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Placeholder for special Cub Scout insignia piece.

General Cub Scout Uniforming

Cub Scout Uniform Other General Info

General Cub Scout Uniforming

(As of 2 April 2009, I do not have a complete set of images of the "Centennial" uniform which the Boy Scouts of America introduced in 2008). When I get those complete set images showing the complete uniform as well as the differences, I will provide a separate page for that uniform. In the meantime, MOST Scouts and Scouters are using what I am calling the "legacy" uniform (it is NO LONGER the "current" uniform; the "Centennial" uniform is the current uniform for Boy Scouts and Scouters).

There are TWO legacy uniforms for Cub Scouts and WEBELOS Cub Scouts which are illustrated below. Note the BLUE shoulder loops on the "legacy" khaki-tan uniform which distinguish Cub Scouts and Cub Scouters from other programs.

Whether we're talking ONE or MANY WEBELOS,
("wee-buh-los" or "web-los") we don't drop
the "S" from "WE'll BE LOyal Scouts!"
which is what WEBELOS stands for.
That's also the reason why it is in ALL CAPS.

Other than the shoulder loops, hat, neckerchief, and some WEBELOS-specific insignia items both Cub and WEBELOS Cub Scouts wear this same field uniform (if they can), as shown here on this page. Packs make the decision whether ALL members of the Pack will wear the traditional blue uniform; if only WEBELOS Cub Scouts wear the khaki-tan uniform and other Cub Scouts wear the traditional blue uniform; or if ALL pack members will wear the khaki-tan "legacy" uniform. The current "Centennial" uniform is only worn by Boy and Varsity Scouts.

The Cub Scout shown here is wearing insignia on the LEFT shoulder and LEFT pocket. From top to bottom on the sleeve, the insignia is:

  • Council Shoulder Patch (CSP) emblem: Each of the BSA's local Councils, Lone Scouts and units supported through the BSA Direct Service, and the National Council has a special shoulder patch which illustrates elements of the territory served by the Council.
  • Unit numbers: Unit numbers come in two varieties presently: a partially-embrordered single or set of numbers denoting the unit; or a fully embrordered single or set of numbers denoting the Pack number. Either is acceptable, although for proper uniforming, the present partially-embrordered numbers should be used. Above the unit numbers may go a Unit Veteran Bar which indicates the tenured years of that unit.

    If a Cub Scout is serving as a Lone Cub Scout, he wears the Lone Scout emblem in the place of the unit number. There is more information on Lone Scouting and the distinctive emblem on this page.

  • Position Cords: Den members serving as an elected or appointed Denner or Assistant Denner wear special yellow cords suspended around the left shoulder for the duration of his tenure. One strand is used for the Assistant Denner; two strands for the Denner. (More information on the various cords, including the Den Chief shoulder cords)

    Adults do not wear position cords.

On the left pocket should go the following insignia:

  • Centered on the pocket is the Cub Scout rank.The Cub Scout "diamond" rank pieces -- for Tiger, Bobcat, Wolf and Bear -- are worn as shown. There is an additional WEBELOS oval-shaped rank emblem which may be worn as shown below by itself with the uniform shirt. It may be worn with either shirt but the oval-shaped WEBELOS rank emblem was designed to be worn with the khaki-tan "legacy" uniform shirt. (Not shown is the "diamond" WEBELOS rank emblem which would be worn in the place where the Tiger Cub rank would be worn)
  • (These graphics were provided by Craig Murphy and used with his permission. The flash presentation was put together by me; if you cannot see the presentation because your computer does not have Flash installed, please go to this page and you can view all of the slides graphically).

    start stop view <prev random next>
    Slideshow image

    On the left is how the "diamond" looks like when completely filled in...the graphic on the right shows the progression and where the items should go. First, ALL Cub Scouts earn the Bobcat badge and that is centered on the upper center part of the pocket.

    Next would be the badge corresponding to the grade group in which the Cub Scout starts advancing past Bobcat: first graders, Tiger; second graders, Wolf; third graders, Bear; fourth and fifth graders, WEBELOS. Most Cub Scouts we hope start at the first grade, so that is how the graphics are illustrated.

    The Tiger Cub badge is next earned, and it is placed in the lower center. The Wolf and Bear badges are placed on the left and right side respectively. As the Cub Scout earns Gold and Silver Arrow Points (not "arrowheads!"), the Gold Arrow Point is worn as shown; the Silver Arrow Points are worn in rows of two as shown below the Gold Arrow Point for Wolf and Bear. Tiger Cubs don't earn Arrow Points. A separate page explains the Arrow Points within the Cub Scout program.

    (an important note here: once you start at a level, you cannot "go back" and earn the earlier advancements. For instance, a new third-grader in the Pack would earn the Bobcat badge first, then start work toward Bear -- and cannot work on Tiger nor Wolf advancements.)

    The appearance is the same whether on the traditional blue or the "legacy" khaki-tan uniform shirt.

    The oval WEBELOS badge is worn by itself, centered on either the traditional blue uniform pocket or on the "legacy" khaki-tan uniform shirt (recommended).

  • If the WEBELOS Cub Scout earns the Arrow of Light, Cub Scouting's highest award, he wears the Arrow of Light BELOW the left pocket on the legacy khaki-tan shirt. the pockets taper down to a point...the Arrow of Light should be centered at that point and NOT sewn to the pocket. If the WEBELOS Cub Scout wears the traditional blue shirt, the Arrow of Light is worn so that it is centered on the left uniform pocket. Again, ONLY YOUTH MEMBERS wear the cloth or metal Arrow of Light; adults wear the Arrow of Light square knot insignia to denote their attainment of this award.

    Nothing else is worn below the pocket.

    Immediately above and centered on the left pocket would go square knot insignia (representing awards he earned or received). Above and centered above any square knot insignia would go a SINGLE year pin (if earned) representing the complete service. Above those items would go the World Crest if not already pre-sewn onto the shirt.

Here's the insignia which is worn on the RIGHT SIDE of the uniform and on the RIGHT POCKET:

  • With the exception of interpreter strips (see below), nothing is worn above the "Cub Scout- BSA", "Boy Scouts of America" or "Cubs BSA" (depending on uniform worn) strip. Cub Scouts are not permitted to wear Jamboree participation insignia, because Jamborees are a Boy/Varsity Scout program. However, a Cub Scout who visits the National Scout Jamboree can wear a special National Scout Jamboree visitor's emblem centered on his right pocket or on a patch vest or jacket.
  • Interpreter Strips: Take a look at the interpreter strip information for more guidance. For best uniforming, no more than three narrow-sized strips should be worn at any one time.
  • If earned, the Cub Scout Outdoor Activities Award emblem OR the National Summertime Pack Award pins are worn on the right pocket flap. If the Cub Scout or WEBELOS Cub Scout has earned BOTH, the information provided on the page should assist you with determining how to wear both sets of awards.
  • Temporary Insignia: Cub Scouts receive a special "pass" on the display of temporary insignia:

    Cub Scouts may wear ONE temporary patch or a temporary patch with segmented patches ("segments") not to exceed the dimensions of the right pocket along with either the "Progress Toward Ranks" plastic fob (shown below, left) OR the "WEBELOS Compass emblem" (shown below, right) suspended from the right pocket button. "Temporary insignia" is defined by the BSA as special insignia for participating in unit, District, Council or national events or programs. This insignia is of the Cub Scout's/Cub Scout's parent's choosing.

    The Progress Toward Ranks plastic fob and the WEBELOS Compass Badge are the only two exceptions to the "right pocket rule" for Cub Scouts and WEBELOS Cub Scouts.

  • A special "Recruiter" strip may be worn below the right pocket by members of local Councils that authorizes the wearing of such a strip. In other local Councils, no other strips or patches should be worn below the right pocket.

On the right shoulder, the following insignia is worn by Cub Scouts and/or WEBELOS Cub Scouts:

  • U.S. Flag emblem. The US Flag emblem is an OPTIONAL item for the BSA's uniforms, and newer uniforms have the emblems pre-sewn onto the shirts. The older uniforms had the flag detached. No other nation's flag emblem is to be worn in the place of the US flag emblem; and only the BSA version of the US flag emblem (with the blue border and the flag looking like below) is to be worn with official uniforms

    This is the official BSA US Flag emblem...the only one which should be worn on our uniforms.
  • Either Den emblems ("totems") or numbers (not both!) are worn below the US Flag emblem. Either is worn 1/8th of a inch below the bottom edge of the US Flag emblem:

    The Den number strip is a plain blue strip with gold border. It states in gold the word "Den" followed by the Den number. It is worn by members of that Den, to include the Den Leader and Assistant. Other Scouters should NOT wear Den numbers except during Basic training, additional training experiences and Wood Badge, for adults (not registered as a Den Leader or Assistant Den Leader of a specific Den) do not belong to a Den.

    Den emblems, identical to Boy/Varsity Scout patrol medallions, may be worn by members of the Den, to include the Den Leader and Assistant in the place of and not with Den numbers. Other Scouters should NOT wear Den emblems except during Basic training, additional training experiences and Wood Badge, for adults (those not registered as a Den Leader or Assistant Den Leader of a specific Den) do not belong to a Den with the except during those training periods and in the case of Wood Badge, until the Scouter has received his or her Wood Badge.

  • WEBELOS colors are worn instead of a Den number or emblem by YOUTH MEMBERS ONLY of the WEBELOS Den. In Packs whereby there is more than one WEBELOS Den, a Den number is attached to the gold (yellow, middle) color strand at the top. WEBELOS Den may also choose to wear a Den totem, but if the WEBELOS colors are worn, it should be pinned on to cover den emblem and Quality Unit insignia.) If the WEBELOS colors are worn, the various WEBELOS Activity Badges are worn on the colors; if not, the Activity Badges are worn on the center part of the hat.

  • Quality emblem: The Quality Unit, District, Council and Region emblems may be worn by those members that have attained Quality status during the present or previous year. Only ONE such Quality (either unit, district, council, or region) emblem may be worn at any one time. If a unit becomes part of a Quality District, the unit emblem is replaced by the Quality District emblem. Likewise, if the Council becomes a Quality Council, and authorizes members of the Council to wear the Quality Council emblem, the Quality District emblem is replaced by the Quality Council emblem. Both youth and adult members of the Quality unit, district, council or region may wear the Quality emblem during the year in which Quality status has been earned.

Nothing else is worn below the single Quality Unit emblem.

Other items:

The Cub Scout belt should be the narrow blue belt worn by Cub Scouts and WEBELOS Cub Scouts. Various academic and sports belt loops may be earned and are attached to the belt. The Academic and Sports program is an OPTIONAL program -- not all Packs participate in the program. More information on this program can be obtained by going to the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.'s webpage explaining the program.

Neckerchiefs: All Cub Scouts wear distinctive colored neckerchiefs and matching metal slides signifying their level of personal advancement. As you can see from below, each rank has a distinctive neckerchief and slide to wear. This is a recent change to the program; however many Packs have opted to continue to wear the generic gold and blue Cub Scout neckerchief and the multi-colored WEBELOS Cub Scout neckerchief along with their associated slides. When worn, the neckerchief should be worn UNDER the collar of the uniform shirt as shown above and below.

Cub Scouters have the option of wearing the Tiger Cub Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader or the WEBELOS Cub Scout Leader neckerchief; or the Den neckerchief that the Den members are wearing. Wood Badgers belonging to a Pack should wear the neckerchief (instead of the Wood Badge neckerchief) which other Pack members are wearing along with the Wood Badge and woggle in the same manner as shown here.

Hats. Each rank also has a matching hat which may be purchased and worn. Most Cub Scouts however, wear either the generic Wolf Cub Scout hat or the WEBELOS Cub Scout hat (although it is, how can I say this, embarrassing ugly!?!).

If the WEBELOS colors are not worn on the right sleeve, the various WEBELOS Activity Badges are pinned to the center part of the hat.

To keep the Pack together during outings, some Packs have had special Pack hats made for all members, youth and adult, of their Pack. Hats are an optional item, but if worn, it either should be the BSA's official hat for that rank or the generic hats shown on the page.

Cub Scouts do not wear merit badge sashes. Any temporary emblems, badges or pins should be attached to a (preferrably red) vest or jacket. Badges and emblems received as well as previous rank emblems and pins can be worn either on the front or back of the vest or jacket. Temporary insignia may be sewn. "Temporary insignia" is defined by the BSA as special insignia for participating in unit, District, Council or national events or programs. The Cub Scout Academic and Sports program letter may also be worn on the front or back of the vest or jacket.

The activity uniform (right) is worn during travelling or other occasions in which the field uniform would not be appropriate wear. If adults choose to wear the activity uniform, the Wood Badge is NOT worn with this uniform; I have seen Wood Badgers wear the small Wood Badge beads and axe-log combination pin in gold below the "Cub Scout" emblem and words.

Uniforming is important to Scouts and Scouters. It is part of the eight methods of Scouting. However, don't confuse "uniforming" with "Scouting", because if one recalls, the earliest Scouts and Scouters had no official uniform and they did just fine with the presentation of Scouting to their communities. Having a uniform allows the Scout to take pride in his Pack, gives the Scout a place to put all of the personal achievements and participation items that will become a part of his Scouting experience, and to share and show others the extent to his experiences in our programs.

Every Cub Scout should have a uniform, either the "legacy" uniform or the "traditional" uniform as illustrated above or one of the older versions. Every Scouter should set the positive example and wear as complete a uniform as he or she can, either as illustrated above or one of the older uniforms, during all Scouting activities and events and programs in which Cub Scouts may be present, with or without uniforms. Cub Scouts -- kids -- take their cues from us, the adults of the movement. If we show up with sloppy uniforms or uniforms with insignia not in the right places, they will do likewise and will wonder why we get "bent out of shape" when we correct their uniform problems!

Parents or Scouts with concerns about "where things go" on the uniform can look in the inside covers of the Tiger, Wolf, Bear or WEBELOS Cub Scout Handbook for full-sized line drawings showing where typically everything should go. They can also ask their Cubmaster or Commissioner.

The BSA's Insignia Guide is a publication which contains information on many of these badges and insignia; check also with your local Council for the wearing of insignia and items which come in conflict with the information presented within this unofficial online guide and within the Insignia Guide. In many cases, your local Council may not be aware of the wearing of a particular item -- its hard to keep up with well over 2000 pieces of BSA insignia and uniforming options !!!

Here's hoping that your Cub Scout, WEBELOS Cub Scout or Cub Scouter's experiences are positive and grand!


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Here are templates for good uniforming:
Left Shoulder
Left Front
Right Front
Right Shoulder

Credits: Scans courtesy of Mike Walton; pocket illustration graphics were provided by Craig Murphy and used with his permission.

This webpage is designed for printing, three-hole punching, and insertion into Your Binder!

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