Knot of the Week: Arrow of Light Award


When you see a
fellow Scouter wearing this red, green, and yellow knot, what does it tell you?

For us, it’s a
sign that this Scouter was dedicated to the program from a very young age. So
dedicated, in fact, that he earned the
of Light Award
, the pinnacle of Cub Scouting, before he even turned 12
years old.

And did you know
that it’s one of just two items a Scouter may wear on his uniform from his days as a
Cub Scout?(The other is the youth religious award knot.) Also, it’s one of just a handful of square knots that have a de
facto age requirement—another is the Eagle Scout Award—because you can only
earn them as a youth.

Boys who earn
the Arrow of Light hone their outdoor skills, get physically fit, and
understand and practice the values of Scouting. It signifies they’ve completed
all of the requirements for a Scout badge and are permitted to join a Boy Scout

We don’t look at
the Arrow of Light as the culmination of a Cub Scout journey. Instead, we see
it as the beginning of a Scouting adventure.

Chime In: Do you have the Arrow of Light award?
What does it mean to you? What is your favorite Cub Scout memory? Let us know by adding your comment below.

CORRECTION: The article previously stated that the Arrow of Light is the only award from Cub Scouts that can be worn on an adult uniform. Thanks to Jon for pointing out that the religious award fits those criteria as well. 


  1. As a Venturing Crew adviser I do occasionally get kidded about wearing my Arrow of Light patch on my Class A. I wear it because when I got it I left Scouting for various reasons and it shows the continuation of my journey and growth in Scouting now.

  2. I thought that youth religious awards and the knot can be worn as an adult – so it isn’t the ONLY award from Cub Scouting that can be worn as an adult.

  3. I wear my Arrow of Light knot, right beside my Eagle Scout knot. As a unit commissioner who serves a pack and a troop, I feel confident in situations where new leaders need counsel if they were never youths in either or both of the programs

  4. The Arrow of Light award did not exist when I left Cub Scouts for Boy Scouts (1970), but I still wear the knot because I spent 4 years in Cub Scouts and then continued with Boy Scouts and Explorer Scouts until I was 18. I finished with the rank of Life.

  5. 35 years after earning my Arrow of Light I reconnected with a cubscout troop through my stepson. I now serve as an adult leader and proudly wear my AOL knot.
    Hopefully this will show others that as a leader, I have been there myself and I can show the next generation of boys the path to get there themselves.

  6. I was a Webelos in 1972. I’m not sure if I did an Arrow of Light ceremony or if the award existed yet. I have recently returned to scouting as a adult leader. How can I find out if I earned the AOL and am eligable to wear the knot?

    • I have The same question – I can’t remember if I was presented with the AOL, but I did crossover in the mid 80’s

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