Advancement is one of the methods we use to achieve Scouting's aims of character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. Everything a Cub Scout does to advance is designed to achieve these aims and aid in his personal growth. Advancement is a process by which a boy progresses from badge to badge, learning new skills as he goes. We should remember that badges are simply a means to an end and not an end in themselves.
Cub Scout advancement is not competition among boys. Each Cub Scout is encouraged to do his "personal best" by advancing steadily and purposefully, setting his own goals with guidance from his family and leaders. The ranks and badges are outward recognition. The real benefit to the boy comes from doing and learning.
Parents should be aware of their duties as parents in the pack, with emphasis on working with their son's advancement. Most parents want their son to do well, and would help if they knew just what was expected of them. In the front of each of the handbooks is a parent's supplement. This explains what Cub Scouting is all about and what they (the parents) must do to make it happen.
BOBCAT - The new Cub Scout, regardless of this age, earns the Bobcat badge soon after registering. This rank involves learning the Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and some signs and symbols of Cub Scouting. After receiving the Bobcat badge, the boy works on the requirements based on his grade.
WOLF - A second grade Cub Scout works on the requirements for the Wolf badge. When he has completed all of these he receives his Wolf badge at the pack meeting. Then he works on elective projects in 20 different interest areas until he goes into the third grade.
BEAR - A third grade Cub Scout works on the requirements for the Bear badge. He works from a field of 24 achievements, when he completes 12 then he receives his Bear badge at the pack meeting. Upon completing these, he works on elective projects, in the Bear book.
WEBELOS - When a boy enters the fourth grade he transfers to a Webelos den. While working toward the Webelos rank and the Arrow of Light Award, the boy earns any or all of 20 activity badges that range from Aquanaut and Sportsman to Geologist and Forester. The Webelos den leader approves the boy's work or assigns someone else to approve it.
ARROW OF LIGHT - The Arrow of Light is the highest award in Cub Scouting and helps prepare the boy for transition into a Boy Scout troop. This badge is the only Cub Scout badge that may be worn on the Boy Scout uniform.
As a Cub Scout completes his achievement for the Wolf or Bear rank, the den leader should make sure he is recognized at a simple ceremony in the den meeting, using the Cub Scout immediate recognition kit.
When he completes three of the 12 Wolf achievements, present him with the Progress Towards Ranks patch with a thong and yellow bead attached to it. Each time he completes three more achievements, present another yellow bead. When he completes all 12 achievements and earned four beads he is eligible to receive the Wolf badge at the pack meeting. This step-by-step recognition is an incentive for boys to earn their badges.
The same procedure is followed for recognizing Bear achievements, except the red beads are used. They are attached to the second thong on the Progress Towards Ranks patch. This patch may be worn along with the Wolf and Bear badges.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ALL RANKS ARE EARNED, NOT GIVEN.