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Advancement Trail

Cub Scout Pack 298
(Frisco, Texas)
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The Cub Scout Advancement Trail

The Cub Scout Advancement trail has two intertwined and complementing paths - Rank Advancement which awards patches, and the Academics and Sports Program which awards belt loops and pins.

Rank Advancement

For all boys who join Cub Scouting, regardless of age, the first rank is Bobcat. The remaining Cub Scout ranks are based on age and grade level. The Tiger rank is for boys who are in first grade or from 6-7 years of age. The Wolf rank is for boys who are in second grade or are 8 years old. Bear is for those who are in third grade or are 9 years old. The Webelos Badge is for Webelos Scouts who have completed the third grade or are 1O years old, and the Arrow of Light Award is for Webelos Scouts who are in the fifth grade. So, a boy who enters Cub Scouting after completing second grade, for example, first earns the Bobcat (usually at the first den meeting if he studies first), and then he begins work on the appropriate rank for his grade (or age)- Bear in this case. He may not "go back" and work on advancements for younger boys.

Each rank has its own handbook - Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos which contains the achievments (requirements) to reach that rank. There are also electives in the Tiger, Wolf, and Bear handbook for which a Scout can earn additional awards.

A scout can work on some rank achievments and arrow electives at his den meetings but most involve a family activity or responsibility. The Cub Scouting program is focused on family and community. When a scout completes an advancement activity, the activity is "signed-off" by either his parents or den leader. The scout thenbrings his "signed" handbook to the den meeting where his den leader records the scout's advancement and orders rank, belt loops, pins, and other badges accordingly. You and your son can work on rank requirements in any order. Be aware though, some outdoor requirements require certain weather. Hopefully his interest will develop such that your scout will be reading his handbook and approach you regarding activities.

When rank achievements are completed at a den meeting, for example, a flag ceremony, the den leader will either sign-off the activity or notify the parent who would then review the completed activity with his/her scout. 'Say how did you fold that flag?' and then, if satisfied, the parent would sign-off. Note these requirements (lessons) are really meant be practiced. For example, how to answer the phone if a stranger calls, fire escape plans, bicycle safety, flag ceremonies,...are all lessons which bear repeating.

A. Bobcat

The very first rank that EVERY boy MUST earn when entering the Cub Scouting Program is the Bobcat. To earn the Bobcat rank the new Cub Scout must do the following:

1. Learn and say the CUB SCOUT PROMISE

"I..... (name).... promise to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To help other people, and
To obey the Law of the Pack."

2. Say the LAW OF THE PACK. Tell what it means. Note Akela is the scout word for "good" leader.

"The Cub Scout follows Akela.
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout Grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill."

3. Tell what WEBELOS means "WE'll BE Loyal Scouts"

4. Show the CUB SCOUT SIGN. Tell what it means.

5. Show the CUB SCOUT HANDSHAKE. Tell what it means.

6. Say the CUB SCOUT MOTTO. A motto is a rule. "Do Your Best"

7. Give the CUB SCOUT SALUTE. Tell what it means.

8. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the front of the booklet, How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse.

The above items are the basic information that ALL Cub Scouts must learn, which is why EVERY boy who enters into Cub Scouting MUST earn the Bobcat Badge.

B. Tiger Click here for a list of Tiger Achievements. 
                        Click here for a list Tiger Arrow Point Electives.

To earn the Tiger rank, a Cub must complete requirements in 5 achievements areas, Family, Community, Health and Safety, Communication, and Outdoors. Each achievement area includes a Family Activity, a Den Activity, and a "Go See It" visit to a related place of business, organization, or event.

At the Tiger level, there are no performance requirements, but rather recognition for participation done with the den or adult partner. Cub Leaders work with Tiger Cubs during Den meetings to help Scouts complete the achievements and to work on additional elective projects aimed at promoting interest in new hobby fields, as well as teaching him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years.

When a Cub completes ten elective projects, he earns a Gold Bead to wear under the Tiger Badge. For each additional ten elective projects completed, the Cub earns another Gold Bead.

C. Wolf Click here for a list of Wolf Achievements. 
                        Click here for a list Wolf Arrow Point Electives.

To earn the Wolf rank, a Cub must pass 12 achievements involving simple physical and mental skills. His parent must approve each achievement by signing his book. The Den Leader keeps a record of his progress on the Cub Scout Den Advancement Chart and gives him recognition at a Den meeting for passing each milestone.

Cub Leaders should understand the difference of achievements on one hand, and arrow points on the other hand. After a Cub has earned the Wolf Badge, he 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 hobby fields, as well as teaching him skills that will be useful during his Boy Scout years.

When a Cub completes ten elective projects, he earns a Gold Arrow Point to wear under the Wolf Badge. For each additional ten elective projects completed, the Cub earns a Silver Arrow Point.

It is important to note that the Cub may work on the "Arrow Point Trail" at any time. However, he cannot receive Arrow Points until after he has earned the Wolf Badge.

D. Bear Click here for a list of Bear Requirements. 
                        Click here for a list Bear Arrow Point Electives.

To earn the Bear Badge, a Cub Scout must complete 12 achievements out of a possible 24 that are offered in the book. The achievements are grouped in four major areas: God, Country, Family and Self. Within each group, a required number of achievements must be completed. Any achievements the Cub does not use to earn the Bear Badge may be used to earn Arrow Points. You will find that the Bear requirements are somewhat more difficult and challenging than the requirements for the Wolf Badge. As with the activities which lead to the Wolf Badge, the achievements for the Bear Badge are primarily done at home and are signed off by an adult family member after the boy has completed each one. The book is then shown to the Den Leader who records the boy's progress and also signs the boy's book.
E. Webelos Click here for a list of Webelos Requirements.

The Webelos rank is for boys who have completed third grade (or are 10 years old). A boy may begin working on the Webelos Badge as soon as he joins a Webelos Den. This is the first step in his all-important transition from the Webelos Den to the Boy Scout Troop. As he completes the requirements found in the Webelos Scout Book, he will work on activity badges, attend meetings lead by adults, and become familiar with the Boy Scout Requirements - all leading to the Arrow of Light Award.

As he is earning the Webelos Badge and the Arrow of Light Award, a Webelos Scout is required to earn eight of the 20 available activity badges. Certain activity badges are required for earning the Webelos Badge and the Arrow of Light Award, while others may be selected by the boy. The 20 activity badge areas are hobby and career fields ranging from science tosports. Most badge requirements are passed by the Webelos Den Leader or activity badge counselors.

Any activity badge may be earned by any boy during any month. But most Webelos Den Leaders have found that it is best to have all Den members working on the same badge at the same time, since more resources and qualified help are available in this way.

F. Arrow of Light Click here for a list of Arrow of Light Requirements.

The next step on the Webelos trail to becoming a Boy Scout is the
Arrow of Light Award, which is the highest award a boy can earn as a Cub
Scout. This is the only Cub Scout Badge authorized to be worn on the Boy Scout uniform when the boy graduates into a Boy Scout Troop.

After the Webelos has earned the Webelos Badge, he should be urged to complete the Arrow of Light Award requirements, as set forth in the Webelos Scout Book. These give him a chance to practice some Scout skills that he has already learned, earn more activity badges, and really find out what a Boy Scout is. The formal requirements of the Arrow of Light Award can be found in the Webelos Book.

Academics and Sports Program

The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program is a supplemental enrichment program that complements the existing Cub Scout program. The Academics subjects and Sports activities allow boys to learn new techniques, increase scholarship skills, develop sportsmanship while having fun . Scouts of any rank (Tiger,Wolf,Bear, Webelos) may participate in the program and be recognized for enjoying teamwork, developing physical fitness, and discovering and building new talents. This recognition has two levels - belt loops and pins. The belt loop is an introductory level with just three requirements while the pin requires work beyond the belt loop requirements. Participation can take place individually or with the family, in the den or pack, or in the school or community.

Belt loops may be worn on any belt with or without the Cub Scout uniform. Scouts often wear them the school to show their friends and maybe recruit some new scouts.
Pins may be worn on vests or jackets or displayed in a box frame.

For a requirements list for the Academics & Sports Program belts loops and pins, click
Academics & Sports Recognition Program (Loops and Pins)

Advancement Recognition.

In Cub Scouting, advancement recognition is almost as important as advancement itself. Advancement ceremonies are held at monthly pack meetings and at the Blue and Gold Banquet (in February). At these ceremonies, a scout's advancement is recognized by his parents, den, and the whole pack.

Other Recognition

Religious Emblems. Cub Scouts of all faiths and denominations can earn religious awards and recognition of their religious faith. These emblems are not Scouting awards as such. They are conferred on a Cub by his religious leader. Each faith has its own requirements for earning its emblem. Most of these awards consist of bar pins and pendants, and are worn on the uniform above the left pocket on formal occasions. In addition, the religious emblem square knot may be worn on the uniform over the left pocket by youth or adults who earned any of the religious awards.

Cub Scout World Conservation Award. Click here for a list of Conservation Award Requirements. Recognition in the form of the Cub Scout World Conservation Award may be earned by each Cub Scout one time while he is a Cub Scout. The requirements for this award vary based on whether it is earned by a Wolf, a Bear or a Webelos Scout. These requirements are discussed in more detail in the Wolf and Bear Cub Scout Books and in the Webelos Scout Book. 

Webelos Super Achiever Award. Did you earn all of the Webelos Activity Pins?  If you did, you're a Webelos Super Achiever!  To earn this award, you must earn all 20 activity pins while you are a 1st and 2nd year Webelos Scout.  This can not be earned after  cross-over to Boy Scouts, which is generally the  Arrow of Light Ceremony.

Adult Leader Awards

The official source for information on most adult leader training awards is the current version of Guide to Leader Training (511-028) and various Progress Record and Application forms available in the training area of These external links go to to the forms on most of the web pages describing those awards.