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Tiger Badge without Earning it

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The pack my son is involved in wants to GIVE out the tiger badge to every scout who completed the year ,regardless if they completed the requirements or not. Obviously myself and the other parents who worked with our children to complete the requirements are bothered by this. What are we showing the boys? Only that you can slack off all year and still recieve the same awards that everyone else worked for.

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OUCH! That's a tough one.


Now, right off the bat, I almost said no, make them earn it! No freebies. And I would have agreed about it showing you can slack off and still get the badge.


But then, I also look at it this way: The motto is "DO YOUR BEST!"


Not "Get-er-done!"


Now , if it's only tigers and not the whole ranking of the pack..it may be less of a deal to give out the badges for participating than trying to drag them in next year as wolves.


That make sense? Let them have them, They will be excited and proud to show those badges off, Next year, they will be happy to come back, and at that time, you can work more on really earning those badges.


I'm not saying give anybody a free ride by any means, nor do I mean to imply that it doesn't matter...but the CUB part of scouting is pretty much about getting boys ready for BOY scouting.


And we are talking about 1st graders here. At that age, I'm just happy to see any boy sticking out an entire program year.


Give them the badge. Nobody is getting away with anything. But for those that "truely" earned it.... well, that's extra satisfaction for them!(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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"Do your best" does not override the fact that requirements cannot be changed.


Requirements as written must be met to earn an award.


It's right there in the advancement policies book... "No council, district, unit or individual has the authority to add or subtract from advancement requirements."


Giving it to everyone regardless just reinforces the entitlement attitude that is develoing among our youth.(This message has been edited by nolesrule)

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Page 18 of the Tiger Cub Handbook says

"Simply participating in the activities and doing his best constitues completion."

That is in BOLD in the book.


So assuming they showed up and at least made an effort, they have earned their Tiger. I would make the very important observaion on wether or not they have at the least perticipated as it is NOT an attendance award.


We all know that changing the requirements in anyway is not allowed so it seems that they all get the badge to me ;)



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I'd say it depends on how close they were to earning it. If it's one requirement, there's always room to tell the boys and their parents you "assume" it will be completed by the next pack meeting. No one says you need to check up that closely.


However, if it were more than that...


This year I watched our Tiger den work pretty hard to get those badges done. Like many, we had to push the last month to get those last Go See Its in. I'm guessing that the majority of your den has worked similarly hard. I'd be concerned about the message you send to the boys and parents. i.e., I know all you worked hard to get the requirements done, but it's OK for those that didn't. First graders are pretty astute - they'll pick up on this.


Have a heart to heart with the parents of those boys. Set an expectation that everyone will EARN their badges by the end of the year. Then work like crazy to help make it as easy as possible to do and make sure they do it.


If they're missing a Go See It, help the parents set a reasonable goal to accomplish it on their own (i.e. don't make them go to a TV station, but let them go to Kinko's for 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon). If you need to do some Den requirements again, take another Den meeting to do it again (but perhaps in a slightly different way). If the family isn't doing the family requirements at home, find a way to do them in the Den meeting. i.e., practice a fire drill in your Den meeting, talk about getting lost, look at a map together.


Show the boys and their parents that it's very achievable and do whatever you can to get them there.


If you get some flack for this from the other parents, just explain the Den works together to help each other be successful.

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The way I look at it the tiger program is supposed to be the base of getting the boys ready to be scouts. If we just start handing out badges for showing up, what good is done by having the program? Look ,the requirements are not that difficult to complete,in fact we have completed the majority of them at our den meetings,and go see its.Of the group I have, all but one of the boys show up for every Den/Packmeeeting and go see it and everytime we complete a beltloop or requirement I make sure the boys know that they have earned it,and are able to tell someone else what they did to earn it.YES I know these are first graders and we need as much retention as possible,but where do we draw the line?

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OSS, as long as they are showing up and trying, give it to them. If not then adapt, improvise, and overcome.


I am facing similar problems in that those who do show up are way ahead of those who show up on occasion, usually do to joint custody situations. Some Ideas to help, which Iwill be implementing shortly.


1) Made a newsletter with info on advancement to the parents and "homework." I told them my goal, April pack meeting for the TC badge, and stressed that they can work with their son on advancement.


2) Planning on "split sessions" during our "makeup meetings." My march meetings are planning to be make up meetings, with a den opening and closing, then split off to do missing advancement. For those who are up to date, I got some electives planned.

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I don't know for sure, but I am willing to bet that part of the issue here is that we are in blue & gold season. For reasons I don't understand, many (most?) pack leaders are under the impression that rank awards should be presented at blue and gold, come hell or high water.


This means that the boy who finished his rank in November has to wait 3 months to get it, the boy who is struggling to finish by February is under tremendous pressure, den leaders and pack leaders feel a need to "fudge" it, and oh by the way, boys who earn arrow of light get to wear it for about 15 minutes as cub scouts, because many packs do cross-over to boy scouts at the blue & gold, too!


Phew! Now if that describes your situation, OSS, then you may want to bear in mind that you do not HAVE to do things this way. Ranks can be awarded WHEN THEY ARE EARNED, any time through the year. A boy who isn't quite done in time for blue and gold can (should) be recognized, praised, and generally made much of at the very next pack meeting after he actually has earned the rank, whether that's March or June, or whenever.


Having said that, if this is the situation you have found yourself facing, you may want to look at how you can manage expectations in the short run, vs. in the longer run, and also at what your priorities are. If your pack is otherwise pretty functional, maybe this is a good issue to take up right now. If your pack is barely holding together and hardly has a program to speak of, you might have bigger fish to fry.


Good luck to you, and don't forget the (unofficial) cub leader motto: KISMIF (Keep it Simple, Make it Fun)

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Yes, page 18 of the Tiger Handbook does state that ""Simply participating in the activities and doing his best constitutes completion." Directly before that it also states that there are no "performance requirements", and that Cub Scouts should NOT be tested.


However, numerous places in the Tiger Handbook also state that a Tiger EARNS recognition by COMPLETING requirements.


So, while we can not "test" the Scouts, they DO have to DO THEIR BEST while actually PARTICIPATING in the activities.


No where in either the Tiger Handbook, or the Cub Scout Leader Book, does it state that a Tiger (or any other Cub Scout) should receive a rank award (or any other award) simply for being a registered Cub Scout.


If that is what you want to do, why bother with Scouting? Save the dues and purchase your own patches at the hobby store. Then he can get patches for getting up in the morning, going to school, eating breakfast, putting his shoes on the right feet, etc.


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Lisa made another good point, and one that I was thinking might be part of your problem.


Cub Scouts do not HAVE to earn their rank award badge in order to move up to their next Cub level. That will happen automatically at the end of the school year, when they graduate into their new grade at school. BSA's computer system, Scoutnet, automatically moves all Cubs up to the next level on June 1. That is why councils can take newly graduated kindergarten boys applications for Tiger Cub Scouts on June 1.


Cub Scouts also do not HAVE to earn their rank award by Blue and Gold, or any other arbitrary date. They have until the end of the school year to earn all awards for their rank level. Actually, if they want/need some extra time to earn their rank award ONLY, they can take a few extra weeks, but, since they can only work in ONE level at a time, they can NOT work on anything in their new level during that time.


Your Tigers have at least 3 more months to complete the requirements for their Tiger rank badge. Give them all of the support, and help, that you can.

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Nope, they have to earn it by participating and doing their best in all the activities in the tiger book. Support the parents going forward, create a "tidy up" meeting. etc... (Do you need to have another meeting for the parents to explain the program?)


Plan an additional award for the B&G that you can give to ALL the boys in the den. I'm thinking a temporary patch like "Best Friends" or "Do your best", a tiger emblem on a leather tie, or perhaps something they earned like "bake sale".


This would be awarded after the boys who earned the tiger got their award so boy still has a good evening and wants to keep coming.


After all, tigers and the tiger parents are learning the game of scouting.

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