Yes, you need some way of keeping stuff dry. Cubs are often bad at "tent discipline", and fields can be muddy.
I'm a scout leader and helped out at a cub and scout camp a few weeks ago. Most of the kids had rucksacks and I noticed that many of them struggled to pack them away at the end. Those with holdall-type bags found it much easier to put things away. If you're not carrying the bag very far, a duffel bag is probably a better choice as it's easier to pack things and find items that you need.
They were also encouraged to pack their sleeping gear as a bed roll, where the mat and sleeping bag are all rolled up together. This makes it easier to set it up and should be easier to pack away. (Stuff sacks are tricky for younger children in my experience) However, the bed rolls are quite bulky and it can be harder to transport them in one piece.
The use of a bivvy bag is a good suggestion from cathyjc - many of the cubs were a little careless in keeping things dry and clean. (Not deliberately, but just through lack of experience).
if you do decide to go down the rucksack route i got my 9yr old one from decathalon-
http://www.decathlon.co.uk/arpenaz-20-green-rucksack-id_8172773.html (sorry wont do links in Opera)
it's not specifically for kids but all the straps had enough adjustment even for my slim daughter.
She wants to come wild camping with me so has been carrying her sleeping bag, spare clothes etc around on day walks and claims it's really comfy.
Something about packweight and kids below 16 years old. Try keep their load (especially when you start out with them) under the 10% of their body weight. Otherwise it quickly becomes no fun for them.
When they have to carry their loads of a distance more tha 2-3 km a holdall with no proper carry system, like a normal backpack should have, is way out of scope.
About fitting backpacks with kids that should carry some gear and such. Look for a backpack with a proper hipbelt able to transfer the weight to the hips instead of shoulders. That said make sure the back length is long enough. Load lifters should run from shoulderstrap upwards to the top of the back of the backpack. Not horizontal and certainly not downward! Thos backpacks have a too short backlength which makes that the weight is not properly transferred to the hips. The weight is then resting more (to almost 100%) on the shoulders which is not good for comfort and fun.
Take care and select the gear of your kids as if your selecting it for yourself. Don't go for cheap non-fitting or not working solutions simply because they will grow out of it quickly. It's a recipe for failure.
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