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Placement of Tiger/Webelo Badge

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Hello all,


We are a small pack that is only 3 years old.

We began this pack with a group 1st graders (Tigers) and

a few 2nd graders (Wolves).


My initial Wolves are now 4th graders and will soon receive

their Webelo badges. They are all still wearing blue uniforms

and no one seems ready to "upgrade" to the tan. Since these

boys were never Tigers, they have an empty spot on their blue

uniforms to place the diamond shaped Webelo badge.


The uniform guide says this is OK.


My concern comes about a 1 year from now. My first class of Tigers will be ready for Webelo badges. They will not have an empty spot

on their uniform because it is filled by the Tiger badge.

Again, I do not expect many of them to upgrade uniforms.


The uniform guide implies that they must remove their Tiger, Bobcat,

Wolf, and Bear badges and only wear the Webelo.


This means I will have some scouts wearing a shirt "showing off"

everything they have earned and others (who have actually earned more) only showing their current badge. I can already hear the complaints.


Has anyone else dealt with this problem?





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Our Pack (along with most others) will be facing a similar issue next year when this years Bears (the first to earn the Tiger Diamond Badge) move on to Webelos. The only reason my Web I's went to Tan shirts this year is that both boys outgrew their blues. Perhaps it is time for National to decide to require new Webelos to wear the tan shirt with the Oval badge instead of leaving the option up to the parents. Or, allow the Oval to be worn in the plastic protector over the other badges of rank on the blue shirt. I know there are some packs the "require" the Webelos to go tan. However, since there is nothing in the regulations (to my knowledge, at this time) to mandate a specific color, then I don't believe the packs have that right. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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The answer to your question is that no one has had to deal with it. BSA completely revamped the Tiger program two years ago; this year's Bears were the first group to earn the diamond Tiger Badge. Every pack will need to deal with it.


My second son (a Bear) is about to outgrow his second shirt (luckily, it's a hand me down from his older brother, so we got 2+ years out of it). I'm quite certain he'll be ready for tan a year from now.

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There was one other point I meant to bring out. This problem

will not fade with time.


My current Wolf class is composed of 5 boys that joined in first

grade (earned Tiger) and 6 boys that joined as second graders.

Assuming they all hang around until Webelo time, I will have

boys in the same class with this problem.


I don't think boys joining in second grade (or later) is uncommon.

SO, there will always be some boys with a spot available and others

that "don't have room".


Just a thought:

How about the diamond shaped Webelo badge attached in the center

of the other 4 badges (on top of part of each of them). It would

kind of signify the Webelo badge as "over" or "superior" to the

other achievments.



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Putting the Webelos diamond in the middle is wrong, not supported anywhere in the Insignia Guide. Also the Webelos badge is not superior to any other badge - all badges are the rank appropriate for that grade level. Earning a Tiger in first grade is just as significant as earning a Webelos in fourth grade.


The best option, if blue shirts are maintained, is the oval Webelos badge in a plastic patch hanger, attached to the pocket button.


There will always be boys who do not earn all of the badges or pins or beltloops or patches. That is one reason why the boys wear uniforms - to allow them to display those achievements that differentiate them from every other Scout, while at the same time linking every Scout by virtue of the same base uniform. The Pack's (and Pack's leadership) role is to offer the opportunity for each boy to earn every award. Not every boy will earn everything, but there is a lesson in the "not earning".


The BSA preference seems to be migration to the tan shirt as a boy enters Webelos. But that is a parent/Scout decision, not den or Pack. From personal experience, once one boy moves to the tan shirt, the rest follow.

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I think SC's suggestion was just that, a suggestion; something that National could think about.


Personally, while it's an intersting concept, I don't favorite it for a practical reason. Putting a needle and thread through one badge is tough enough, I don't even want to think about trying to push them through two.

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Thank you Molscouter. You read my post correctly.


As for others:

I am not saying that I am going to tell my boys to put the badge on top of the others. It is "just a thought". No different from the

thought of "wearing the badge in a plastic hanger".


Also, I understand that not all boys are going to earn all badges.

My point was: There will always be boys that will have a spot on their uniform for the Webelos badge (along with other ranks) and

other boys that will not.


To me, the policy is sort of backwards:


The guide says: Webelos wear current badge of rank only.

However, if they have not earned the Tiger, they have the option

of putting the Webelos badge in the empty spot of the "diamond".


I read this to say:

A scout that missed his Tiger year can "show off"

all his badges of rank during Webelos.


However, a scout that has been with the program since first grade must remove all badges of rank except Webelos. Anyone meeting this scout has no idea how long he has been with the program or what he has accomplished.



Finally, it is based on this policy, that I believe that BSA considers the Webelos badge "superior". If not, then why require

that the boy must remove the other ranks in order to display it.


My son is very proud of his Tiger, Bobcat, Wolf and arrow points.

Unless something tragic happens, he will soon be proud to wear

the Bear. I think it is wrong that he should be forced to

remove these patches in order to move on to the next level.


BSA should revise this policy and come up with a better solution.



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From the online Cub Scout and Webelos Scout Inspection Sheet (since I do not have a copy of the Insignia Guide at hand):

"Webelos Scouts wear only current badge of rank (Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos badge) centered on pocket. Option: Webelos Scouts who have not earned the Tiger Cub rank may wear all rank badges earned with diamond-shaped Webelos badge."

I think this spells it out pretty clearly. Boys who have earned their Tiger rank should remove everything (ranks and arrowpoints) except their last (current) rank badge from their shirt (tan or blue) once they graduate into Webelos.  Boys who have not earned their Tiger rank may leave the rank diamond in place on their shirt (tan or blue) and add the diamond Webelos rank when earned.  I personally do not think that the boys will have a problem with this.  If your boys are having problems, you could try having them vote, as a den, to all wear only their latest rank badge.

Webelos wearing only their most current badge of rank is part of the way BSA transitions Cubs to Webelos to Boy Scouts. BTW - it is the policy in effect currently and Webelos should be following it now.

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Wait a minute:


First I do not argue with your statement of the policy. I think I said basically the same thing in my last post.

I simply said that it should be reviewed and midofied.



However, I disagree with your second point:


I have two 10 year old boys.

They have both just earned their Webelos badge.


Boy "a" has been with the program since 1st grade.

He has earned all ranks and lots of arrows.


Boy "b" has been with the program since 2nd grade.

He has earned all ranks (except Tiger) and lots of arrows.


Both boys get their Webelos.


The next meeting, boy "a" shows up with one lone patch in

a large field of blue.


Boy "b" shows up with 4 patches and lots arrow points.


Now do you really think that boy "a" (who has been with

the program a year longer) is not going to feel "cheated"?


Do you really think that 10 year old boys will not scream

about the "unfairness" of this situation?



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Webelos is a transition time between Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. Part of that transitioning is the tan/olive uniform and wearing only the most current rank badge. This does not make the Webelos rank badge superior to the other badges. The uniform & insignia changes simply makes the Webelos Scout stand out a little from the rest of the Pack. They start looking (and thinking) more like the Boy Scouts we would like them to eventually be.


Perhaps BSA should take out the option completly, but I don't see it happening. We have had Webelos dens where 1 or 2 boys would start 4th grade Webelos with a brand new tan/olive uniform with no rank badges at all. The rest of their den would still be in their old blue uniform with all of the rank badges and arrowpoints. We have never had any boys feel bad about not having any badges on their shirts. We have also never had any complaints of boys showing off because they stayed in the blue with all of the badges.


Please, let the boys focus on the program and not on how many badges they do or do not have on their shirt. Your attitude as Den Leader has a big impact on your boys.

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Sorry about the overlapping. You are a faster typer than I am and I have a tendency to type a bit then do some actual work (it would be nice if I could get paid for this, but no such luck LOL!) then come back to finish my post.


As for 10 year olds screaming about the unfairness of it all - no I don't think so. In the 9 years I have been with Cub Scouts their has never been a problem. The boys are excited to be a Webelos. A big scout fish in the Pack pond. The Webelos program is different from the other Cub Scout programs. The boys know this and are are proud of that. Sure they are proud of their past Cub Scout awards, but those are from when they were just "litle" Cubs. Now they are big, bad, Webelos working towards their AOL and getting to know the "really big" guys, the Boy Scouts.


Trust me, unless adults make a big deal out of it, most boys will not care very much.

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I am focused on the program.

However, the way I see it, the program puts a BIG focus on awards.

Let's review:


Rank badges

Gold arrow points

Silver arrow points

Belt slides

Progress toward rank beads.

Sport/academic pins

Webelos pins

Plus a whole lot more...


In addition, every scout event seems to involve a patch.


No, I do not think the program is "all about the patches".


However, I do think that a big part of the program (like

any other) is recognition of accomplishment.


The boy that:

"scouts for food",

"gathers clothes for the homeless",

"works the scout requirements"


should be given awards. He should "stand out" compared to

the "scout" that pays the fee, buys the uniform and never

shows up for meetings.


I encourage my scouts to be PROUD of what they have done.


example: Some Bears have made the perfect toolbox while others

barely had something that resembled a toolbox. However, they

all did it. They should be proud.


I think they should get awards and be allowed to display

them as long as they are part of the cub program.



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ScoutNut gives several good points. I've been a Den Leader for 3 years, 1 as a Bear and 2 with Webelos. If our pack is typical, (and kids are kids, so it probably is), the "showing off" is not that big a deal to the older Scout. Watch the awards cermony sometime. When a Tiger gets his totem or his badge, he's grinning from ear to ear. The same usually holds true for the Bobcat and Wolf badges and the Wolf Arrow Points. Bear year comes, and they get a little less excited. Been there, done that. First year Webelos, the first few activity pins get awarded, they are proud of themselves. Then that gets old as well. As second year Webelos, they can't wait to sit down and be inconspicuous. They don't want to be associated with those first graders. After they do some things with the Boy Scout troop, most will lose interest in the activity pins as well. They want to run with the big guys. Heck, my group wanted to sit down as fast as they could this past Sunday after they received their AOL.

(This message has been edited by molscouter)

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SC Pack - I like your idea of having the diamond patch overlap each in the center. Except for the sewing required it is no different than the suggestion made for putting the oval patch in the plastic hanger. A case could also be made for extending the size of the Diamond, leaving the center of the Diamond open for the Diamond Webelos badge as the 5th.


Scoutnut you are far luckier than I have been if you haven't had 10 year olds get upset because they don't have the same awards and badges as their peers.


Perhaps the program isn't "supposed" to be all about the awards, but as SC has pointed out, it frequently feels that way. Asking a uniforming question that will be on more and more minds as this years Bears earn their Webelos badge isn't focusing just on the badges....its trying to be prepared when hurt feelings and questions happen, which,as we all know, will happen sooner or later.


Just my 2 coppers. YMMV


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The important thing here is that BSA gave us a window of almost two years during which to make the switch from blue to khaki. I would give all of the boys the large oval badge, and have the boys in blue shirts wear it in a plastic holder.


Boy a gets the diamond and boy b gets the oval. Boy b is already singing the my badge is bigger than your badge song before he gets home. Later, when it does come time for the boy with the diamond badge to move into the khaki shirt, he will have buy a new badge for it. You cant just walk into the Scout Shop and buy a badge anymore. You need proof of the boy having earned the badge. This requirement has created a lot of problems for our people.


So, until national comes out with some firm instructions, give them all the oval unless they really ask for and want the diamond.


My one cents.


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