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Parents gets confused each year. Do I join a Bobcat den or a Tiger den ?


It's confusing as it is not parallel with other ranks or even Boy Scouts. In Boy Scouts, "scout" is the initial rank and it is a real rank they stay at until they earn the next. In Cub scouts, the scouts have the rank matching their school grade and they are working to earn that rank. No scout is ever really a Bobcat (as in rank.)


Bobcat is good because it gets the scout up in front of everyone fairly quickly. But it seems that could be done just by a welcoming ceremony or greeting.


I'd rather see the bobcat requirements added to the start of each Cub Scout rank. Then, drop Bobcat.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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I am not sure what or how you run your program. in our pack you join den 1, den 2 or den ???. That den is first working on their Tiger, next year they work on their wolf, then next year their bear and so forth.


This year Den 6 happens to be for incoming tigers.


Bobcat is the first rank earned at all levels of cub scouting. Must even be earned as a webelo.


That is how the program is supposed to be run.




(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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I like the Bobcat. Yes it is a little confusing but it is the great equalizer --start as a Tiger or a late Webelos joiner all must do it. Besides it is a cute patch and the boys get it quick.


And yes we did do the dreaded upside down pinning. Some of those kids were hefty.

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Beagle's got it - Scout isn't a rank, it's a joining requirement. Bobcat isn't a rank, it's a joining requirement. Bobcat is the Cub Scout equivalent of Scout (though to be historically correct, I should say Scout is the Boy Scout equivalent to Bobcat, since Bobcat came first).

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"Scout is not a rank."


Yeah, been in those discussions. Over the years, BSA has sometimes called it a rank. Othertimes a badge. Now, a badge. But it's worn on the uniform in the place where the BSA inspection sheet says "rank" patches go. Also, if you ask a scout what rank he is, he'll say he's a scout. He won't say "I have no rank." As far as I'm concerned, if they have no rank, the shirt pocket should be empty. But, that's me.


Badge vs Rank ... It's a legalistic and useless point.


I just don't care for the Bobcat "badge" because the kids are never really Bobcats. Plus we now need space for the Lion rank on the shirts.


"Joining requirement"


Not really. I've known kids who take months to get their Bobcat. Are they NOT supposed to come to meetings until they know the Cub Scout promise? Are they not really Cub Scouts until Bobcat is earned?


For kids that join at the same time, it works fine. For kids that join off schedule, they often earn the Bobcat and rank badge at the same meeting. Not right, but it happens 50% of the time.(This message has been edited by fred8033)

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Bobcat isn't a joining requirement. It if was, it would be that a boy would be required to already have Bobcat to join a pack.


But It is rediculous to call it a rank. Otherwise, a first time scout who joins in 5th grade as a second year WEbelos would be a lower rank than a Tiger Cub.


Bobcat shouild be an acheivement, or an award. Not a rank.

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Well, the confusion of the Cub ranks continues.

Bobcat was (back in the paleolithic age of Scouting) a pre-requirement for any first rank. Wolf, Bear then Lion, then Webelos, and on to Boy Scouts. See the progression? Size and power of the animal. ("We'll Be Loyal Scouts. Wolf, Bear, Lion, Scout. We Be Lo S).

Bobcat was a recognition that the boy (me) had learned the requisite "passwords" and ceremonials of the "gang". You wore the uniform, did the crafts, gained skill with handtools and went places with your buddies.

The Bobcat garnered you a pin, not a badge. Still have mine in the box in my closet. The pin was worn on the pocket flap until you earned the rank badge. The badges on the uniform (sewed by my mom) were first the Wolf, Bear lower and to the right and Lion to the left of the Wolf, forming a diamond with a gap in between the Bear and Lion. The elective arrow points trailed below each rank. The Webelos W sat in the middle bottom of the diamond, had to take off the Wolf arrow points to sew it on.

When the PTB decided to ENLARGE and ADJUST the ranks, the Lion was eliminated, the Webelos was made two years (Web1 & 2? Jr. and Senior Web? WebI WebII?). Okay, make the Cubs that much closer to being a "real" Scout. Then first grade Cubs became Tigers (? why not Beavers? or Lynx? Or Muskrat? Why a BIGGER animal?), the confusion began.

Now, the "King of Beasts" is the first rank? Then Tiger? The ranks are neat titles, but have lost their prior obvious hierachy. Even back in my day, we Cubs recognized the progression.

So a nascent Cub first earns Bobcat, then LION? Where's the logic in that?

And "The Jungle Book" actually was tied in with the Cub program. Wolf, Bear, Lion, Akela, Bagheera, Should've had a Panther rank

... It is a rare Cub Pack and Cubmaster today that uses the imagery and symbolism inherent in Mr. Kipling's classic. It would be hard to do, now, being that Shere Kahn is a bad guy.

Any DenLeaders out there read "The Jungle Book" to their charges? Mine did.

I live on the edge of creeping suburbia, even teach Farm Mechanics Merit Badge on occassion. BBR, (back before retirement) early in the morn when I got off to work (3:30am),I occasionally heard a strange howl, and finally decided, after some consultation with others, that I had heard a Bobcat in the woods north of our house. Goes along with the Great Horn Owl we have heard down in the park to our south.

I like the idea of starting Cubs in Kgarten, we can do good then, too. But I wish TPTB had been a little more creative and reflective in their rank creation, instead of merely resurrecting a name from the past.

Enough reminiscing.


So use Bobcat as the intro to the program. Reward the boys success at memorizing and becoming "one of us". But PLEASE do not cheapen it with the upsidedown stunt. This borders on hazing and is dangerous, and only encourages the boys to try their own "joining" stunts later. Be effusive in your praise and congratulatory stuff. They deserve it. Let them be proud of being Cub Scouts.



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