A child who is 9 years old or is in the third grade is a Bear.

Like all other new Cub Scouts, a Bear must first earn the Bobcat rank. After completing the requirements for Bobcat s/he may go on to complete the requirements for the Bear rank and the many electives that are offered for rank.

Meet your Bear Den Leader

Michael Swaine

Hi. My name is Michael Swaine and I am a Cub Scout Leader, father, beer brewer, business manager, Eagle Scout and world traveler. I currently work at UIC in an office that is trying to provide support to first generation college students. I feel strongly about Scouts and helping our scouts become active citizens. I have been married for 9 years to Stacey Chamberlain and we have two kids, Gabriel (8) and Jocelyn (6).

Favorite camp song or skit?
I love all skits and songs, but tend to enjoy leading Kukkaburra and Boom Chicka Boom.

Your go-to scout gear?
My new red Scout coat is quite warm when it needs to be. I have to say that my tent is quite useful for keeping us dry, and I am becoming a fan of my Dutch Oven.

Pinewood Derby: Fastest car or best design?
Both, baby. Who says you can’ have a fast car that looks good?!?!

Your favorite scouting memory?
I worked at Boy Scout Camp Freeland Leslie as a teenager and I loved working with the staff and scouts. We had Friday Night Events that we would plan and put on a show for the campers and then lead them out to do different games around camp. It was super fun.

Why do you volunteer?
I feel that Scouting is important for the kids and that I do a good job of bringing them the curriculum and my perspective on it. Not that they always listen, but I try and keep them open minded, but active and concerned citizens.

Tell us about the component of the Scout Law that means a lot to you.
Helpful. This is the most important think not only in Scouting, but in life. If only everyone volunteered on hour a week or even a month we could make this world such a better place. And by being helpful we can also brighten the world of individuals.

Coolest adventure you’ve ever been on?
The Peace Corps changed who I am and let me in the direction of service to others. By serving others I get so much myself. I went to Bolivia in the Peace Corps in 1996 and didn’t come back to live in the States until 2006! I have worked in Bolivia, Paraguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain and Costa Rica.

What are some of your special talents?
I can hold by breath under water for three minutes.
I can juggle.
I can wiggle my ears