Taughannock District
Baden-Powell Council, BSA
Virtual Patch Collection - Cub Scouts

Cub Advancement


The Tiger Cub rank badge was introduced in 2001. This is a special badge issued only in the 2010 BSA Centennial Year. 
Introduced in 1982 for first grade boys, Tigers was initially considered a separate program from Cub Scouts. They did not wear the Cub uniform, but rather each Tiger wore an orange T-shirt with iron-on paw prints representing activities done by the Tiger and his adult Partner. Tigers became part of Cub Packs in 1993 and Tiger dens were introduced in 1995.


Bobcat is the first rank earned by all Cub Scouts, regardless of age. 

Originally, Bobcat rank was indicated by a pin, introduced in 1938, rather than a rank badge. It was not approved to be worn on the uniform until 1959. 

The pin was worn upside down until the new Cub had done his first Good Turn. 

In 1972 the Bobcat Pin was replaced by a rank badge. 

Special Bobcat badge issued during 2010, the 100th anniversary of the BSA


When Cubs was introduced in the BSA in 1930, through 1945, the youngest members of the BSA were simply "Cubs". A "Cub Scout" was a Boy Scout (12-17 year old) who had once been a Cub.  
When Cubs were first introduced in the early 1930's (Ithaca had one of the experimental Packs in 1930), the first rank a Cub would earn was "Wolf". Ranks were earned regardless of age until 1943 when Wolf became the program for 9-year-olds, the joining age for new Cubs. This was changed to 8 years old in 1949. 

In 1986, the Cub levels were changed to a grade-based rather than age-based system. Today, Wolf Cubs are in Second Grade.

The name was changed to "Cub Scouts" in 1949. The patches were changed from felt to a twill backing in 1950.
This patch dates to the 1950s or early 1960's. 

Special Wolf badge issued during 2010, the 100th anniversary of the BSA


This twill-back badge was used from 1950 to 1972
When ranks were tied to age in 1943, Bears were 10-year-olds. This was reduced to 9-year-olds in 1949 when the joining age was reduced to 8. Since 1986,. Bear Cubs are for second grade boys. 

The Bear badge was changed to this design in 1972.

Special Wolf badge issued during 2010, the 100th anniversary of the BSA

Lion / Webelos

 Under the original 1930's Cub system, Lion was the highest Cub rank. 

In 1943, when age-based ranks were introduced, Lions were 11-year-olds, reduced to 10-year-olds in 1949. 

This badge was used from 1930-1949, when the program name was changed to "Cub Scouts". Patches like this one - felt with a wide border - are the oldest of the Cub rank patches.

This version of the Lion badge was used from 1950-1966

The Webelos Award was introduced in 1941. It wasn't a rank. Rather, it meant that the Lion Cub Scout had met the requirements for Boy Scout Tenderfoot rank, so that when he joined Boy Scouts at age 12 (lowered to 11 in 1949) he would join as a full Tenderfoot.

"Webelos" was made up of the initials of the Cub ranks, plus "S" for "Scout": W(olf) B(ear) L(ion) S(cout) - with inserted vowels to make it pronounceable.


The Lion rank was eliminated in 1967, and the "Webelos Award" strip became the Webelos Rank patch. Webelos wore these "colors" on their shoulders, and marked achievements toward earning the Webelos rank with pins on the hanging ribbons. 

At this time the explanation of the name "Webelos" was changed
to "WE'll BE LOyal Scouts"

In 1972 the Webelos rank strip was renamed again, this time to "Arrow of Light". The requirements were changed so that the Arrow of Light became an award earned after earning the Webelos rank. 

A large version of the Webelos rank used as a temporary patch in the early 1970's before the rank patch became available.

The diamond-shaped Webelos rank patch was introduced in 1977

Special Webelos rank patch issued for BSA's 2010 100th Anniversary.

The tan-backed oval Webelos badge was introduced in 2001 for Webelos who wear the Boy Scout tan shirt. This is the special-issue 2010 version.

Webelos Compass Patch, used with "compass point" pins. 
It is awarded after the Webelos Scout earns four more activity badges in addition to the three he had earned for the Webelos badge, a total of seven activity badges. The compass points emblem is worn attached to the button on the right pocket of the Webelos uniform shirt.

Cubs earned silver or gold arrow points as they worked toward ranks. 


Three-year Veteran pin

Cub Scout Recruiter strip

Denner patch - the boy leader of a den is the "Denner", a position rotating on a monthly basis so that all of the boys in the den can serve. Today, Denners wear shoulder cords rather than patches, which saves wear and tear on their shirts and work for their parents.  

Cubs wear den strips indicating what den number they're in.

Den Chiefs are Scouts BSA who help Cub Scout Den Leaders. They wear these cords on the shoulder of their uniforms. 

Cub Activities

1960's Cub Promise coin
Note that the promise includes the words "to be square", which were removed from the oath in 1971.


Cub Scouting's 50th Anniversary in the BSA in1980

Commemorative Cub Scout coin for 50th Anniversary in 1980
Reverse shows Cub Scout Oath as in the 1960's example (but without the promise to "be square")

Pinback button for Cub Scouts 75th Anniversary - 2005

2009 Cub Scout Resident Camp - pinback button

2012 Cub Scout Resident Camp - Knights in Armor theme
Tuum Optimum ("Do your best")

Pinback button used for recruiting for 2012 Cub Resident Camp

2013 Cub Scout Resident Camp - Sherlock Holmes theme
Barton Street Irregulars

2014 Cub Scout Resident Camp - Leatherstocking Tales

2015 Cub Scout Resident Camp - Space Invaders

2015 Spring Cub Adventure Weekend
"Things That Fly"

2016 Cub Scout Resident Camp - Camp Cretaceous

2017 Cub Scout Resident Camp 
Barton School of Mystery and Magic

2018 Cub Scout Resident Camp
Rocky Mountain Rendezvous

2021 "All Aboard" Dryden Rail Trail Event

Undated Webelos Weekend patch - probably 2005 or 2006
Jim Graney Collection

Undated Cub Adventure Weekend - printed patch

Undated Cub Adventure Weekend - printed patch

Lots of Scouts and Scouters collect patches - your Webmaster is no exception. So, I've put up a Virtual Patch Collection for the district. It's by no means exhaustive, but it's what I've got. If you felt like contributing pictures of some patches we don't yet have in the collection, please e-mail them to Mike Brown at wb2jwd@gmail.com - the scans should be between 450-600 pixels in width and height(no multi-megabyte scans, please, they crash my e-mail program) and in JPG or PNG format if possible. Of course, if you wanted to give me the actual patches, I won't insult you by refusing...

-Mike Brown

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