Cubs is a fun club for boys and girls aged 8 – 10 years, and is a part of the scouting movement. Cubs comes after Keas and before Scouts.

What is Cubs?

A Cub or Cub Scout is a member of the section of the worldwide Scouting movement for young persons, primarily providing clubs for boys, normally aged eight to ten years.

In some countries they are called Wolf Cubs and are often referred to simply as Cubs.

The movement is often referred to simply as Cubbing. Originally, like the Boy Scouts, Cubbing was for boys only.

The Cub Scouts as an organisation was founded by Robert Baden-Powell in 1916, ten years after the foundation of the Scouts, in order to cater for the many younger boys who had not yet reached the age limit for the Scouts but who wanted to take part in Scouting.

So in 1914 Baden-Powell announced a Junior Section for Scouting. In 1916, he published his outlines for such a scheme, it was to be called Wolf Cubbing.

Baden-Powell asked his friend, author Rudyard Kipling for the use of his The Jungle Book as a motivational frame in cub scouting. Baden-Powell wrote a new book The Wolf Cub’s Handbook for junior members. In 1917, junior members became known as Wolf Cubs.

Each young Cadet Troop was taught a much simpler form of Scouting, including basic knotting techniques, basic first aid and tracking.

In 2006 Cub Scouts celebrated 90 years of Cubbing, with activities held all over the world.

Originally, Cub Scout membership was open only to boys while the Brownies were set up as a parallel section for young girls. However, in recent years, Cubs have also been opened to girls.

Cub Scouts are organised into Packs, which are usually linked to a local Scout Group, providing a community with all age sections. Adult leaders of Cub packs often take the names of The Jungle Book ‘s main characters.

Like Scouts, Cub Scouts are assigned to small teams within the Pack. The teams are known as Sixes, referring to the six members of the team.

Youth Leaders from more senior sections of Scouting are actively encouraged to assist as Cub Scout Leaders.

Cubs is based on a program of fun, where the Cub gets satisfaction from meeting challenges, having friends, feeling good about himself, and feeling they are important to other people. Cubs learn new things, discover and master new skills, gain self-confidence, and develop strong friendships.

Families are a core part of Cubs and are included in many activities.

Cubs has ideals of spiritual and character growth, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Scouting provides children with a positive, encouraging peer group, carefully selected leaders who provide good role models and a group setting where values are taught to reinforce positive qualities of character.

Scouting in New Zealand started back in 1908, with the first Boy Scouts patrol. The younger Cubs were introduced in 1916.

Where do Cubs meet?

Scouts usually meet in a local Scout Hall or Community Centre. Meetings are generally held weekly.

What age can your child start Cubs?

Scouting is split into five different groups:

  • Keas: ages 6 to 8 years
  • Cubs: ages 8 to 10 years
  • Scouts: age 10 to 16 years
  • Venturers: age 14 to 18 years
  • Rovers: age 18 to 26 years

There are also the Sea Scouts and Air Scouts which are incorporated into the Scouts, open to ten through to sixteen year olds.

How do you progress in Cubs?

Cubs have a lot of fun doing a lot of interesting things. From playing games to learning codes and skills. There are adventures to become involved in, places to see and new friends to meet.

One of the philosophies behind Cubs is that they all help each other, and try to help others too.

Cubs can earn achievement badges by completing set tasks in topics that interest them and by learning new skills such as cycling, electronics, sports, cookery, boating, writing and more.

The next step up from Cubs is Scouts, from youngsters aged ten to sixteen.

Scouts can continue to progress through the Scouting movement into adulthood, eventually becoming a Scout leader should they choose.

The next step up from Scouts is Venturers, for teens aged from fourteen to eighteen. Venturers are responsible for their own programmes which include a range of adventurous, vocational, social and spiritual activities.

From there Scouts/Venturers progress to becoming Rovers. Rovers is for young adults aged eighteen to twenty six, with associate members age twenty to thirty four. In addition to their own programmes of interests and achievement, Rovers also provide service and assistance to the Scout movement and their local community.

What equipment do you need for Cubs?

Clothing worn should be suitable for the activity being undertaken in the interest of health and safety of participants.

All members who have made the Cub Promise are entitled to wear an approved uniform.

Over time, there will be requirements such as camping equipment – packs, sleeping bags, ground sheets and similar, as the young Scouts enjoy the various outdoor activities provided.

How much does Cubs cost?

The cost per annum for membership including activities is around $200.

The cost for the basic uniform consisting of a shirt and scarf is around $40 – $50.

Badges are around $2-$3 each.

How much time does Cubs take?

Weekly meetings vary depending on age group but are around one to two hours per week after school.

There is also extra time required, particularly during the weekends and holidays, for extracurricular activities, in particular outdoor pursuits.

Great Cubs Websites


The official website of Scouting New Zealand. Includes information, books, games and links on all things Scouting in this country, including cubs.


Website of the young adults involved in Scouting in New Zealand.


The New Zealand website of Venturer Scouting.


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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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Hi you have stated that cubs are for boys only. This is not the case anymore, girls are welcome. There are lots of girls in my sons pack. Please could you amend the information accordingly. Thanks

Rochelle Gribble

Thanks! We’ve updated our information!

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