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  • Rank Claification

    This is just a bit of scouting trivia that was spawned from a couple of comments made on other strings. There is a common misconception about the ranks in Cub and Boy Scouts.
    There are now 5 ranks in Cub Scouts.

    The Arrow of Light is not a rank. It is an award. An enhancement to the Webelos rank in the same way that a Palm enhances the Eagle rank.

    In Boy Scouts there are 6 ranks.
    Second Class
    First Class

    The Scout Badge is an award that signifies the wearer has met the joining qualifications to become a scout.

    As mentioned before, Palms are not ranks, but enhancements to the eagle Rank.

    Here is some more trivia. For the first few decades the highest rank was First Class and Life, Star and Eagle (in that rearranged order) were enhancements to the First Class rank. That is why to this day the First Class Emblem is the symbol of the BSA and not the Eagle emblem.

    Every boy who joins Cubs after the eligibility age of Tigers, must complete the Bobcat rank first. So if a boy joins in 3rd grade he would first earn Bobcat then begin work on Bear Cub. He cannot go back and get Tiger or Wolf ranks.

    A boy who joins a troop at age thirteen Must first earn the scout badge and then begins work on tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. Unlike in Cubs, a Boy Scout cannot skip ranks.

    Hope this clears up some questions.

  • #2
    I believe that a boy that joins cubs late can go back and earn the other ranks. I find it hard to beleive that scouting would say "Sorry, you missed out and we won't let you earn these ranks."

    If I had a boy join when he was in a bear den, and he worked extra to achieve those other ranks and then earned his bear rank; should he not be given the recognition he deserves? Every boy deserves the right and opportunity to earn EVERY award availble to them, no matter when they join. The only problem arises in Boy Scouts with the time requirements. At that point they can only do what is possible in the ammount of time. In Cubs, there is no time requirements.

    I don't have this problem, but if my son joined scouts late, I would want him to have the same opportunities the other boys had to earn there rank.

    Tim Dyer
    Pack 56


    • #3
      Sorry but no. The Cub Scout advancement program is grade based. Once you pass that grade there is no going back.


      • #4
        I still have to disagree with you. Is it written somewhere that a Cub cannot complete previous ranks if they joined late? If a Cub wants to complete everything, where is it written that they will not recieve the rank?

        Also, could a boy in say 1st grade work on his wolf as soon as he earns his Tiger and Bobcat ranks?

        Tim Dyer
        Pack 56


        • #5
          Tim, Bob is correct in stating that Cub Scouts cannot go back and earn earlier age-based ranks. Each Cub Scout rank is based upon an age/grade, and must be earned at that time only. As it was explained to me at leader training, the requirements of, for example, the Wolf rank are based upon a boy in the second grade, and therefore an older boy meeting these requirements simply would not be "doing their best." Boy Scout ranks are not age based, and therefore, each scout progresses through the ranks after learning/demonstrating the skills.


          • #6
            A Cub Scout should work on the rank for his age/grade September through May. Starting in June he is considered in the next grade and may begin working on his next badge, however, most councils will not accept advancements for the next rank until September. If a boy hasn't finished his work for the badge after
            May, he can continue through the summer to work on the badge. Starting September 1, he must start on the next badge.

            Webelos are the exception with their program is based earning the Webelos and then being awarded that Arrow of Light. I agree with the esteemed Bob White that this an award, not a rank. It may be worn on the Boy Scout uniform and recognized on the adult Scouter by the square knot.

            A Cub Scout may not go back and work a previous level if he joined late, since doing so would not be "doing his best".

            Scott Hemgren


            • #7
              Sorry for not replying sooner, I had a Council Training Committee meeting to attend. I was however well represented in my absence. Thank you Bob Russell and Shemgren.
              The reason the Cub cannot go back is that the rank requirements in cubs are based in difficulty on the abilities and interests of a boy at a specific age and developmental level. The wolf rank requirements would not be the same challenge for a 9 year old as they are for a 7 year old. Therefore there is no backtracking.

              I hope this clarifies the rules for you tdyer 56. Please post any questions you have we will be glad to help. as Red Green say's "I'm pullin for ya, remember we're all in this together".


              • #8
                tdyer - Please refer to your Cub Scout Leader handbook. It describes clearly that a boy cannot go back and earn previous ranks. It also discusses the minimum age / grade requirements for working on the next rank.
                See page 8-4
                "A boy who enters Cub Scouting after completing second grade first earns the Bobcat, and then begins work on the appropriate rank for his grade (or age). He may "go back" and work on advancements designed for younger boys. A new Webelos Scout, however, must earn the Webelos Badge before he can earn the Arrow of Light Award."

                The earliest a boy can start on his Wolf badge is when he turns 8 years old or completes first grade. So if you have Super Cub in the Tiger program, he can't start on his Wolf until he completes the first grade, unless of course he has been held back and is already 8 years old.
                Bear rank starts at 9 years old or completed second grade.
                Webelos starts at 10 years old or completed third grade.

                The Leader's handbook also addresses what to do with boys who get held back a year in school during the elementary years.


                • #9
                  I'm also unable to edit. I was trying to make the word "not" in bold.

                  It should read ---

                  "He may NOT "go back" and work on advancements....