Wearing uniforms has been a method of the Scouting movement from the beginning. Decades of experience show uniforming to have many benefits, including these:
- Equality. The uniform represents a democratic ideal of equality. Boys from various cultures and different economic levels wear the same uniform and cooperate as equals.
- Identification. The uniform identifies a boy as a member of the Cub Scouts. Badges on the uniform tell other members that he belongs to their den, pack, and council. The uniform itself identifies a good citizen to the entire community.
- Achievement. The uniform displays badges and other awards so the accomplishments of each Cub Scout can be immediately recognized.
- Commitment. Wearing a uniform is a constant reminder to each Cub Scout of his commitment to the ideals and purposes of Cub Scouting: duty to God, loyalty to country, and helpfulness to others.
For these reasons, among others, all parents should emphasize to their Scouts the importance of wearing the correct and complete uniform on all suitable occasions.
Tiger, Wolf, and Bear Scouts
The Cub Scout uniform consists of the following parts:
- Shirt—The official uniform shirt is available with long or short sleeves and has button-flap pockets and “Boy Scouts of America” lettered in gold above the right pocket.
- Trousers or shorts—Official blue.
- Belt—Official navy-blue web belt with metal buckle and Tiger, Cub Scout, or Webelos Scout emblem.
- Socks—Official socks are available in three lengths: ankle, crew, and knee. Tiger Scout socks are navy blue with orange tops; Cub Scout socks are navy blue with gold (yellow) tops.
- Cap—Official navy-blue cap with orange front panel and tiger emblem for Tiger Scouts, yellow panel and wolf emblem for Wolf Scouts, blue panel and bear emblem for Bear Scouts. Webelos Scouts wear an olive cap with a plaid panel bearing the Webelos logo.
- Neckerchief—Triangular neckerchief is orange with navy-blue trim for Tiger Scouts, gold with navy-blue trim for Wolf Scouts, light blue with navy-blue trim for Bear Scouts, and plaid for Webelos Scouts. Official BSA neckerchiefs are the only neckerchiefs boys should wear. Packs should not make their own pack neckerchiefs for boys.
- Neckerchief slide—Official gold-tone metal slide with each rank’s logo. Boys may wear handmade neckerchief slides.
Webelos Scouts may choose to wear either the blue Webelos uniform based on the Cub Scout uniform or the tan/olive uniform similar to the one Boy Scouts wear.
For the tan/olive uniform, boys wear the official Boy Scout olive trousers or shorts and official Boy Scout tan long- or short-sleeved shirt with blue shoulder loops. Official blue socks (with gold tops) are worn with the blue uniform, and official olive socks (with red tops) are worn with the tan/olive uniform.
With either uniform, all Webelos Scouts wear the Webelos neckerchief (plaid with the Webelos emblem), Webelos neckerchief slide (handmade slides are also acceptable), Webelos cap, and Webelos belt buckle.
Note that the Webelos belt buckle will fit either the blue or the olive belt, but the adventure loop recognitions fit only on the blue web belt.
Badges and Insignia
When a boy first joins Cub Scouting, his uniform will display only those badges that identify his status: the World Crest, which shows him to be a member of the worldwide Scouting movement; the national flag; his council strip; his pack number; and his den number. As he progresses, the Cub Scout will earn badges, pins, medals, and other insignia that tell of his accomplishments in Scouting. These items should be added to the uniform only after they have been earned.
For guidance on the proper placement of all badges and insignia, see the BSA’s Uniform and Insignia Guide (No. 33066, available at your local council service center) or download the uniform inspection sheet for Cub Scouts or Webelos.
Wearing the Uniform
In general, every Cub Scout should wear his uniform to all Cub Scouting activities, including den and pack meetings, unit outings, and any activities done with members of the den or pack. When playing sports, going to camp, or participating in other physical activities, a pack may opt to have the Cub Scouts wear an alternate uniform, such as an activity shirt. Pack leaders should provide advance notice of any occasion when the boys should wear anything other than the complete uniform.
Here are some tips for wearing the uniform:
- DO keep the uniform clean and in good repair. The official uniform is a sturdy, machine-washable garment that will last for years with proper care.
- DO be sure to wear the complete uniform. A Cub Scout wearing a uniform with parts missing is not in uniform.
- DO NOT wear non-BSA badges, awards, or insignia on the Cub Scout uniform or make any alterations to the uniform or insignia.
- DO NOT mix uniform parts with non-uniform clothing, such as wearing a uniform cap with other clothing or wearing the uniform shirt with blue jeans. The uniform should be treated as a unit—worn in its entirety, or not at all.
Any time you are uncertain about uniform regulations, ask the den leader for guidance.
Obtaining a Uniform
The official Cub Scout uniform is available at hundreds of locations across the nation – including your local council, nationally-operated Scout Shops, and other licensed retailers – or can be ordered directly from the national Supply Division. Visit www.scoutstuff.org for a list of distributors in your area.
Before buying a new uniform, be sure to check with the pack leaders about other options. Some packs have money-earning projects to raise funds to uniform their Cub Scouts, or to provide common emblems such as pack and den numerals. Others may have uniform exchange programs for boys to obtain “experienced” uniforms.