New program updates will take effect on 6/01/2024!







Cub Scouts

The BSA Cub Scout program is for girls and boys in kindergarten through fifth grade. Cub Scouts is all about encouraging girls and boys to make friends, be helpful to others, and do their very best no matter the outcome. With the help of powerful learning projects and exciting outdoor activities, Cub Scouts aims to teach children that doing their best can be a fun and rewarding experience, no matter the difficulty of the challenge. 

Cub Scouts earn Adventures that are specific to their grade and rank. A number of Adventures must be completed to earn the badge of rank for each grade level. Adventures may be earned in any order. Completion of adventures is how the aims of character, citizenship, leadership, and personal fitness are developed.

On the advancement trail, a Cub Scout progresses towards a badge of rank based on their grade. They need not have earned the previous rank in order to earn the next. Each of the ranks in Cub Scouting has its own requirements that are age appropriate, so earning a rank below a Cub Scout’s current grade is not permitted. As a Cub Scout advances through the ranks, the requirements get more challenging, to match the new skills and abilities they have learned.

Cub Scout Program Updates – Effective 6/01/2024

There are many program updates coming to Cub Scouts for the 2024-2025 program year starting on June 1, 2024. Based on feedback from over 23,000 Cub Scout leaders and parents, the BSA has updated the Cub Scout program to be more FUN, SIMPLE, and EASY:

  • FUN for Cub Scouts, leaders, and parents!
  • SIMPLE to understand, explain, and support!
  • EASY to deliver the program as designed!

The National Cub Scout Committee has been working on these program updates for the past five year. Please read about all of the program updates below and check this page regularly for details about all of the changes as more information becomes available. 

Fun Simple Easy 2024

Upcoming Overview/Q&A Meetings

Monday, 2/19/2024, 7:00 pm
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
2718 Dixie Hwy
Lakeside Park, KY 41017

Saturday, 2/24/2024, 10:00 am
Scout Achievement Center
10078 Reading Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45241 

Wednesday, 2/28/2024, 7:00 pm
Scout Achievement Center
10078 Reading Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45241 

Sunday, 3/03/2024, 3:00 pm
Camp Michaels
3486 Hathaway Rd
Union, KY 41091

Table of Contents

Simple requirements for each rank

  • The Bobcat Adventure is designed to be the first required Adventure.
  • Each badge of rank is earned by completing six required and two elective Adventures; there are no other requirements (e.g., YPT-related items are now part of required adventures).
  • The six required Adventures are based on the aims and methods of Scouting (Character, Leadership, Personal Fitness, and Citizenship) and the focus ares of the BSA (Outdoors, Personal Safety, Family, and Reverence).

Required adventures have common themes

  • The six required Adventures are focused on the aims and focus areas of the BSA:
    • Character/Leadership
    • Outdoors
    • Personal Fitness
    • Citizenship
    • Personal Safety
    • Family/Reverence
  • This enables common activites for required adventures based on developmenal level.
  • Multi-rank Dens and Pack activities can be coordinated for several ranks:
    • The required adventures were designed to make it easy for Den Leaders who may have mulit-rank dens (e.g., Dens with Cub Scouts of different ranks such as Lions and Tigers in one Den).
    • The requirements make it easier for Packs to plan activities that will count towards required adventures for all ranks.
    • This also allows Dens to work toether to plan activities together.
  • Example of common activities for the Outdoors-themed required adventure:
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Common Adventure Activities Example

New Bobcat adventure

  • The one-time Bobcat rank has been reimagined as a Bobcat adventure that Scouts will earned EACH year, not just when they first join.
  • The Bobcat adventure is designed to be the first required Adventure and focuses on Character/Leadership.
  • The requirements are different for each year/rank.
  • The Bobcat adventure is now a belt loop or pin, depending on the year.
  • Since Bobcat is the first required adventure, special ceremonies are still encouraged to celebrate earning the Bobcat adventure.
  • For Arrow of Light Scouts, there is a requirement to visit a Scouts BSA Troop, so completing the Bobcat adventure may take longer, but in the meantime, Arrow of Light Scouts can work on requirements for other Adventures. 
  • The Bobcat rank badge in the Cub Scout diamond will be replaced by a Lion rank badge.
  •  Comparison of Bobcat requirements for various years/ranks:
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - New Bobcat Adventure Loops and Pins
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Bobcat Adventure Requirements Example

Simplified adventure requirements

  • Currently, too many options make adventurea look more complicated than they might actually be.
  • All required and elective adventures have been reviewed, updated, and simplified.
  • On average, each updated/new adventure will have five requirements.
  • The requirements have been simplified so that they are easier to understand.
  • The new requirements are age appropriate, engaging, and are designed to teach a Scouting skill or reinforce a Scouting value.
  • Each adventure is designed to take approximately one meeting (about 60 minutes) to teach and complete.

Awards reimagined as adventures

  • Current awards were either designed to introduce a topic that is not already an adventure to Cub Scouts or to get Cub Scouts to do something that they normally wouldn’t do;  they were not designed to be exclusive and only accessible to a few.
  • Cub Scouts awards have been reimagined into elective adventures.
  • Example new Summer Time Adventure requirements:
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Summer Time Fun Adventure

Common elective adventures for popular activites

  • Cub Scout adventures have been expanded to include the most populare activities for all grades/ranks; examples include:
    • Pinewood Derby/Raingutter Regatta
    • Fishing
    • Cycling
    • Swimming
    • Camping 
    • Conservation
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Adventures Available for All Ranks

New STEM adventures

  • The National Cub Scout Committee felt that STEM is important and it should be included in the core program as  elective adventures.
  • New elective Adventures have been created to ensure that the elements of STEM is available for all grades/ranks.
  • The new STEM adventures do not replace the STEM Nova and Supernova Awards program offered by the Council.
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - STEM Adventures

New conservation adventures

  • The Cub Scout World Conservation Award (i.e., the panda patch) has been discontinued.
  • A new “Champions for Nature” adventure will be available for all ranks from Lion through Arrow of Light.
  • More information about this new adventure is available at

Whittlin’ Chip will be retired

  • Improvements to the Cub Scout program include a focus on knife safety with three new elective Adventures. 
  • To use a knife in Cub Scouting the Cub Scout must first complete the knife safety Adventure for their rank, even if they earned the knife safety Adventure in a previous rank.  This replaces the Whittling Chip and introduces continuous certification for the use of a knife.
    • For Bear Cub Scouts (3rd-grade) the adventure is called Whittling and is similar to the Bear Claws Adventure with a focus on pocketknife safety.
    • For Webelos (4th grade) the Adventure is named Chef’s Knife and the focus on knife safety is centered around kitchen knives.
    • For Arrow of Light Scouts (5th grade) the Adventure is named Knife Safety and has requirements for pocketknife and kitchen knife safety.  When Arrow of Light Scouts crossover into Scouts BSA they will be required to earn the Totin Chip to use a knife.  The Totin Chip program in Scouts BSA also includes proper use of axes and saws.
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Knife Safety

More elective adventures

  • With these updates comes an increase in the number of elective Adventures for each rank/year:
    • Lions and Arrow of Light will have 16 elective adventures.
    • Tigers, Wolf, Bears, and Webelos will have 20 elective adventures.
  • Color coding:
    • Light = Existing adventures that have been reviewed/updated/simplified.
    • Medium = New adventures.
    • Dark = Current awards reimagined as new adventures.
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Elective Adventures

Webelos and Arrow of Light have been split

  • Arrow of Light will become a stand alone badge/rank separate from Webelos:
    • Webelos is the fourth grade program in Cub Scouting and will no longer prepare Cub Scouts for Scouts BSA.
    • Arrow of Light  is the fifth grade program and badge of rank designed to prepare Cub Scouts for Scouts BSA.
  • The updated Arrow of Light adventures were created in collaboration with the National Scouts BSA Committee.
  • Cub Scouts cannot start working on Arrow of Light requirements/adventures until they have completed the fourth grade.
  • The complete Arrow of Light badge/rank is designed to prepare Scouts for Scouts BSA, not just one adventure, and to have Arrow of Light Cub Scouts joining a Scouts BSA Troop by January/February.
  • The updated uniform recommendations will be:
    • Webelos (fourth grade) – blue Cub Scout uniform shirt and bottoms, Webelos hat, Webelos neckerchief.
    • Arrow of Light (fifth grade) –  tan Scouts BSA uniform shirt and green bottoms, there will not be an Arrow of Light hat or neckerchief.
  • The Arrow of Light required and elective adventures will be  separate and different from those of Webelos.
  • The new Arrow of Light handbook will include content from the Scouts BSA handbook for the Scout badge or rank requirements, but  Scouts cannot  work on the requirements for the Scout badge of rank until they join a Scouts BSA Troop.
  • The name of the “Webelos Colors” will changed to “Adventure Colors.”
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Arrow of Light Bobcat Requirements
Example of the new Arrow of Light required Bobcat adventure requirements
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Attention Current 4th Grade Webelos
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Webelos and Arrow of Light Hanbooks
Webelos and Arrow of Light Hanbooks
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Webelos and Arrow of Light Uniforms
Webelos and Arrow of Light Uniforms

Updated badge of rank placement on the uniform

  • The order of the Cub Scout rank badges on the left shirt pocket will be changed to be based on the order in which each rank is earned.
  • Current Cub Scouts will not need to update the position of their current rank badges nor replace them with the updated shapes.
  • Example badge of rank placement:
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Badge of Rank Placement

Simplified uniform items

  • There is now a single position emblem for “Den Leaders” rather than several (e.g., “Tiger Den Leader, “Den Leader,” “Webelos Den Leader”).
  • There is now a single official Cub Scout sock and belt, rather than different versions/colors for various ranks.
  • The Webelos rank emblem will be oval-shaped with a tan-colored background.
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Simplified Uniform Items

Updated resources

  • All new Cub Scout year/rank handbooks are now available for purchase at the Scout Shops
  • The new new adventure loops and pins will be available soon.
  • The Cub Scouts web site will be updated to be organized by rank/grade which will include updated listings for the required and elective adventures. Note: The Den Leader Experience will be discontinued.
  • New pages will be available for each adventure that will include a snapshot of the adventure, its requirements, an activity card for each requirement, and links to additional resources. Note: These web pages will be linked from the new handbooks via QR codes.
  • The new activity cards will note the following for each requirements to aid in planning: Location, Energy Level, Supplies, Preparation Time.
  • Online Den Leader Training will be updated; ETA = May.
  • Scoutbook and other online resources (e.g., my.Scouting) will be updated to reflect all of the new program updates when the update program goes live in June.
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Handbook Covers
New handbook covers (not final)
Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Requirement Activity Card Example
Example adventure requirement activity card


  • Example pages from the new handbooks:

Rollout calendar

Cub Scout Program Updates 2024 - Rollout Plan


Program Updates

Official information and updates

Every Friday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Cub Scout Leaders indicated the following issues with Bobcat that the converstion to a yearly required adventure fixes:

  • Having one set of requirements for first through fifth grade was ineffective.
  • The purpose of the Bobcat badge is to introduce Cub Scouts to the values of Scouting and how you do that should be different based on the grade you are working with.
  • Den Leaders are challenged with what to do if they have Cub Scouts who already earned Bobcat and ones who have not.
  • Leaders indicated that they found Cub Scout Adventures disjointed with some adventures covering different topics.
  • It was not clear why some adventures were required and why some were elective.
  • Leaders indicated they want more elective adventures.
  • The Webelos program was found to cause a lot of confusion.
  • It doesn’t follow the same pattern as the other ranks of being specific to a grade level.
  • Webelos was designed to prepare Cub Scouts for Scouts BSA, but does it take that long to prepare a Cub Scout for Scouts BSA?
  • Leaders indicated that they don’t focus on awards.
  • Awards are not in the direct line of sight of a Den Leader and do not drive behavior to explore the topics of these awards.
  • On average, only 1.5% of youth earned an award.
  • No, the badges that have already been earned can be left in their current positions on the Cub Scout uniforms.
  • New Scouts should follow the updated placement for badges on the uniform.
  • No, Arrow of Light (fifth grade) will need to follow the updated Arrow of Light requirements that will take effect on June 1, 2024.
  • Webelos should complete their required adventures for 2023-2024, and the work on  current Webelos elective adventures only and should NOT work on any adventures based on the 2023-2024 Arrow of Light requirements.
  • All of the handbooks will be completely new for the update program, so old handbooks will not be useful.
  • Rank emblems can be used until existing stock has been exhausted, if desired.
  • Retired advetures will no longer be valid for advancement.
  • Award patches can be used until existing stock has been exhasted, if desired, but the updated associated adventure requirements must be followed for the award.


Don’t worry, you are not alone! Please join us at an upcoming DBC Cub Scout Program Updates meeting to discuss the upcoming changes and ask questsions.