Cub Scout Advancement
Advancement is the process by which a boy progresses from badge to badge,
learning new skills as he goes. The Cub Scout advancement program is designed
to encourage the natural interests of a boy in a natural way. Each of the
ranks and awards in Cub Scouting has its own requirements. As a boy advances
through the ranks, requirements are progressively more challenging, matching
the increased skills and abilities of a boy as he grows older.
Advancement is one of the methods used to achieve Scouting's
aims—character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.
Everything a Cub Scout does to advance is designed to achieve these aims and
aid in his personal growth. These badges are a means to an end—not an
end in themselves.
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 Cub, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos.
A boy must complete the Bobcat requirements, which include demonstrating
his understanding of Scouting's core values. He must be able to recite
the Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack, and motto and demonstrate the
Cub Scout sign, handshake, and salute. He must also explain what each of
these ideals means, in addition to demonstrating his understanding of the
core values of honesty and trustworthiness, and explaining their
To begin his 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 he has
accomplished these tasks, he will be awarded his Tiger Cub immediate recognition
emblem. This is a tiger paw with four strands for beads that he wears on the
As a boy completes each part of the achievements, he will be awarded either
an orange (den activities), white (family activities), or black ("Go See It")
bead. When the boy has earned five beads of each color, he is eligible to
receive his Tiger Cub badge. The Tiger Cub badge is presented to the adult
partner at the next pack meeting. In an impressive ceremony, the adult partner
in turn presents the badge to the boy.
The Wolf rank is for boys who have completed first grade (or who are 8 years
old). To earn the Wolf badge, a boy must pass 12 achievements involving simple
physical and mental skills. His parent or guardian approves each achievement by
signing his book. When all requirements are satisfied, the Wolf badge is
presented to his parent or guardian at the next pack meeting in an impressive
advancement ceremony, during which the parent or guardian in turn presents the
badge to the boy.
After he has earned the Wolf badge, a boy is encouraged to work on the 22
Wolf electives until he completes second grade (or turns 9 years old). More
than 100 elective projects are aimed at kindling his interest in new hobbies,
as well as teaching him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years.
When he completes 10 elective projects, he earns a Gold Arrow Point to wear
under the Wolf badge. For each additional 10 elective projects completed, he
earns a Silver Arrow Point.
The Bear rank is for boys who have completed second grade (or are 9 years
old). There are 24 Bear achievements in four categories; boys must complete
12 of these to earn the Bear badge. These requirements are more difficult and
challenging than those for the Wolf badge. When the boy has earned his Bear
badge, he may work on electives for credit toward Arrow Points to be worn
under the Bear badge.
Webelos dens are for boys who have completed third grade (or reached age
10). The Webelos den program is different from the Cub Scout den program:
Instead of being based on a monthly theme, the Webelos den program is based
on one of 20 Webelos activities:
- Family Member
Webelos Scouts work on requirements during their weekly den meetings. Once
the boy learns the skill, he practices it at den meetings and at home on his
own. The boy's family is encouraged to help him at home. Boys bring to den
meetings completed or partially completed projects done at home to show others,
as well as to be approved by the Webelos den leader. This sharing encourages
a boy to do his best and helps to build his confidence and self-esteem.
When a boy has completed the requirements for an activity badge, the
Webelos den leader or activity badge counselor, rather than a parent,
approves most of the activity badges.
In addition to earning individual activity pins, Webelos Scouts can earn the
compass points emblem, which is awarded after earning seven activity badges.
Metal compass points—east, west, north, and south—are awarded for each
four additional activity badges earned.
Arrow of Light
The pinnacle of Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light Award. The
requirements for this badge include developing outdoor skills, gaining an
understanding of the values of Scouting, and preparing to become a Boy
This recognition 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 as a youth may also wear the appropriate
square knot on their adult uniform. Webelos Scouts who have earned the
Arrow of Light Award have also completed all requirements for the Boy