Scouting 101

Scouting has a language all its own. If you are not familiar with it, below are definitions of many terms you will encounter as you get more and more involved in the program.


To earn the rank badge, Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts must complete Achievements found in their Handbook. The Achievements cover these areas: God, Country, Family and Self.

Activity Badge

There are 20 Activity Badges a Webelos Scout can earn. These are divided into 5 areas: Physical, Mental, Technology, Outdoor, and Community. A pin is presented for completion of each Activity Badge.

Arrow of Light

Arrow of LightThis is the highest award a boy can earn in Cub Scouting – also the ONLY (non-religious) award from Cub Scouts which can be worn on a Boy Scout Uniform.

Arrow Points

Arrow PointsArrow Points are awarded to Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts for completion of electives beyond the Achievements covered for earning the Wolf or Bear rank badge. A Gold Arrow Point is awarded for the first 10 electives; a Silver Arrow Point is awarded for each successive 10 electives completed.

Bear Cub

Bear CubThese are generally third grade Cub Scouts. There are 24 Bear achievements in four categories. A boy must complete 12 of these to earn the bear badge. These requirements are more difficult and challenging.

Belt Loops and Pins

The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program complements the scouting program by providing opportunities for scouts to improve scholarship, develop sportsmanship, and explore new games while collecting Cub Scout belt loops and pins. The emphasis of the program is to try new things and to put forth a best effort, not of achieving proficiency or winning. This program is one method of addressing the third aim of Scouting: the development of physical, mental and emotional fitness. Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).


BobcatEvery boy who joins Cub Scouts must first earn the Bobcat badge. Doing this, he learns the seven basic tenets of Cub Scouting: the Promise, the Law of the Pack, the sign, the handshake, the motto, the salute, and what Webelos means.

Boy Scout

A Boy Scout is between the ages of 11 and 18 and belongs to a Troop. He advances through these ranks: Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, then Eagle.

Boy Scouts of America

Boy Scouts of AmericaThe Boy Scouts of America is a nationally chartered organization that encompasses Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorer Units, and Varsity Units.

Brag Vest

This is a red felt vest sold at Scout Shops. It is where you can place patches earned (other than rank), to share with others the fun and exciting stuff you have been doing. A vest is not mandatory, some scouts use sweatshirts, jackets, quilts, blankets, or wall frames. So be creative and show your scout achievements in a way that works for your scout.

Class A Uniform

Standard uniform with patches, ranks, and unit number, neckerchief and slide, hat, and belt. Worn for most events unless otherwise indicated.

Class B Uniform

Pack t-shirt with hat. Pack 171 has a navy blue t-shirt.


This is the group of adult volunteers who “run” the Pack. Any interested adult is welcome to attend Committee meetings.


CouncilThe Council is an organization of professional Scouters that oversees all Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and other units in an area. Pack 171 is part of the Mid-Iowa Council.

Cub or Cub Scout

A Cub Scout is any member of Boy Scouts in first through fifth grade (or age 7-11).


CubmasterThe Cubmaster is the chief adult volunteer leader. The Cubmaster runs the Pack meetings, and advises all other leaders.


DenThe Den is a group of Cub Scouts who meet at regular intervals. Ideally, a den consists of 6 to 8 boys who are all working toward the same rank.

Den Leader

Den LeaderThe adult volunteer who is in charge of planning and running den meetings is the Den Leader.

Den Meeting

Individual Den Meetings are held for each rank level of Cub Scouts. These usually occur at a regular intervals, such as weekly or bi-weekly. Wolf and Bear dens work on fun projects, crafts, skits, or some of their Achievements. Webelos dens use this time to work on the various Activity Badges.


Each Council is divided into a number of Districts. Pack 171 is part of the Raccoon River Valley district.


Each level of Scouting has its own Handbook. The Handbook is ESSENTIAL for your Scout, as it spells out the requirements for advancement, as well as providing a place to record completion of the same.


PackThe whole group – all of our dens and families together is called a Pack. The Pack usually meets once every month.

Rank Badges

The Rank Badges, in order, are: Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, Webelos.


Each Unit must have a sponsoring or charter organization, such as a church, service club, etc. Pack 171 is chartered by the Grimes United Methodist Church.

Tiger Cub

Tiger CubTiger Cubs are first grade boys who, with an adult partner, work on five Tiger Cub achievement areas to earn the Tiger Cub Badge. These requirements consist of an exciting series of indoor and outdoor activities just right for a boy in the 1st grade.


The Uniform is the prescribed clothing for any and all official Cub Scout events. In Pack 171, the minimum Uniform is from the belt up and consists of a uniform shirt (with all patches), appropriate neckerchief and a slide, and a cub scout belt. Pants or shorts and shoes should be tidy, respectful, and neat. For “casual” events, a Cub or Webelos Scout T-shirt is acceptable. Webelos Scouts use the “colors” for activity pins.


Webelos means WE‘ll BE LOyal Scouts.

Webelos Scout

WebelosThese are fourth and fifth grade Cub Scouts. Webelos work on activity badges and become familiar with the Boy Scout requirements – all leading to the Arrow of Light award.

Wolf Cub

Wolf CubThese are generally second grade Cub Scouts. To earn the Wolf Badge, a boy must pass 12 achievements involving simple physical and mental skills.


Each individually chartered Pack, Troop, Post or Lodge is a Unit.