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Placement of Tiger/Webelo Badge

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For the past two years, as Cubmaster, I only awarded the oval Webelos rank badge.

Now, it can be worn on both blue and tan, and I can not tell anyone they have to buy the tan shirt, but .... Anyway, the boys want to move to the tan shirt and be the "top dogs' in the Pack.

And in the Webelos I den, the first major project the Webelos work on for Craftsman is a wooden shadowbox designed to display all of their previous Cub Scout rank awards, Tiger through Bear and arrow points, service pins, summertime award pins, denner braids. {It has been suggested to make a second one to handle belt loops/pins, special awards (Crime Prevention, World Conservation, US Heritage, Emergency Preparedness, etc) and participation patches.} For the most part, these "traditions" in our Pack help to address the issue.

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I agree that second year Webelos would probally not care about

the patches. They are working on their AOL and thinking about

Boy Scouts.


My concern is the first year Webelos.


Right, wrong or otherwise: We usually have a "promotion"

ceremony for the scouts in late August or early September.

We make a big deal out of it, invite half the county and have

food. A real community event in a town of 2500.


SO, the Tigers get their Tiger badge and blue uniform.

(most get their bobcat then as well)


The Wolves get their wolf badge and Bear hat/scarf.


The Bears get their Bear badge and Webelos hat/scarf.


This means that we don't hand out badge ranks until this

ceremony. (I know some do it different)


Well, September 2003 we had our first ever "Bears becoming Webelos". We quickly realized that this "end of year" thing would not work for

Webelos. But that was no big deal since these Webelos had not

earned Tiger. Most of them earned the Webelos badge by Christmas. They simply put it in the empty slot and moved on.


September 2004 I will have a bunch of boys getting Bear badges

and bear arrow points. They will get all this stuff sewn on their

uniform. Then, most likely, within 2-3 months have to rip it all

off in order to apply the Webelo badge.


Since no one has had to deal with this problem before, I think

we will all get "push back" from the parents.


I agree that most of the boys will clamor for the tan uniform

by 5th grade. Most of the parents will find this to be "cool" since

it looks like their kid is going to "stick with it" into BSA.


However, I think many of the kids are going to want that

4th grade "strut around" "look at all the ribbons on my chest"

period. I simply hate to deprive them of that.


Again, I don't think I am going to be alone in this concern.

I think as the current class of Bears moves forward, this is

going to an issue in many Packs.




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An additional wrinkle is that as soon as current stocks are depleted, the diamond Webelos badge will no longer be available. so the option for boys who began after their Tiger year to wear the Webelos diamond won't be available.


Frankly, I think the new system was rather poorly thought out. As long as Webelos are given the option of wearing the blue uniform, it's going to be a problem. I think the best approach for leaders is not to make a big deal out of it and encourage the boys to move on to the tan uniforms.

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I think hat there is too much concern about who's wearing which badge. The boys are all Scouts. Not Scouts in Blue uniforms or Scouts in tan uniforms, just Scouts. They all earned the same badge, we should give them the same badge. I still vote for the Oval, regardless of which uniform the boy is wearing. It's fair to the kids, and considerate to the parents.

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If twocubdad is correct (and I am sure he is) about the Webelos diamond badge going away after current supplies are exhausted, then the BSA is going to be forced to change this policy soon. They can no longer have an option to wear a badge that no longer exist.


I appreciate all of the comments and info that has been provided

on this subject. It has been good.


I believe I know what my Pack's policy will be:

My Bears (at September promotion ceremony) will receive their Bear

badge, Webelos hat and Webelos scarf (but retain the blue shirt). They will wear this combination (assuming it still fits) until they earn the Webelos badge. At that time we will ("require"/"strongly suggest") that the boy start wearing the Tan shirt. We will ONLY give the Oval patch.


We will keep the blue belt since loops will not fit the brown one.


This will give the boys a few months to show off their "bear stuff".

(We always have a council campout in October, so they will get

that chance to "show off").


Also, even if the boy decides not to continue to BSA, the parents

will get at least 1.5 years out of the tan shirt.


I still welcome any comments on this subject. Also, if anyone

hears about changes in this badge/uniform policy, please let

me kow asap.





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Sorry, but it is Marty_Doyle who is correct and not Twocubdad. With the many LDS units not doing the Tiger program and the boys who join after 1st grade there is no way BSA will discontinue the diamond Webelos rank badge any time in the near future.


This is just another urban Scouting myth right up there with the Tiger one that crops up every year!


And SC, talk about "unfairness", how fair is it to make a boy wait approx 7 months to receive a badge they have earned? That is what would have any boy in our Pack screaming mad! One of the basic policies of the BSA programs is immediate recognition. Boys need that to stay interested and involved. All rank badges (and any other earned badges) should be given to the boys at the very next Pack meeting following completion of the requirements. Maybe if the boys would receive their badges when they earned them, and had some time, while still in that level, to wear the badge and show it off, they would not be so concerned with who has what badge when they move up a level.

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