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.
The Lion is transitioning from a pilot program to an official Cub Scout rank taking effect for the 2018-2019 program year. The Lion's uniform will be the Lion T-Shirt, hat, belt with a neckerchief and slide optional after the completion of the Gizmos and Gadgets' adventure. Lions work on their Lion rank first before working on their Bobcat. When Lions move to Tiger's they can begin to work on the Bobcat.
No matter what age or grade a child joins Cub Scouting, they must earn the Bobcat badge before they can advance to the rank of Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos. The new scout must complete the Bobcat requirements, which include:
- Learn and say the Cub Scout motto, the Cub Scout Promise, and the Law of the Pack and tell what they mean;
- Show the Cub Scout sign, salute, and handshake and tell what they mean; and
- Show that you understand and believe that it is important to be honest and trustworthy.
To begin this path to the Tiger Cub rank, the Tiger Cub (age 7) must learn the Cub Scout promise, the Cub Scout sign, and the Cub Scout salute. When they have learned these, they earn a Tiger Cub emblem, which is a tiger paw with four strings for beads. It is worn on the emblem of the right pocket.
As a scout finishes each part of the five Tiger Cub achievements, they earns an orange bead (for den activities), a white bead (for family activities), or a black bead (for "Go See Its"). When all five beads of each color have been earned, the scout can receive the Tiger Cub badge. The Tiger Cub badge is given to the scout's adult partner at a pack meeting. Then, during a grand ceremony, the adult gives the badge to the scout.
The Wolf rank is for scouts who have finished first grade (or who are 8 years old). To earn the Wolf badge, a scout must pass 12 achievements. The parent or guardian approves each achievement by signing his book. When the scout 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 scout.
After earning the Wolf badge, a Wolf Cub Scout can work on the 23 Wolf electives until they finish second grade (or turns 9 years old). Wolf scouts can choose from more than 100 elective projects that may show new hobbies and teach skills that will be useful during Scout years. When 10 elective projects are completed, the scout earns a Gold Arrow Point to wear under the Wolf badge. For each 10 elective projects after that, the scout earns a Silver Arrow Point.
The Bear rank is for scouts who have finished second grade (or are 9 years old). There are 24 Bear achievements in four groups. Scouts must complete 12 of the achievements to be a Bear Cub Scout. These requirements are harder and more challenging than those for the Wolf badge. When a scout has earned the Bear badge, they may work on electives to earn Arrow Points to wear under the Bear badge.
Webelos dens are for scouts who have completed third grade (or reached age 10). The Webelos den program is different from the Cub Scout den program. Everything in the Webelos Scout program is more challenging than what younger scouts in the pack do. Webelos Scouts get to work on the 20 Webelos activity badges:
- Family Member
Webelos Scouts work on requirements during their weekly den meetings. Once a Weblo scout learns a skill, it is practiced at den meetings and at home on their own. The Scout's family helps at home. Webelos Scouts bring the projects they do at home to the den meetings to show others, and to have the Webelos den leader approve their projects.
When a Weblo has done the requirements for an activity badge, the Webelos den leader or activity badge counselor, rather than a parent, approves most of the activity badges. It takes three activity badges, including Fitness and Citizen, to earn the Webelos badge.
Besides earning activity badges, Webelos Scouts can earn the compass points emblem. This emblem is awarded after a Webelos Scout has earned seven activity badges. For each four activity badges a Webelos Scout earns after that, they receive a compass point—east, west, north, and south.
Arrow of Light
The highest rank in Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light Award. Earning this rank prepares a Webelos Scout to become a BSA Scout. Webelo Scouts who have earned the Arrow of Light Award have also completed all requirements for the BSA Scout badge (Program change begins in 2019).
This award is the only Cub Scout badge that can be worn on the BSA Scout uniform when a scout graduates into a troop. Adult leaders who earned the Arrow of Light Award when they were young may also show their achievement by wearing a special square knot on their adult uniform.