Adventures form the backbone of the new Cub Scout program. They’re fun, engaging and offer the right amount of challenge for boys as they grow up.
After a boy completes an adventure, he gets the ultimate reward: a shiny adventure loop for his belt or adventure pin for his Webelos colors or Webelos cap.
The loops and pins offer immediate recognition, meaning boys get a tangible link between completing an adventure and receiving a reward.
Veteran Cub Scouters will remember the Academics and Sports Program. That program is retired, but its best elements have been incorporated into the new adventures.
Here’s everything you need to know about the adventure loops and adventure pins in the new Cub Scout program.
How to earn adventure loops and adventure pins
Boys earn adventure loops (Tiger, Wolf, Bear) and adventure pins (Webelos, Arrow of Light) when they complete an adventure.
You can see requirements for all required and elective adventures in this PDF.
Boys must complete seven adventures for each rank, but the number of those adventures that are electives increases as the boy gets older. In other words, Cubmasters, den leaders and the boys themselves get more choice over which adventures they complete as they advance through Cub Scouting.
Here’s what that breakdown looks like:
- Tiger: Six required adventures, 13 elective adventures (from which a boy working on Tiger must choose at least one)
- Wolf: Six required adventures, 13 elective adventures (from which a boy working on Wolf must choose at least one)
- Bear: Six required adventures, 13 elective adventures (from which a boy working on Bear must choose at least one)
- Webelos: Five required adventures, 18 elective adventures (from which a boy working on Webelos must choose at least two)
- Arrow of Light: Four required adventures, 18 elective adventures (from which a boy working on Arrow of Light must choose at least three, not including those he earned for Webelos)
How do these compare to the old belt loops and pins?
As Mark Ray explains in this Scouting magazine story:
Cub Scouts have been earning belt loops for individual and team sports since 1985 and for academic subjects since 1991, and it’s no doubt they enjoyed the bling. Often, however, earning belt loops detracted from the advancement program as some boys (and leaders) focused on easy belt loops over more challenging — and meaningful — achievements.
With the introduction of the new advancement program, the Academics and Sports Program has been retired. However, many of its best elements have been incorporated into the new adventures, and the new adventure loops ensure that boys’ belts will be as jangly as ever.
You’ll like the new adventure loops because they cost 50 cents less apiece and are easy to award. They’re also a little narrower, so more will fit on a belt.
Boys like them because they look great and are fun to wear.
Elective adventures are represented by monochromatic loops and pins. Required adventures are represented by full-color loops and pins.
When and how to present loops and pins
The new adventure loops and adventure pins are intended to be presented to boys as soon after earning as reasonable. Remember: Immediate recognition is a good thing for boys of this age.
That’s why a new BSA policy says an advancement report is no longer required for a Cub Scout leader to purchase these items at their local council service center, national Scout Shop or via scoutstuff.org. That means you can buy the adventure loops you need before boys actually complete the adventure.
Similarly, advancement reports are not required to purchase certificates — pocket or full size.
Where to wear adventure loops and pins
Adventure loops for Tiger, Wolf and Bear are worn on the official Cub Scout belt.
Adventure pins for Webelos and Arrow of Light are worn on the Webelos colors or on the front of the Webelos cap.
Adventure requirements (PDF)