Advancement and Awards

Advancement is one of the methods used to achieve Scouting’s aims—character development, citizenship training, personal fitness, and leadership. The advancement program is designed to help the Cub Scout achieve these aims and aid in their personal growth.


Advancement is the process by which a Scout progresses from badge to badge, learning new skills along the way. The Cub Scout advancement program is designed to encourage the natural interests of a child. Each of the ranks and awards in Cub Scouting (Lion, Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light) has its own requirements. As a Cub Scout advances through the ranks, requirements get progressively more challenging, matching the increased skills and abilities as the child grows older.

Advancement gives Scouts a means of measuring their progress. They learn skills based on a standard that Cub Scouting provides. Credit is given to the Cub Scout for each requirement when the den leader is satisfied that the Scout has done their best. For requirements that are completed at home, the Cub Scout’s parent, guardian, or adult partner informs the den leader when the requirement has been completed.

Advancement provides a satisfying means of recognizing Scouts for their progress. Cub Scouts have a ladder to climb, with recognition at each step. Presenting awards to them in meaningful ceremonies to recognize their accomplishments is a principle of advancement.

Advancement is not competition. Each Cub Scout is encouraged to advance steadily and purposefully, setting their own goals with guidance from their family and leaders. Measurement for satisfying requirements is “do your best,” and that level can be different for each child.


The success of the advancement program depends entirely on how Cub Scout leaders and parents apply it. Careful research has gone into developing the advancement program, but den and pack leaders and families make advancement really work in the dens, in the home, and, most importantly, in the lives of Cub Scouts.

Goals of the Advancement Program

When implemented correctly, the advancement program will