By Annaleis Smith
Nov 06, 2018

Cub Scouting is Color Coded

Did you hear?  Cub Scouts is now “color-coded” to make it easier for new (and possibly experienced) Cub Scouting families know which rank wears which uniform etc.  The Cub Scout colors will remain Blue and Gold and the uniform pieces will still be dark blue (or Tan & Kaki for Webelos) but with the new system the neckerchief, the hat, and the rank badge will all be the same color. Also, the newly revised Den Leader Guides and the Cub Scout Handbooks are also the same 1 color per rank.  Here is a quick rundown of the new color scheme of Cub Scouting:

Lions are Yellow!

Lion Cubs join as a Kindergartener with an adult partner who attends all meetings with them. When it was just a pilot program they earned stickers to put in their workbook/handbook.  They still get those stickers but they also now earn adventure belt loops just like the other ranks. Gold w/multi-colored images for the required adventures and silver with rank colored images on elective adventure loops.  A diamond-shaped badge was earned during the pilot phase but the official Lion rank badge is now a strip similar in size to the Arrow of Light rank badge.   The official Lion uniform is the t-shirt and hat shown above and other uniform parts (belt, pants, socks, and neckerchief) are optional.  There is a dark blue polo style with small Lion image as an option for the parent partners.  Lions is a 9 month School year only program.  At the end of their kindergarten year, they move up to the Tiger den for the summer and their 1st grade school year. (All Cub Scouts move to their next rank at the end of the School year)

Tigers are Orange!

Tigers also have to have a “parent partner” who attend each meeting with them. They have always been orange.  When the Tiger program became an official part of the pack back in 1992 they wore orange t-shirts.  The official Cub Scout uniform with an orange neckerchief became the norm in 2004. So really Tigers are seeing the least change to the uniform parts this time around.

Wolfs are Red!

The Wolf rank is a good example of the previously mixed colors that might confuse some. The neckerchief and hat were yellow while the rank badge was red. The Wolf adventure loops were and still will be red. Since the Lions are now yellow, the neckerchief and hat for wolfs will change to red to match the rank badge.  All these changes are what they are calling “running changes” so you may not see the red in Scout shops until they run out of the yellow.  The red is not even available yet on ScoutStuff.com (at least not when this was written)  Of course – “Once a uniform, always a uniform” would apply here so there is no need for current Wolf Cub Scouts to replace their yellow with the red unless they really want to.

Bears are Lt. Blue!

The Bear rank is another example of previously mixed colors.  The hat and neckerchief were and will continue to be light blue but the previous rank badge was a greenish, aqua-ish blue color.  The rank badge will now be light blue along with everything else.  The stripes on the Bear adventure loops as well as the elective images will also change to a light blue. Maybe that’s when we will finally see the change of required vs elective loops of Baloo the Builder and Grin & Bear it corrected also.  (Images are printed correctly in the new handbooks.)

Webelos are Green!

No, the Webelos plaid is not going away.  While the Den Leader Guide and Webelos Handbooks will be green. The plaid neckerchief and hat (already green & plaid) will remain the same.  What will change is that Webelos will no longer wear the Blue uniform and the blue diamond-shaped Webelos rank badge has been discontinued (I hear it’s already hard to find).

Other changes to all ranks:

Shown on the “Tiger” picture above are additional uniform options. With the addition of girls to the Cub Scout program,  Cub Scout uniform shirts remain the same for both boys and girls.  But for girls, there is a new Skort (Skirt in front, shorts in back) and new “Roll-up” pant option both in the Cub Scout blue color.  (So, it’s a uniform option for Lions thru Bears). Or girls may choose to wear the current blue “switch back” pants.

Den Leader Position Badges

And as a related side note – all den leaders will now wear the same “Den Leader” position badge on their adult uniform. Assistants too.

And… although I have not seen an official announcement, the yellow shirts for female leaders do seem to be on their way out, at least they seem to be hard to find.  Of course, I was told that they were being discontinued 15 years ago and that turned out not to be true then. Who knows…

Along with color-coded uniforms and the updated handbooks other Cub Scout literature, such as the Cub Scout Leader Book (shown here), have also been updated to align with the advancement changes made in 2016, to retire Ethan, and of course to reflect the inclusion of girls in the program in 2018 and any related policy changes. These printed resources are available now.

So there you have it – Color-coded Cub Scouting coming your way soon!

Author Annaleis Smith is a “stay-at-home” mom of 5 (3 boys 2 girls).  She has been a Cub Scout leader since 2003.  She has also been involved with district roundtables since 2008 and various council committees (including Akela’s Council) since 2010. Annaleis currently serves as a Cubmaster, Assistant Roundtable Commissioner, and president of the Commissioner College Cabinet for UNPC.

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