Cub Scouting Advancement and Awards

Cub Scouts do fun things with other kids! They get to wear a cool uniform, go places, and see things. They play all kinds of sports and build things, like race cars and bird houses. Want to learn a secret code? Want to learn about wild animals? Go Cub Scouting!

In Cub Scouting you'll have lots of fun, adventure, and activities with your den and pack. But there's more to it than that. Being a Cub Scout means you are a member of a worldwide youth movement that stands for certain values and beliefs. Cub Scouting is more than something to do. It's all about the boy you are and the person you will become.

Special Award Opportunities for Cub Scouts

Besides the advancement awards, Cub Scouts may earn other individual awards:

Awards for Dens and Packs

Just as Cub Scouts can earn individual awards for themselves, they can also work together to earn awards for their whole den or their pack. Getting together to work on these awards is a great way to practice teamwork and to show every Cub Scout how important he is as a member of his den or pack.


Cub Scouting Adventures

Cub Scouts have the opportunity to earn both required and elective recognition devices as they work toward their ranks. They also can earn recognition for additional elective adventures they choose to complete beyond those required for their rank. Tiger, Wolf, and Bear Scouts earn adventure loops to be worn on their belt, and Webelos Scouts earn pins they can wear on their Webelos colors or Webelos cap.

Adventure loops and pins are a great way to help fulfill the aims of Scouting—build character, develop citizenship, and encourage mental and physical fitness. Through a variety of subjects, you can stretch your mind and abilities by exploring the wonders of science, learning about the world, and expanding skills in new area.

This is a chance to try something new, do your best, and earn recognition all at the same time. For more information about the adventure loops and pins, see CubScouts.org.

Cub Scouts Belong to Packs and Dens

As a Cub Scout, you will be part of your own pack.

The pack is divided into smaller groups called dens. Each den has about six to eight boys. All of the Cub Scouts in your den are in the same grade and may even go to the same school.

The Cub Scout pack belongs to a church, a school, or some other group of people in your community or neighborhood. This group makes sure your pack has good adult leaders, a place to meet, and exciting things to do. The group gets help from the Boy Scouts of America, which is part of Scouting around the world.

Cub Scouts Do Things and Go Places

Have you been to the local police station and talked to the policemen on duty? Or visited the fire station and sat in the driver's seat of the pumper truck? Or visited the local TV station and sat in the news anchor's chair? These are some of the places you might go with your den or pack.

You might also build a pinewood derby car and race it on the track, build a sailboat or trimaran and race it in the raingutter regatta, or build a spaceship and race it to the stars in the pack space derby.

Cub Scouts Earn Awards

Each time you complete an accomplishment or learn a new skill, you will be rewarded. Sometimes the reward is a loop for your belt, pin, or a patch. Sometimes it is a smile on your parents' faces to see you grow and learn.

Cub Scout Uniforms

When you see someone in a uniform, you know that person belongs to a specific group. A police officer wears a uniform, and so does a doctor or a firefighter. As a Cub Scout, you will wear a uniform too. If you are in first, second, or third grade, you will wear a blue shirt, blue pants, and a neckerchief in the correct color for your rank—orange for Tigers, yellow for Wolves, and blue for Bears. Webelos Scouts have some different options. Some Webelos Scouts will wear the blue shirt, and some will wear the tan shirt, the same one the Boy Scouts wear. All Webelos Scouts will wear the Webelos neckerchief, which is yellow, blue, and red plaid. The blue and yellow is to remind them they are still in a pack, and the red is to remind them they will be moving to Boy Scouts soon.

There are other parts of the uniform: pants, belt, socks, and a hat. If you wear the blue shirt, you wear the blue pants and the hat for your den. If you wear the tan shirt, you wear olive pants but still wear the hat for your den (Webelos hat).

The Boy Scouts of America has always been a uniformed body. Its uniforms help to create a sense of belonging. They symbolize character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Wearing a uniform gives youth and adult members a sense of identification and commitment. The Guide to Awards and Insignia presents detailed information to enable BSA members to wear the correct and complete uniform on all suitable occasions. The BSA uniform website is also a great resource. 

Guide to Awards and Insignia


The Advancement Trail

On the advancement trail, a Cub Scout progresses from rank to rank, learning new skills as he goes. Each of the ranks and awards in Cub Scouting has its own requirements. As you advance through the ranks, the requirements get more challenging, to match the new skills and abilities you learn as you get older. For more information on the mechanics of Cub Scout advancement, visit CubScouts.org.

Bobcat

No matter what age or grade a boy joins Cub Scouting, he must earn his Bobcat badge before he can advance to the rank of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos. A boy must complete the Bobcat requirements, which include:

  • Learn and say the Cub Scout motto, the Scout Oath, and the Scout Law and tell what they mean;
  • Show the Cub Scout sign, salute, and handshake and tell what they mean; and
  • With your parent or guardian complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.
  • Get ideas to help Scouts earn the Bobcat badge on the council Pinterest page.

Tiger

The Tiger rank is for boys who are in first grade or are age 7. To earn the Tiger badge, a boy must complete six required adventures with his den or family and one elective adventure of his den or family’s choosing. As the boy completes each adventure, he will receive the adventure loop for that adventure, which he can wear on his belt. When they boy has completed the seven required adventures, he can receive the Tiger badge. The Tiger badge is given to the boy’s adult partner at a pack meeting. Then, during a grand ceremony, the adult gives the badge to the boy.

After he has earned the Tiger badge, a Tiger Scout can work on the remaining 12 Tiger electives until he finishes first grade (or turn 8 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure loop to wear on his belt.

Wolf

The Wolf rank is for boys who have finished first grade (or who are 8 years old). To earn the Wolf badge, a boy must complete six required adventures and one elective adventure. His parent or guardian and den leader approves each requirement by signing his book, and the boy receives an adventure loop for each adventure. When the boy has met all requirements, the Wolf badge is presented to his parent or guardian at the next pack meeting. During an impressive ceremony, the parent or guardian then presents the badge to the boy.

After he has earned the Wolf badge, a Wolf Scout can work on the remaining 12 Wolf electives until he finishes second grade (or turns 9 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure loop to wear on his belt.

Bear

The Bear rank is for boys who have finished second grade (or who are 9 years old). To earn the Bear badge, a boy must complete six required adventures and one elective adventure. His parent or guardian and den leader approves each requirement by signing his book, and the boy receives an adventure loop for each adventure. When the boy has met all requirements, the Bear badge is presented to his parent or guardian at the next pack meeting. During an impressive ceremony, the parent or guardian then presents the badge to the boy.

After he has earned the Bear badge, a Bear Scout can work on the remaining 12 Bear electives until he finishes third grade (or turn 10 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure loop to wear on his belt.

Webelos

Webelos dens are for boys who have completed third grade (or reached age 10). Webelos Scouts get to work on the five required Webelos adventures and choose two of the 18 elective adventures that are shared by the Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks. 
When a boy has done the requirements for an adventure, the Webelos den leader, rather than a parent, approves most of the adventures. For each adventure a boy completes, he receives a pin to wear on the Webelos colors or on his hat. After completing seven adventures, including five required adventures and two elective adventures, a Scout can receive the Webelos badge.

After he has earned the Webelos badge, a Webelos Scout can work on the remaining 18 shared Webelos and Arrow of Light electives until he finishes fourth grade (or turns 11 years old). He can choose elective adventures that may show him new hobbies and teach him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years. When he completes an elective adventure, he receives an additional adventure loop to wear on his belt.

Arrow of Light

The highest rank in Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light. Earning this rank prepares a Webelos Scout to become a Boy Scout. Scouts must complete four required adventures and three elective adventures to earn the Arrow of Light rank. For each adventure a boy completes, he receives a pin to wear on the Webelos colors or on his hat.

The Arrow of Light badge is the only Cub Scout badge that can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform when a boy graduates into a troop. Adult leaders who earned the Arrow of Light rank when they were young may also show their achievement by wearing a special square knot on their adult uniform.


Contacts

For additional information, contact your district advancement chair.