Cub Scouts are divided into five ranks: Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos. Each scout works towards the rank corresponding to their grade: Kindergartners work towards Lion, 1st graders towards Tiger, 2nd, Wolf, and 3rd grade, Bear. Webelos covers fourth and fifth grades, earning the Webelos rank in 4th grade and the Arrow of Light award in 5th. Scouts joining in later years are not able to "catch up" and earn earlier ranks.
Every scout must also earn the Bobcat badge after joining Cub Scouts, and every year they must review important exercises for preventing child abuse and online safety.
All scouts must earn the Bobcat badge before completing any of the other ranks. This special rank introduces the scout to the basics of scouting, including:
Most Cub Scouts will complete this in their Tiger year, but if they joined the pack in a later grade, they will need to complete this before they can complete their rank requirements for that year.
The world is a wonderful, fun, and exciting place, and scouting seeks to help all scouts to make the best of it, in all ways. Unfortunately, the world can also be dangerous, and scouting tries to help in that regard, too.
Every year, scouts must complete, with their parents, exercises in the pamphlet "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide." This pamphlet should be included in the front of each year's Cub Scout handbook.
Real-world abuse isn't the only danger our children face. Remaining safe in the online world is increasingly important, especially now that our school as a comprehensive "every child gets a computer" program. The Cyber Chip program helps teach children and their parents about ways to remain safe while on the internet. It's made of a series of short videos and interactive games, and the content varies by grade level. After first completing the Cyber Chip program, the scout will receive a hanging patch that they can display on their uniform. In subsequent years, they are required to "Refresh" their chip by completing the exercises appropriate to their current grade. The program can be found online here: http://www.netsmartz.org/scouting and additional information is available directly from BSA, here: http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection/CyberChip.aspx .
Each rank requires the scout to complete seven Adventures. Some are pre-selected requirements, while others must be selected by the scouts from a list of approved electives. The balance between requirements and electives varied with each rank.
Each rank includes a religious requirement, which is generally expected to be completed individually by a scout and his family. The other requirements are usually completed by the den as a group, along with some (or all) of the electives.
The required adventures take scouts through the basics of scouting, including outdoors skills, camping, hiking, health, fitness, citizenship, service, and faith. Electives are more varied, and include opportunities to explore science, arts, music, theater, engineering, woodworking, and more.
The handbook for each rank includes details for all adventures, and in many cases provides all the information a scout needs when completing "research" elements for the adventures. A short summary of all adventures can be found here.