Welcome to our complete guide to the Wolf rank! Typically earned at the age of 8 or during second grade, Wolf is the third rank in Cub Scouting. This badge builds off of the previous adventures that your Cub has completed. In it, they’ll take their first steps in camping, learn about eating healthy, play games, and so much more! 😀
When I was a Cub Scout, earning my Wolf rank really had me stepping up and expanding my skills. I set up my first tent, learned some useful outdoor knowledge, and even started to improve my communication! Soon, we’ll be sharing our best resources and what I learned on my journey so that you can earn your Wolf rank as well!
PS. This article is a collaboration between Arrow Of Light, Chandler M, and Cole 🙂
Wolf requires Cubs to complete 6 required adventures and 1 elective adventure, as well as the How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide and the Protect Yourself Rules videos. This article will cover the 6 required adventures in particular detail, aiming to guide you and your Cub through every step of the way!
What Are the Wolf Rank Requirements?
- Complete each of the six required Adventures.
- Call of the Wild
- Council Fire (Duty to Country)
- Duty to God Footsteps
- Howling at the Moon
- Paws on the Path
- Running With the Pack
- In addition to the six required adventures listed previously, complete at least one elective Adventure of your den’s or family’s choosing.
- Adventures in Coins
- Air of the Wolf
- Code of the Wolf
- Cubs Who Care
- Digging in the Past
- Finding Your Way
- Germs Alive!
- Paws of Skill
- Spirit of the Water
- 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 2nd Grade, Wolf, or complete the Protect_Yourself_Rules_Preview_Adventure for Wolf.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through each adventure requirement so that you can help your Cub to be successful! Most of these adventures will require some parental support, or even help from the whole den, so reading this guide is the best way to be prepared for everything to come. 🙂
Completing the Wolf rank adventures is also a great opportunity to explore your family’s beliefs, spend time in nature, and engage in some physical fitness activities. It’s sure to be a fun bonding experience for you and your Cub! So, let’s jump right into the requirements, starting with Call of the Wild.
Completing the ‘Call of the Wild’ Wolf Adventure
Call of the Wild is one of the first adventures where your Cub can go camping and learn about respecting nature and fire. Your Cub must complete requirements 1 through 4, then choose either 5 or 6 to finish up — of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing all of them! 😀
- Attend one of the following:
- A pack or family campout
- An outdoor activity with your den or pack
- Day camp
- Resident camp
- With your family or den, make a list of possible weather changes that could happen during your outing according to the time of year you are outside. Tell how you will be prepared for each one.
- Do the following:
- Recite the Outdoor Code with your leader.
- Recite the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids with your leader. Talk about how these principles support the Outdoor Code.
- After your outdoor activity or campout, list the ways you demonstrated being careful with fire or other dangers.
- Show or demonstrate what to do:
- In case of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood.
- To keep from spreading your germs.
- Show how to tie an overhand knot and a square knot.
- While on a den or family outing, identify four different types of animals you see or explain evidence of their presence. Tell how you identified them.
Most of this adventure just requires going on an outing with your pack, but I can still provide you with some tips to help things go smoothly! Call of the Wild is a really fun adventure and a great introduction to camping. Let’s look at each requirement in turn so you know exactly what your Cub will need to do!
1) Attend one of the following:
— A pack or family campout
— An outdoor activity with your den or pack
— Day camp
— Resident camp
This requirement is pretty simple, but will probably take the most time and planning of any of the requirements for Wolf rank. Your Cub needs to attend a day camp, resident camp, an overnight outing, or an outdoor activity with their pack or den. While on this trip, your Cub will be able to complete requirements 2, 4, and 6!
1.2) With your family or den, make a list of possible weather changes that could happen during your outing according to the time of year you are outside. Tell how you will be prepared for each one.
This can be completed during your outing from the first requirement and is all about being ready for changes in the weather. While on this outing, have your Cub list potential weather events that could impact that trip and how they can be prepared. For example, your Cub could make a list like this:
- Severe Thunderstorms
- Bring a raincoat and waterproof bags. Make sure shelter is available.
- Extreme Heat
- Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, make sure water is available at the site, and ensure time spent in the sun is kept to a minimum.
- Extreme Cold
- Pack warm clothing and a firestarter. Make sure to layer and prevent skin exposure to the cold, or frostbite could occur!
This list can carry over to requirement 4 as well. Make sure your Cub packs extra items based on the potential for bad weather. Even if it’s not in the forecast, it is still possible (happened to me more than once 😛 ). This is a great early opportunity to learn that it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared!
1.3) Do the following:
— Recite the Outdoor Code with your leader.
— Recite the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids with your leader. Talk about how these principles support the Outdoor Code.
— After your outdoor activity or campout, list the ways you demonstrated being careful with fire or other dangers.
For this requirement, your Cub will be tasked with memorizing and reciting the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace Principles, as well as explaining what they mean. For your and your Cub’s reference, you can find both the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace Principles below:
- The Outdoor Code
- As an American, I will do my best to—
- Be clean in my outdoor manners.
- Be careful with fire.
- Be considerate in the outdoors.
- Be conservation-minded.
- Leave No Trace Principles for Kids
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly (Pack It In, Pack It Out)
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Thankfully, these outdoor ethics principles are pretty easy to memorize — and even easier to explain! I would recommend having your Cub recite these before bed so they can stick in their memory. Be sure to quiz them on the meaning of these sayings, and their importance as well (you can learn the meanings of the Outdoor code in my Outdoor Code Guide)!
The last part of this requirement is understanding and demonstrating fire safety. This can be done on your outing in requirement 1.1, particularly if your Cub chooses to go on a campout. The best practices around a fire include:
- What goes in the fire stays in the fire
- Stand at least a foot away from the fire
- Keep the fire in the firepit
By following these simple guidelines, your Cub will have shown fire safety while on an outing! If your Cub doesn’t go on an outing that is suitable for a fire, they can still complete this part of the requirement by demonstrating safety around other dangers like roads, water, or wildlife! 😀
1.4) Show or demonstrate what to do:
— In case of a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood.
— To keep from spreading your germs.
For this requirement, your Cub will need to learn what to do when there’s a flood or an earthquake. Plus, they’ll also learn about best practices to avoid spreading germs. All of this is essential information to know, especially if you’re in an outdoor setting, working together with other people!
Let’s begin with how to respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. To kick things off, here’s official guidance on earthquakes from the USGS: Below is a quick recap of this potentially life-saving info for handling earthquakes:
- If you are Indoors — Stay there!
- Get under a desk or table, move into a hallway, or hide against an inside wall.
- Stay away from windows, fireplaces, and heavy furniture that could fall.
- Get out of the kitchen, or anywhere where things can fall on you.
- Don’t run downstairs or go outside while the building is shaking. Staying put is safer.
- If you are Outside — get into the open,
- Move away from buildings, power lines, trees, chimneys, and anything else that might fall on you.
- If you are Driving — carefully pull over.
- Move your car as far out of traffic as possible.
- Don’t stop on or under a bridge or overpass or under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs. Stay in your car until the shaking stops.
- When you resume driving, watch for breaks in the pavement, fallen rocks, and bumps in the road.
- If you‘re in the Mountains – watch for landslides,
- Be careful of falling rocks, landslides, trees, and other debris that could be loosened by quakes.
For floods, here’s some more official guidance from Ready.gov:
- Find safe shelter right away.
- Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
- Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
- Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.
- Try to move to higher ground.
- Monitor the situation with your phone or a radio.
When talking about natural disasters, it’s always best to follow official guidance when possible. Knowing this information can save you, your Cub, or someone else’s life. Quiz your Cub on these a few times so that you’re confident they know exactly what to do! Also, for more info, here’s a helpful video (4:34) recapping other kinds of disasters and how to prepare for them!
Making sure not to spread germs is another way we can increase our own safety and the safety of those around us. That’s why, sanitation is something that every Cub should understand! You can set a good example by acting as a role model and guiding your Cub through the science of germs. To stop the spread of germs and infection, your Cub should:
- Wash their hands:
- This should be done using soap and water. Washing hands is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating, and after touching anything that could be contaminated (raw foods, dirty surfaces, etc.).
- Make sure surfaces are clean:
- After eating on a surface or using a table to do some sort of work, make sure it’s wiped down before the next person uses it.
- Avoid touching your face:
- Touching your nose, mouth, or eyes can expose you to germs as well as pass your germs onto someone else.
All of these cleanliness practices are very important to teach your Cub. So, have your Cub read and understand each of these lists in order to complete the requirement! You can also watch out for any unclean habits they may have formed on a day-to-day basis, and encourage them to make changes whenever possible.
1.5) Show how to tie an overhand knot and a square knot.
These are essential knots that everyone should know… but they aren’t the easiest to explain in writing! So rather than tell you how to tie this knot, here are some great videos for each, starting with the square knot (1:23). The square knot is ideal for joining 2 ends of rope together, and won’t slip but can usually be untied with ease!
Your Cub may need to watch the video a couple of times to gain confidence in the pattern, but the steps are clearly explained and each piece of rope is color-coded to make it easier to follow. For square knots, all you really need to remember is “right over left, left over right!”
And for the overhand knot, here we have another short video (0:49):
The overhand knot is a particularly simple knot that your Cub may well have made before. Still, it’s important to know exactly how to do it, and what it can be useful for. While basic, the overhand knot does come in handy, and I’ve personally used it hundreds of times — if not more!
These are knots that your Cub will use for their entire Scouting career, so it’s best to learn them early. While watching these videos, have your Cub practice them with a piece of string or paracord. They should get both knots down in no time! 🙂
1.6) While on a den or family outing, identify four different types of animals you see or explain evidence of their presence. Tell how you identified them.
For this last requirement, on an outing your Cub needs to identify four types of animals that are either present or have left clues to their presence. This is best done during the outing for requirement 1.1. Wild animals can differ depending on where you are in the U.S.; however, you’re likely to see squirrels, birds, dogs, and fish in most areas!
My suggestion is to buy a pamphlet of local animals for your area. Many of these pamphlets have footprints and other signs of their presence that can help your Cub spot them. Alternatively, you can go to a local wildlife sanctuary or reserve that is likely to have information boards about the animals that live there!
Completing the ‘Council Fire (Duty to Country)’ Wolf Adventure
Every rank includes a “Duty to Country” adventure. These adventures can help foster a greater appreciation and understanding of our country in your Cub! This adventure is no different. Only 3 requirements are required to complete Duty To Country for Wolf rank. These are requirements 1, 2, and another option of your Cub’s choosing!
- With your den or pack, participate in a flag ceremony, and learn how to properly care for and fold the flag.
- Participate in a community service project with your pack, den, or family.
- With your parent or guardian’s permission, talk to a military veteran, law enforcement officer, member of the fire department, or someone else approved by your Den Leader. Talk about his or her service to the community or country. After you have visited with the individual, write a short thank-you note.
- Learn about the changes in your community, and create a project to show your den how the community has changed.
- Select one issue in your community, and present to your den your ideas for a solution to the problem.
- Work with your den to develop a den duty chart, and perform these tasks for one month.
- Participate in an event such as a parade or assembly celebrating military veterans.
The Council Fire adventure will require your Cub to get involved by doing service, participating in events, and taking a closer look at your community. Let’s jump right into the requirements and see how your Cub can complete them easily — while learning a ton and having fun along the way!
2.1) With your den or pack, participate in a flag ceremony, and learn how to properly care for and fold the flag.
A flag ceremony is an integral part of Scouting. The Scouts, Cubs included, are one of the few organizations that are authorized to retire a flag. Scouts and Cubs also honor the flag by holding flag ceremonies.
Your Cub will likely hold a ton of these flag ceremonies once they transition into Scouting, but they’ll begin their learning here in Cub Scouts! While this will be done with the den or pack, here’s a great representation (1:32) of what a flag ceremony looks like:
Folding the flag is also an important skill in the Scouting program. This is also best demonstrated in video form, so check out the short tutorial below (0:59).
These videos are both great resources to go over with your Cub before they participate in the real thing. This will make sure that they know what to expect and have a rough idea of what their role will be. It’s definitely an honor to participate in a flag ceremony, so try your best and make the most of it!
2.2) Participate in a community service project with your pack, den, or family.
For requirement 2, your Cub must participate in a service outing. Your pack or den may provide opportunities to complete this, such as “Scouting for Food.” If this is not the case, you can always look for opportunities in your local area to complete this requirement, such as working with a church or non-profit!
The project can be whatever you like as long as it’s done for the good of your community, so talk to your Cub and see what areas they might be interested in. Whether it’s an animal shelter, a food pantry, a library, or another local organization, your Cub will learn the most if they’re helping a cause they care about!
2.3) With your parent or guardian’s permission, talk to a military veteran, law enforcement officer, member of the fire department, or someone else approved by your Den Leader. Talk about his or her service to the community or country. After you have visited with the individual, write a short thank-you note.
For this requirement, your Cub needs to meet with a member of the fire department, a veteran, law enforcement personnel, or anyone else approved by the den leader. Your Cub should talk to them about how they’ve served the community, and learn about their background. Here are some questions to consider asking:
- Why is your job important to our community and country?
- What made you want to go into this field of work in the first place?
- What does community and citizenship mean to you?
- What’s been the highlight of this job for you?
- What contribution are you most proud of?
- If you could give me advice for helping our community, what would you suggest?
After this meeting, have your Cub write and send a short thank-you note to the individual they interviewed. They should recognize and be appreciative of the fact that countless individuals are serving our country’s communities and working to keep everyone they know safe! 🙂
2.4) Learn about the changes in your community, and create a project to show your den how the community has changed.
For this requirement, your Cub can create a short presentation (like a PowerPoint or a poster) to show one way their community has changed. You’ve likely noticed more changes than they have, so help them brainstorm ideas! They may want help with creating their presentation as well, or just as likely, they might be better with the software than you are! 😜
2.5) Select one issue in your community, and present to your den your ideas for a solution to the problem.
Similar to the last requirement, your Cub needs to identify an issue and present potential solutions to their den. A great way to get started with this requirement is to have your Cub interview you to see what issues you’ve seen in the community! From here you can start brainstorming potential solutions.
2.6) Work with your den to develop a den duty chart, and perform these tasks for one month.
A duty chart is an integral part of Scouting. Your Cub may already have some exposure to something like this on an outing. A den duty chart essentially assigns duties to members of the den until everyone agrees to switch. They look something like this:
|Cub 1||Clean up|
|Cub 4||Flag bearer|
This can obviously be customized to follow what your den does during meetings. Have your Cub print this out and share it with the other Cubs. Your Cub should also ask their fellow Cubs to volunteer for positions they’d prefer to do, rather than assigning them at random.
2.7) Participate in an event such as a parade or assembly celebrating military veterans.
This is another requirement where all your Cub needs to do is attend an event. For this one, your Cub needs to attend a parade or assembly celebrating military veterans. Assemblies at schools that are focused on veterans can work for this requirement too. It may be worth asking if their school has any upcoming events that fit the bill!
Completing the ‘Duty to God Footsteps’ Wolf Adventure
Duty to God Footsteps builds off of the Tiger requirement Tiger Circles: Duty to God. This is a great time to see how your Cub’s outlook on Duty to God has changed, what they’ve learned, and how they can improve. The requirements for this one are pretty similar, with 1 and 2 being required as well as two others of your Cub’s choosing.
- Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
- Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so.
- Offer a prayer, meditation, or reflection with your family, den, or pack.
- Read a story about people or groups of people who came to America to enjoy religious freedom.
- Learn and sing a song that could be sung in reverence before or after meals or one that gives encouragement, reminds you how to show reverence, or demonstrates your duty to God.
- Visit a religious monument or site where people might show reverence. Create a visual display of your visit with your den or your family, and show how it made you feel reverent or helped you better understand your duty to God.
Much like other Duty to God requirements, you are not required to be part of a specific religion to finish this adventure. However, your Cub should open-mindedly explore other people’s faiths and reflect on how they showcase their Duty to “God” regardless of whatever they might believe in.
3.1) Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
Duty to God can mean different things to different people. Your family may see it as something different than other families. Help your Cub by explaining your faith and what it means to do your duty to God in that faith. This could be something like trying to do good whenever possible or the belief in a higher wisdom to our universe.
Afterward, your Cub should then be able to explain their duty to God and show how they do it each day. This can be through prayer, service to others, or gratitude, just to name a few examples.
3.2) Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so.
The religious emblems are a special award in Scouting that allows your Cub to get closer to their faith and community. Each faith has its own religious emblem so I suggest checking out the official Scouting resource to find your emblem and its requirements.
It’s possible that your Cub will already have earned their religious emblem, particularly if religion is an active part of their life. In that case, they have already completed this requirement, and since it is one of the required ones, they don’t need to choose another to replace it! 😀
3.3) Offer a prayer, meditation, or reflection with your family, den, or pack.
For this requirement, your Cub just needs to offer a prayer, meditation, or reflection with their family, den, or pack. This is a great thing to do before a meal. Simply pause before eating, allowing your Cub to say a prayer asking God to bless the meal, meditate on gratitude, or reflect on their day with others.
This requirement can take just seconds to complete, though your Cub might want to practice what they’re going to say if they’re nervous about speaking in front of everyone. Offer them some advice on making up their own prayer, or give them a standard format to follow! Here’s a quick example of a great prayer that can be adapted:
“Before we eat, let’s bow our heads and take a moment to give thanks. For the food before us, for the friends beside us, and for the hands that prepared this meal, we are eternally grateful. May this food strengthen and nourish us, so we might serve and do our best, in all our deeds, both big and small. Amen.”
3.4) Read a story about people or groups of people who came to America to enjoy religious freedom.
This requirement will have your Cub learning about a group that came to the U.S. seeking religious freedom. They’re likely already familiar with one or a couple of these groups. The group they’re probably most familiar with is the Pilgrims.
Your Cub doesn’t need to write anything for this requirement, just read a short story about one of these groups (here’s a great one!). This makes it quite a quick and easy requirement to complete! 🙂
3.5) Learn and sing a song that could be sung in reverence before or after meals or one that gives encouragement, reminds you how to show reverence, or demonstrates your duty to God.
Your Cub has a lot of choices for this requirement. All they need to do is learn and sing a song that is reverent in some way. This could be a song of prayer, a song of thanks, or a song that gives encouragement. I loved singing this song whenever I went to church camp!
3.6) Visit a religious monument or site where people might show reverence. Create a visual display of your visit with your den or your family, and show how it made you feel reverent or helped you better understand your duty to God.
For this requirement, your Cub needs to visit a religious site like a church, temple, mosque, etc., and create a visual display of what they learned. This can be a poster, a presentation, or a drawing. This display should include how this group shows their Duty to God.
If your family regularly attends a place of worship, then this requirement is something that can be completed as part of your normal routine! Just encourage your Cub to create a visual display after their visit. Otherwise, this is a great opportunity for your Cub to learn about other faiths!
Completing the ‘Howling at the Moon’ Wolf Adventure
Howling at the Moon is all about communication. For this adventure, your Cub will need to show that they are capable of communicating with others, show off a skit, plan a campfire program, and perform a role for their den. All four of these requirements must be completed to finish this adventure.
- Show you can communicate in at least two different ways.
- Work with your den or family to create an original skit.
- Work together with your den or family to plan, prepare, and rehearse a campfire program to present at a den meeting or pack program.
- Perform your role for a den meeting or pack program.
These requirements are best done as a den rather than alone, so make sure you collaborate for this adventure! It may even be a good idea to speak to some Cubs who are Bear rank and ask them for tips on how they finished this requirement. It’s never a bad idea to ask for a little help! 🙂
4.1) Show you can communicate in at least two different ways.
Communication is really important in Scouting. This is a skill that your Cub will continue to develop in the program for a long time, and even use as an adult! For this requirement, your Cub just needs to demonstrate two forms of communication. This can include spoken communication and something digital.
For example, your Cub can show they can communicate with an adult by speaking, and then show how they write an email or how they can talk on the phone. This is another quick and easy requirement, so your Cub can put as much effort into it as they want to, or complete it in no time at all!
4.2) Work with your den or family to create an original skit.
Skits are another big part of the Scouting program. Your Cub will learn several skits before they even cross over into Scouting. This can be any skit they choose and should be a collaborative effort with other Cubs. If you want some inspiration, check out this article on My 7 Favorite Scout Skits!
Here are a few more great skits that could get your creative juices bubbling (0:31 and 3:35):
Both of these are excellent examples of what skits can look like and how Cubs can work together to make something fun. Even better, you can clearly see that these Cubs had a great time performing their skits and entertaining their friends and family! 😀
4.3) Work together with your den or family to plan, prepare, and rehearse a campfire program to present at a den meeting or pack program.
This builds off the previous two requirements. For this requirement, your Cub will need to help plan a campfire program. This will require a lot of cooperation from Cubs and parents, but it will be sure to create a fun and memorable experience for everyone involved.
If you and your den have never planned a campfire program before, check out my article on campfire ceremonies! This article provides an in-depth guide to running your own campfire program.
4.4) Perform your role for a den meeting or pack program
The final step is for your Cub to perform some sort of role in your den/pack/campfire program. This builds on the last requirement, so make sure each Cub has a role to play in the program so they can complete this requirement as well. Otherwise, your cub can help present at an upcoming pack meeting!
Congrats on Finishing The First Half of The Wolf Rank!
Wow, we just covered a ton of interesting info! Awesome work, Cub Scout. You now better understand camping, preparedness, duty to country, communication, and more! Well done, you definitely deserve a snack and a rest at this point; give yourself a giant pat on the back! 🙂
Once you’re ready to continue on to part 2 of my guide to the Wolf rank, click here!
(Part 2 is in progress, subscribe to my newsletter for updates)
Also, if you’re interested in getting help with every other Cub Scout rank (along with an explanation of what you’ll learn through each one), make sure to check out my full guide here. PS: The article also links to my best resources for Cub Scouting success!