By joining the Cub Scouts, you’ve taken your first step on the Scouting trail. Many people stay in Scouting, one way or another, for many years. Some stay for a lifetime.
Youth of different ages have different ranks in Cub Scouting. As you go from Tiger (age 7) to Webelos Scout (age 10), you learn new things and new skills that you use to meet new challenges as you get older.
- Tiger Scouts. First-grade youth join a Tiger den, where each Scout works with an adult partner on the requirements to earn the Tiger badge.
- Wolf Scouts. Second-grade youth graduate into a Wolf den. They go to weekly den meetings on their own, but their families still help them work on the requirements for the Wolf badge.
- Bear Scouts. Youth in the third grade are members of a Bear den. They also work with their families to do the requirements for the Bear badge, but Scouts this old have enough knowledge and skill to take on more of the work by themselves.
- Webelos Scouts. Youth in the fourth and fifth grades become Webelos Scouts. Webelos Scouts do more advanced activities to get ready to graduate into Boy Scouting.
Where you begin in Cub Scouting depends on your age at the time you join. If you join when you’re in first grade, you will begin as a Tiger Cub. If you do not join until the third grade, you’ll begin as a Bear Cub Scout. You won’t have to go back and earn the Tiger Cub and Wolf badges.
The Arrow of Light Rank
The highest rank in Cub Scouting is the Arrow of Light rank, which you will begin working on as a Webelos Scout. It is the only Cub Scout badge that you can wear on the Boy Scout uniform. As you work on the Arrow of Light rank, you practice outdoor skills, get physically fit, and learn more about citizenship and working with others. All of these things prepare you for the next stage of Scouting.
The Boy Scout program is for youth who are 11 years old, are at least ten years old and have finished the fifth grade, or are at least ten years old and have earned the Arrow of Light rank as a Cub Scout. The purpose of Boy Scouting is the same as it is for Cub Scouts: to help youth grow into good citizens who are strong in character and personally fit. But because they’re older, Boy Scouts have a program with more and bigger challenges.
Boy Scouts work together in groups called patrols. The patrol leader is an older youth, not an adult. The Scouts in the patrol elect their patrol leader.
Patrols are part of a troop. The troop has adult leaders, but their job is to give guidance and advice to the Boy Scouts. The Scouts run their own program.
Boy Scouts have exciting outdoor activities. They go on long camping trips and long-distance hikes. They go canoeing and whitewater rafting, and more. They move through the Boy Scout ranks, from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout. They earn merit badges that show many kinds of knowledge and skills. Scouts can also earn special awards for feats of skill, such as completing a mile swim or 50 miles of hiking.
Venturing is for young men and women who are 14 (and have finished the eighth grade) through 20 years old. Venturing has six experience areas: social, citizenship, service, leadership, fitness, and outdoor. The activities in Venturing help young people become adults, follow their special interests, get skills as leaders, and become good citizens.
Venturing is the last of the three Scouting programs for young people. But it isn’t the end of the Scouting trail. You can stay in Scouting even as a grown-up by becoming a member of the National Eagle Scout Association or Order of the Arrow, volunteering as an adult leader, or taking a job in professional Scouting.