Re: Awards, badges ect..
Kathie Cerveny (kathie@DELTA.EECS.NWU.EDU)
Wed, 20 Oct 1993 09:55:56 CDT
> The BSA is broken into 3 main divisions: Cub Scouts (young kids 6?-10);
> Boy Scouts (11-18) and Explorers (15-12 and is co-ed). Some of these are
> further `subdivided' and most have their own awards/badges/ranks.
---Our programs have been by grade for some years now:
1st grade = Tiger Cubs
2nd grade = Wolf Cubs
3rd grade = Bear Cubs
4th grade = 1st year Webelos (We will BE LOyal Scouts - in case you do not know
how the word Webelos was formulated).
5th grade = 2nd year Webelos
6-7-8 grades = Boy Scouts to their 18th birthday.
> Tiger Cubs are the youngest (6ish?) and have no awards or badges.
--Actually the Tiger Cub program has a system of stickers that are posted to a
chart (much like an advancement chart in CS and BS); they do earn service stars
for their time in as a Tiger; they are awarded the Tiger Cub Graduate patch
upong transition into the pack.
> They have 3 awards: Bobcat (a sort of `joining requirement
> award', Wolf (done in the first year) and Bear (done in the second year).
The Bobcat rank is REQUIRED for each and every boy as the 1st rank he MUST earn
in a Cub Scout Pack. This includes, Wolfs, Bears, and all Webelos.
> --------- They have 2 ranks: Webelos and the Arrow of Light. The Arrow of
> Light is considered the highest Cub Scout rank, and can be worn on the Boy
> Scout uniform and their is a square knot for it for adults to wear.
--The Webelos Badge is earned at the end of the 1st year in Webelos, and
requires among other things particular Activity Badges that MUST be earned in
order to earn the rank. We also have the Compass Point award which is really
the Webelos program instant recognition.
--The Arrow of Light is the "Eagle" of Cub Scouting. It is the ONLY rank in Cub
Scouting that can be worn on the Boy Scout uniform by the boy. Men who earned
the Arrow of Light as a Cub Scout can wear the square knot signifying this
achievement, just as they can wear the knot for Eagle award if they earned that
as a boy. However, these 2 square knots are not for adults but for adult
> Boy Scouts are 11-18. There is a sort of subdivision of Boy Scouts called
> `Varsity Scouts' which is 15-18. Despite its name, Varsity Scouts are NOT
> sports oriented. The Varsity Scout program can be done within the troop
> (the Varsity squad) or as a separate Varsity Scout Team. This in-troop
version IS more sports oriented.
---On the contrary, Varsity Scouting is a separate registration for the boys and
the adults who work with this program. It IS sports orientated for the past
2-3 years when the Varsity program underwent a gigantic change and went BACK to
the original field-tested program of the last '70s and early '80s, with Sports
as the program, and a tool to continue advancing towards Eagle.
My Eagle son and many many others over the years of 1982 to present have indeed
earned the Eagle because of the Varsity program. I seem to be the only person
in Chicago Area Council AND Northwest Suburban Council who actually holds the
Scouters Training Award for Varsity, and completion credentials for regional
If the Varsity program is used as the new version of the "Leadership Corps" some
of you may remember, as I do, they are STILL registered as a separate unit,
with separate leadership.
---> the Venture program, which is oriented to High Adventure activities.
This program is national's 2nd attempt to "hold and retain the older boys" in
our program. Since the middle 70s from Schiff Scout Reservtion, to Philmont,
to National conferences, we (BSA) volunteers and professionals alike have been
trying to solve the heavy losses of boys as they enter high school.
To prepare for the Varsity and now the Venture (this IS a "in unit" group)
programs, the Exploring program since 1978 has been gently been edged over to
career posts, with a strong push to stop "general interest" posts. Therefore,
boys can be registered at the same time in an Exploring post and a troop.
However, the Venture program (and it is high adventure with great booklets
available) is a part of a troop, and is not a separate registration.
Therefore, to be in the Venture program, you are a scout.
The Varsity program at one time (when my sons were in it and so was I) meant
that you could NOT be registered with a troop and a Varsity team. I will check
to see if that is still true today.
> There are 6 proper rank awards in the Boy Scouts. There is a badge called
> `Scout' but this is considered a joining requirement, and not a rank.
--RIGHT. However, most adult leaders of troops do not treat this badge
correctly, and DO treat it as a rank.
> The 6 ranks are Tenderfoot, 2nd Class Scout, 1st Class Scout, Star Scout,
> Life Scout, and Eagle Scout. The first 3 follow the names of B-P and produce
> an all round scout. The 3 higher ranks require merit badges, service, and
> leadership to attain. Eagle is the highest (and most prestigious) and
> requires the scout to plan and carry out his own service project.
--Of course the project is just one of the high level requirements for Eagle.
Only one of every 10 boys ever make Eagle.
> Explorers have changed much over the years. In the past, they were more of
> an `older boy' program, but today is very different. All Explorer Posts
> have a certain focus. There are Career Awareness posts which explore certain
> kinds of careers (medicine, law, etc). There are Special Interest posts
> like High Adventure, Indian Lore, Fire, Emergency Services, Law Enforcement,
---see above as to why this has occurred over the years. In 1972 the Exploring
program became co-ed. The co-ed program has been very successful and drawn in
a great many girls. That, in fact, is one of the sore points of the Girl
Scouts of America with us, and a major issue when BSA and the Girl Scouts
discussed combining, or BSA going co-ed for almost 2 years. That study closed
> There still exists Sea Exploring. There are no rank awards in Explorers per
> There is the Explorer Achievement Award and the Sea Explorers still have
> their ranks of Apprentice, Ordinary, Able, and Quartermaster.
---Careful. Sea Exploring DOES indeed have ranks, and their own equivalent rank
to the Eagle. Remember that Sea Exploring is our oldest surviving program for
older boys. (It too is now co-ed.)
> There are other leadership programs in the BSA. There are 2 versions of
> Woodbadge: Boy Scout Leader Woodbadge and Cub Scout Trainer Woodbadge. There
> use to be an Explorer Leader Woodbadge. There is also a program called
> `Sea Badge' for Sea Explorer leaders.
---There still is Exploring Woodbadge from time to time; Sea Badge still exists;
and Varsity Woodbadge also occurs from time to time; LDS Woodbadge is as
constant as the BS Woodbadge. We (BSA) have a terrific book titled: The
History of Woodbadge" that is really a wonderfully interesting book to read,
packed with little known information on Woodbadge.
Hope this helps some. Thanks to Mike for taking the time to get this started.
It is much easier for me to add to then create.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City