Being a Cub Scout is incredibly fun and rewarding. As part of a den and a pack, you’ll earn awards and move up the ranks from Tiger to Webelos, but along the way, you can earn special awards that are just for you! Individual awards recognize going above and beyond what is expected of a member of the pack. 😀
PS. This article is a collaboration between Arrow Of Light, Chandler M, and Cole!
Cub Scout activities are designed to help every Cub advance in rank. So, if you want to only earn the major badges, attending meetings and doing weekly activities will be enough. But if you want to go above and beyond, learn more, do more, and experience more as a Cub, I’m going to go over the awards and badges you can achieve!
A List Of Every Major Cub Scout Award
Earning the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award
First up, the Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award recognizes Scouts that participate in outdoor events and activities. Unlike other individual awards, this can be earned each year, with the pocket flap patch awarded for the first year and then wolf pins to mark your progress for each year afterward!
Each year, you will have to attend Cub Scout camp, complete your rank advancement, and then do four to seven of the approved outdoor activities (depending on your rank). Some examples include the following:
- Participate in a nature hike.
- Participate in an outdoor activity, like a picnic.
- Complete an outdoor service project.
- Attend a pack overnighter.
- Participate in an outdoor sporting event.
There are more opportunities, but as you can see, they tend to be simple, easy, and, best of all, fun!
Earning a Cub Scout Religious Emblem
The Cub Scouts offer opportunities for those belonging to any faith to earn a Religious Emblem for their uniform and a special religious medal. You can find all the different programs offered right here. To get started, you need the booklet for your religion and should discuss the program with your religious leader.
Different religions may offer separate awards depending on your age! In that case, Cub Scouts can earn multiple awards, up to four in total. A parent or guardian can also earn an award alongside you!
When I was a Cub Scout, I earned the Catholic Religious Emblem and was able to present my work and receive the award during a Sunday service in front of the entire congregation. To this day, it’s one of my favorite Scouting moments! 🙂
Earning the Cub Scout Interpreter Strip
Cub Scouts can earn Interpreter strips in 16 different languages! The list of requirements is short, but as anyone who has tried to learn a language will tell you, this is still a very difficult achievement — and one worth celebrating. Here are the steps to earning this strip:
- Carrying on a five-minute conversation in this language
- Translating a two-minute speech or address
- Writing a letter in the language (does not apply for sign language)
- Translating 200 words from the written word
The form for the Interpreter Strip, including all possible languages, can be found here. Remember, the more languages you learn, the more people you can communicate with all around the world. If you keep up your language-learning streak, you can earn multiple Interpreter Strips!
Earning the Cub Scout Recruiter Strip
An easy individual award to get is the Recruiter Strip. Tell your friends about Cub Scouts, have them come by and join the pack, and you get the Recruiter Strip! Just be aware that whether you bring one friend or 10, you’ll only earn one of the patches for your uniform.
As you already know, Scouting is such a fun and worthwhile activity — and it’s even more fun with lots of friends by your side. So, to state the obvious, don’t stop telling your friends about Cub Scouts even after earning the Recruiter Strip! Check out my article on Scout Recruiting to learn some great tips for recruiting your friends into Scouting!
Earning the Cub Scout Messengers of Peace Award
Messengers of Peace is a very special program within Scouts BSA that connects you with Scouts around the world. Messengers of Peace support their local communities, as well as global communities impacted by conflict, through work on service projects that promote peace, understanding, and mutual respect. Below is a great video (4:14) overview you can check out!
Completed Messengers of Peace projects are recognized internationally and become part of a worldwide network of 20 million other Scouts! Any Scout project that supports one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals from the United Nations can qualify for this award.
If you’re interested in the Messengers of Peace program or want to share it with your den leader and pack master, the information is available here! 🙂
Earning a Cub Scout Nova Award
Scouts can earn Nova Awards by taking part in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programs. By showing how these fields impact our daily lives, you can earn one of the coolest-looking patches in all of Scouting! There are 11 different sections you can choose to complete:
|Science Everywhere||Tech Talk||Swing!||1-2-3 Go!|
|Down and Dirty||Cub Scouts Can Code||Up and Away||Fearful Symmetry|
|Out of this World|
|Uncovering the Past|
You can learn more about each of the different programs for the Nova Award on the official Scouts BSA website. Completing one program will earn you the Nova Award patch, but if you do more, you’ll get additional pins! 😀
You can even go above and beyond to earn the Supernova Award, which has two tracks, one for Wolves and Bears and another for Webelos. For this award, you’ll about learn about famous scientists and complete a project using math and science in your daily life. Learn more with this video (7:57)!
Unlike any of the other awards available for Cub Scouts, the Nova Award must be done with the help of an approved STEM Nova Counselor or Supernova Mentor. These adult volunteers have been approved by Scouts BSA and are considered experts in their field.
Earning the Cub Scouts Shooting Sports Award
The Shooting Sports Award recognizes Cub Scouts that demonstrate proficiency with BB guns, archery, or slingshots. There are different patches for different ranks, as well as different pins for each device. Scouts earn the patch by doing the following the following:
- Explaining proper range safety procedures
- Explaining how to behave on a range
- Showing how to take care of equipment, from storing it properly to maintenance
- Demonstrating good shooting technique
You can earn a pin for the shooting discipline of your choice by going further and showing your skill on the range. Shooting at an approved range and improving each time while following proper range commands and safety procedures will allow you to earn the pin!
I want to point out that you don’t have to go for all three available pins. As a Scout, I always did better with archery than the BB gun, and although all you have to do is show improvement, you shouldn’t feel pressured to use a device you’re not comfortable with!
Earning the Cub Scout World Conservation Award
As a Cub Scout, you are encouraged to act locally but think globally, and doing so earns you the Cub Scout World Conservation Award! Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts can earn this award with your den or by yourself by completing a series of requirements and taking part in a conservation service project.
One of the simplest patches you can earn, the Cub Scout World Conservation Award is also one of the most important individual awards. Being a Scout means respecting nature, and this award is proof that you want to help make our planet a better place. 😀
Earning the Cub Scout National Summertime Pack Award
You can earn a National Summertime Pack Award for participating in your pack’s events summer events! These will vary by pack, so be sure to attend your pack meetings to hear about any opportunities you have to keep up with Scouting over the summer. Events could be a family picnic, a camping trip, or even a service project!
Depending on how active your pack is, they may offer multiple events each month, but only one in June, July, and August is needed to earn the pin. That’s three events in total, but of course, you should take part in as many awesome events as you can!
Earning a Cub Scout Service Star
You will earn a service star for each year that you are an active Cub Scout! These pins can be placed on your uniform so everyone knows how long you’ve been involved in Scouting. Even adult leaders are eligible for service stars!
Earning the Cub Scout Historic Trails Award
The Historic Trails Award is a special patch earned for helping a local preservation group maintain nature trails so that everyone can continue to enjoy them! Once earned, the patch does not go on your uniform but can decorate a camping backpack or a jacket. The requirements for the Historic Trails Award are as follows:
- Locate a historic trail or site using BSA HISTORIC TRAILS – The Adventure Plan. Study materials regarding the historical aspects of the trail or site using council-provided pamphlets, web-based resources, local historic societies, or the library.
- Hike or camp two days and one night along the trail or in the vicinity of the site. Options include an area hotel or the home of other Scouts.
- Cooperate with an adult group such as a historic society to restore and mark all or part of this trail or site (this may be done during the hike or overnight camp), or cooperate with such a group to plan and stage a historic pageant, ceremony, or other public event related to this trail or site. Such an event should be large enough to merit coverage by the local press.
- Your unit leader must then file the Historic Trails Award application with your council service center.
Earning the patch is an adventure, and it’s one to be undertaken with your pack, but only the Scouts that take part will earn the Historic Trails Award. It’s not required for rank advancement, but is another way to go above and beyond expectations to take full advantage of everything Scouting has to offer!
Earning the Cub Scout National Den Award
Your den can earn awards, too! The most important of them is the National Den Award, given to dens that exemplify what it means to be a Cub Scout. Earning individual awards is fun and rewarding, but remember, every Scout is still part of a den, and teamwork is one of the greatest values any Scout can learn!
In order to earn this award, your den must be active year-round and provide plenty of service projects, camping trips, and opportunities for all Scouts to grow together. When a den earns this award, its leaders can attach the ribbon to the den flag. This way, all the other dens in the pack know how hard every member has been working through the year!
Earning the Cub Scout Arrow of Light Award
The Arrow of Light is the highest individual award a Cub Scout can earn. Once you’ve achieved the Arrow of Light, you’re ready to become a part of a Scouts BSA Troop! To earn the Arrow of Light award, you must do the following:
- Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.
- Complete each of the following Arrow of Light required adventures with your den or family:
- Building a Better World
- Outdoor Adventurer
- Duty to God in Action
- Scouting Adventure
- Complete one Webelos/Arrow of Light elective adventure of your den or family’s choosing:
- Art Explosion
- Build It
- Earth Rocks!
- Game Design
- Into the Wild
- Into the Woods
- With your parent, guardian, or other caring adult, complete the exercises in the pamphlet entitled How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.
- Watch the Protect Yourself Rules video for 5th Grade, Arrow of Light (the video is located at Rev Webelos AOL March Final on Vimeo and can be watched online or downloaded and viewed offline) OR earn the Protect Yourself Rules for Arrow of Light.
Now you know all about the amazing awards you can earn as a Cub Scout! Hopefully, this will help guide you and your pack on some exciting adventures in the coming year. By going above and beyond to earn these cool awards, you’ll have and even better time in Cub Scouting, and even more to show for it!
Thanks so much for dropping by! Now, I challenge you to earn some awesome awards with your pack, and have a great time in Cub Scouting. Also, if you enjoyed reading this, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles:
- Cub Scout Ranks And Advancement Help: Your Ultimate Guide
- 50+ Incredible BSA Scout Facts (To Wow Your Troop)
- Cub Scouting Costs Explained: Uniforms, Fees, And More
- Cub Scout Camping: Top Tips For Parents On Packing and Prep
- How To Win A Pinewood Derby: 6 Science-Backed Tips For Cub Scouts
Remember, Cub Scouts work together, so if you have a den mate or friend who is also going for an award, help them out. Also, share this article with your den and pack so they can try earning these awesome awards too! Everything in Scouting is more fun with a friend. Until next time, I’m wishing you an incredible Cub Scouting journey ahead! 😀