Cub Scout advancement policies

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Advancement topics include Rules and Regulations and policies regarding Cub Scouts,
Scouts BSA, Venturers, Special Needs, Scout Spirit, and What is "Active?"
Program resources are offered for Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouting.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Guide To Advancement, 2011 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #N/A)


Cub Scouting

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, pp. 18-21)

Cub Scouting is home- and neighborhood- centered for the Cub Scout. Advancement involves parental approval of requirements.

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If a boy is in the first grade (or age 7 years old), he becomes a member of a Tiger Cub den of perhaps five to 9 boys, and his den is one of several which make up the pack. The den meets weekly, usually at the home of the host team (Tiger Cub and his adult partner} or the Tiger Cub den leader.

If a boy is in the second or third grade (or is 8 or 9), he becomes a member of a Cub Scout den of perhaps six to eight boys, and his den is one of several that make up a pack. The den meets weekly, usually at the home of the den leader.

If the boy is in the fourth grade (or is 10), he may become a member of a Webelos den. This den is led by an adult Webelos den leader. A pack may have more than one Webelos den, depending on the number of Webelos Scouts. The Webelos den meets weekly.

The pack meets monthly, usually at the building of its chartered organization. This meeting is conducted by the Cubmaster and the committee.

There are six ranks in Cub Scouting:

  • Bobcat. The Bobcat badge is earned prior to all other ranks. If a boy joins Cub Scouting as a Wolf, Bear, or Webelos, he must earn the Bobcat badge first before receiving any other award or rank.
  • Tiger Cub. The rank for boys who have completed kindergarten (or 7-year-olds).
  • Wolf. The rank for boys who have completed first grade (or 8-year-olds).
  • Bear. The rank for boys who have completed second grade (or 9-year-olds).
  • Webelos. The rank for boys who have completed third grade (or 10-year-olds).
  • Arrow of Light. For fifth-graders (or 10-year-olds). Earned after the completion of the Webelos badge,

usually during the second year of the Webelos program.

Bobcat Requirements

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 19)

No matter what age or grade a boy joins Cub Scouting, he must earn his Bobcat badge before he can be awarded the rank of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos. This rank involves learning the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and some signs and symbols of Cub Scouting. His parents determine when the boy has mastered them.

Tiger Cub Requirements

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 19)

When a boy is in the first grade, he works on the Tiger Cub badge with his adult partner. To begin his path to the Tiger Cub rank, the Tiger Cub must first earn the Tiger Cub Immediate Recognition Emblem by learning the Cub Scout motto, the Cub Scout sign, and the Cub Scout salute. When he has accomplished these tasks, he may begin working on the 15 achievement requirements to earn Tiger Cub rank. These simple requirements, to be completed with the adult partners, include a family activity, den activity, and Go See It (den outing) in five achievement areas. The adult partner approves the completion of each requirement by signing the boy's handbook. For each of these 15 achievements, the boy earns a bead to add to his Tiger Cub Immediate Recognition Emblem—white for family activities, orange for den activities, and black for Go See It activities.

When the Tiger Cub has completed the 15 achievement requirements, he receives his Tiger Cub badge in a ceremony during a monthly pack meeting. After earning the Tiger Cub badge, the boy is encouraged to work on the numerous elective activities in his book. The boy is also encouraged to begin working on the requirements for his Bobcat badge. There are many elective projects aimed at sparking a Tiger Cub’s interest in a new hobby, activity, or skill. When he completes 10 electives, he earns a Tiger Track bead that is worn on the Tiger Cub Immediate Recognition Emblem, a pocket totem. There is no limit to the number of Tiger Track beads that a boy may earn; however, each Tiger Track bead must represent the completion of 10 elective projects.

All requirements for both the Tiger Cub achievements and electives are found in the Tiger Cub Handbook.

Wolf Requirements

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 19)

When a boy is in the second grade, he starts work on the 12 achievements for the Wolf rank as soon as he has earned his Bobcat rank. These achievements involve knowledge of the national flag, his religious duties, physical skills, and other simple skills geared to his interests. A parent or adult family member should approve his work and sign his book, signifying completion of the requirements.

Cub Scout leaders approve only a few of the requirements, which are indicated in the book.

When the Cub Scout has completed the 12 achievements, he receives the Wolf badge in a ceremony during a monthly pack meeting. The boy may then work on any of the 23 fields, called electives, until he completes second grade (or is 9). Electives mostly cover hobby and sports interests. Each of these electives is divided into projects. For the first 10 projects, a boy is award a Gold Arrow Point, to be worn on his uniform below his Wolf badge. For the next 10 projects completed, he receives a Silver Arrow Point, to be worn below the gold one. Additional Silver Arrow Points may be earned for each 10 projects. All requirements and electives are found in the Wolf Cub Handbook.

Bear Requirements

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 19)

When the boy is in the third grade or 9 (or as soon as he completes the Bobcat requirements if he joins at this age), he begins work toward the Bear rank. When he has completed 12 of the 24 achievements and has been awarded the badge, he may work on the 24 electives in the Bear Cub Handbook to earn Arrow Points as he did for Wolf. These arrow points are worn below his Bear badge. In addition, he may earn elective credits by completing requirements for the 12 achievements not used to earn the badge. All requirements for both the Bear achievements and electives are found in the Bear Handbook. As with the Wolf rank, completion of the requirements is approved by the boy’s parents.

Webelos Requirements

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 20)

While working toward the Webelos rank and the Arrow of Light Award, the boy also may earn any or all of the 20 activity badges that range from Aquanaut and Sportsman to Geologist and Forester. The Webelos den leader approves the boy’s work or assigns someone else to approve it. This is an important step in the boy’s transition to a Boy Scout troop. All requirements for the Webelos badge, Arrow of Light Award, and activity badges are found in the Webelos Handbook.

The boy makes a transition from the pack to a Boy Scout troop after he:

  • Has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old, OR
  • Is age 11, OR
  • Has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old.

The transition from the pack to a Boy Scout troop in an impressive ceremony.

The Webelos badge and Arrow of Light requirements include all of the joining requirements for the Scout badge.

"Most Webelos Scouts are in this program for about 18 months." --- Webelos Handbook, p. 4."

Cub Scout Advancement Goals

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 21)

The administration of the Cub Scout advancement program is primarily the responsibility of the pack committee, with the support of the district advancement committee and commissioner staff.

  • Parents of Cub Scouts should understand their role and responsibilities in their son’s advancement. For the boy to receive maximum benefit and growth from his advancement, the adult’s standard should be based on the Cub Scout motto, “Do your Best”.
  • Advancement recognition should be given as soon as possible after a boy completes the requirements, and be done with proper ceremony. Presentation of badges should be a part of each monthly pack meeting. Suggestions for advancement ceremonies are contained in the Cub Scout Program Helps, Webelos Leader Guide, Cub Scout Ceremonies for Dens and Packs, and the Cub Scout Leader Book.
  • Packs and troops should be encouraged to work together to ensure a smooth transition from the Webelos den to the Boy Scout troop.
  • Good advancement records should be maintained by the pack to be sure that the boys are advancing and that the awards are presented promptly.
  • The use of den chiefs (Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, or Venturers who assist with Cub Scout and Webelos Scout den meetings) can help stimulate advancement through example and experience, as well as encourage boys to continue in the Scouting program.

Cub Scout/Webelos Scout Resident and Day Camp Advancement Guidelines

(Quoted from: Advancement Policies #33088, p. 21)

Cub/Webelos Scout resident camp, as well as day camps, should limit advancement for the sake of advancement. Tiger Cub and Cub Scout advancement is intended to be family-oriented; the adult partner or a family member must approve completion of the requirements by signing the boy’s book. As boys become Webelos Scouts, their den leaders and activity badge counselors sign off the requirements in the handbooks. Camp programs and activities should not detract from these family and den responsibilities related to advancement.

Cub Scout Academic and Sports Program

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