What is Advancement?
Advancement essentially boils down to recognition earned through the completion of adventures.
Each Den has a set of age appropriate adventures that they work on during the Scouting year (which coincides with the school year). As a Scout completes each adventure they receive an Adventure Loop. This loop is awarded at the next Pack meeting and is affixed to the Scout's Cub Scout belt.
Once a Scout completes all the required adventures they receive their rank badge for the year at a Pack meeting. The rank badge is affixed to the left front pocket of the Scout's shirt.
What is an Adventure?
An adventure is a themed set of activities taken from the Scout handbook. Each of the four ranks (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos) has their own handbook with unique adventures. There is a wide variety of adventures for each rank. Each rank has a set of required adventures and a set elective adventures. Adventures are sometimes referred to as rank requirements.
Here is an example of one of the adventures the Tiger Scouts work on and the different belt loops and pins earned at each rank...
How are all these adventures achieved?
Many of the adventures are worked on during den meetings. Some adventures requirements are done at home with the Scout's family. Others are covered during special trips the Den may take, such as sporting events or hikes. Each den leader will inform the families which adventures will be covered through den meetings and which need to be done at home.
What happens if my Scout misses a meeting or event?
Some adventures require involvement with the Den but there is always opportunity to make-up such requirements if the Scout misses a meeting or event. The Scout, his family, and the Den leader can work together to make arrangements. Our goal is to see every Scout complete their adventures and attain their rank badge so we always try to be flexible.
What is a Rank Badge and what happens after a Scout gets a Rank Badge?
If a Scout joins Cub Scouts as a first grader they are considered a Tiger Scout and they are working from the Tiger handbook. Their goal is to complete the Tiger requirements and earn their Tiger rank badge. Once a Scout has earned their rank badge they continue to go to Den meetings and events and are able to earn additional "elective" adventure loops either with their Den or on their own with the help of their families.
The Bobcat Badge
Every Scout, regardless of what age they join Cub Scouts must earn their Bobcat badge before any other rank advancement can be awarded. The Bobcat badge requirements are to learn some of the essential core values of the Scouting program.
- Learn and say the Scout Oath, with help if needed.
- Learn and say the Scout Law, with help if needed.
- Show the Cub Scout sign. Tell what it means.
- Show the Cub Scout handshake. Tell what it means.
- Say the Cub Scout Motto. Tell what it means.
- Show the Cub Scout Salute. Tell what it means.
- With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide—Bobcat Requirements.
How do we keep track of advancement?
One of the best resources is the rank specific handbook each Scout must have. This handbook explains all of the adventure requirements as well as the Bobcat requirements. It also contains details on all the electives, some of which families can work on at home separately from the adventures done at the Den meetings.
All advancement is tracked online through a website called Scoutbook. The tool is used by both the leaders of the pack and the Scout's families to record advancement, help review requirements, and keep track upcoming meetings and events.
What happens as a Scout moves from one year to the next?
Each year Scouts work with their Dens on the adventures spelled out in the handbook. Typically the same scouts stay with the same den with the same den leaders year after year. The only thing that changes is the adventures they work on and the handbook they work from.
What happens if a Scout does not earn their rank badge?
The Cub Scout motto is "Do your best". If a Tiger joins scouting in first grade but they don't attain their Tiger rank badge by the end of the school year they will still be able to move on to the Wolf den and work with the same Den on the Wolf rank badge requirements. They simply won't have a Tiger badge on their uniform. Scouts sometimes join the pack mid-year making it very difficult to earn the rank badge before the end of the school year. We encourage Scouts to attend and be involved in Pack and Den meetings and events but their is no pressure or rush to complete the requirements. Each Scout can progress at their own rate.
Are there costs associated with advancement?
No. All costs associated with recognition items, adventure loops, and rank badges are included in the annual registration fee. There is no additional charge for these items.