ideas were suggested. This list of 50 was narrowed down by 344 Scouters in 43 councils in the North Central Region to 14 must-do ideas. This research and the resulting ideas became known as the "Foundations For Growth" study. Focus groups of parents, professionals, and youth were formed.

Foundations For Growth

One of the findings of the earlier study was that because the boys of the time had greater educational opportunities at an earlier age, the entry age of Cub Scouts should be re-evaluated. Beginning with a conference at Philmont's volunteer training center in 1980, a team was formed to write the program. Instruction booklets were sent for field testing by councils in the North Central Region in 1981. In early 1982, it was determined that the program was successful and ready for rollout. This was announced at the national meeting in the February, 1982. Tiger Cubs, BSA was formally introduced just before the fall program of 1982.

By the end of 1982, over 48,000 Tigers were registered. The Tiger Cub population had grown steadily, reaching 285,908 in the year 2000. Over the ensueing years, parts of the program's structure have evolved, but the basic elements had remained the same:

  • A simple and fun program for first-grade boys and their families.

  • A program "separate" from Cub Scouting

  • No advancement plan

  • No Den Leaders

  • Tigers DO NOT attend Pack Meetings

  • Tigers are formally inducted (bridged) into Cub Scouts

During the first 18 years of the Tiger Cubs program the BSA received ample feedback regarding the successes and shortcomings of "Tiger Cubs - BSA." Then, in May of 2001 the BSA announced vast changes to the Tiger Cubs - BSA program. Highlights of the new Tiger Cub program include:

  • "Tiger Cub" is now a Cub Scout rank.

  • Tiger Cubs can complete the Bobcat requirements before leaving first grade.

  • The role of "Tiger Cub Coach" has been eliminated.

  • The Tiger Cub Promise has been eliminated

  • The role of "Tiger Cub Den Leader" has been announced. This individual coordinates shared leadership among adult partners in the den.
  • A Tiger Cub den leader is required if a pack registers Tiger Cubs.

  • The Tiger Cub den leaders are members of the pack leadership team and receive support and coaching from the pack committee, which includes the pack trainer and Cubmaster or assistant Cubmaster.

  • The 17 "Big Ideas" (while good ideas) are not a formal part of the program.

  • Iron-on "Paw Prints" are no longer used.

  • The old "Leather Belt Totem" is no longer used.

  • Tiger Cubs and adult partners now formally participate in den and pack activities (including Family Camping) together.

  • Tiger Cubs wear the traditional orange uniform T-shirt, No. 83391-96, along with an optional, newly designed blue and orange cap, No. 83892.

  • The Tiger Cub badge, No. 80369, is earned after completing five achievements grouped in three areas: den activity, family activity, and a Go See It. After completing the rank of Tiger Cub, boys may earn one Tiger Track bead when he completes 10 (of 50) electives. There is no limit to the number of Tiger Track beads a boy can earn.

  • Tiger Cub badges should now be presented in meaningful pack meeting ceremonies.

  • The new Tiger Cub badge replaces the Webelos badge in the 4-badge "diamond" on the blue Cub Scout uniform.

  • Advancement is displayed on a new Tiger Cub totem, which is worn on the Tiger Cub belt.

  • The recommended monthly meeting pattern consists of den, family, Go See It activities, and participation in the monthly pack meeting. Suggested den meeting plans are now included in Cub Scout Program Helps, No. 34304D.

  • Tiger Cubs and adult partners work out of the Tiger Cub Handbook, No. 34713, to complete achievements and electives, and plan activities. A complete description of the Tiger Cub program can be found in the "Tiger Cub Program" chapter of the Cub Scout Leader Book, No. 33221A.

  • Each pack should have one or more Tiger Cub dens, each consisting of five to nine boys and adult partners.





[ Back To The TIGER CUB Pages ]

[ Back To The REQUIREMENTS Page ]

[ Back To The HOME Page ]



Our thanks to Randy Worcester
for his early "Tiger Cub-BSA" historical perspective

Copyright © 1997 - 2001 The Virtual Cub Leader's Handbook, All Rights Reserved