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On the Cub Scout advancement trail, a Scout progresses from rank to rank, learning new skills along the way. As Cub Scouts get older and advance through the ranks, the requirements become more challenging to match their new skills and abilities. Cub Scout advancement includes a wide range of group and individual activities youth enjoy. More importantly, the activities are carefully selected to encourage physical, intellectual, and character development. At all grades after Kindergarten, new Cub Scouts get to earn a joining rank badge called “Bobcat”.

The rank levels and activities tied to the Cub Scout’s grade and age are as follows:

  • Kindergarten Cub Scouts work toward the Lion badge in the Lion Handbook
  • First Graders have the Tiger badge and Handbook
  • Second Graders have the Wolf badge and Handbook
  • Third Graders have the Bear badge and Handbook
  • Fourth Graders work on the Webelos badge and Handbook (“Webelos” stands for “WE’ll BE LOyal Scouts”)
  • Fifth Graders work on the Arrow of Light badge also found in the Webelos Handbook.

A Cub Scout will start at the rank and Handbook appropriate to the Cub Scout’s age (grade).

Ranks – Click On The Badge Below for More:

Beyond The Ranks – Additional Awards and Recognition:

Religious Awards – Each of 34 major religions have organized an Emblem program that adherents can pursue to strengthen their faith.

Cyber Chip – Today’s youth are spending more time than ever using digital media for education, research, socializing, and fun. To help families and volunteers keep youth safe while online, the Cub Scout program uses the Cyber Chip award to instruct and increase awareness. For 1st through 5th grade.

Cub Scout Recruiter – This award recognizes a Scout who recruits a friend into Scouting. Any Scout can recruit a friend and earn this badge.

Cub Scout Outdoor Activity – This award recognizes the Scout for taking part in outdoor recreation and conservation projects. In many cases, you can earn this award while doing other Scouting activities

Cub Scout World Conservation – To encourage Scouts to “think globally” and “act locally” to preserve and improve our environment. This program is designed to make youth members aware that all nations are closely related through natural resources and that we are interdependent with our world environment.

STEM/NOVA Awards – For their first Nova awards, Scouts in the 2nd Grade and older have the opportunity to earn the Nova award patch. For subsequent STEM Nova awards earned, Scouts receive a Pi device to add to their patch.

Emergency Preparedness – Be prepared and ready for all kinds of emergencies. It means you’re ready and able to help in times of trouble to save lives and property and to help a community—or even a nation—get back to normal after a disaster happens.

SCOUTStrong – The SCOUTStrong Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge is all about developing a healthy active lifestyle.

Whittling Chip – To promote the safe use of pocket knives by Cub Scouts, Scouts (3rd Grade and above) can earn this award.

Messengers Of Peace – To recognize individuals who participate in a Messengers of Peace project (service project) – youth and adults. A global service project program carried out by Scouts throughout the world.

Shooting Sports – To learn about shooting sports – slingshots, archery and BBs – Cub Scouts from 1st Grade and up can earn shooting sports awards, first covering safety, then covering shooting sports skills.


Check out where to put all your patches on your uniform.  See this insignia guide, or check out this video to help you!