By Liz Merrell
Jul 29, 2013

Top Mistakes Cubs Make When Wearing Uniforms

  1. Wearing red/orange/yellow/whatever soccer shorts with the Scout shirt
  2. Extra pins worn on the uniform or hat
  3. Activity badge pins on the Webelos hat
  4. Too many summertime pins in the wrong places
  5. Rank patches in wrong places/ Arrow-points in wrong places/ World Crest Patch sewn too low
  6. Missing or incorrectly worn neckerchief
  7. Journey to Excellent patch sewn on
  8. Extra patches worn on the uniform (like Day Camp, Popcorn, etc.)
  9. Shirt not tucked in

Cub Scouts uniforms communicate positive things including: a sense of equality, as all boys within the organization wear the same uniform; a sense of belonging and identity, as anyone looking upon a Cub Scout in uniform can see he is part of the BSA and part of his council and unit; and accomplishment, as badges clearly display what the Scout has achieved and the Scout’s commitment to the ideals of the program.

Cub_cape 2 cubs


Cub Scout uniforms have a blue theme, but Webelos Scouts can wear a tan shirt with green trousers if desired. Proper official dress includes a neckerchief. The official uniform contains a small stitched American flag.


Sports and academic pins can be worn on the hat. Webelos may wear their activity badges on their hats or on the colors. Boys do not wear the mothers’ pin; that is for the mother to wear when a boy earns a rank. Temporary badges, whether a patch or pin, may be worn on a patch vest or one at a time on the right pocket. Cub Scouts may also wear extra patches one at a time on the right pocket.


Parents and leaders should emphasize the importance of wearing the correct and complete uniform on all suitable occasions. Cub Scouts should wear complete uniforms to all Cub Scouting activities, including den and pack meetings, unit outings, and any activities done with members of the den or pack. When playing sports, going to camp, or participating in other physical activities, a pack may opt to have the Cub Scouts wear an alternate uniform, such as an activity/Class B shirt. Pack leaders should provide advance notice of any occasion when the boys should wear anything other than the complete uniform.

When a boy first joins Cub Scouting, his uniform will display only those badges that identify his status: the World Crest, which shows him to be a member of the worldwide Scouting movement; the national flag; his council strip; his pack number; and his den number. As he progresses, the Cub Scout will earn badges, pins, medals, and other insignia that tell of his accomplishments in Scouting. These items should be added to the uniform only after they have been earned.

The Cub Scout/Webelos uniform has six required parts:  cap, neckerchief and slide, shirt, belt, pants/shorts, and socks.

Tips for wearing the uniform include:

Keep the uniform clean and in good repair. The official uniform is a sturdy, machine-washable garment that will last for years with proper care.

Be sure to wear the complete uniform. A Cub Scout wearing a uniform with parts missing is not in uniform (See Tiger Cub, Wolf Cub Scout, and Bear Cub Scout Uniform checklist).

Wear only official rank advancement and officially sanctioned items on the uniform. Temporary patches may be worn one at a time on the right pocket. Participation patches (Popcorn sales, Pinewood Derby, etc.) should be worn on the red vest or kept separate. These are not items for the uniform.

Do not wear non-BSA badges, awards, or insignia on the Cub Scout uniform or make any alterations to the uniform or insignia.

Do not mix uniform parts with non-uniform clothing, such as wearing a uniform cap with other clothing or wearing the uniform shirt with blue jeans. The uniform should be treated as a unit—worn in its entirety, or not at all.

Any time a parent or Scout is uncertain about uniform regulations, they should ask the den leader for guidance.

Author: Liz Merrell | Development Director, Utah National Parks Council

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2 thoughts on “Top Mistakes Cubs Make When Wearing Uniforms

  1. AvatarCindy Iversen

    While I appreciate that you are trying to get information out to people, especially those new to the Scouting program, unfortunately, you have some incorrect information on your page.

    The “Journey To Excellence” patch may be sewn onto the uniform on the right sleeve.
    The Webelos Activity pins may be worn on the plaid front of the Webelos cap.
    Sports and Academics pin are nonuniform wear.
    There are only four required parts to the Cub Scout uniform. The shirt, pants, belt, and socks. The hat and neckerchief, while usually worn, are not required.

    This information is in the BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia.

    I am a long-time Scouter, with many positions within the Scout program. Like you, I am a stickler for uniforming, for which I have done significant research. Please feel free to respond with any questions.

  2. AvatarMr. G

    The hat and the necker “should” be required parts of the uniform. It’s not “uniform” (ie, the same) if there’s optional parts. The neckerchief is the part Baden Powell felt was most essential as it instantly identifies a scout from others.


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