Every rank in Scouting is reached by accomplishments by the scout. These requirements are age-appropriate activities that help grow and mold the boy into a self-sufficient, confident, able man. Themes run through the requirements from the beginning Tiger to the Eagle. For instance, when a Wolf scout cooks cookies with his mother, that begins to train him to cook for his patrol as a Life scout. And, when a Tiger Cub visits a police station he begins learning how to be a model citizen.
No matter what age or grade a boy joins Cub Scouting, he must earn his Bobcat Badge before he can advance to the rank of Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos. A boy must complete the Bobcat requirements, which include demonstrating his understanding of Scouting's core values.
He must be able to recite the Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack, and motto and demonstrate the Cub Scout sign, handshake, and salute. He must also explain what each of these ideals means, in addition to demonstrating his understanding of the core values of honesty and trustworthiness, and explaining their importance.
To earn the Bear Badge, a Cub Scout must complete 12 achievements out of a possible 24 that are offered in the book. The achievements are grouped in 4 major areas, GOD, COUNTRY, FAMILY, and SELF. Within each group, a required number of achievements must be completed, as indicated below. Also, any achievements that they do NOT use to earn the Bear Badge may be used to earn Arrow Points.
The Arrow of Light award is the highest award available to Cub Scouts. It requires the Scout to have earned the Webelos Scout badge and eight activity badges. In addition to the skill and activity requirements of the preceding ranks, the Arrow of Light requires Scouts to learn the Scout Promise and Scout Law, and visit one meeting and one activity of a Boy Scout troop, in preparation for advancing to the Boy Scouts. Earning the Arrow of Light will help earn many of the requirements for the lower ranks of the Boy Scouts.
The Arrow of Light award is the only Cub Scout award that can be worn on a Boy Scout uniform. Both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts wear the badge below the left pocket. Adults wear the square-knot version of the badge above the left pocket. Cub Scouts who earn the Arrow of Light are eligible to join a Boy Scout Troop prior to turning the normally-required age of eleven.