The Advancement Trail

On the advancement trail, a Cub Scout progresses from rank to rank, learning new skills as he or she 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 get older.



  • Boys and Girls who join the Cub Scout program on June 1, 2015, or later must complete the Bobcat requirements listed below
    before earning the rank badge for their school or birth year.

    1. Learn and say the Scout Oath, with help if needed.
    2. Learn and say the Scout Law, with help if needed.
    3. Show the Cub Scout sign. Tell what it means.
    4. Show the Cub Scout handshake. Tell what it means.
    5. Say the Cub Scout motto. Tell what it means.
    6. Show the Cub Scout salute. Tell what it means.
    7. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide



Tiger Cub

The Tiger Cub rank is for boys and girls who have completed Kindergarten (or who are 7 years old). To earn the Tiger badge, a scout must complete the 6 required Tiger adventures and one elective adventure. 


The Wolf rank is for boys and girls who have finished first grade (or who are 8 years old). To earn the Wolf badge, the scout must pass 12 achievements. When the scout has met all requirements, the Wolf badge is presented to his or her parent or guardian at the next pack meeting. The parent or guardian then presents the badge to the scout.



The Bear rank is for boys and girls who have finished second grade (or are 9 years old). There are 24 Bear achievements in four groups. The scout 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. 


Webelos dens are for boys or girls 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 the younger boys and girls in the pack do. Webelos Scouts get to work on the 20 Webelos activity badges:

Physical Skills

  • Aquanaut
  • Athlete
  • Fitness
  • Sportsman

Mental Skills

  • Artist
  • Scholar
  • Showman
  • Traveler

  • Citizen
  • Communicator
  • Family Member
  • Readyman


  • Craftsman
  • Engineer
  • Handyman
  • Scientist
Outdoor Activity

  • Forester
  • Geologist
  • Naturalist
  • Outdoorsman

Webelos Scouts work on requirements during their weekly den meetings. Once the scout learns a skill, he or she  practices it at den meetings and at home on his own. Webelos Scouts bring the projects they do at home to the den meetings to show others, and to have the Webelos den leader approve their projects.

When a scout 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 Scout in the Scout BSA program. Webelos Scouts who have earned the Arrow of Light Award have also completed all requirements for the Scout badge.

This award is the only Cub Scout badge that can be worn on the Scout BSA uniform when a scout 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.

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