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
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:
- 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 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 learned these, he gets his Tiger Cub emblem, which is a tiger paw with
four strings for beads. He wears the emblem on his right pocket.
As a boy finishes each part of the five Tiger Cub achievements, he earns
an orange bead (for den activities), a white bead (for family activities),
or a black bead (for "Go See Its"). When the boy has earned five beads of
each color, he can receive his Tiger Cub badge. The Tiger Cub 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.
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 pass 12 achievements. His parent or
guardian approves each achievement by signing his book. 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 Cub Scout can work on the 23
Wolf electives until he finishes second grade (or turns 9 years old). He can
choose from more than 100 elective projects that may show him new hobbies and
teach 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 10 elective projects after that, he earns a Silver
The Bear rank is for boys who have finished second grade (or are 9
years old). There are 24 Bear achievements in four groups. A boy 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 boy
has earned his Bear badge, he may work on electives to earn Arrow Points
to wear under his 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. Everything in the Webelos Scout program is more challenging
than what younger boys 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 boy learns a skill, he practices it at den meetings and at home on his own.
His family helps him 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
When a boy 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, he
receives 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 Boy Scout. Webelos Scouts who have
earned the Arrow of Light Award have also completed all requirements for the
Boy Scout badge.
This award 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 Award when they were young may also show their achievement
by wearing a special square knot on their adult uniform.