What Is the Lion Program?

Nur­tur­ing par­ents who want thier kinder­gart­ner to grow to be self-reliant, depend­able, and car­ing will find this pro­gram has the­se same goals in mind for him. This age appro­pri­ate pro­gram inte­grates tra­di­tion­al Scout­ing aims of char­ac­ter devel­op­ment, lead­er­ship skills, per­son­al fit­ness and cit­i­zen­ship into activ­i­ties that are fun for both boys and their par­ents.

Goals of the Lion Scout Pro­gram Lion Scout Fam­i­ly Ben­e­fits
  • Offer greater sup­port for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies
  • Intro­duce chil­dren and their fam­i­lies to scout­ing and out­door fun
  • Build a foun­da­tion of char­ac­ter
  • Offer age appro­pri­ate activ­i­ties each mon­th
  • And Enhance qual­i­ty fam­i­ly time
  • Encour­ages pos­i­tive inter­ac­tion between scouts and adults
  • Intro­duces fam­i­ly to Ster­ling

Scout­ing has been called a game with a pur­pose. Our goal for the­se younger boys is to provide a safe envi­ron­ment for par­ents and their son to have fun as a fam­i­ly and with oth­er fam­i­lies. As par­ents use the pro­gram to build a closer rela­tion­ship with thier son and oth­er fam­i­lies with boys this age, Lions offers them oppor­tu­ni­ties to share a lit­tle bit of the Scout­ing adven­ture. Togeth­er they will begin to under­stand more about Scout­ing and pre­pare their young­ster for day camp and mov­ing to Tigers.

Who Are Lion Scouts? What do Lions Do?
  • Lion Scouts are kinder­garten-age boys.
  • Lions join with a par­ent or car­ing adult part­ner.
  • Lions form dens of six to eight Lion Scout pairs (boy and accom­pa­ny­ing adult).
  • Lion dens are part of a Cub Scout pack.
  • Lions may wear a spe­cial Lion T-shirt to their activ­i­ties.
  • Lions move to the next Cub Scout lev­el (Tigers) at the end of kinder­garten.
  • The Lion dens and their adult part­ners will meet twice per mon­th.
  • Lion dens will meet once a mon­th for a den meet­ing.
  • The sec­ond meet­ing each mon­th for the Lion dens will be a den out­ing or pack meet­ing.
  • Lions use the Lion Adven­ture Book to explore their world, them­selves, their fam­i­lies, and their neigh­bor­hoods.
  • The Lion guide and adult mem­bers use the Lion Adven­ture Book and the Lion Par­ent and Lead­er Guide­book to plan den activ­i­ties.

 

Adventures

The Lion pro­gram is made up of 12 adven­tures. Each adven­ture is designed to help your son have fun and learn use­ful things. Earn­ing the five required adven­tures leads to your son achiev­ing the Lion badge. In addi­tion to the five required adven­tures, there are sev­en elec­tive adven­tures that the boys in the den may earn for fur­ther fun and enrich­ment. It is not expect­ed that boys will com­plete all 12 adven­tures. BSA sug­gests that dens com­plete the Lion’s Hon­or adven­ture first, how­ev­er here is no required order for the remain­ing adven­tures.

  • Lion’s Hon­or*
  • Fun on the Run*
  • Ani­mal King­dom*
  • Moun­tain Lion*
  • King of the Jun­gle*
  • I’ll Do It Myself
  • Pick My Path
  • Giz­mos and Gad­gets
  • On Your Mark
  • Build It Up, Knock It Down
  • Rum­ble in the Jun­gle
  • Ready, Set, Grow

*Required adven­tures

Accord­ing to a 2014 U.S. Cen­sus Bureau report, 57 per­cent of kids ages 6–17 par­tic­i­pate in at least one after-school extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ty. This means that by the time they are eli­gi­ble for Tigers, more than half of them already are engaged in some type of ath­let­ic, artis­tic or oth­er pro­gram.

Often, chil­dren become attached to life­long activ­i­ties at an ear­ly age — that is cer­tain­ly a goal we would have, as we know the long-term ben­e­fits of Scout­ing involve­ment include strong asset devel­op­ment in the areas of char­ac­ter and lead­er­ship. How­ev­er, we also know that when youth par­tic­i­pate in numer­ous activ­i­ties at an ear­ly age, and miss join­ing Scout­ing, they are unlike­ly to do so at adolescence.—Mike Sur­baugh, Chief Scout Exec­u­tive

The required adven­tures help boys explore impor­tant Scout­ing ideas: lead­er­ship, cit­i­zen­ship, per­son­al fit­ness, char­ac­ter devel­op­ment, and out­door skills and adven­ture. The­se out­comes form the core of all future Scout­ing advance­ment and recog­ni­tion. The Lion pro­gram forms a strong foun­da­tion for a life­time of fun and mean­ing­ful fam­i­ly Scout­ing adven­tures.

Stickers are placed in the boy's Adventure Guide as he accomplishes the tasks of a Lion Cub Scout
Stick­ers are placed in the boy’s Adven­ture Guide as he accom­plish­es the tasks of a Lion Cub Scout

As they com­plete the require­ments for each adven­ture, Lions will earn an adven­ture stick­er to be placed in their Lion Adven­ture Book. Lions earn stick­ers, not adven­ture loops (belt loops) as they will do in Cub Scout­ing. Addi­tion­al­ly, Lions will be led by par­ents fill­ing the role of “Lion Guides” and will meet as dens of six to eight kinder­garten-age boys.

Lions will wear their own approved uni­form, a Lion t-shirt! It will be avail­able in pilot-approved Scout Shops to help the Lions feel unique and spe­cial. (Lions should not wear the Cub Scout uni­form until they are old enough to offi­cial­ly tran­si­tion into Cub Scout­ing as a Tiger.)

Lion dens may be invit­ed to par­tic­i­pate in a few pack meet­ings, but accord­ing to Scout­ing­Wire,  “care should be tak­en to ensure that any meet­ings they attend are fun and engag­ing for boys of Lion age…meaningful and fun activ­i­ties should be planned for Lions in any meet­ings they attend.”

At the end of the kinder­garten year, Lions will “grad­u­ate” into Cub Scout­ing as a Tiger – where even more fun and adven­ture will await!

Official Program Announcements

In their release yes­ter­day, the Nation­al Coun­cil stat­ed: “Research shows that child­hood devel­op­ment accel­er­ates around ages four and five, about the time youth begin for­mal edu­ca­tion. To sup­ple­ment the learn­ing and growth boys expe­ri­ence at home and in an edu­ca­tion­al envi­ron­ment at that age, Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca has devel­oped a pilot pro­gram for five-year-old kinder­garten boys called ‘Lion.’”

That same day, Bryan on Scout­ing wrote:

Why go younger? …at age 4 and 5 …is also the time when fam­i­lies start look­ing for after-school activ­i­ties for their chil­dren. While 5-year-olds could join a soc­cer team or karate stu­dio, they couldn’t yet join Scout­ing. …in pilot coun­cils across the coun­try, par­ents will wel­come a pro­gram that intro­duces Scout­ing con­cepts and val­ues to 5-year-olds in a fun, age-appro­pri­ate way.

The kinder­garten-age boys them­selves will enjoy explor­ing the world around them with friends. Lions promis­es to expand imag­i­na­tions, spark cre­ativ­i­ty and ampli­fy fun.

At the end of the Lion year, boys will grad­u­ate to Tiger and advance through Cub Scout­ing.

Lions will be pilot­ed in select coun­cils across the coun­try. Your council’s Scout Exec­u­tive already has details on how to apply to become a nation­al pilot site for fall 2016.

Lion Parent and Leader Book
Every­thing for the par­ents and lead­ers is under one cov­er.

Accord­ing to Hay­ley Cor­daro, com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ist at the Boy Scouts of Amer­i­ca, the activ­i­ties will 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.”

Coun­cils can apply to become a nation­al pilot site for Fall 2016. Scout Exec­u­tives have been made aware of the pro­ce­dures to apply in pack­ets just like the one we received. If approved, your coun­cil will record their expe­ri­ences and provide feed­back to nation­al devel­op­ment teams for fur­ther study.

Though not every coun­cil will choose to launch this fall,  any orga­ni­za­tion that wants to serve this age group can con­tact their coun­cil office for details and express inter­est. Many will be allowed to begin using the pro­gram as ear­ly as this fall.

Seems like this is just the begin­ning of an excit­ing pro­gram that is sure to grow Scout­ing. In the com­ing months, as we learn more, we will release more infor­ma­tion. The Nation­al Coun­cil promis­es updates on the specifics of the pro­gram, FAQ’s, and more. You can always fol­low devel­op­ments at Pro­gram Updates to join the excite­ment as BSA tests new ways to reach America’s youth with the ben­e­fits of Scout­ing!

What do you think about adding the Lion pilot pro­gram to Scout­ing?

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4 comments

  1. Julie U. says:

    We are halfway thru the first year with our Lion Scouts and I have to say that I LOVE this pro­gram! We have eight active Lion Scouts and they are awe­some. We meet twice a mon­th at the same times as our Pack, which meets week­ly, and we give our Lions the oppor­tu­ni­ty to attend (but at the same time not required) hikes, ser­vice projects and oth­er fun activ­i­ties like Christ­mas Car­ol­ing, and I will tell you, the­se Kindergartener’s and there par­ents and grand­par­ents are all in. I real­ly enjoy how the pro­gram books are set up, in that the Parent/Leader guide is pre­sent­ed in the same man­ner as our Tiger-Webe­los Lead­er guide books. I see this as a great way to encour­age new lead­ers. I have been in Scout­ing with my two boys and one daugh­ter for five years now, with three of those in a lead­er role and we love Scout­ing and I am very impressed with this new Lion Pro­gram.

  2. Jason Mork says:

    We are Pack 275 in Tem­pe, Ari­zona and have been picked to be a part of the pilot TIger pro­gram. We have boys and a lead­er already lined up. Look­ing for­ward to this new jour­ney!

  3. kathrine long-lozier says:

    We are so excit­ed! we have a Bear Scout and a lit­tle broth­er who has been sad he cant go to meet­ings. Now we don’t have to wait until the first grade!

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