Feb 15, 2012 - Kim Spaniel
I do not like the fact that we have to print off pages to earn belt loops. I just printed out 57 pages for my son to fill out. Not only is it a waste of paper, but also my ink. Will the Boy Scouts be keeping these records? If so, that will be a lot of storage space. I would suggest an online form to be filled out and emailed to the den leader. Just my .02˘. Thanks!
Feb 15, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Kim - you don't really NEED to print anything. The worksheets available here are just additional tools that some people find helpful in managing the completion of requirements. They aren't records, nor are they required.
To earn a belt loop, the scout just needs to complete the three requirements, nothing more.
Feb 16, 2012 - Jackie M
Would like to see a belt loop/pin for martial arts. So many kids participate in some form of the sport. My son keeps asking if/when there will be one.
Feb 16, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jackie - Please see usscouts.org/advance/cubscout/sports/karate.asp for info on martial arts activities.
Feb 18, 2012 - Tracy Higgins
BSA should consider creating a Geocaching belt loop for Cub Scouts. The Boy Scouts have a geocaching merit badge, why can't the Cubs earn it also?
Feb 19, 2012 - WEBELOS Den Leader
@Kim - Paul is right, there is no requirement from the BSA to print out anything. You can open the work sheets you have from the computer without printing them (or look at many online sources), do the activities, and then communicate that information to the pack.
It sounds like you pack or den leader may be requiring the printed pages for their own tracking. If this is the case then I agree with you that there are other flow sheets they can use on paper, on line resources the pack could use, or just use email and an excel spread sheet and word document. I suggest you discuss this with your den leader. [Be careful - you may find yourself the new Pack advancements coordinator :-) ]
Feb 19, 2012 - WEBELOS Den Leader
The martial arts and tackle football belt loops and pins have been discussed by the BSA and aren't going to happen. For more information:
@Tracy - Geocaching has the enthusiastic support of the BSA and I would not be surprised to see a belt loop and pin in the future.
Mar 02, 2012 - Gretchyn Lopez
So I was super excited when my oldest was a Weblo that there was going to be new beltloops and new awards. Our group is full of over achievers and the Geocaching belt loop would be a great addition. We recently planned a trip and geocached the whole trip and the BoyScouts do it regularly. There are many places to go that are in very open country areas and city areas. I think I am just wondering what is the hold up?
Mar 02, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Gretchyn - let the BSA know you'd like a new belt loop. See boyscouttrail.com/faq.asp for the address to write.
May 09, 2012 - Christine
If you are looking to keep track of records of belt loops, rank requirements,etc. scout trax has those spread sheets and they are easy to use and very helpful! I use this site for worksheets and such for the beltloops and pins and the other for records....it also is easy to print the spreadsheets if you need to....but this way you can copy and paste the info from the worksheets and enter it and email it to whoever.....cubmaster den leader and such....saves on paper yet still keeps records...
May 22, 2012 - rick
i'm not so sure martial arts belt loops is prudent with scouting, the real belt loops that are missing is a camping and canoeing belt loops. that seems a little more in the spirit of scouting
May 23, 2012 - Jake Schafer
I've had a couple kids ask for a Lacrosse belt loop, but there isn't one available currently
May 23, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jake - see just above the comments for what to do about suggesting new belt loops.
Rick - the BSA restricts activities allowed in scouting based on age. Go to the 'Library' on the left, then click 'Age-Appropriate Scouting Activities Guidelines' and see the guidelines for canoeing and camping in the PDF there.
May 27, 2012 - Jon
From the guide to safe scouting. Martial arts are not approved scouting activities. With te exception of judo, aikido and tai chi. There could be a judo belt loop but there will not be a general karate belt loop.
Jun 02, 2012 - Thor Steck
Would like to see a belt loop for wrestling. You have some sports but then you have some that are questionably sports such as Marbles, Badminton, Tabletennis, etc. But why don't you have one for wrestling? To receive the Webelos Sportsman Req you have to receive belt loops in sports and team sports, my boy's have put in whole seasons wrestling but can't get the Sportsman Activity Badge without doing the other sports?
Jun 08, 2012 - Goldie
I, too, would like to see other sports included that are not. They do not include olympic sports, either. I taught fencing when I was a 4-H leader, and would love to do it for the boys now. However, I have permission to do demonstrations and let them handle the equipment but not to actually spar.
I also have some experience (not as an instructor) with both judo and keshekan karate....one of the oldest and most seriously taken of the forms. I do understand their premise. My instructor often said that no 10 year old should have a black belt. He said that to earn that takes years and years of DEDICATED, not once a week, training. Plus he NEVER taught the young ones (under 18 - said they didn't have the maturity to handle it) the kill techniques. They were asked to leave the room before he showed them, or had you learn them.
About shooting. Please don't diss this program. It was too hard to get it going. I'm an NRA/BSA RSO and NRA rifle, shotgun, and pistol instructor. Yes, it's more dangerous than martial arts in a way. However, it's more likely that some macho kid hurts another kid with martial arts than with a gun, because they are on a range with proper instruction with guns, not so once they learn marial arts moves.
And, actually, BSA is behind the times with the guns. 4=H allows pistols, all sorts of air guns, shotguns, rifles, etc. BSA only allows .22 rifles and shotguns, no pistols. They also have competitions, BSA does not. Venturing is another story - it DOES allow it.
Jun 18, 2012 - Griffin
There should be a RUGBY belt loop. Why is there a football belt loop, if football "originated" from rugby. Rugby is a growing sport and so many kids are bummed out because they have to play sports that are so popular they get bored of it. Rugby has unique characteristics that no oer sports have, and it should be good to open it up. You don't even have to have full contact, it could be flag or two hand touch.
Jun 19, 2012 - Sonja
Is there a special patch or award for a cubscout that earns all 53 Academics and Sports belt loops and/or pins? Someone told me they thought there was but I haven't seen anything like that.
I would also like to see a belt loop for Camping.
Jun 19, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Sonja - There's no "earned them all" patch for belt loops or pins. There is a Webelos Super Achiever patch for a Webelos scout that earns all activity pins.
Jun 19, 2012 - Lisa Bryan
3 belt loops I would like to see added would be 1) camping, 2) kayaking or canoeing, 3) geocaching.
Camping is an integral part of scouting. Kayaking or canoeing is an activity that most boys participate in. Geocaching would help boys learn to use a GPS -- which would be good with today's technology advances... also boys could participate in a very active family activity.
Jun 20, 2012 - Lorna-Web2
There should be a cooking beltloop/pin.I have a few boys who love to cook with parents.Maybe have one of the requirements international food (to try something new),make a dish at home and bring it to a meeting,bring in favourite receipes and make a cook book.
Jun 24, 2012 - Brian Cummings
I second that camping should have been one of the first belt loops out.
Jun 26, 2012 - Katie Byerly
I love this page. I have visited this site many times and never noticed the ability to add comments. I have submitted a request to the office for a birdwatching belt loop. And I totally agree with the wrestling and martial arts belt loops. Geocaching is the new and upcoming hobby and should be added too to keep Cub Scouting with the times.
Jun 28, 2012 - Meg Shields
I'd like to see a Surfing/Water Sports loop. We live in Florida and cannot do the Ski/Board sports loop, but my son surfs and bodyboards weekly. We here do that instead of snow activities...
Jun 30, 2012 - Jan Damsteegt DeJong
I would also like to see a belt loop for cooking/baking. These are definitely skills that boys need to have and most enjoy, especially the eating of the end results.
Jul 17, 2012 - Minh Nguyen
Can we have Software Developer and Web Developer Belt Loops or Merit Badges?
Learn a language and develop...
Software: a simple applet, game, or utility. requires: idea, solution(s), methods, pseudo-code, development, test scripts, and compilation
Web: a webpage and url. requires: content draft, layout draft, namespace registration, user input methods, pseudo-scripting, development, test scripts, and publish.
Or, both webpage and software development.
Jul 22, 2012 - Parent Hagen
My son just completed a week long camp and I cannot find anything for Cooking. I agree there should be a belt loop for this. It was one of the stations that was part of the camping experience. There is recognition for Camping, but only verbally, and I also agree this should change. If it's a requirement as part of his badge, then there should be an award. What about different belt loops or awards for the different type of camps? (i.e. Day Camp, resident camp, overnight, Twilight, etc).
As a side note, if Hockey is a belt loop then why not Air Hockey as a substitute for completion with the same belt loop?
Jul 24, 2012 - Andrew Le
I want a Rock Climbing Belt Loop, a History Belt Loop, and a Movies Belt Loop.
Jul 26, 2012 - pat o
I would like to see a team sport beltloop, this could replace flag football and baseball etc and cover tackle footbal, lacrosse, wrestling etc this would simplify things and give leaders some discression. Not sure it would help with martial arts.
Aug 04, 2012 - Jessica Shaw
My son has earned a lot of belt loops from tiger to bear. This year as a weblos does he have to earn them all over? I see a lot of the requirements for activity badges state "As a weblos earn..." It seems silly to have to earn them again.
Aug 04, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jessica - A scout doesn't have to earn all the belt loops. There are only a few required for Webelos activity badges.
When requirements say he needs to earn them as a Webelos, then he needs to earn them (again) as a Webelos.
Aug 08, 2012 - Sandra
I would like to see some of the belt loops and badge requirements updated. There seems to be a lot of "make a poster" type requirements. It seems outdated and a waste of paper and resources. I would think making a powerpoint or flyer on the computer would be an appropriate way to display the scout's knowledge without wasting resources. Since a video games belt loop and pin are now available, it seems some of the other requirements should utilize today's technology as a way to be greener and more interesting to the boys, as well as to give them a chance to practice skills they are more likely to utilize in the future as they are asked to demonstrate knowledge in school or future careers.
Aug 12, 2012 - Max
I would like to see a lacrosse belt loop added.
Aug 13, 2012 - John
We are changing our bylaws to have the scout parent provide proof to the leader in regard to earning a belt loop/pin. We will not care if it is paper or pdf to the leader, but we had one parent abuse the system, with two of his sons earning over 30 belt loops and many pins for each. We use the money from dues and fundraising to pay for our awards. We do not charge per kid per award in our Pack. We had to trust their word that they did that in a two month period, so know we have another check and balance for parents who abuse. I am all for motivated kids but 30+ awards? No way!
Am I wrong. They got their belt loops, were in 9 months, did not help fund raise and have moved out of town. I blame the parents.
Aug 13, 2012 - Scouter Paul
John - You might have a challenge in defining "proof" for each belt loop. How does a parent prove the scout played a game in water for the Swimming belt loop for example? Or, prove the scout found his heartbeat for Fitness? It's the parents' word that is the proof.
Another possibility is to set expectations that Pack dues includes up to X belt loops per year and families pay for anything over that. If Mr. Z wants his scout to have a belt full of bling, he can pay for it. But, I believe requiring more "proof" will be quite a hassle. I'd be interesting in hearing how you implement it.
Aug 13, 2012 - john
In some of the comments above, someone asked why do they need to print out these worksheets. We now ask the parents to complete them and turn them in, printed or pdf. They do not have to print out all of the 50+ worksheets, just the one they are working on and only the pages they need for their award, no pin no extra pages. There are several areas in which kids need to write something as part of the award. Now we see it vs. just taking their their word before and paying for 30 belt loops that are not likely in a 60 day period.
Aug 13, 2012 - Scouter Paul
John - ok, I see you're still using the parent as Akela but requiring that they put in extra effort to document and report the completion.
Aug 13, 2012 - Troy
FYI in the 1980's belt loops were called skill awards and there were 12 of them Camping, Citizenship, Communications, Community Living, Conservation, Cooking, Environment, Family Living, First Aid, Hiking, Physical Fitness and Swimming. not all of them had to be earned in cub scouts they were awards that traveled with us to boy scouts i understand the need to change with the times but i cant help thinking the more we try to move forward the further we move back
Aug 20, 2012 - Rhonda Norton
I would love to see a CPR beltloop. It is one of the most basic skills you can do to save a life and only takes hours to learn properly. It is also a class you could have your whole pack participate in. Also a cooking belt loop would be great. Again, it is a basic skill we start out with in the Tiger dens (at their level). Back to the basics...
Aug 20, 2012 - Todd Herman
For Kim Spaniel:
I like having paper copies on hand so I dont have to go online each time myself. I opened Word and copied/paste what I needed (no pins at this time just belt loop requirements). This put it all in one place and made it easy to refer. Just a thought. Good luck
Sep 03, 2012 - Misty
I too would like to see a belt loop/pin for martial arts (Karate, etc.). Karate has 4 different aspects to it. The first is plain and simple self-defense. The second is forms (no contact here). The third is sparring. The fourth is weapon forms (again no contact). If flag football can be allowed, why not Karate forms/weapon forms. I would definetly say kids could get hurt alot worse playing most of the sports already ok'd for a belt loop/pin than with karate forms/weapon forms.
I'd liked the BSA to reconsider the belt loop/pin for Karate and add a Karate Forms & Karate Weapon Forms option for the kids. As these are aspects of martial arts without any contact and should have the same consideration as other sports currently offered such as flag football (which by the way has more contact involved than karate forms). The BSA could also go onto state that this must be done at a martial arts studio to obtain the badge.
Sep 07, 2012 - Lisa Donigian
Those who have mentioned canoeing and Kayaking- theses are not BSA approved activities for cubs, unless at an official BSA camp with BSA trained supervision, like the BB gun and archery belt loops. Many (most?) cub scouts wouldn't have access to that, so I guess the BSA chooses sports that are more likely to be available to boys all over the country.
As for football, judo, rugby, that's easy. Ther are no belt loops for sports in which a scout has to touch another scout. (unless you count tagging someone out with a baseball, etc.)
As a geocaching merit badge counselor, I'd love to see a geocaching belt loop!
Sep 07, 2012 - Michael Dyer
My 7 year old son wanted to have a "belt loop summer." He completed 1 requirement from 1 belt loop about every 2-3 days all summer plus Day Camp which got him some more. At the end of summer he has added 13 loops and pins. He was motivated by himself to do them, I didn't push him. Belt loops are a good motivator to stay active in Cub Scouts.
There does not need to be a belt loop for every activity under the sun though. Some activities are not appropriate for kids that young. Others are Boy Scout merit badges which gives motivation to move up into Boy Scouting. I would love to see new ones added but they don't have to encompass every activity a kid does.
Sep 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Michael - Thanks for your refreshing view of this additional, optional program for Cub Scouts! I've sent you private email asking for your address so I can send a little gift to your son to say 'thanks' for using the program to make his summer productive and fun.
Sep 09, 2012 - Linguist Scouter
We have the same situation as John. A parent with two boys who just joined in May as Tiger Cubs saying they EACH completed 30 belt loops and 30 pins - to include Archery and BB Shooting which can only be earned at camps they did not attend.
Sep 10, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Linguist - So, what did your pack do about that? Did the pack pay $215.00 for 60 belt loops and 60 pins at $1.79 each?
Sep 11, 2012 - Heather C
Just my two cents here... I groaned at the fact that my boy had to earn a video game belt loop with his den. We discourage computer and video games in our home unless absolutely earned or on a long road trip. How is playing video games going to help the greater good? And yes, I know they learned courtesy while online, blah, blah, blah...
Sep 11, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Heather - Your boy did not HAVE TO earn any belt loop. The entire Academics and Sports program is an optional part of Cub Scouts and is outside of rank advancements (except for the few Webelos activities). And, in fact, all of Scouting is up to you to decide if your boy will participate or not. You are the parent, so don't have him to the video game belt loop if you don't want him to.
Sep 11, 2012 - Sandi
My son is a Webelo and works diligently at earning belt loops and pins; typically he works on one program every two weeks (sometimes every week). We usually print out both the belt loop and pin requirements and accomplish simultaneously. I was informed by our Pack Leader that he could not longer do this. He would have to accomplish his belt loop first then the following year work on the pin. Huh?!? Can someone clarify for me??? We pay for all the additional belt loops and pins, so this is not the issue.
Sep 12, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Sandi - Yes, I can clarify - that is not a BSA rule.
Were you told 'Why' your son could no longer do that? If not, that's what I would do - find out the reason for this limitation from the person that said it. Maybe you misunderstood the statement.
If not, it sounds like that person has made up some rule because there's nothing like that in the Academics and Sports Program Guide (which you can buy at the scout shop or view online crowriver.nsbsa.org/Resources.aspx)
Sep 12, 2012 - Linguist Scouter
I'll let you know what we decide. The pack committee is argu... er, discussing it right now.
Sep 12, 2012 - Jennifer
We would like to see a recycling belt loop. This summer our pack collected aluminum cans for recycling with the proceeds going to buy food for an orphanage. We hoped to collect just 1000 cans but we ended up with almost 6000 cans and we have a pretty small pack. It would have been nice to reward the boys with a belt loop for their effort. And to help encourage recycling throughout our homes and communities starting at a young age.
Sep 13, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jennifer - There is a "Conservation Good Turn" and "World Conservation Award" available to recognize your scouts for recycling and other conservation efforts. You can read about them in the 'Awards' section of this site.
Sep 13, 2012 - Gretchen
My son is a diver, has been on both a dive team and a trampoline team. both of these are olympic sports, and there is no contact with other kids. Can anyone tell me why these are not sports belt loops? All kids have different physical gifts, but it's sad they are not recognized for it. And to constitute as a sport shouldn't your heart rate have to increase even a little? Marbles? Maybe 60 years ago...
Sep 16, 2012 - Valerie
Often our den completes beltloops as a "home" activity. Over the summer I would send out the information on one beltloop and pin/month and it was wonderful to see the scouts stay active and involved. As for posters, we have found creative ways to complete the posters online! Glogter is one of my favorite although it is probably too difficult for Tigers. But even tigers can use clip art in a word document to create a poster. Nice and easy and keeps them engaged.
Sep 17, 2012 - Nicole
In response to Rhonda's request for a CPR belt loop, there is an Emergency Prepardness Pin which scouts and scouters can earn. One of the listed activities is to take a CPR course.
I agree, a Cooking belt loop would be a nice addition. Also, what about a Dance belt loop?
Sep 18, 2012 - Jen
A yoga beltloop would be nice.
Sep 19, 2012 - Tyke
What is the wiggle room for belt loops/pins? Could the snow ski pin be awarded to a tiger cub for water skiing or tubing? Could the pphysical fitness loop be awarded to a tiger doing karate/judo in a supervised dojo? Could the family adventure loop be given to a tiger for a camping trip? The manual says that alterations can be accepted for special needs. Could the recycling pack get citizenship loops/pins? How does everyone handle the interpretation of the guidelines?
Sep 20, 2012 - Miriam Peterson
My son is about to finish his 53rd belt loop. Is there any way to get a statistic of how many cub scouts have earned all 53 belt loops? I would like to send it to the local newspaper. Thanks for the fantastic web site. It really helped make it happen.
Sep 21, 2012 - Rachael Daley
I love the worksheets! My Son and i work hard to complete belt loops and he LOVES showing them off! He goes to camp over the summer out of state when visiting his Dad and he loves to show other Scouts all he has worked so hard to accomplish! We are working on our 15th belt loop since he started last year.
I keep a binder with all the worksheets in it and we present the new ones at each pack meeting then he gets the awards at the following meeting.
I would love to see a workbook we could buy so we wouldn't have to keep printing them. That way parents will have it and kids can work on the requirements at meeting togeher!
Sep 23, 2012 - Kelly Winfree
Instead of a martial arts or karate badge, how about a self-defense badge, which could include the "acceptable" versions of martial arts. My husband has been teaching for over 20 years and has never had an extreme injury to himself or his students. Or, as another option, you could just rule out "full-contact" martials arts, since most programs do point-sparring. In point-sparring a major component is controlling your power and making sure that you are NOT injuring your partner. I would hate for so many to miss out on this important sport.
Sep 24, 2012 - Jorine Campopiano
I would like to see a running loop added. My den is participating in a kids autism awareness race and I was dissapointed to see that there is not a loop specifically for running.
Sep 26, 2012 - cindy williams
My son would like to see a theater loop and pin. He is not big into sports but is big into the arts. The weblos have showman which includes the theater so would a loop be a possibility.
Sep 26, 2012 - Pam
Love the website, very informative.
I appreciated Kelly's comments and here's my input on a "martial arts" belt loop: if taught by a proper instructor in an authentic school, martial arts is all about body control and self-discipline...two very important aspects of maturity and lessons all children can benefit from. My son has been doing it for a year and has not even sparred once, they are focused on learning proper technique and self-control. Karate is the one sport he participates in because he needs the discipline and it would be great for him to get a belt loop just as his friends in soccer/basketball etc do.
BSA could avoid any issues with body contact by keeping requirements simple: 1. learn/tell den about the origins of martial arts 2. participate in a 1 hour class in a qualified school
3. invite a qualified instructor to visit the den and discuss the importance of self-discipline/body control
Sep 28, 2012 - Aneta
How about a belt loop in HISTORY? It would be nice to go to the museum or read and do a small project, and learn about history.
Sep 28, 2012 - Brian
Martial Arts belt loop - As many have said there are many forms to martial arts. The basic self defense (escapes from holds) and katas could be learned with little or no chance of injury. Every child should learn some of the basic hold escapes. As a parent and a leader I feel we have a responsibility to not only teach our children what to do to not get into dangerouse situations, but what to do to get away from them as well. Simple wrist/ choke / bear hug or lapel grab escapes could be part of a belt loop. I believe every manual has a section and resources on preventing child abuse, but we dontteach the kids the skills they may need. I'm sure there are many reputable dojos that would be willing to set up some classes geared towards scouting. Thank you for your time. Yours in Scouting.
Sep 29, 2012 - Jim
Dad of new cub scout here. Can someone explain in a just a few words the difference between belt loops and activity badges for Webelos? My son's Webelos book does a great job of explaining what activity badges are, but then gives just a passing mention and photo of a belt loop (i.e. "If you have already earned a belt loop for <whatever> you must earn it again for Webelos".) I'm not sure what the requirements are for belt loops or how they tie in with activity badges, which is what I thought the Webelos focus upon.
Another vote here too for defensive martial arts, seconding Brian's comments above. Requirements can be purely defensive in nature, or neutral as in forms/katas. No one is going to use kata skills to attack someone, but it builds the ability to think under physical and emotional pressure.
Sep 30, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jim - All the belt loops and pins in the Academics and Sports Program are listed at the top of this page and are links to individual pages. The page for each individual belt loop shows the requirements for the belt loop and pin.
A few Webelos activity badges require the scout to complete the requirements for a belt loop, as a Webelos.
Sep 30, 2012 - John
We ran into this same issue with overachievers and the real cost of scouting. We simply budget each scout a number of belt loops each fiscal year. The Pack provides 3 belt loops earned at the den/family level - above this limit is up to the family. Any belt loops earned at Pack events (about three a year) and summer camps do not deduct from this total.
The most important thing we have found is educating your parents and den leaders - some do not know how much awards cost others have no idea where the money comes from. At round up we include a rundown of our budget. We also devote a Leader meeting each year informing leader of awards they might not be aware of - but also stressing the overall cost of this aspect of the scouting program.
Sep 30, 2012 - Laura
I really like this site! I just cut and paste the belt loop criteria my son wants to earn into a word doc, and then print it off for his den leader at awards time.
He is really interested in Native Americans. I don't know what is explored further up the line, but he's a Webelo, and I don't see any belt loops or pins to promote exploration of them. There are allowances to explore cultures and heritages, but nothing specifically for Native Americans. Surely that's an academic belt loop with adding.
Oct 02, 2012 - Mike
I just learned about a free App for smartphones, called BSA on the go. It has all the belt loop and pin requirements. It will allow you to track your childs progress on your phone or your computer(if you use google play). It will also track achievements for your bobcat to your boyscout. Even covers adventure scouts and more.
Oct 04, 2012 - Michelle
Why does it appear that flag football is the only sports loop that requires e scout to explain the rules to the den. It seems all the others just require the scout to explain rules to their parent/leader...just curious.
Oct 05, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Michelle - Geology and Math also ask the scout to explain to his den. Some others, such as Hocky and Horse, don't specify 'who' the scout needs to explain to. I expect the wording was just not compared closely to other belt loops when those requirements were written.
Oct 06, 2012 - Dawn
For the poster requirement, we just went ahead and used powerpoint, but there isn't access for sites like Prezi where the den meets. Flyers or booklets instead of posters would be greener and cheaper for kids without laptops. Initially expensive start up activities, like geocaching and rock climbing, should be optional pin activities within a general belt loop requirement. Geocaching already is an option for the Hiking pin. If there was a "group sport" belt loop, rock climbing could be part of an "individual sport" belt loop.
Oct 09, 2012 - Doug C
I would like to see a belt loop for using a GPS which includes geocaching. These are fun and useful activities for the boys to do and my den really enjoyed doing this. GPS is an important component of navigation now and into the future.
Oct 11, 2012 - Heather O.
Our son is very interested in fighter jets. We have recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a group of F-16 pilots from North Carolina, talk about their training, tour the training area and airplanes. Our leader said that there is more than likely a patch, pin or loop that this could count towards but I am not finding one. Any suggestions on whether this could count towards something?
Oct 11, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Heather - Besides counting towards having a way cool adventure, I can't think of any award. There is a 'Take Flight' patch at ScoutStuff.org which you might be able to purchase and give to the scouts as a memento.
Oct 14, 2012 - Laura Brady
I just agreed to be my sons tiger den leader and am lost help please
Oct 15, 2012 - Brad
This site is a great resource for everything Tiger. It seems overwhelming but it's really not. The biggest thing with Tigers is keeping it fun and involving the families.
If your Cubmaster has the Den & Pack Planning Guide there are step by step, week by week meeting plans that you can go off of.
The biggest thing is to have fun with the boys.
Oct 16, 2012 - Michael
Seeing so many folks bent on getting martial arts loops and pins need to rethink the logic there. Too many have considered it an "Art", not a sport. Underneath it all I see folks wanting more bling for there kids for doing activities beyond Scouting. My kids mow the grass, but I don't see a need for a Mowers' loop. If we keep getting all these needless ideas than what's next MMA loops? Cubbies bungie jumping? Maybe some medival sword play.. These are our kids, we like to praise them for everything they do. We just get carried away with it.
Oct 18, 2012 - MomOfAllTrades
@ Michael....I totally agree with you. These parents think their kids can just earn anything outside of scouting. I'm not agreeing on some of them, but the one that really rubs me the wrong way is "Video Games"...really? This is the most ridicules award out there!!!
Oct 19, 2012 - sarai
For these loops or pins, is this something that is awarded to the scout only from the Den Leader, or is it something that Im responsible to reward to the scout? I don't mind financially providing for the loops/pins, just didnt know if its only the Den leader that awards these.
Oct 19, 2012 - Patrick
I would like to see a belt loop for Hamm Raido. We do Jamboree on the Air every year and the three requirments for the belt look would be simple to create.
Oct 20, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Sarai - Procuring awards and rank recognition is the job of the Pack and specifically the Pack Advancement Chair, so records are kept for each scout. Den Leaders may present recognition items, but the Pack should acquire them.
The belt loop program is an optional part of Cub Scouting (except for a few belt loops required for Webelos) so Packs handle the expenses differently. Some Packs pay for all belt loops and pins earned, others pay for a set number per scout per year, others have parents pay for all. So, check with your Cubmaster, Den Leader, or Advancement Chair to find out how your Pack does it.
Oct 21, 2012 - Benjamin
Interesting discussion here and I respect that the Scouting authorities have to balance accommodating individual parent and child interests with the general goals of Scouting. I was initially mortified that 'Video Games' was included as a Scout-endorsed physical or mental fitness, but then I read the requirements which weighed more to limiting gaming time that commending it. Still, that's like having an Ice Cream belt clip and the requirements are that you should explain why broccoli and whole grain pasta are preferable for one's dinner entree.
In any event, we respectfully ask that you add wrestling, which is a widely practiced sport among the primary school set in our home state of Pennsylvania.
Oct 22, 2012 - Kelly
Does anyone know if they sell something that prevents the belt loops from sliding off the belts?? My boys lose all their loops everytime they try to put their belts on!!
Oct 23, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Thanks to visitors that have voiced their opinion that Martial Arts should be included in the Academics and Sports program.
Adding a comment here makes no difference in making that happen. Please go to the top of the page and read how to request a new topic.
From here forward, I plan to just delete martial arts comments since the point has been amply made. Thanks.
Oct 23, 2012 - Michael
on the Video Game loop. I actually think it's fine. While LOTS of our kids play them, how many are truly suitable for their ago group? Before you make a judgement on a good/bad loop or badge, please please please, take the time to read the requirements. I'm making my sons go thru this one now and one has already decided to drop a few games because it was out of his age group. This is a great way to get kids accountable for the games they play and the parents who let them play games that aren't suitable for them to being with.
to Kelly - Try some electrical tape wrapped a few times around the belt near the closest loop. That worked way back in the day when I was in Cubs. Or you can just crimp the back tabs in a bit to grab better.
Oct 23, 2012 - Anthony
For Kelly: Rubber bands also work nicely although not as stylish. You could also put the bands on the back of the loops and tie several together.
There are many packs and troops that do the right things and then some not quite right. All in all its a learning process for the kids and parents. BSA is all about the scouts and skills they need to lead. And scouts should be recognized for their achievements as well as the fun stuff. Keep the boys interested and soon you'll have a pack that becomes lifelong friends. And hopefully a few quality Eagles will emerge.
This is an excellent site and helpful resource.
Oct 29, 2012 - Bobbie
I just recently found out that our Council also does not track belt loops/pins. I have been using a program called Pack Master that tracks everything for the Cubs/Webelos from achievements to electives to belt loops to anything you want to include there. It is a small price for the Pack to pay to keep track of everything (of course, our Pack does not pay for it; I do). It keeps the questions under control if you can print out a report for each of the scouts. Also, our budget allocates $40 per year for belt loops/pins. Some scouts spend it all; some don't. Make sure it is included in your Bylaws along with the fact that parents buy all duplicate loops/pins (if that is what your Pack does). Our district does Advance-O-Rees for the Cubs to earn up to 5 belt loops/pins in a day; they come back with "blue cards" that they submit to their den leaders. It is the den leaders responsibility to submit them to the Advancement Chair. Webelos earn 3 activity badges.
Oct 29, 2012 - Bobbie
Webelos earn 3 activity badges a day during that same Advance-O-Ree event. It is a wonderful opportunity for all the scouts to earn more than one at a time. We hold one in the Spring and another in the Fall giving each Scout the opportunity to earn up to 10 belt loops/year and Webelos can earn up to 6 activity badges. The other 10 belt loops can be earned in the dens, with parents, or in other activities. The same applies to the Webelos and their Activity badges.
Nov 01, 2012 - Martha
For those who don't see their child's sport represented- Would it work to have an individual sportsman loop and a team sportsman loop? Most loops seem to have 3 requirements, so they could be 1- explain the rules of your sport, 2- maintain a conditioning or practice schedule for 2 weeks for your sport, 3- participate in a game, match, or other event for your sport. Sounds like a good compromise to me. The pins would be more difficult to define though.
Nov 05, 2012 - Kaliph
I would like to see the hockey belt loop updated so that street hockey would be an acceptable alternative. Or alternatively, create a street hockey belt loop.
I would suspect gathering the necessary equipment makes this belt loop practically unobtainable for the vast majority of the country.
I'm thinking of doing this with my den and while I could scrounge up goals, sticks, and street hockey balls, scrounging up skates for 15 boys, not all of whom can skate, is a deal breaker.
I think it'd be a fun activity for the boys that they've likely never tried before.
Nov 06, 2012 - Erick J
Goto your myscouting.org account and on left side click INTERNET ADVANCEMENT. In there you can keep track of the Packs Rank, Awards and Belt Loops. Just contact your Council D.E. and they can give the log in info need per each pack.
Nov 07, 2012 - Papio Tom
Scouting, IMHO, is about building core character values, reinforcing the parents' role... having the kids do things outside their comfort zone, facing and overcoming obstacles, exploring new things and learning a little along the way. Fun, with a purpose.
Badges, beads, and belt loops are given to recognize achievement. Awarding a belt loop for "Stuff my kid does anyway" seems to me kind of meaningless-- and the boys are smart enough to know it.
There should be a martial arts belt loop? For achievement in martial arts, the dojo gives my son a whole new belt!
Nov 07, 2012 - Papio Tom
@Kaliph-- do it anyway. They'd be exploring a new thing, learning a little, interacting, and building character. If the boys go home all excited, saying, "Cub Scouts was fun! We played this cool new game and it was hilarious! I wanna do that again!", then it was its own reward... do they really NEED a belt loop?
(And explaining this at a Pack meeting makes you look like an Awesome Teacher rather than just a Trinket-Giver.) Just my opinion...
Nov 07, 2012 - Rob C
My son recently completed three courses on a cub camp. It is not clear how someone gets a belt loop. Do you order them here. Does someone give them out at the cub meeting?
Why isn't this basic information at the top of this page?
Nov 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Rob - Good for your son. I hope he enjoyed camp.
Your questions are not answered on this page because each Pack can implement this optional part of Cub Scouting however they'd like.
So, contact your son's Cubmaster, Den Leader, or Advancement Chair and find out how your son's Pack handles the ordering and presenting of belt loops.
Nov 07, 2012 - Kim
I would love to see a generic individual sport belt loop/ pin and a team sport belt loop/pin. I think this way scouts can be recognized for the extra activities they spend time on and get recognition from scouting. This shows that these other activities are also important to building skills for life.
This would allow for scouts whose parents choose to put them in sports that aren't in this program to still reward their child the same way that other sports are.
Nov 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Kim - You (and a bunch of other folks) are missing the goal of the Academics and Sports Program. It is to provide opportunities for scouts to improve scholarship, develop sportsmanship, and explore new games with an emphasize on trying new things. It is NOT to reward a boy because he's on a soccer team, nor because he's a grand master chess player or has painted still lifes since he was three. The intend is to encourage him to try soccer, learn about chess, and see how fun it is to start drawing.
Nov 07, 2012 - Holly
For the gymnastics belt loop, why do they need do all the appratuases in order to achieve this award. My Son is in gymnastics and they don't start them on the bars till they are older. So how do the boys who want to try it out earn it because without proper training they can not use the apparautses.
Nov 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Holly - Scouts do not need to do "all the apparatuses" - just 3 of the 6 listed. Please read the requirements for the Gymnastics belt loop again and you should see that it is not necessary to do any bars to earn the belt loop.
Nov 08, 2012 - tgibson
Scouter Paul - i like your response to Kim and others. I deal with that as well amongst the parents in our group. It is sometimes difficult to get them to understand that the scouts is not simply a reward 'gimme' system but a life path for the youth to teach them importance of community, God, health, and purpose and to encourage them to try new things, explore their community and country and world, and to challenge themselves to push harder and further than they normally would.
Nov 13, 2012 - lauren tarantino
What about a belt loop for archaeology? It would be great especially for this upcoming summer day camp.
Nov 15, 2012 - michelle hodges
i know that theres a belt loop for wildlife conservation i and my son think there should be one for hunting and foriging if we want them to be some what self sufitiiant that is trait they need to know. if anything ever happened it is always a good thing to how to find food and what is ok to eat in the wilderness
Nov 17, 2012 - Bob
My six year old and I are loving the belt loops. There is something for everyone plus it is an incentive to try a few new things together. Keep up the good work BSA!
Nov 21, 2012 - Gary G
I work for a professional hockey team and we are having a scout night with hockey basketball and one more activity set up for participants to complete. I was wondering if there were activities people would want to have included, ideas for those participating and those who arent, or any suggestions to make this event better. I am not familiar with boy scouts which is why I am writing on this board.
Any suggestions For Concourse activities, ways for scouts to earn badges, ideas for those who are not participating to keep entertained (we have a lot of space) would be greatly appreciated
Nov 26, 2012 - Tiffany
You can always order patches online from someplace like advantageemblem.com if you do a special activity/event. The patches can't go on the uniform (but, neither can many other things the boys earn). They have a variety of outdoor cooking patches as well as most other activities you can imagine. I would only do them for a special event though, not just because they baked cookies at home on their own. You do need to scroll through though as many are oriented to Girl Scouts also.
Nov 29, 2012 - Ann
Hi - can you tell me what belt loops a Webelo is REQUIRED to earn? I saw an earlier post that said "A few Webelos activity badges require the scout to complete the requirements for a belt loop, as a Webelo." Can you list the required belt loops for me? Thanks!
Nov 29, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Ann - To earn the Webelos rank, a scout needs to complete the Citizen activity badge and one of its requirements is to earn the Citizenship belt loop. That is the only required belt loop to earn Webelos rank or Arrow of Light.
But, the scout also chooses other activity badges to do in order to earn rank. Depending on which ones he chooses, he may do other belt loops.
Citizen and Sportsman are the only two badges that require earning a belt loop.
These badges have requirements that include a belt loop but are not mandatory to earn the badge: Aquanaut, Athlete, Artist, Scholar, Showman, Traveler, Communicator, Family Member, Engineer, Scientist, Geologist, Naturalist
These badges have no belt loop requirements: Fitness, Readyman, Craftsman, Handyman, Forester, Outdoorsman
PS: There is no "Webelo" - it is always "Webelos", even just one scout.
Dec 04, 2012 - Matthew
I keep reading about belt loop and pin activity sugestions; and I begin to wonder if these sugestions are really coming from CUB scout parents.
I have four boys, a pre schooler, a Tiger, a Wolf and a Webelos scout. None of my boys are prepared to participate in some of the sugested activities. Like tackle football, organized wrestling, karate, ect...
I would submit that we need to remember these boys are all still young boys. Cub Scouting takes a boy from first to fifth grade. Leave the 'advanced' activities for the Boy Scouts. Orienteering and GeoCaching, Karate, midle school sports programs are NOT appropriate for elementary school children.
Dec 05, 2012 - Mike
I have to disagree, my yougest son is a tiger scout and is in his second year of wrestling. Our oldest boy who is a Webelos started aikido in first grade. In Boys Life (Dec 2012) there was a story of a wolf scout that climbed Mt. Whitney so I'm fairly sure that he would be able to handle an orinteering or GeoCaching if that was his cup of tee.
Now my point isn't that these things should or should not be belt loop activities, just that for some boys these are age appropriate activities.
Dec 06, 2012 - Aaron
I'm sorry for not taking the time to read all the comments but I read a good number an saw the suggestion for geocaching. I do agree Geocaching and orinteering would be great addtions to the list but would also like to point out there are patches specifically for these already. We brought our Den last year GeoCaching (which our Tigers loved Matthew) and we awarded each boy with a patch with the loop on the back they could display under their shirt pocket till they completed another similar activity. Not every award needs to be a loop or a pin sometimes a patch does the trick to make them feel like they accomplished something. However, I know someone is going to say the age issue to me on this suggestions but I do wish there was something for such hands on activites like woodworking or auto or something. I tought my son today how to change a tire and oil and first question he asked was can I get a belt loop for this? unfortunately at his age I can't find anything for him.
Dec 06, 2012 - Karen
I agree that cooking would be great. Maybe more belt loops that cater to kids that are not as physical as others. Kids that are shy and like to do things on their own. Maybe even an individual project belt loop for talents that just don't fit in anywhere else. We finished all the academic belt loops in our Tiger year and now we're slowing working our way through the physical ones. My son isn't having that much fun anymore. I want him to stick with it but it doesn't seem to get much better and our leaders don't like to listen to new ideas AT ALL.
Dec 07, 2012 - Rick
I commend you and your son for completeing all the academic belt loops. That is quite a feat. I have several scouts in my den that are not involved in sports so they have trouble with the sports belt loops as well. What I did was I invited them over to my house and we did several of them together as a Den. Therefore they can be with the other boys and learn as well. Remember they only need to "Do their Best". It might also encourage them to try other sports activities. I approach it as if they try it then they might like it.
Dec 08, 2012 - Andy McKnight, Leader
Don't forget to have your boys look up the NOVA awards! My non-athletic boys are the first in our state to have earned these!
Dec 16, 2012 - Misty
Like Mike, I have to disagree with you. I am a parent of a Tiger scout who has been involved with Karate since he was 3. I believe the main purpose of the belt loops are to expose the boys to various different things. It is up to us as the parents to determine what items our boys are able and should do.
I do agree with you that each boy is ready to do different activities at different ages and for some boys it may not be until they are in boy scouts, while for some it may be Tigers or Webelos.
Dec 17, 2012 - Aimee
My son went to camp splitrock for a summer and earned swimming, hiking, fishing, archery, and did shoot BB guns over the past few months also. I also agree with you all that we should have a Geocaching loop-our family is very into that. Also a communications one would be great. Knowing how to use a HAM radio and proper radio etiquette could save a life on a camp trip. Cooking is also a great idea.
Dec 18, 2012 - Michelle Reedenauer
How about a theatre belt loop? Or public speaking? It could include attending a performance, participating in a skit at a pack meeting, researching a bit about a famous playwrite...
I also support a rock climing and camping belt loop.
Dec 20, 2012 - Rick
Probably the closest thing to theater would be Wolf item 10f.
Attend a concert, a play, or other live program with your family.
Jan 01, 2013 - Heather Mauney
I would love to see a cooking belt loop. My son is a Bear and there are a couple of different requirements that call for cooking and/or preparing food. A cooking belt loop would be great!
Jan 03, 2013 - G. Scott McConnell
I understand there is a space exploration merit badge, is there something similar for cub scouting like launching a model rocket and understanding how it works?
What are BSA leadership thoughts about demonstrating as a Cub Scout activity model rockets?
Jan 03, 2013 - Scouter Paul
G. Scott - Lots of Packs hold rocket launches as a Pack activity. There is a Space Derby for Cub Scouts, STEM awards, and Science belt loop, but no model rocket award.
Jan 07, 2013 - Brinna
Can you do substitutions for belt loops like instead of skiing or snowboarding can you do sledding?
Can you do bowling or table tennis on the xbox or wii,
so you don't have to spend the money?
Jan 25, 2013 - Kari
I am new to Boy Scouts. Can a Tiger Cub Scout earn belt loops? I am seeing reference in the paperwork to "Cub Scout" would this count Tiger, Wolf or Bear Cub Scout? Some of the items, like Pet Care, would be a great incentive for my Tiger Cub Scout to practice responsibility.
Jan 26, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Kari - Yes, Tigers can earn belt loops and pins.
Jan 29, 2013 - Melody
As a Bear den leader and parent of a Tiger, Bear, and two Eagle Scouts, I have to say, there are a lot of requests for Cubs to earn belt loops for activities already in place for Boy Scouts. Parents, be patient! Work with your boys on the available belt loops and when they get to Boy Scouts, they will be able to choose from over 100 merit badges that explore everything from Archeology to Cooking to Water Sports. If they had the same number of belt loops as there are merit badges, what incentive would there be to continue the Program? Scouter Paul has a list of all Boy Scout merit badges on this site.
Jan 30, 2013 - Scout mom
@Jessica Shaw --
My son also had earned many belt loops as tiger-bear so when he became a webelos and had to earn them over again, we went the pin route. So for example, he earned the citizenship pin instead of earning the citizen belt loop for a 2nd time -- game him another award for his work, even though he can't wear it on his uniform.
Just an idea.
Feb 04, 2013 - Rachael Daley
WOW i just learned this week that Boy Scouts Used to be Armed!!! with 22's! Rugger (I Think) Still makes the BSA riffle! I know what I am getting my son for his Birthday! We are all avid marksmen in my house and spend our weekends on the range. I wanted to get my son a 22 now i can get him one with some extra meaning! and the 2010 Commerative on is stunning he joined in 2010... I think that will make an amazing gift once he makes Eagle!
Feb 13, 2013 - Doug
I'm a Wolf cub leader and would like to get my den involved in this.
What is the process for me to aquire the belt loops once the boys have completed the requirements?
Feb 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Doug - Use the Den Recognition Report linked above and turn it in to your Pack's advancement chairperson. If that person doesn't exist, then contact your Cubmaster. Someone will need to go to the local scout shop and purchase the belt loops.
Feb 13, 2013 - Albert
How do you prove to the den leader that you got all the requirements?
Feb 14, 2013 - Doug
Thanks, these are great den activities too. We started with Collecting since it's also a wolf cub achievment.
Feb 15, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Albert - Akela's word is the truth. In Cub Scouts, the scout's parent is Akela. So, if the scout's parent says Johnny completed all the requirements, that's all it takes.
If I had a den parent tell me the scout completed all requirements for all the belt loops, or something else I just couldn't believe, we'd have a short discussion about the Cub Scout Ideals.
Feb 19, 2013 - Doug H.
I have a situation in my tiger den that i need some help/advice with.
One of the Tigers has completed 33 belt loops.
This is just too much for our pack to afford in belt loops for one kid in one meeting.
also what will this child do as a bear if he finishes his belt loops as a wolf.
How can I explain to the tiger den parents and leaders as a group that its not a contest and that they should enjoy the time spent exploring these belt loops with there children and families and not to look at it as a race.
Is there some sort of super cub scout belt loop achievement award that I dont know about?
Feb 19, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Doug - Sounds like that Tiger has been very busy!
It's unfortunate that this program was not explained adequately to the den leaders before such a situation occurred. It doesn't sound fair to now tell the scout that the pack won't provide recognition items just because he was more active than assumed.
In the Academics and Sports Program Guide, page #1, it describes the concepts and guidelines for the program. Then, on page #2, it states "The pack leaders should also define how costs of the program are budgeted, how requirements will be verified, ...".
It's pretty simple to explain it to the adults - just tell them! It sounds like the problem is that no one told them earlier.
As a Bear, that scout can do all the belt loops again. There's no limit to the number of times a belt loop can be earned. If you don't set expectations now, you might be spending $$$$ on loops and pins for one scout.
There is no Super belt loop award.
Get, and read, the Program Guide.
Feb 24, 2013 - Chris
Hello, Id like to ask a question. My son has been in Cub Scouts for about 5 years now. Started as a Tiger and is now a Weblo. He has earned 32 Belt loops and 13 pins in almost 5 years. Every time we have free time we pick an activity and accomplish it. I want to keep the awards coming in for him to keep him interested and he has EARNED them all. Should I stop. Or keep going. I want him to earn as many awards as he wants to in his Cub Scouts. Should I keep on going or stop.
Feb 24, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Chris - That's an easy one. Keep Going!
If he enjoys the activities, the time with you, the 'bling', and it's making his scouting time better, then Keep Going.
Feb 25, 2013 - Cub Scout Mom
Is there a First Aid activity/belt loop for a group of Bear Scouts? I am having trouble loacating one, and we have an EMT coming to our next meeting. I would love to incorporate this into our meeting. thanks!
Feb 25, 2013 - Scouter Paul
CSM - There is no belt loop, but the Emergency Preparedness award
builds on the Bear "Be Ready" achievement. That might be something your scouts could work on.
Mar 05, 2013 - David
You may want to look at the Henry Rifles too.
They have an Eagle, Venturing, Centennial, and Philmont tribute rifles.
Also there are business's that do custom work with computer controlled routers.
Mar 07, 2013 - Rick
The good thing about Emergency Preparedness is that the requirements change every year the boys advance so they are not receiving an additional pin, they are getting more training, making them better prepared.
Mar 08, 2013 - HIlary
I would love to see a cooking belt loop! I have one baker and one Chef. and I would like them to understand that very acompished men can cook and do!
Mar 08, 2013 - Mike
Hilary, fyi we have found that the nutrition belt loop is a good fit for young chefs in the Den.
Mar 10, 2013 - Shaley
I completely understand a parent's wish, and a Cub Scout's wish, to receive a cool award for all the sports and activities he might be involved in. However, my understanding is that that is not really what the program is about. My son has earned his Hockey BL because he plays on a hockey team. However, he's TRIED many, many other activiteis and sports which we would NEVER have thought about trying--ultimate frisbee?--and had lots of fun with them--studying weather, for instance--because there are belt loops for those activites. My older son became an avid chess player at the age of eight because of a beltloop activity. None of the adults in our family are big players, but because of this program, he has LEARNED about a new activity, and for that, I am thankful for it. And I'm okay with the fact that he doesn't get to wear a beltloop for Tang Soo Do.
Mar 18, 2013 - Robert Kinney
I was told by our awards chairman that pins cannot be earned by Tigers. Is this true or do they first have to have their Tiger Badge before earning them? Of course I may be mistaken, maybe it is the case that the pack will not pay for pins, only belt loops and awards that can be worn on the uniform.
Mar 19, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Robert - If you are talking about this Academics and Sports Program belt loops and pins, then your awards chair is incorrect. Belt loops and pins can be earned by any Cub Scout.
Mar 31, 2013 - Steve
Can a Cub Scout earn loops and pins after Crossover ?
Mar 31, 2013 - Scouter Paul
All registerred Cub Scouts can participate in the Academics and Sports Program. Once the Webelos completes the transfer paperwork to join a troop, he's a Boy Scout and no longer a Cub Scout.
A recognition ceremony is just a ceremony - it can happen any time and has no impact on the actual registration of a scout. Your pack 'could' have a cross-over ceremony in January and the Cub Scouts don't actually become Boy Scouts until March or April.
But, I've not know any scout that wanted to work on Cub stuff after he completed the cross-over ceremony. They all considered themselves Boy Scouts at that point and were ready to move forward to the next adventure.
Apr 02, 2013 - David
Scouter Paul do you think it is appropriate for wolf scouts to earn pins or is it best left for later years, maybe Webelos?
Also there is a decent app called 'BSA on the go' that has a fairly comprehensive list of all scouting requirements. Handy when the books go missing!
Apr 03, 2013 - Scouter Paul
David - I think scouts should do activities to earn all the recognition that they'd like to earn, at the time they are eligible to earn it. A boy might get interested in learning about Chess in 1st grade, and Photography in 5th grade. He can do those belt loops and pins that interest him whenever he'd like in Cub Scouts.
So, yes, I think it is appropriate for Wolf Scouts to earn pins.
Apr 05, 2013 - Tonya
What a wonderful site! My son is in his second year of cubs. The amount of information can sometimes be overwhelming. I love that on a rainy day or day off, my son and I can look through the electives and pick something meaningful and educational to complete. He is a driven earner! Thanks for the resources!
Apr 07, 2013 - Brian
I was wondering if there is a compilation PDF of all the loop / pin requirements that I can download rather than printing each page individually ?
Apr 09, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Brian - You can purchase the Academics and Sports Program Guide from your local Scout Shop or ScoutStuff.org and get everything.
May 01, 2013 - Katy
My son is a wolf and has completed 25 belt loops and pins as well as 90 electives. Whenever he has a break from school we work on one loop and pin for the length of time he would have been in school. He has found this to be both fun and challenging. I am curious if summer counts towards his wolf or towards his bear ranking though. Our pack does the award and crossover ceremony May 30th, but there are achievements for "summertime" activities. Which rank are these applied to?
P.S. our den leader does not know either.
May 01, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Katy - According to the Program Content folks at BSA national office, they would apply to his Bear rank since your pack starts the next year's program on June 1. It is up to the Pack to start the next program year at either the end of school or the start of school.
Jul 25, 2013 - Holly
A parent has asked me: If a Webelos scouts earns the Swimming belt loop towards Aquanaut can Swimming also count towards Sportsman, or is the Webelos scout required to choose a different loop to earn towards the Sportman Activity Pin?
I see on p 4 of the A&S Guide it reads "encourage boys to try a different requirements". My friend is asking for rules.. and there doesn't seem to be a rule.
Jul 25, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Holly - Yes, it can count towards both Aquanaut and Sportsman. It would sure be more fun and interesting for him to try a different one, though.
Jul 26, 2013 - Katie
Can the same belt loop be earned twice? For instance they do the bb and archery belt loop at day camp every year for each age group. I am just wondering if I am suppose to award it to the boys again who already have it?
Jul 26, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Katie - a scout can earn a belt loop as many times as he'd like. Why would a scout want to receive the archery belt loop more than once? I don't know.
Smart packs (or ones that have had issues in the past) have guidelines for financing this part of Cub Scouting - something like a maximum number of belt loops per scout per year, or only the first earning of a belt loop, or parents pay for all of their scout's belt loops and pins.
Jul 29, 2013 - Renee Madore
Are there any belt loops for the boys that do youth triathlons? I have not seen anything and was just curious. Thanks!
Jul 29, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Renee - no, there is not.
Jul 29, 2013 - Dave
I've read in the books and on this web sight that a Cub Scout can work on earning their belt loops with parants or in school. I worked with my son on a few as well as monitored ones that he would earn from school. When I handed in his requirements we were told that the payment for the belt loops would come out of his savings account from popcorn sales . The only ones that he would not have to pay for is the ones he earned with his pack. So how is it called earned if he has to pay for it?
Jul 30, 2013 - Renee Madore
@Dave we encourage all of our Scouts to earn them at home and as a Pack. We pay for all beltloops and pins and fundraise throughout the year to help the boys to not have to pay at all of pocket. Their scout account can be accessed for Scout related purchases such as uniforms, and cub scout supplies such as sleeping bags etc. for events/activities. I think each Pack is different but that is how we do it.
Oct 11, 2013 - Happy Hitchhiker
As a Tiger through Bear my son earned a lot of belt loops. This year he wants to earn the pin. I see on the requirements for the pin that you need to earn the belt loop. Does he need to do the belt loop requirements in addition to the pin requirements or does that mean at some point in time he should have earned the belt loop first?
Oct 11, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Happy - If he has earned a particular belt loop already, then he can go on to the pin requirements. If he has never earned a particular belt loop, then he should do the belt loop and pin requirements.
Oct 12, 2013 - Heather Wilbur
My son has earned many belt loops last year as a Tiger ... which his wolf pack is working on now .. he wanted to start doing the extra activities to earn the pins but was told that he can not earn pins till he is a webelo..is this so? just wondering cause if so he will not be earning any merits this year as a wolf
Oct 12, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Heather - That is incorrect. As it says at the top of this page, any Cub Scout can earn belt loops and pins.
Oct 24, 2013 - Steve
I saw earlier that someone asked if there was an award or some kind of recognition for a Cub who earns all 53 belt loops. The answer was no.
However, we all know there's a Super Achiever Award for a Webelos who earns all 20 pins.
While I agree that the Webelos achievement is great, and should be acknowledged, I wonder why the Cub who earns all 53 loops is not.
Not comparing the two, as there are only three achievements per loop, and more for the activity pins, but the level of effort is still substantial.
I have, and am the Den Leader for my Tiger and Bear sons, and my Tiger just earned his 20th loop. My Bear just earned his 45th loop, and has every intention of earning the last eight.
I wanted to celebrate the achievement at the Pack, but was saddedned to see that there is nothing 'official' to award him for his persistence and effort.
This isn't a question, more of a commentary, but hopefully the BSA can come up with something. It's only fair to the boys who've worked hard.
Oct 25, 2013 - Paula
Our oldest son earned all 53 belt loops and pins from the summer before he was in first grade until his bridging in the spring of his fifth grade year. He helped us create and build a special 106 Award that now hangs on his wall. It has all the beltloops and pins in it. Why not have your Super Scout create his own award! Congratulations on work well done. Enjoy Merit Badges to come as they work their way to Eagle Rank!
Nov 04, 2013 - E's mom
With a Webelo that loves to be recognized for his achievements I would love to see a camping and rock climbing belt. These are two things we do at least twice a month as a family.
BTW I don't think it's right for a scout to earn a beltloop or move on in scouts if they haven't done the work. Per our Cubmaster he is not going to be the badge police and everyone will earn and move on.
What exactly is this teaching our scouts? I guess it works to his advantage since his boys never attend any outings or events. Just my opinion.
Nov 04, 2013 - Arrggg
>BTW I don't think it's right for a scout to earn a beltloop or move on in scouts if they haven't done the work
Remember the Cub Scout motto: "Do Your Best"
If the Cub Scout truly does his best tring to complete the requirements then I believe they deserve the award. That said, I hate when Cub Scouts get awards for just breathing.
Nov 14, 2013 - Robin
As a parent, I wanted my son to stay involved in the off season, so when he because a Webelos I, I printed all of the belt loop and academic/sports pins worksheets. Yes, it probably was a waste of paper, but he works on all of them at the same time. We made 2 binders, one was red and one was green, the one's he was working on we put in the green binder and the one's he is not we have in the red binder. I don't have him fill out everything, but when he is done, we take them out and put them on the excel tracker spreadsheet as completed. Our Pack, will only pay for badge required belt loops, the rest are on us. I am about to go pickup 22 belt loops and 25 pins for all the hard work he's been doing for the last year and a half. We have even done some as a family like ultimate. I think it is great if a Scout can earn them all, but my boy can't ride a bike or roller skate to name two. So he won't be one of the 100% over achievers! Thanks!!!
Nov 21, 2013 - David
I have parents asking, in particular, about the baseball belt loop, as baseball is REALLY big in our town. Many of the kids have played in previous years, and I'm getting questions if this counts toward the award. I believe so, but I also don't want to turn them loose to thumb through the book to figure out everything the scouts have done and award them for it ASAP. I'm thinking about telling them to go perform the practice part again to promote the spirit of earning, but allowing previous activities performed to satisfy the other requirements. Thoughts? Thanks in advance.
Nov 22, 2013 - Jen
My son just received the video game belt loop and pin. I was surprised to see that the belt loop is silver, not the gold color of the other academic loops. Any idea why?
Nov 25, 2013 - Marc
After seeing so many posts regarding the passion of parents and the award system, I can proudly say that our pack does a great job focusing on new experiences, hands on activities, and public service. I know that the kids like awards, but this arms race between parents tends to stray from the mission of the scouts and results in an overly competitive environment. I suggest using a belt loop category to provide an opportunity for your scouts to see something new and to spend some quality time with friends or Akela.
Dec 04, 2013 - Jaki Spencer
I understand the desire for new beltloops, reflecting our changing society. It concerns me when parents or scouts become fixated on activities as a way to an award somethings can be done for the experience. ie. geocaching..it is always valuable to learn the skill...think how prepared they will be when they go on to Boy Scouts. Even if they earn no award, the activity is worth doing. Also if a unit wants to pursue a particular interest like martial arts or geocaching, they can always create their own patch to recognize the mastering of a particular skill. Let's make sure our youth do not forget the joy of learning/discovering something new just for the sheer joy of learning and mastering something new. Go forth, have fun, learn, grow and venture forth into new worlds of wonder.
It's not always about the badge.
Dec 09, 2013 - Amy Painter
I am learning so much. I am a new leader and struggling to stay focused and caught up (2 kids, work full time, PTO secretary). My husband stepped up to lead our bears, while I am leading our tigers (so basically I'm doing both). The boys love the belt loops but I love the ideas of having a weekly or monthly theme to help those boys whose parents may not be as engaged. Those belt loops feel GREAT to the boys who earn them. Seeing their proud faces make all this worth it. I had now idea there would be so much prep work ...and work period LOL.
Jan 03, 2014 - Yukon Jack
Greetings everyone! As many may have heard, in May 2015, the cub scouting program will be dropping the Law of the Pack and the Cub Scout Promise to align with the boy scout program by using the Scout Oath and Law. This is not the only change however. According to the Scouting Magazine's editor (blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/01/01/better-activities-simplified-advancement-coming-to-cub-scouting-in-2015/) other changes will be coming in May 2015 as well..including the END OF THE ACADEMICS & SPORTS PROGRAM. This means no more belt loops or A&S pins in May 2015. Other changes include: all new handbooks, webelos rank not required for AoL, and new immediate recognition devices (I conclude to replace the current 'progress towards ranks' emblem).
Just thought everyone would want to know. I'm posting this notice here as belt loops are quite commin and generate the most discussion and will reach the widest audience. Thank you for your time.
Jan 04, 2014 - Brandy Hudson
So is something going to replace the belt loops and pins?
Jan 05, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Brandy. Most likely not. Then the BSA says something is discontinued, there is likely no replacement, or it will be merged with something else. Frankly, I'm good with this change. Belt loops and pins are a distraction from rank advancement, citizenship (a la service projects and conservation), and outdoor survival. I'll post more from official sources as I find it, but it will be a while before we see much by way of details.
Jan 07, 2014 - Vikki
New to this page--which has been helpful as my son is a newer bear. I was a GS growing up, and my father an Eagle Scout so I'm happy he's become very involved. That being said, I was following the thread from the beginning and just read the comment about the upcoming changes. Updating/getting with the times is great. Simplification is always good. But I think losing awards altogether if that is the direction is a mistake. In real life, recognition or steps needed for advancement is a motivator and in some cases a simple requirement. You need to complete this prerequisite class for example before you can take the next level class. You need to get your brown belt before your black. And whether a child or adult, if an award drives you to learn new things and dig deeper, I don't see how that's bad. I *do* however see the point of some parents overstating what work was really done so their kid can collect as many loops or pins as possible. That's a shame-should have better oversight
Jan 08, 2014 - Tony Petruzzi
The ending of the Academics and Sports program will cause a major disruption in the BSA NOVA and Super NOVA awards process. Does anyone know how and when these STEM awards are going to be changed and what will replace the Academics and Sports program requirements?
Jan 08, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Tony - It's 18 months away, so don't look for any specifics any time soon. But, the NOVA awards are not the only other area effected. Wolf and Webelos advancement include belt loops, for example.
So, I expect the BSA will try to find all other areas that use the A&S program and update them appropriately. That means new handbooks and new award requirements.
Jan 08, 2014 - Elaine Giacomo
As a former Cubmaster who recently reassumed the position to save a failing pack, I can see the merits of the activity pins, but understand National's decision to discontinue them. I do not understand their decision to change the AOL requirements so that a boy needn't earn the Webelos badge. How is that possible?
Jan 13, 2014 - Eliza James
Scouter Paul, I read this page through, hoping to gain some insight into the system of awarding achievement patches, pins and belt loops. You said (directed at a comment by Kim) Nov 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
"Kim - You (and a bunch of other folks) are missing the goal of the Academics and Sports Program. It is to provide opportunities for scouts to improve scholarship, develop sportsmanship, and explore new games with an emphasize on trying new things. It is NOT to reward a boy because he's on a soccer team, nor because he's a grand master chess player or has painted still lifes since he was three. The intend is to encourage him to try soccer, learn about chess, and see how fun it is to start drawing." While I do agree that it is laudable to encourage "trying to new things" I seems laughable to discount the sportsmanship learned on a sports team, or the academic rigors of learning chess, only to reward a child for completing a checklist in academics or sports with a badge. Sad.
Jan 29, 2014 - TracyF
My son is working towards his wolf badge.He recently celebrated his birthday.He asked guest to donate $ to a local boy fighting his second battle with cancer.He helped raise $242! Was on local news.He didn't do this to be rewarded but Im proud of him! Is there any awards for anything like this?
Jan 29, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@TracyF - There's no BSA award for this good turn. But, there are lots of "generic emblem" patches at www.ScoutStuff.org that you could purchase and use as a recognition item for him.
Feb 02, 2014 - ray wong
I am disappointed to see the loop and pin program is going to be gone.
It is one of the main reasons that my sons join the cub scout.
I understand that some scouts don't want to spend their time on these, but let's keep it for those who are willing to put their efforts in to be rewarded!
Is there way for us to voice our feedback to the committee?
Feb 03, 2014 - Jessi Tiger Den Leader
We are having a snow day here in PA and what better to do on a snow day then scouting activities. I have planed out my den meeting with fellow leader and looked up a few worksheets for my tiger to work on. to my surprise I see by next year belt loops will be non existent. Makes me wonder why am I asking him to work on them now? This is disappointing! My son has only needed to "do his best" yet has done so much more then his best to complete activities why shouldn't he be recognized for this? What happens next year whey he has them and a new member says "how do I get that" Guess we will have to tell them the truth. "you can't"
Feb 03, 2014 - Kathryn
Do Scouts get any credit for attending reenactments or events at National Parks? We attended various National Parks & reenactments, as well as learned Native American history in our area in which they learned how to throw an atlatl, use Native American tools & helped dig out a canoe. This weekend we are also going to learn about pottery & create our own pottery at a State Park. Thanks for the help. :)
Feb 04, 2014 - Matt
Kathyrn, I know for Wolves and Bears there are achievements and electives involving Visiting parks and Native American studies. Also there may be a segment that your council offers. For example our council has a segment patch of an American Flag for attending a flag retirement ceremony at a Veterans Memorial Fire Ring with the American Legion.
Yours in Scouting,
Feb 05, 2014 - Dianna
I think it's a shame that the belt loops are going away. Council talks about instant recognition for the boys and now your taking away one of the ways we award them. This doesn't make sense. You have already taken away the recognition knots for the adults that the boys see and associate with the ribbons they see on soldiers. What's next?
Feb 07, 2014 - Phil
My son takes archery lessons and has competed in state tournaments through USA Archery. He owns his own bow and is serious about the sport. Why does he need to attend a scout camp in order to get his belt loop and pin? If a scout is involved in a legitimate class/coaching experience for some of the belt loops, why won't' that sufice?
Feb 08, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Phil - On the Archery belt loop page, it explains the reasoning. It is stated "<i>where there is properly trained supervision, and all guidelines for BSA shooting sports are implemented</i>". At a council-managed event, that can be ensured. At a pack, den, or individual level, there is no control by the BSA about what safety is in place, so archery is not allowed as a BSA activity at those levels.
BB Gun Shooting is the only other belt loop restricted in this way, for similar reasoning.
Feb 12, 2014 - Robb
This is a moot point, since loops & pins will be ending next year, but some of the snide remarks on here towards martial arts are ridiculous. The self-discipline, physical fitness, and confidence (my boys are really small for their age) taught is "not in the spirit of scouting"??? While sitting on the couch and playing Video Games is? That's backwards priorities.
Feb 14, 2014 - Paul
What is the reason for discontinuing the belt loops? In the 1970s, Scouting had belt loops called skill awards (never was a cub scout). Why not continue the recognition but make some real requirements related to scouting. My son just started Cub Scouts this year and I'm very disappointed in the lame requirements to earn the belt loops, pins, and even the achievement badges. In the 1970s, we talked about the "dumbing down" of scouting. It's now worse than we imagined. I know I'm comparing Boy Scouts to Cub Scouts but the programs should be similar in concept. The skill awards (belt loops) back then included citizenship, first aid, hiking, camping, conservation, environment, fitness, swimming…. the current cub scout belt loops include video games, chess, art…. but not even some basic scouting subjects like first aid, hiking, and camping?
Feb 14, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Paul - If you want to know the "why" of BSA program changes, you'll need to contact the national BSA program team directly. See the FAQ page for their address.
You are incorrect about the lack of subjects of belt loops. There are Hiking, Swimming, Conservation, Fitness, and Citizenship for example, as you can see in the list at the top of this page. First Aid and Camping skills are expanded as the scout gets older, as part of the Scouting program, not the belt loops.
Comparing Boy Scouts to Cub Scouts is a common mistake - the BSA has age-appropriate activity guidelines to be followed and your memory seems more focused on older scout activities. The Scouting program grows in challenge as the scouts get older.
Feb 14, 2014 - Sarah Butler
Long time reader, first time commenter. I too am saddened at the prospect of losing the Academics & Sports Program. I am one of those proud parents of an overachiever; my Bear Cub has completed every requirement & elective in his book every year since Tiger Cub, and his goal this year, in addition to completing the book, is to earn all the belt loops and pins as well. He is well on his way and continually pushes himself to apply Scouting to his everyday life. This experience has been integral in our home life and I hope there is some sort of similar instant-recognition program implemented as he transitions into Webelos. He really strives to set the "impossible" goals and then make it happen. Please keep us updated as to future developments or maybe provide a link where we can watch for upcoming information. Thank you very much for all you do. Yours In Scouting, Sarah Butler
Feb 16, 2014 - Thomas
I have more of a policy question. My son joined the cub scouts this year as a tiger cub, at the beginning of his first grade school year (Fall 2013). Is he able to be recognized (with belt loop/pins) for activities that he participated in during the Summer of 2013? Thanks in advance!
Feb 16, 2014 - Matt
My thoughts would be that your son would not be recognized for belt loop type activities prior to being a registered Scout. However, with Day camps, Outings, Local Sports participation, and the many Scout Functions of an active Pack he'll earn plenty of Awards. Take lots of pictures and get used to sewing ;). I hope you and your son enjoy the Scouting Trail as much as I do with my boys.
Yours In Scouting,
Feb 27, 2014 - Kristi
Here's my take on comments regarding patents doing 'too much' or kids being too focused on earning 'bling'
As the parent of 3 boys, with my youngest being a very hyperactive 6 y/o with a tendency to find trouble when he's not focused on something he's interested in, I turned to scouts for help! None of my other kids have been involved with scouting, as they don't have the same issues as their youngest brother. Since September he's done almost every elective in the tiger manual, received 6 belt loops, and completed requirements for 6 more! ADHD kids have a tendency to 'hyperfocus' on what interests them, and it's been a relief that scouting has offered positive, healthy, character building activities for him to be involved with.
So for you all who seem to BEGRUDGE these kids who are enthusiastic about earning rewards, I say STOP it! BCA may be the saving grace for kids like mine. If I have to pay extra for him to be REWARDED for participating in BCA instead of finding trouble, so be it
Mar 10, 2014 - Kim
I am a former den leader and still very active in both Cubs and Boys Scouts. I just have to say that Scouting has made a huge, positive impact on our family's lives and I am so grateful for it.
Just because the Belt Loop and Pin program is not going to be official after May 2015, it does not mean that you cannot still do them at home. (I always felt that the requirements should have been done at a den meeting, Cub Camp, or other Scout activity to count anyways. If your son is on a team or does another activity every week, he should be recognized by that organization - not BSA)
If your son wants to do all of the belt loop and pin activities, that is wonderful! Courage to try new things is definitely part of the Scouting spirit. How about challenging him to come up with some kind of poster, flag, vest, or binder at home to track all of the different activities he has done. Teach him he can take pride in his own accomplishments, not rely on others' acknowledgment for self-esteem :)