Bobcat Cub Scout

Bobcat Rank Requirements

Bobcat Rank Requirements

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The first rank that EVERY boy earns when entering the Cub Scouting Program is the Bobcat rank.
These requirements are meant to demonstrate that the boy is making a commitment to participating in the scouting program. Very similar requirements are expected of a boy joining Boy Scouts to earn his Scout badge.

How to Join:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the 'Cub Scouts' tab.
  3. Enter your zipcode and click the arrow button.
  4. Click on a Pack near you to see its contact info so you can call the Pack or your local Council about joining.
  5. Complete a BSA Youth Application and Health Record and give them to the Cubmaster of the Pack you choose.

To earn the Bobcat rank the new Cub Scout does the following:

  1. Learn and say the CUB SCOUT PROMISE:

    "I .....(name).... promise to do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country,
    To help other people, and
    To obey the Law of the Pack. "

    Meaning of the Cub Scout Promise:
    Duty to God means: Put God first. Do what you know God wants you to do. And my country means: Do what you can for your country. Be proud that you are an American. To help other people means: Do things for others that would please them. Obey the Law of the Pack means: Be a good Cub Scout. Be proud that you are one.
  2. Say the LAW OF THE PACK.  Tell what it means.

    "The Cub Scout follows Akela.
    The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
    The pack helps the Cub Scout Grow.
    The Cub Scout gives goodwill."

    Meaning of The Law Of The Pack:
    The Cub Scout follows Akela (say Ah-KAY-la) means: Akela is a good leader. Your mother or father is Akela. In the Pack, your Cubmaster is Akela. Your Den Leader is Akela. At school, your teacher is Akela. The Cub Scout helps the Pack go means: Come to all the meetings. Do what you can to help. Think of others in the pack. The Pack helps the Cub Scout grow means: You can have fun when you are a part of the pack. Learn things from others. Do things with them. The Cub Scout gives goodwill means: Smile. Be happy. Do things that make others happy. They don't have to be big things. Little Things help, too.
  3. Tell what WEBELOS means:

    "WE'll BE LOyal Scouts "

  4. Show the CUB SCOUT SIGN.  Tell what it means.
    Make the sign with your right hand and with your arm held straight up. The two fingers stand for two parts of the Promise - "to help other people" and "to obey." They look like a wolf's ears ready to listen to Akela. Give the Cub Scout Sign when you say the Cub Scout Promise or the Law of the Pack.
    cub scout sign

  5. Show the CUB SCOUT HANDSHAKE. Tell what it means.
    Using your right hand, place your first two fingers along the inside of the other boy's wrist. This means that you help and that you obey the law of the Pack.
    cub scout handshake

  6. Say the CUB SCOUT MOTTO.

    "Do Your Best"

  7. Give the CUB SCOUT SALUTE.  Tell what it means.
    Point your first two fingers of your right hand out straight and close together. Touch the tips of the fingers to your cap or if not wearing a cap then to your eyebrow. A salute is a way to show respect. When you salute a leader (either adult or other scout), you show him or her that you respect their position. When you salute the flag, you show that you are proud of your country.
    cub scout salute

  8. With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the booklet,
    How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse.

The above items are the basic information that ALL Cub Scouts learn, which is why EVERY boy who enters into Cub Scouting earns the Bobcat Badge.

 Mar 03, 2012 - Kim Scrivener
Where do I place the Bobcat badge on my grandson's uniform? There is no detailed picture or instruction that I can look at to properly place his awards.
Mar 03, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Kim - please see where you will find a picture and a uniform inspection sheet.
Sep 05, 2012 - kenny klipp
More than 40yrs ago, when I was a cubscout, the promise we recited was "to be square", instead of "help other people". I am 51, was a cubscout for only two years, but never forgot how to receit the oath.
Sep 12, 2012 - Phillip Fleser
How can I find the "How to protect your children from abuse" exercises referenced a s requirement for Bobcat Ranks.  I do not have the booklet and my son is in Wolf now.  We are trying to catch up.  Thanks.
Sep 12, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Phillip - that pamphlet is attached inside the front cover of all the Cub Scout handbooks and at
Sep 18, 2012 - Tyler
really my pack only has tiger unifrom and up no bobcat uniform

Sep 20, 2012 - Paul Hanson
Tyler - If your son is in 1st grade, the Tiger Uniform is the correct one.  The first thing EVERY cub scout earns (regardless of rank) is their Bobcat badge.  After a cub earns his Bobcat badge, then he'll start working toward his badge of rank... in your case he'll work toward his Tiger badge.  During the whole year, he'll be a Tiger however - even if he hasn't earned his Bobcat yet, he's still called a Tiger cub.  If he joined Cub Scouts for the first time as a Third Grader, he'd have a Bear uniform but the first thing he'd do is earn his Bobcat badge... and then after the Bobcat, he'd work toward his Bear badge.  Hope this helps!
Sep 25, 2012 - Emma Shen
We are in China and trying to find a boy scout's website in China.  Do you have such website with instrction that how the boy in China can join in the boy scout?  We cannot find a Unit according to the current website.  
Sep 25, 2012 - Kel
UNIFORM SHIRTS: There is only 1 uniform for all Tigers, Wolves AND Bears - the BLUE shirt. Some packs stick with the blue shirts for Webelos and others switch to KHAKI shirts during these last 2 years. (If your pack uses khaki shirts, keep in mind that it's usually time to buy a bigger shirt by 4th grade and if you purchase one just a little too big, then that shirt can be used in Boy Scouts too.)
Jan 13, 2013 - Amy Reagan
My son is 5 years old.  I want to enter him in the scouts.  Is there any part of the Scouts that he can join prior to 7 years old?
Jan 14, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Amy - There is a new Lion Cub program being implemented for kindergarten-aged boys but is not widely available at this time.  You can check with your local council to see if it is available in your area yet.
Mar 05, 2013 - Rachael Daley
Emma Shen,
If there are any US Military bases near you look to see if they have a scouting program that may help if not your son does not need to be in a large pack it helps but he can achieve all the requirments with your help!
Mar 05, 2013 - Brad
Emma Shen,

If you are unable to find a Cub Scout Pack near your location you could always research the Lone Scout program.

Jun 24, 2013 - Joy Cring
I have a 4 yr old son and I know that's too young to be a cub scout but could you tell me is there anything that the boy scouts have that are age appropriate for him to join. I really would like him to eventually become a cub scout but I don't really know where to start.

Oct 08, 2013 - Dan Coutu
FYI, there are scouting organizations in most countries. So this is an answer for Emma Shen and others who want to get their child or themselves involved in scouting.
Oct 08, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Emma Shen.  Actually, assuming you are a U.S Citizen (and your son as well, obviously) you'd want to have him join a Direct Service Pack.  These units are BSA troops and packs in overseas locations, most often associated with large numbers of Americans due to military assignments.  China would fall under the Far East Council (  Of course, enrolling your son in a foreign scouting organization as well would be an amazing cultural experience, but remember it would be 100% in Mandarin, where a direct service pack would have all resources in English as it is part of the BSA.  Good luck with both ventures!
Dec 05, 2013 - Kayla
My son is so excited for scouts. He turns 6 on the 11th but is still in Kinder. Since he can not join until 1st grade, and I cant locate a Lion den, could we work as a Lone Scout until starting 1st grade? Perhaps we can work on requirements towards the Bobcat badge?
Dec 05, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Kayla - Lone Scouts is for boys at least 7 years old, or in first grade.
Anyone can purchase a Cub Scout handbook and do the activities with their son, but having him wait until he is the appropriate age (according to the BSA) would be a good thing.  Practicing the Bobcat requirements seems pretty safe, but not too exciting.
Oct 08, 2014 - Pam
If the boys haven't earned Bobcat yet, do they get belt loops. I know they can't rank. But can they receive the loops? Also, who can test them on Bobcat? Thanks!

Oct 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Pam - Yes, all registered Cub Scouts can earn belt loops, regardless of their rank.
On page 3 of the Parent Guide in each Cub Scout handbook, it describes "Akela's OK" and says that the parent approves the completion of requirements and the den leader records the scout's progress.

Oct 09, 2014 - Pam
Thank you. I'm trying to find documentation that supports the fact. My Chair (past Cubmaster) says that I (Advance. Coord) can NOT give the boys their belt loops, beads, anything they have earned until they have gotten their Bobcat. We had boys last year that didn't get anything until the end of year even though it was earned at beginning. Also, she or our Cubmaster (new) only can pass them on Bobcat.

Oct 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Pam - In CS Leader Book, it says "All registered Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may participate in the Academics and Sports program".  No requirement to have completed any rank first.

Your Cubmaster's view seems to go completely against the concept of "immediate recognition" in Scouts.  A boy should be recognized for his accomplishments right away.
The Guide To Advancement documents how things should work.  I can't find any place in it that says the Cubmaster is involved in the Bobcat rank fulfillment.  You might ask your Cubmaster to show you where that is documented.
I really try to stay positive, so that's about all I have to say about that. :-)  
Oct 12, 2014 - Pam
Thanks, Paul. I've been thru the guide and leader books and couldn't find anything that supports either one of her ideas. We have a new Cubmaster this year and she is the committee chair. He is under her guidance learning the ropes. I did tell her to prove it and the link she sent me is from it does state " he must first earn Bobcat rank before receiving any other award or rank."  I emailed our council but they didn't respond. Setting a good example gets hard sometimes! Lol
Oct 12, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Pam - The 2007 CS Leader book said 'any other award or rank', but the 2014 Guide to Advancement says only 'any other rank'.
In the Guide to Advancement link to the official BSA site which I shared in my last comment, it states in section "Regardless of what age or grade a boy joins Cub Scouting, the Bobcat badge is completed first, before any other rank may be awarded."
But, the bigger problem is having the Cubmaster decide who gets Bobcat or not.  That is the parent's and den leader's job.  Bobcat requirements are typically a quick exercise, not a year, or even a month.
Oct 15, 2014 - Pam
Council did email me back and I forwarded it on to her. Plus, I have the Advancement Guide and Leader Book downloaded as back up. I've not had a chance to talk with our Cubmaster since my discussion with the Chair about this. Hopefully, it gets straightened out. Thank you for all your help!
Oct 21, 2014 - Megan Reilly
So to earn the rank badge does he have to recite these oaths to someone special or can he say them to me?
Oct 21, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Megan - You should read page 3 of 02/12 Advancement News at where it says you can sign off.
Eventually, your scout will need to have someone other than you verify that he has completed requirements, but for Bobcat it is fine for you to sign his book that he has done it.  The sooner he is more comfortable interacting with other adults for sign-offs, the easier it will be.
Oct 24, 2014 - Ryan Kane
As a Cubmaster myself, I simply don't understand getting so hung up on these types of details. I always say the boys earn the Bobcat when they can perform the requirements with their parents. They then demonstrate them as a group at the Pack Meeting and receive their award.

When I was a Tiger leader, I realized the plain language of Scout requirements was often unworkable. For Tiger's, the language for the Orange beads was, "For attending the meeting ...". If a boy had to miss one meeting, they would immediately be done. No Tiger badge. No matter what they did at home, they could not attend a meeting they missed.

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