How Cub Scouts earn loops, pins and letters

Boys learn about dozens of academic subjects and sports through the Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program—and earn belt loops and pins as they improve skills.

Who can participate?

Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts. The program requires adult participation for Tiger Cubs and strongly recommends it for older boys. However, adults do not receive recognition items.

What subjects are included?

Twenty-five academic subjects and 28 sports. The newest academic subjects: Disabilities Awareness, Family Travel, Good Manners, Nutrition, Pet Care, Photography, Reading and Writing, and Video Games. The newest sports: Hiking, Hockey, Horseback Riding, Kickball, and Skateboarding. For the complete list, see the Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program Guide (No. 34299).

What’s the difference between belt loops and pins?

To earn a belt loop, a boy must complete three specific requirements that introduce him to the academic subject or sport. To earn a pin, he must complete five additional requirements from about 10 options.

Why are some belt loops gold and others silver?

Academic belt loops have a gold background; sports belt loops use a silver background.

Where do boys wear the recognition items?

Cub Scouts wear belt loops on their blue Scout belt. Because they won’t fit on the khaki belt, Webelos Scouts who wear the khaki uniform may wear the blue belt. Pins are displayed on the Cub Scout Academics and Sports letter, which may be worn on a patch vest or civilian jacket.

When do Cub Scouts get medals and trophies?

Packs may use the trophies and the gold, silver, and bronze medals to recognize special achievements. There are no specific requirements. They can also get participating patches and pocket certificates.

Can boys earn the same belt loop more than once?

Yes, but encourage them to try different requirements to earn a pin instead. Packs should have a clear policy about who’s responsible for the cost of awards that boys earn more than once.

What’s the relationship between belt loops and Webelos activity badges?

More than half the 20 Webelos activity badges include belt-loop requirements. For some badges, the Webelos Scout must earn certain belt loops. For others, earning belt loops is optional. In each case, the boy must earn the belt loops while he’s a Webelos Scout.

Are there limitations for where belt loops and pins can be earned?

The only limitation relates to the Archery and BB Shooting belt loops. Those activities are restricted to Cub Scout/Webelos Scout resident camps, council-managed family camping programs, and council activities that follow all BSA shooting sports standards.

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