Sports and Academic Program Patch Academics and Sports Letter Sports Patch

Cub Scout
Academics and Sports Program

The information below was effective through May 31, 2015, when the Cub Scout advancement program was completely revised.

As part of the program changes, the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program, including all of the Belt Loops and Pins mentioned here, was discontinued as of June 1, 2015.

The Cub Scouts Academics and Sports 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). As in most activities in Cub Scouting, this is not meant to be a highly competitive program, instead, the boys are encouraged to DO THEIR BEST.

The Academic and Sports Program is an optional program for all Cub Scouts. It is not part of the normal requirements towards ranks, except where used in obtaining various Webelos activity badges and Wolf Elective 20 (Sports). Its purpose is to assist the Scouts in learning a new skill, or improving one they already posses.

A variety of recognition items are available for the boys (Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, or Webelos Scouts) who participate in the program. (Adults are NOT awarded with belt loops or pins.)

  • Belt loops are awarded to boys who complete the three belt loop requirements in an academic subject or sport. Academic belt loops are gold, and Sports belt loops are silver (except for the Archery and BB-gun Shooting belt loops, which are brass colored)
  • Pins are awarded to boys who choose to continue their involvement in an Academics or Sports area and earn the pin by meeting the appropriate requirements. Pins are worn on the Cub Scout Academic and Sports letter
  • The Academic and Sports letter (pictured above) is available to boys for displaying Academics and Sports pins that Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts earn. The letter, a large Blue and Gold "C", representing Cub Scouts can be worn on a sweater or jacket, or displayed or framed. It does NOT go on the uniform. There are NO specific requirements for earning the letter, as it is designed merely to display the pins.
  • There are also Pocket Certificates, Activity Medals, and Trophies, and the Participation Emblem (pictured above), which can be awarded as the Pack decides.

The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program is a supplemental enrichment program that complements the existing Cub Scout program. The Academics subjects and, Sports activities allow boys to learn new techniques, increase scholarship skills, develop sportsmanship - and have fun. Boys participating in the program will be recognized for enjoying teamwork, developing physical fitness, and discovering and building new talents. The Academics and Sports program encourages a boy to do his best.

Concepts and Guidelines

The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program is based on the following concepts and guidelines

  • The program supplements the existing advancement and recognition program for Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts; it does not replace it. The program is one element of Cub Scouting, as are den and pack meetings, day camp, and other activities.
  • All registered Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts have an opportunity to participate in the Academics and Sports program.
  • Participation may take place at home, with the family, or within a den, a pack, or the community.
  • Adult participation by a parent or adult relative, if possible, is strongly recommended for Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts and is required for Tiger Cubs.
  • Emphasis is placed on introducing a boy to a sport or academic subject, allowing him to participate in it and encouraging him to do his best. The Academics and Sports program focuses on learning and skill development, not winning.
  • The primary focus of the program is on scholarship and sportsmanship.
  • Each Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout will be presented with the appropriate recognition item for completing the requirements, whether he does so as an individual Scout, with his family, with his den or pack, or in his school or community.
  • The Academics portion of the program covers a variety of subjects, including art, chess, citizenship, communicating, computers, geography, heritages, mathematics, music, science, weather, and wildlife conservation.
  • The Sports portion of the program includes summer and winter sports, indoor and outdoor sports, active and less-active sports, and team and individual sports.
  • Cub Scouts who have disabilities may select their own activities and design their own fitness or academic program with the help of a physician, teacher, or parent.

The Purposes of Cub Scouting

The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program relates directly to the nine purposes of Cub Scouting:

  • Positively influencing a boy's character development and encouraging spiritual growth
  • Helping boys develop habits and attitudes of good citizenship
  • Encouraging good sportsmanship and pride in growing strong in mind and body
  • Improving understanding within the family
  • Strengthening the ability to get along with other boys and to respect other people
  • Fostering a sense of personal achievement by helping boys develop new interests and skills
  • Showing how to be helpful and do one's best
  • Providing fun and exciting new things to do
  • Preparing boys to become Boy Scouts

Cub Scout Academics Program

Currently, recognition can be earned for the following 25 academic areas:

Art, Astronomy, Chess, Citizenship, Collecting, Communicating, Computers, Disabilities Awareness, Family Travel, Geography, Geology, Good Manners, Heritages, Language and Culture, Map and Compass, Mathematics, Music, Nutrition, Pet Care, Photography, Reading and Writing, Science, Video Games, Weather, and Wildlife Conservation

The awards for Astronomy, Collecting, Language and Culture, Geology, and Map and Compass, were added in September, 2002.

The awards for Disabilities Awareness, Family Travel, Good Manners, Nutrition, Pet Care, Photography Reading and Writing, and Video Games were added in November, 2009.

Many of the Academic belt loops can be used by Webelos Scouts when working on various Activity Badges. To be used for Webelos Activity Badges, the belt loops must be earned WHILE a Webelos Scout, even if they had already been earned by the Cub Scout while a Tiger Cub, Wolf, or Bear. The Science belt loop is required for the Scientist Activity Badge, and the Citizenship belt loop is required for the Citizen Activity Badge, which is required for the Webelos Badge. The others are options for other pins, as follows:

Linkages between Academics Belt Loops and Webelos Activity Badges

This list contains only those Webelos Badges which have requirements that can (or must) be satisfied by earning one or more Academics Belt Loops.

For a list of ALL Webelos Activity Badges,Click Here.

Earn this
Academics Belt Loop
Get credit toward this
Webelos Activity Badge
Art Artist
Astronomy Scientist
Chess Scholar
Citizenship (required for Activity badge) Citizen
Communicating Communicator
Computers Communicator
Geography Traveler
Geology Geologist
Heritages Family Member
Language and Culture Scholar
Map and Compass Traveler
Mathematics Scholar or Engineer
Music Showman
Science (required for Activity badge) Scientist
Weather Scientist
Wildlife Conservation Naturalist

Cub Scout Sports Program

Currently, recognition can be earned for the following 28 sports:

Archery, BB-Gun, Badminton, Baseball. Basketball, Bicycling, Bowling, Fishing, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Hiking, Hockey, Horseback Riding, Ice Skating, Kickball, Marbles, Physical Fitness, Roller Skating, Skateboarding, Snow Ski and Board Sports, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Ultimate, and Volleyball

Before you write us, asking for a new Belt Loop for a different sport, like Karate or Tackle Football, please read our explanation why they are not included in the program.

In September, 2002, the awards for Flag Football were added, Skating (roller and ice) was replaced with separate awards for Ice Skating and Roller Skating, and Skiing was replaced with Snow Ski and Board Sports. In addition, the requirements for Swimming and Bicycling were revised.

The awards for Hiking, Hockey, Horseback Riding, Kickball, and Skateboarding were added in November, 2009.

The Shooting Sports belt loops and pins (Archery and BB Shooting) can only be earned under BSA range trained supervision. The BB Shooting loop and pin MUST be earned at a BSA facility range.

The belt loops for the Shooting Sports can be used toward Wolf Electives 20c and 20n.  The Swimming belt loop can be used for the Aquanaut Activity Badge, the Physical Fitness belt loop can be used for the Athlete Activity Badge, and a number of Sports Belt loops can be used by Webelos Scouts when working on the Sportsman Activity badge.  In addition to the other requirements for that pin, a Webelos Scout must earn two belt loops in individual Sports (Badminton, Bicycling, Bowling, Fishing, Golf, Gymnastics, Ice Skating, Marbles, Physical Fitness, Roller Skating, Snow Ski and Board Sports, Swimming, Table Tennis, and/or Tennis), and two more in team sports (Baseball. Basketball, Flag Football, Soccer, Softball, Ultimate, and/or Volleyball) to earn that Activity Badge.  To be used for Webelos Activity Badges, the belt loops must be earned WHILE a Webelos Scout, even if they had already been earned by the Cub Scout while a Tiger Cub, Wolf, or Bear.

Page updated on: May 01, 2015

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