Cub Scouting Leadership Cords
Chris wrote and asked:
On my visit to your Patch Site I found no information on Den Chief
Cords. The information I am looking for specifically is: when is the
cord worn? what does a Den Chief do to qualify to wear it? and how
long is the cord worn for?
Have you checked the
link to Don De Young's great Cub Scouting Awards site?
(the cords used here were copied from his super site with permission! Thanks!)
Shoulder cords are used as indicators of leadership or ambassadors of Scouting.
They are worn in addition to or in the place of traditional badges of office.
They are all worn UNDER the LEFT epaulet of the uniform shirt and UNDER the
armpit of the Cub Scout, Boy/Varsity Scout or Venturer. They are never worn
with the cord hanging outward on the left shoulder and ONLY THESE SHOULDER CORDS
ARE APPROVED BY THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA. "Color Guard" or "Honor Guard" shoulder
cords are not approved; nor are the wearing of military-style shoulder braids.
There are five official cords of the BSA. The oldest is the Den Chief
cord for Cub Scout Den Chiefs. The Den Chief cord was designed for usage by Boy
Scouts and Explorers in 1935.
A Den Chief is defined today as a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or MALE Venturer
which serves as a positive role model and assistant leader within a Cub Scout
Den or a WEBELOS Cub Scout Den. In the past, male and female Explorers could
also serve as Den Chiefs or WEBELOS Den Chiefs.
Den Chiefs are appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader, Team Captain, or
Venturing President or Boatswain with input from the Scoutmaster, Coach,
Advisor or Skipper and the Cubmaster of the Pack the Den Chief is going to
serve within. They typically serve for six-month to one-year terms of
There are two types of recognition for Den Chiefs. The first type, the
traditional type, is the Den Chief cord.
Den Chief (left) and WEBELOS Den Chief (right) shoulder cords
The Cub Scout Den Chief cord is in blue and gold, the colors of Cub Scouting;
the WEBELOS Den Chief cord is in yellow, red and green, which are the three
program colors of the BSA (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting and Venturing) as well
as the colors found on the WEBELOS Badge colors.
The Den Chief may also choose to wear a Den Chief badge of office, which has
the Cub Scout emblem surrounded by the words "Den Chief". Both Cub Scout and
WEBELOS Cub Scout Den Chiefs may wear the Den Chief badge of office.
In general terms, the Den Chief badge of office is presented by the Boy Scout
Troop, Varsity Scout Team, or Venturing Crew or Ship to the new Den Chief;
the cord is presented by the Cub Scout Pack to the new Den Chief. Both cord
and badge of office may be worn by the Den Chief at the option of the Den
Most Den Chiefs wear the cord during Pack Meetings, activities of the Pack
and during formal occasions of the Troop, Team, Crew or Ship. At all other
times, and especially during outdoor activities, the cord is taken off so it
doesn't catch on branches or tree limbs, or anything else.
The cord is worn around the left shoulder. Older Den Chief cords have a tab
which is attached to the underside of the left shoulder epaulet and the cord
surrounds the left shoulder. Newer Den Chief cords do not have the tab and
is worn under the left shoulder epaulet and the cord surrounds the left
Either version may be worn.
After one year of service and the completion of other project tasks, Den
Chiefs may earn the Den Chief Service Award, a red, white and blue striped
cord which may be permanently worn by the Den Chief until he turns 18. The
Den Chief Service Award cord may be worn with the Den Chief or WEBELOS Den
Chief cord until such time the Den Chief is no longer serving as a Den Chief.
At that time, the Den Chief or WEBELOS Den Chief cord must be removed and no
longer worn until appointed again as a Den Chief or WEBELOS Den Chief. The
Service Award cord may continue to be worn however.
In the past, Den Chiefs whom have served for more than one year may wear a
Cub Scout year pin on the tab of the Den Chief cord. This is no longer
policy; the Service Award cord takes the place of the placement of the year
pins on the shoulder epaulet or on the tab.
Also in the past, past Den Chiefs wore the tab only with the year pins
attached to the tab. This is no longer authorized, since the tabs by
themselves are no longer available; and more importantly, because the new Den
Chief Service cord is a more visible recognition piece than the old tabs; and
some Den Chiefs do not want to cut the cords from the tabs.
Two other cords are also available; a Denner Cord and an Assistant
The Denner and Assistant Denner are appointed or elected by the members of
the Cub Scout or WEBELOS Cub Scout Den; the Cub Scout Leaders' Book suggests
that the two positions be rotated each month between all of the members of
the Den so that all Den members have experience serving as Denner and as
Denners and Assistant Denners assist the Den Chief and Den Leader and
Assistant with the management of the Den during weekly Den meetings and Den
activities on their own or as part of the Pack.
Denners wear two strands of yellow cord; Assistant Denners wear one strand of
yellow cord. At one time, there existed Denner
bars of yellow with blue background to be worn on the uniform. The Denner would
wear two yellow (gold) bars and the Assistant Denner would wear one yellow bar. The
cords have taken the place of the bar patches.
The Denner and Assistant Denner cords are worn so that the cords surround the
left shoulder and the tab is centered where the epaulet would be on the new
shirts. The cords may be worn on either the "legacy" khaki-tan shirt or the traditional blue shirt; if
worn with the "legacy" shirt, the tab should be worn UNDER the epaulet and NOT on
top. Newer versions of the Denner and Assistant Denner cords do not have
the attached tab and therefore cannot be worn with the traditional blue shirt.
Again, as with the Den Chief cords, the Denner and Assistant Denner cords are
removed at the conclusion of the period of service.
Hope that this helps out!!
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