Welcome to the Boy Scouts of America!

We are so happy you are considering Scouting! Your child is joining more than 4 million members of the Boy Scouts of America. We know there are many youth organizations available. We salute them all for working to help young people. But Scouting goes above and beyond, providing programs and activities that allow boys to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence, and reinforce ethical standards. Scouting uses a fun program to promote character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness for every member. You can help by encouraging perfect attendance, assisting with your child’s advancement, attending meetings for parents, and assisting with transportation. All Scouting activities are open to parental visitation.

Please click on the different program drop downs below to learn more specifics about Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, and Exploring. You can also contact the Northeast Iowa Council Service Center at 563-556-4343 with questions. We are happy to help.

Helpful information for new parents including how the leaders of Scouting units are chosen, approved, and trained is also listed below.

We have something for everyone!


For Boys in Kindergarten

The Lion program is a family-oriented program that encourages boys to learn and explore through hands-on, high-energy activities. A group of six to eight boys and their adult partners meeting in a group called a den; the dens meet approximately twice a month. Adult partners take turns leading den meetings or outings during the year with meetings lasting approximately 45 minutes to an hour; outings are slightly longer.

Boys are recognized for their accomplishments as they work toward the Lion badge. The Lion badge is earned by completing five adventures which are completed during the den meetings and outings. When an adventure is completed, the youth receives a sticker to put in his Lion Adventure Book.

Want to find a Lion den near your neighborhood or school? Click here to locate a Pack!


For Boys in 1st through 5th Grade

Cub Scouting is a program of communication, education, achievement, and fun for boys that also involves the parent and family. This program gives boys weekly involvement with a small peer-group called a Pack that is led by adults. Weekly meetings can be subdivided based on grade level to even smaller groups called dens. Throughout the year, there are many fun activities for packs, many of which include family involvement, such as the pinewood derby race, Scout Night with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Cub Camping, and Cub Olympics.

The Cub Scouting program begins with the Tiger Cub program for first graders. At this level, Cub Scouting provides structured opportunities for the boy and his parent or other adult to spend quality time together learning more about the world, the community, and themselves. In turn, they enjoy projects, activities, and fellowship in a group of other boys and adults.

The program advances with the boys, adding more opportunities and responsibilities each year. Cub Scouting ends with the WEBELOS program, which stands for “We’ll be Loyal Scouts.” It is designed for fourth and fifth graders as they prepare to go on to Boy Scouts. It involves the boy more in the dynamics of the small peer-group; the impact of the adult role-model becomes stronger; and the program includes overnight camping.

Want to find a pack near your neighborhood or school? Click here to locate a Pack!


Boy Scouts is for boys 11-17 years old

The Boy Scout program provides a strong outdoor and peer group leadership program to develop character, citizenship, and personal fitness. The major difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is that the Scouts lead the meetings themselves. Under the supervision of trained volunteers, the Scouts decide where they want to go camping, what to do for special activities, and help organize service projects for the troop. It is through this hands-on mentality that the youth learn leadership, decision-making skills, service, personal achievement, and yet also, the importance of collaboration.

Boy Scouts are part of a peer group called a Troop, which is led by a Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and a group of other adult volunteers and parents. Troops often subdivide and operate in smaller groups called Patrols to accomplish tasks or take on leadership roles. One Boy Scout is elected to be the leader of his patrol, but everyone shares in the responsibility of making the patrol successful.

While in Boy Scouts, your son will be exposed to over 120 hobby and career choices, frequently resulting in life-long involvement. A Scout works at his own pace in the advancement system. To advance all the way to Eagle Scout, he must show Scout Spirit, complete the skill development at each rank, practice leadership, and perform a community service project. Each step of the way he has a personal counseling session with his Scoutmaster and a review by other adults in his troop. As he learns and progresses, a boy’s self-esteem and confidence continues to grow.

Click here to find out more about Boy Scouts.


For young men and women ages 14-20

The Venturing program provides young people with positive experiences so that they may become responsible and caring adults. Venturing is a dynamic program that allows the youth to choose an interest or focus through activities and service. Specific topics usually fall in the realm of wilderness survival camping, emergency preparedness, high adventure camping, search and rescue training, and more. Featuring these exciting and meaningful activities allows Venturers to pursue special interests, grow by teaching others, and develop leadership skills.

Venturing utilizes five main methods to illustrate this to youth:  leadership, group activities, adult association, recognition, and teaching others. Venturing character development also places a strong emphasis on ethical decision making. The program aims to help young adults make responsible choices that reflect their concern for what is a risk and how it will affect others involved.

Click here to view more information on Venturing.


For young men and women ages 14-20

Exploring is a career education program that creates opportunities for young adults to explore career and hobby interests. The program is structured around the interest area of the youth, supported by the expertise and resources of the hosting business or organization. Exploring aims to create career awareness and helps expose high school students to the vast opportunities available, hopefully assisting them in making informed occupational choices.

Exploring is a unique extension program uniting youth with organization and businesses that is not just for Scouts, but open to all high school students. We repeat, Exploring is available for ALL high school students, male or female, ages 14-20. It does not matter if you are a Scout or not. Everyone should go Exploring!

For more information, visit our website:  www.exploringdubuque.org or contact the Exploring Executive, Melissa Neuhaus, at the Scout Service Center: (563) 556-4343 or send an email to melissa.neuhaus@scouting.org

More information for new scouting parents:

The Boy Scouts of America makes Scouting available to our nation’s youth by chartering community organizations to operate Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews, and Explorer posts. The chartered organization must provide an adequate and safe meeting place, capable adult volunteer leadership, and must adhere to the principles and policies of the BSA. Chartered organizations agree to use the Scouting program in accordance with their own policies as well as those from BSA. The program is flexible but major departures from BSA methods and policies are not permitted.

The Northeast Iowa Council provides unit leader training, program ideas, camping facilities, literature, and professional guidance for volunteer leaders, and liability insurance protection.

Scouting’s adult volunteers provide leadership at the unit, district, council, and national levels. Many are parents of Scouts; many entered Scouting as youth members and are now giving back. Each chartered organization establishes a unit committee, which operates its Scouting unit, selects leadership, and provides support for a quality program. Most unit committees depend on parents for membership.

The unit committee selects the Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Crew Adviser, or Explorer Adviser, subject to approval of the chartered organization. The unit leader must be a good role model because our children’s values and lives will be influenced by that leader. Get to know your child’s unit leader and be involved in the unit committee activities so you can evaluate and help direct that influence.

Being a leader in the BSA is a privilege, not a right. The quality program and the safety of our youth members call for high-quality adult leaders. We work closely with our chartered organizations to help recruit the best possible leaders for each unit. A background check is also required for every adult application. We also preach a concept called “Two-Deep Leadership” at ALL times. This requires at least two registered adults for all Scouting meetings, trips, or outings.

The safety and welfare of your child is our number one priority. Creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members is critical to the Boy Scouts of America. To maintain such an environment, the BSA has developed numerous procedural and leadership selection policies. We also provide leaders and parents with training and resources needed for all of our programs.

Training is a critical part of effective leadership. Every youth member of Scouting deserves a trained leader. All unit leaders, committee members, and any other adult who will be in direct contact with a youth member of the Boy Scouts of America are required to take Youth Protection Training. Youth Protection Training is designed to help leaders keep the youth safe. Leaders learn the BSA’s Youth Protections Guidelines, signs of abuse, and how to report suspected abuse. This certification MUST be completed to volunteer with the BSA and MUST be renewed every two years.

Click here for more information on the policies and standards the National Boy Scout Office mandates to help keep Scouts safe.

  • All Scouting activities are open to parental visitation. There are no “secret” organizations within the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Leadership is restricted to qualified adults who subscribe to the Declaration of Religious Principle, the Scout Oath, and the Scout Law.
  • Citizenship activities are encouraged, but partisan political activities are prohibited.
  • Military training and drills are prohibited. Marksmanship and elementary drill for ceremonies are permitted.
  • The Boy Scouts of America recognizes the importance of religious faith and duty; however we do not align with any particular faith or religious institution. We leave specific religious instruction to the member’s religious leaders and family.
  • If the unit happens to be chartered through a religious organization, such as a church, members who do not belong to that church shall not be required to participate in its religious activities.
  • Two registered adult leaders or one registered adult leader and a parent of a participant, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older, are required at all meetings, activities, and outings. If activities are coeducational, leaders of both sexes must be present.
  • Corporal punishment and hazing are not permitted. Parents and unit leaders must work together to solve discipline problems.
  • One-on-one activities between youth members and adults are not permitted; personal conferences must be conducted in plain view of others.
  • If you suspect that anyone in the unit is a victim of child abuse, immediately contact the Scout Executive, who is responsible for reporting this to the appropriate authorities.

Recruiting Resources:

Below are several items that can be used at your recruitment night. Contact your District Executive to reserve the below items

  • Dancing blow-up Scout
  • Stand-up Scout
  • Table top banners
  • Feather stands
Even in the digital age, paper can be an effective recruitment tool. From recruitment flyers to peer-to-peer cards, use these resources as you see fit.

Recruiting Tips:

Having a successful fall signup night is one of the most important things you can do to keep your Pack healthy. Boy Scouts of America has put together a playbook to help this night be as successful as possible. Over the next few weeks, we will send out best practices/hints both from this book and from leaders like yourself. Your District Executive and other district volunteers will be able to assist, but “selling” the fun your Pack has to offer is YOURS!
Your District Executive works with the local schools to get flyers distributed in a timely manner and schedule boy talks close to your signup night. However, sometimes by being a parent of a student in the school, your access is greater than ours. If you would like to help in either of these tasks, or just have another idea on how to better promote, contact your District Executive.

Also remember, schools are busy. Just because a flyer is delivered on a Tuesday, doesn’t necessarily mean it will go home the next day. Sometimes schools only send home flyers once a week. For this reason, scheduling your signup night in the first 10-14 days may lead to issues when it comes to promotion. The week of September 12th is an optimum week; school has been in session for a few weeks and the popcorn sale has yet to begin.

Many of us fall into the mistake of asking for new adult leaders by standing up at a meeting and waiting for hands to be raised. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work.

Take some time before your signup night to put together a list of all positions in the Pack that are available. From Den Leader to planning a snack at the November meeting, many positions can be filled that night. Some Packs will compile a large list and have every family choose one the night they sign up their son.

For a list of more specialized positions, a Family Talent Survey is available. You can find it at: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/cubscoutmeetingguide/pdf/appendix/34362.pdf.

The best chance to recruit a new Scout is your signup night. Families have many choices of programs for their children to join. This is our night to shine! Being organized and friendly goes a long way on this evening. As you can imagine, the number of families returning after they “think about it” are not great.
There are many other youth organizations in our communities. Many times those who have ties to Scouting also have ties to other groups – ie Athletic Organizations, PTA, etc. Try a collaborative effort with a local group to recruit youth.
Sometimes a good recruitment tactic is for a Scout to Recruit a Friend. When it comes to Cubs, it may even be more appropriate to have a Family Recruit Another Family. A business card template is available for your use HERE.


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