Cub Scout Advancement

On the advancement trail, a Cub Scout progresses from rank to rank. His handbook is the best resource for understanding what achievements he can and should work towards. Tiger, Wolf and Bear Scouts programs are geared towards one full school year, while Webelos is an 18 month program. Cub Scouts do not “go back” and work on ranks designed for earlier grade levels, even if missed due to their time of joining. Likewise, Cub Scouts do not “move ahead” to the next rank until the completion of the current school year.1 To earn their rank badges, they much complete 7 Adventures.

Cub Scout Adventure Program

For Tiger through Bear ranks, if the activity is completed outside of the den meeting, the parent, adult partner, or another trusted adult should sign in the boy’s handbook, indicating the Cub Scout has done his best to complete the requirement. The den leader then approves that requirement after consultation with the family or the boy to confirm completion. If the requirement is completed in a den meeting, the den leader signs in both places. Den leaders may, however, ask an assistant or parent who helps at meetings to play the role of “Akela(2)” and assist with the approvals. For Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks, the den leader signs for approval of all requirements, unless the den leader delegates this responsibility.(3)

Learn more on our national site.

The first rank every Cub Scout earns is Bobcat, no matter their age or grade. The Scout will learn the Scout Oath & Law; Cub Scout Handshake, Salute and Sign; earn the Cyber Chip Award; and complete with their parent the How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.

A Scout 7 years old, or in the 1st grade is a Tiger. Tigers join the Pack with their adult partners are just that, partners. They attend meetings together, go on adventures like field trips together, and complete requirements together. To earn the Tiger Badge, they must complete a Faith Adventure, 5 additional Core Adventures, and one Elective Adventure.

Tigers will learn that there are many types of living things that share the place where we live; develop appropriate emotional responses, engage in shared decision making, and encourage an active and healthy lifestyle; introduce the concept of teamwork and also to the idea that they can make a difference in the world; healthy eating habits, including making the right food choices and practicing good hygiene; and start to develop an understanding of the Outdoor Ethics program. The requirements to these and other Adventures can be found in their Handbook and at Cub Hub.

A Scout 8 years old or in the 2nd grade is a Wolf. To earn the Wolf Badge, they must complete a Faith Adventure, 5 additional Core Adventures, and one Elective Adventure.

Wolf Scouts will learn about camping, animals they might see, and the Leave No Trace Principles; learn more about their neighborhood and community structure, community service, and how others have provided service to our country; have opportunity to become comfortable speaking in front of others; develop hiking skills; and promote physical fitness and good health through games and other fun activities. The requirements to these and other Adventures can be found in their Handbook and at Cub Hub.

A Scout 9 years old or in the 3rd grade is a Bear. To earn the Bear Badge, they must complete a Faith Adventure, 5 additional Core Adventures, and one Elective Adventure.

Bear Scouts will learn how to responsibly handle and use the pocketknife when he is around others; learn, improve, and develop their basic outdoor skills; explore the outdoor world of mammals, birds, plants, and more; learn the value of helping other people have fun; learn how to take care of themselves and be a help to their family, community, and the environment; and continue to learn about patriotism and loyalty to our country. The requirements to these and other Adventures can be found in their Handbook and at Cub Hub.

A Scout 10 years old or in the 4th or 5th grade is a Webelos Scout. Webelos may earn the 27 Adventures in any order.

To earn the Webelos Badge, they must complete a Faith Adventure, 4 additional Core Adventures, and two Elective Adventures.

While earning the Webelos Badge, Webelos will learn about good nutrition, how to safely cook meals in the outdoors, and how to balance meal planning and finances; introduction to the skills and responsibilities of a first responder; learn about physical fitness and good health; and continue to develop outdoor and hiking skills. The requirements to these and other Adventures can be found in their Handbook and at Cub Hub.

A Webelos has completed the 4th grade may earn the Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouts. A Webelos does not have to earn the Webelos Badge to earn the Arrow of Light. To earn the Arrow of Light, they must complete a Faith Adventure, 3 additional Core Adventures, and three Elective Adventures.

While earning the Arrow of Light, Webelos will learn to be strong, participating citizens in their communities, their nation, and the world at large; go on campouts where they can gain and develop new outdoor skills; introduce Boy Scouting, Scout skills, and Scout spirit; and will attend a troop meeting and accompany a troop on a campout or an outdoor activity. The requirements to these and other Adventures can be found in their Handbook and at Cub Hub.

[1] Guide to Advancement: Section 4.1.1.0 Cub Scout Ranks.
[2] Akela (Ah-KAY-la) is a title of respect used in Cub Scouting—any good leader is Akela, which is also the leader and guide for Cub Scouts on the advancement trail.
[3] Guide to Advancement: Section 4.1.0.3 Who Approves Cub Scout Advancement?.