Cub Scout Program

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Cub Scouting
Aims · Purposes
Methods · Core Values
Ranks & Awards
Belt Loops and Pins

Cub Scouting is a year-round family- and home-centered program of the Boy Scouts of America that develops ethical decision-making skills for boys. It is available to boys under the age of 11 who meet any of the following qualifications:

  • boys who are 7, 8, 9, and 10 years old
  • boys in the first through fifth grade and are not registered in a Boy Scout troop.


Cub Scout Advancement

See also:Cub Scout Advancement Policies. Everything a Cub Scout does in the advancement program is intended to achieve the Aims of Scouting and aid in personal growth. The program has two tiers of recognition: the classic rank system and the newer Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program.

  • Bobcat badge → The first rank earned by every boy in Cub Scouting as a part of the joining requirements.
  • The Tiger Cub Program and Electives are for a first grade or 7-year-old Cub Scout with their adult partners to emphasize shared leadership, learning about the community, and family understanding.
  • The Wolf Program and Electives are for a second-grade or 8-year-old Cub Scout.
  • The Bear Program and Electives are for a Cub Scout in the third grade (or 9 years old).
  • The Webelos Scout Program and Webelos Activity Badges are for a Cub Scout who has completed the third grade or is age 10 but has not yet completed fifth grade or reached age 11 1/2. The word "Webelos" means WE'll BE LOyal Scouts, and should always be used as a modifier, never as a noun.
Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear
Tiger Cub totem with achievement beads
Wolf and Bear Arrow Points
Webelos Scout badges
(diamond for blue shirt, oval for tan shirt)
Webelos Scout Compass and Compass Points
Webelos Scout Colors and Activity Pins
Arrow of Light
emblem and knot
Marbles Belt Loop and Pin

Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program (Belt Loops and Pins)

The Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program is designed toward the third aim of Scouting: the development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. It is an optional program for all Cub Scouts and is designed to assist in learning or improving skills. Belt loops are awarded for completing standards in various academic and sport fields. Advanced skills are recognized by pins, displayed on the Cub Scout Academic and Sports letter.

All registered Tiger Cubs, Wolf Cubs, Bear Cubs, and Webelos Scouts can earn Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program known as "Belt Loops and Pins." - Academic & Sports p. 1

Cub Scout Pack Leadership

History of Cub Scouting

From: The History of Cub Scouting. Also see: Boy Scouts of America Historical Highlights

In 1914, Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouting, began implementing a program for younger boys that was based on Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. The Wolf Cub program began in 1916, and since that time, Wolf Cubbing has spread to other European countries with very little change.

In America, hundreds of Cub Scout-age boys and their families were clamoring for a program of their own. As early as 1920, Scout executives at the first national training conference discussed the needs of younger boys. The BSA, however, felt it wise to postpone any action until there was more objective evidence.

In 1930, Cub Scouting was formally launched, with 5,102 boys registered at the end of that first year. By 1933 the time had come to promote Cub Scouting throughout the country as a part of Scouting. All experimental restrictions were removed, and the first national director of Cub Scouting was appointed. Cubs advanced from Bobcat (for all new members) to Wolf (age 9), Bear (age 10), and Lion (age 11) and joined a Boy Scout troop at age 12.

Cub Scouting in America is different from the younger-boy programs of other countries because it is centered in the home and neighborhood. With the encouragement of family and leaders, boys enjoy a program that covers a wide variety of interesting things. It suggests activities that boys enjoy doing on their own when adults are not supervising them. These activities are particularly suited to boys of Cub Scout age and are different from those they will encounter in Boy Scouting.

Key dates in Cub Scouting:

  • 1929 The National Executive Board approves demonstration Cub units.
  • 1930 Cub Scouting was formally launched
  • 1933 Experimental" restrictions removed.
  • 1941 Webelos rank created for 11-year-old boys with the Lion badge.
  • 1945 "Cubbing" changed to "Cub Scouting."
  • 1949 Age levels for Cub Scouting changed to 8, 9, and 10, with Boy Scouting at 11. One million Cub Scouts.
  • 1953 First pinewood derby held in California.
  • 1954 Webelos created for 10-year-old boys.
  • 1956 Webelos day camp program introduced.
  • 1967 Lion rank discontinued in favor of new Webelos Scout program.
  • 1968 First Cub Scout day camps.
  • 1976 Women could now serve as Cubmasters and assistant Cubmasters.
  • 1977 Cub Scout program year changed to coincide with the school year.
  • 1982 Tiger Cub Scouts introduced
  • 1984 Webelos Scout Resident Camps start.
  • 1986 Webelos program expands to two years to include fourth-grade and fifth-grade boys.
  • 2002 Leave No Trace Frontcountry Guidelines and Leave No Trace Award introduced.

BSA Mission Statement

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Aims of Scouting

All levels of the Scouting program share three specific objectives:

  • Character development
  • Citizenship training
  • Personal fitness

One is growth in moral strength and character. We may define this as what the boy is himself; his personal qualities, his values, his outlook.


A second is participating citizenship. Used broadly, citizenship means the boy's relationship to others. He comes to learn obligations to other people, to the society he lives in, and to the government that presides over that society.


A third aim of Scouting is development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).

Purposes of Cub Scouting

  1. Character Development
  2. Spiritual Growth
  3. Good Citizenship
  4. Sportsmanship and Fitness
  5. Family Understanding
  1. Respectful Relationships
  2. Personal Achievement
  3. Friendly Service
  4. Fun and Adventure
  5. Preparation for Boy Scouts

Methods of Cub Scouting

  1. Living the Ideals
  2. Belonging to a Den
  3. Using Advancement
  4. Involving Family and Home
  1. Participating in Activities
  2. Serving Neighborhood and Community
  3. Wearing the Uniform
  4. Making Character Connections

Core Values of Cub Scouting

Main article: Character Connections
  1. Citizenship
  2. Compassion
  3. Cooperation
  4. Courage
  5. Faith
  6. Health and Fitness
  1. Honesty
  2. Perseverance
  3. Positive Attitude
  4. Resourcefulness
  5. Respect
  6. Responsibility

See also

Cub Scout Leader portal
Webelos Den Leader portal

MeritBadge.Org is your online Scouting University with everything from Getting Started to Bridging.

  • Nameplates - Official BSA Name plates for your uniforms.

See the Cub Scout Leader Resources for the Pack Organization Chart and much more.

External links

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