Trail to Eagle


Research shows that childhood development accelerates around ages 4 and 5, about the time youth begin formal education. That’s where Scouting comes in. Like many of the BSA’s programs which supplement the learning and growth boys experience at home and in an educational environment at that age, the Boy Scouts of America has developed this pilot program for 5-year-old Kindergarten boys.

The NEPA Council is pleased to offer this great scouting program. This is the first year we will be running the Lion program having become part of the national pilot program. The Lion program has the same mission as the rest of the Scouting program, but is simple, extremely flexible and a great way to introduce families to Scouting. A Lion learns by doing things himself while having fun. As he learns and grows, the relationship with their adult partner grows as well. We hope to have the early enthusiasm caused by this, stay with the boy through the rest of his Scouting experience. At the conclusion of their kindergarten year, the Lion will transition to Tiger Scout and continue on their journey through Cub Scouting.

Not all Cub Packs in NEPA will be participating this fall in the Lion National Pilot Program.  In order for packs to participate in the program, they must have applied and have been accepted by the NEPA Council Membership Committee. There is a set of criteria that packs must meet in order to start a Lion program this Fall.  Contact the NEPA Scout Service Center and/or your District Executive to find a Cub Pack near you that has been approved to run the Lion program.


Lions is a family-oriented program. A youth and his parent or caring adult partner join Scouting together. A group of six to eight boys and their adult partners meet together in a group called a den. Dens will meet approximately twice per month. They have fun participating in den meetings and outings while making memories together.



  • 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 & 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 pilot encourages boys to learn and explore through hands-on, high-energy activities. Adult partners take turns leading a den meeting or outing during the year. Most meetings and outings are approximately 45 minutes in length.


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


The uniform for Lions is a Lion T-shirt with an optional cap. These items are available from our council’s Scout shop for all approved pilot councils. The Lion guide wears the same official adult uniform as other Cub Scout leaders in the pack. A Cub Scouting activity T-shirt is also appropriate. 


Den meetings and outings are facilitated by a Lion Guide and participating parents. The Lion Guide is an experienced Cub Scout Leader. He or she will lead the first den meeting of the year. The Lion Guide will help each adult partner lead one of the following meetings. The den meeting plans are provided in the Lion Parent and Leader Guidebook.

Adult Partner

The adult partner participates with the Lion in fun meetings and outings. He or she takes turns with other adult partners to lead a den meeting and/or outing.

Lion Coordinator

The Lion Coordinator:

  • Is an experienced and successful den leader
  • Understands den and pack operations within the overall structure of Cub Scouting
  • Demonstrates excellent communication and organization skills (and will remain in at least monthly contact with the Lion Cub dens)
  • Participates as needed in the unit’s School Night with all new Lion Cubs and their parents
  • Assists the Lion Cub Guide in hosting the first orientation meeting for all the individual Lion Cub dens in their pack
  • Serves as a coach and mentor for Lion Cub Guide

Lion Guide

A Lion Guide is a volunteer leader who provides direct support to your Lion Den.

The Lion Guide:

  • Has previous successful experience as den leader
  • Works directly with other den and pack leaders to ensure that the den is an active and successful part of the pack
  • Plans and prepares for initial Lion den meeting and outings
  • Mentors adult partners in the delivery of Lion den meetings
  • Attends the pack leaders’ meeting Leads the den at the monthly outings and other pack activities
  • Ensures the transition of Lion Scouts to Tigers at year-end
  • Prepares the Lions for day camp at the end of the Lion year if appropriate Coordinates shared leadership among the Lion adult partners in the den
  • Ensures that each Lion and his adult partner have the opportunity to be the host team, which plans and executes the den activities, and rotates responsibilities monthly


The Cubmaster serves as the master of ceremonies for the monthly pack meeting. The pack meeting is an event where all of the dens in a Cub Scout pack come together for fun activities and awards. For the Lions, each month one meeting will be a den meeting and one meeting will be an outing or pack meeting in the spring months. 


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. The BSA suggests that dens complete the Lion’s Honor adventure first, however there 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 adventure


In order for a pack to be included in the Lions pilot program being offered by the NEPA Council of the Boy Scouts of America for Kindergarten boys and their adult partners administered by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, they must have committed to the following:

  • Recruit Kindergarten boys to the Lions program being offered by the pack
  • Provide the Lions program from September 2016 through June 2017
  • Use only the materials being provided by the National Council Register Lions and their adult partners using a BSA youth application
  • Collect and submit the annual BSA registration fees to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council
  • Attend a Council Lion Pilot Program training/coaching session
  • Lion Coordinators and Lion Guides are required to complete Youth Protection training, be in compliance with their State laws and other BSA adult leader requirements
  • Complete the feedback forms requested by the National or Local Council
  • Have an active email address for your Lion Guide and Lion Coordinator
  • Commit that their pack will not deviate from the program provided

Contact the NEPA Scout Service Center and/or your District Executive to find a Cub Pack near you that has been approved to run the Lion program.

CLICK HERE to visit the National BSA Lion website for more information about this exciting program!

What Is Boy Scouts?

Lord Robert Baden-Powell began Scouting in Great Britain in 1907 and was immediately successful in attracting boys and adult leaders to its adventurous and fun outdoor program. In addition to teaching boys outdoor skills and teamwork, boys learned responsibility, character, and the need to do good for others. Several years later, in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated to provide a program for community organizations that offers effective character, citizenship and personnel fitness training for youth. Over 100 years later, Scouting is one of the largest youth organizations in the world.


The Boy Scout program is for boys ages 11-17. Members join a Boy Scout Troop and are assigned to a patrol, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight boys, similar to a Cub Scout Den. Troops and their patrols meet weekly, practicing skills, playing games, and learning to plan and manage for themselves as the boys help organize outings, such as hikes, campouts, and outdoor trips, and other activities.

The role of the Scoutmaster and his staff of adult leaders is to coach the boys in developing leadership skills, thinking through problems and tasks, and learning how to work and play together as a team. The Troop Committee includes parents of boys in the Troop and members of the chartered organization.

The Purposes of Boy Scouting

Specifically, the BSA endeavors to help boys develop into American citizens who:

  • Are physically, mentally and emotionally fit
  • Have high degree of self-reliance as evidenced in such qualities as initiative, courage and resourcefulness
  • Have personal values based on religious concepts
  • Have the desire and skills to help others
  • Understand the principle of the American social, economic and governmental systems
  • Are knowledgeable about and take pride in their American heritage and understand our nation's role in the world
  • Have a keen respect for the basic rights of all people
  • Are prepared to participate in and give leadership to American society.

Personal Growth

As Boy Scouts plan their activities and progress toward their goals, they experience personal growth. The Good Turn concept is a major part of the personal growth method of Boy Scouting. Boys grow as they participate in community service projects and do Good Turns for others. Probably no device is as successful in developing a basis for personal growth as the daily Good Turn. The religious emblems program also is a large part of the personal growth method. Frequent personal conferences with his Scoutmaster help each Boy Scout to determine his growth toward Scouting's aims.

The Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
And to obey the Scout Law,
To help other people at all times
To keep myself physically strong,
Mentally awake, and morally straight

The Scout Law

A Scout is:
and Reverent

The Boy Scout Motto

Be Prepared

The Boy Scout Slogan

Do a Good Turn Daily

Scouting Memories

Long after a young man matures and grows into adulthood, the imprint of Scouting and what he learned and experienced in the program will stay with him. There are tons of stories about how Eagle Scouts frequently can be found in positions of leadership in their communities, churches, companies, and even in military service. But the fact of the matter is that even if a boy only gets as far as Tenderfoot, years later he will more than likely remember the Scout oath and the words "On my honor...", remember the name of the summer camp he went to, and the names of his patrol mates - even when he can't remember the date of his own wedding anniversary. Scouting soaks into the very core of the people who get involved in it because it gives meaning to Honor, Friendship, Trust, Faith, and all the other things that form us and sustain us as individuals. So even when a man stands hunched over his cane and his knurled fingers have to be willed to form the Scout sign, it's no surprise that many will say with a choked voice of pride packed with memories, "I remember...". And we're all better for it.

CLICK HERE to find a Scout Troop near you!

What Is Venturing?

Venturing is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth, adult leaders, and organizations in their communities. Local community organizations establish a Venturing crew by matching their people and program resources to the interests of young people in the community. The result is a program of exciting and meaningful activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, to grow, to develop leadership skills, and to become good citizens.

Venturing crews can specialize in a variety of avocation or hobby interests. Venturing programs are developed around six experience areas of emphasis: Citizenship; Leadership; Fitness; Social; Outdoor; Service.


Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years of age.

Venturing's purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.

The Purposes of Venturing

Young adults involved in Venturing will:

  • Learn to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instilling the values in the Venturing Oath and Code
  • Experience a program that is fun and full of challenge and adventure
  • Become a skilled training and program resource for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and other groups
  • Acquire skills in the areas of high adventure, sports, arts and hobbies, youth ministries, or Sea Scouting
  • Experience positive leadership from adult and youth leaders and be given opportunities to take on leadership roles
  • Have a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and fun environment.

Personal Growth

The methods of Venturing have been carefully chosen to meet the needs of young adults and help them grow into adulthood with confidence and fully developed interpersonal skills that can help them throughout their lifetime. These methods are:

  • Voluntary association between youth and adults. Because Venturing is voluntary, youth are receptive to new ideas, experiences, and relationships. For the youth members, these relationships provide a connection to new ways of thinking and acting, and a new identity as a responsible young adult.
  • Ethical decision-making. By asking young people to be responsible for themselves, for a program of positive activities and experiences, and for other people, Venturing provides numerous opportunities for making decisions and ethical choices. With the influence of positive adult role models and structured activities, youth learn to make effective and ethical decisions.
  • Group activities. Venturing activities are interdependent group experiences in which success is dependent on the cooperation of all youth and adults.
  • Recognition of achievement. Recognition might come through the achievement of one of the many awards available to youth members, but peers and adults also achieve it through the acknowledgement of a young person's competence and abilities.
  • Democratic process. Venturing crews provide exposure to democratic ideas and skills that are needed throughout life.
  • Curiosity, exploration, and adventure. New experiences and Venturing activities provide an excellent opportunity for acquiring new skills and participating in action-oriented activities.

The Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
And to obey the Scout Law,
To help other people at all times
To keep myself physically strong,
Mentally awake, and morally straight

The Scout Law

A Scout is:
and Reverent

The Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to -

  • Be clean in my outdoor manners.
    I will treat the outdoors as a heritage.
    I will take care of it for myself and others
    I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
  • Be careful with fire.
    I will prevent wildfire.
    I will build my fires only where they are appropriate.
    When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out.
    I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.
  • Be considerate in the outdoors.
    I will treat public and private property with respect.
    I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.


  • Be conservation minded
    I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.
    I will urge others to do the same.

The Venturing Motto

Lead the Adventure.

CLICK HERE to find a Venturing Crew near you!

What Is Cub Scouts?

In 1930 the Boy Scouts of America launched a home- and neighborhood-centered program for boys 9 to 11 years of age. A key element of the program is an emphasis on caring, nurturing relationships between boys and their parents, adult leaders, and friends. Currently, Cub Scouting is the largest of the BSA's three membership divisions. (The others are Boy Scouting and Venturing.)


Cub Scouting has program components for boys in the first through fifth grades (or ages 7, 8, 9, or 10). Members join a Cub Scout pack and are assigned to a den, usually a neighborhood group of six to eight boys. First-grade boys (Tiger Cubs) meet twice a month, while Wolf Cub Scouts (second graders), Bear Cub Scouts (third graders), and Webelos (fourth and fifth graders) meet weekly.

Once a month, all of the dens and family members gather for a pack meeting under the direction of a Cubmaster and pack committee. The committee includes parents of boys in the pack and members of the chartered organization.

The Purposes of Cub Scouting

Cub Scouting has nine purposes, to:

  • Positively influence character development and encourage spiritual growth
  • Help boys develop habits and attitudes of good citizenship
  • Encourage good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body
  • Improve understanding within the family
  • Strengthen boys' ability to get along with other boys and respect other people
  • Foster a sense of personal achievement by helping boys develop new interests and skills
  • Show how to be helpful and do one's best
  • Provide fun and exciting new things to do
  • Prepare boys to become Boy Scouts

The Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
And to obey the Scout Law,
To help other people at all times
To keep myself physically strong,
Mentally awake, and morally straight

The Scout Law

A Scout is:
and Reverent

CLICK HERE to find a Cub Pack near you!

Learning for Life and Exploring in Northeastern Pennsylvania

What Is Learning for Life?

Learning for Life offers classroom-based programs that provide an action-learning process with grade-specific lesson plans for grades K through 12, plus a complete supplement for special-needs students.

Learning for Life helps youth develop social and life skills, assist in character development, and helps them formulate positive personal values.

What Is Exploring?

Exploring is a worksite-based program that gives youth an opportunity to visit community organizations and explore the dynamics of various careers.

Exploring's purpose is to provide experiences that help young people mature and to help them to become responsible and caring adults.

Click here to learn more about the Learning for Life and Exploring programs

Online Advancement Resources

The Boy Scouts of America has Online Advancement Resources available to help unit leaders and other Scouters with Advancement.