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Bobcat on Webelos uniform?

This year we have THREE new Webelos! We haven’t even had a Webelos den for the last two years, so this is pretty exciting.
I just realized today that the first thing we need to do is to help them earn their Bobcat rank. And then, figure out where to put it!
Can it go on the tan uniform? The last time anyone in our pack might have had a Webelos earning their Bobcat, they would have been all in blue.

Technically it does not go on the uniform, but you can get these to put it in and hang from the pocket so they can display it for now. https://www.scoutshop.org/diamond-emblem-holder-64041.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwn_LrBRD4ARIsAFEQFKuc7I5SG1lRaqSOkY6sEvFxrpcGlOHzkz4vLpkAUnWzCDu0y2SyqfIaAl67EALw_wcB Once they go to Boy Scouts they will remove it.


Although the Scout Shop sells those, the Guide to Awards and Insignia says at the top of page 21:

Note: Cub Scout advancement badges must be attached directly to the uniform.

Before Webelos Scouts were prohibited from wearing blue uniforms, many Webelos wore their lower ranks on their tan shirts, and this was OK as this Webelos Uniform Inspection Sheet from 2015 shows.

Note that inspection form has an error. It identifies the illustration of the diamond-shaped Webelos badge of rank as worn on the right pocket instead of the left.

If a Webelos Scout did not ever earn the Tiger rank, he could wear the Webelos diamond-shaped badge of rank in the bottom center position along with his Bobcat, Wolf and Bear badges of rank. If he earned the Tiger rank, he could wear all his lower badges of rank, until he earned the Webelos rank. Then, all the previous rank badges needed to be removed, and he could wear either the diamond- or oval-shaped Webelos badge of rank alone. The procedure was the same whether the shirt was blue or tan. This was the rule right up until last year.

A girl in my pack joined last March as a Bear. Since she would be wearing a blue shirt for less than three months, her parents never bought her one. I have absolutely no problem with her sewing her Bobcat and Bear badges of rank onto her tan shirt and keeping them there, until she earns the Webelos rank.

This is just the case where there is no by-the-book good solution.

I am not a person who is averse to change. However, the recent rule that forbids the wearing of a blue uniform by Webelos Scouts is just plain silly. The Bear who joined my pack in March would have had a uniform right away, if her parents knew she could wear it for a year. We are encouraging parents not to buy uniforms. It’s crazy.

Why should Scouts who have earned Lion, Bobcat, Wolf and Bear and now change shirts when they become Webelos not be able to display their previously earned ranks, just like other Cub Scouts. Yes, they are Webelos Scouts, but they are also Cub Scouts and members of a Cub Scout pack. At the start of the fourth-grade Webelos year, those who earned Bear a few months earlier still hold the rank of Bear. Why are they being told that they cannot wear their current rank on their uniforms? Similarly, those who sign up as fourth graders and earn Bobcat hold the rank of Bobcat until they earn the Webelos rank. Why are they being told they cannot wear their current badge of rank on their uniforms? It makes absolutely no sense.

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@ChristyDryden, IMHO, have them wear the Bobcat centered on the pocket until they received their Webelos Badge. And congratulations on recruiting the new Webelos.


Here is the guidance we gave to parents:

  • Parent(s) may elect from the following options for moving rank badges from the Cubscout “Blue” uniform to the Webelos “Tan” uniform:
  • RANK BADGE OPTION 1: Do not move any rank badges from Blue to Tan Uniform
  • RANK BADGE OPTION 2: Move all rank badges from Blue to Tan Uniform, with understanding that all will be removed once the Scout earns the Webelos Rank. These badges can be attached to the uniform via sewing or “Badge Magic” adhesive.
  • RANK BADGE OPTION 3: Purchase Diamond Emblem Holder (Scoutshop Item: 64041) that mounts all rank badges (except Lion) and use on uniform. This allows the scout to temporarily display rank badges without having to attach them to the uniform.

@PeterHopkins Did I miss something? When were Webelos forced to transition to the tan uniform?

Forced might be too strong a word, but Webelos Scouts (4th and 5th grade) wear the tan shirts and the green pants / shorts / skort now. The change was announced about a year and a half ago.


Webelos Scout Uniform Inspection Sheet

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@JenniferOlinger Thank you. Most all of our Webelos are in the tan uniform, but we have a few outliers still in blue. I never saw the announcement formally moving away from the blue. Any chance you have a link to the announcement or know where I can find it?

They announced it in a video. I’m sorry, but I don’t have a link to the video.

It is also in the Family Scouting FAQs (page 9).


Jennifer, I agree with @MichaelTrotochaud using the word “forced” within the context that no one in Scouting is forced to wear a uniform at all.

I prefer to embrace and lead change that will or even simply might make things better. The elimination of the two-year transition period from blue to tan shirts shows that those who made this decision are out of touch with the reality on the ground.

Removing the lower ranks from items that Webelos Scouts may wear on their uniforms is even worse, because it shows those decision makers lack an understanding of how important outward displays of achievement are to Cub Scout-age children.

Why not allow them to move their highest rank only? The tan shirt is intended for one rank. So, why not the Bear only?

Thank you everyone for the information. I will say that my use of the word “forced” was not intended to be as strong as has been read into it. My intent was to ask when did Webelos lose the choice to wear either uniform?

I thought I had heard that any past uniform was always a valid uniform (as long as the parts match). So by that logic, wouldn’t a blue uniform still be acceptable? In our Pack, we’re asking the Webelos parents to make the switch when it makes sense. “A Scout is Thrifty.” Obviously, they wouldn’t buy a new blue uniform when the scout outgrows the current one. And anyone joining Webelos year would go straight to tan. But otherwise, we aren’t asking anyone to buy a new uniform on the dawn of the day after our crossover ceremony. That said, we do want everyone to be in tan by the time they earn their Webelos rank.


This is what makes the most sense, and is the same advice I give my parents. Many boys have a growth spurt sometime in the 4th grade anyway, so you might as well wait. If the buttons are not poping off, keep wearing it! To answer the original question. If a scout earns an award, let them wear it. There is value in teaching scouts about keeping your uniform neat, presentable, and “with in the regulations”, but this can be taken too far especially with kids this age.


Even under the old Webelos uniform rule, the den was to choose which shirt would be the uniform. So everyone was uniform. So you were never supposed to have some in blue and some in tan.

@RickBerg, I’ve heard a lot of people say that during the blue or tan choice era, the den was supposed to choose which shirt to wear and impose it on all its members, but I’ve never been able to find it in writing.

Going way back, if I look at old Boy Scout Uniform Inspection Sheets, I see references like hat chosen by the troop and neckerchief chosen by the troop. But when I look at old Cub Scout or Webelos inspection sheets, I never see any indication that proper uniforming requires wearing a shirt of the color chosen by the den.

Perhaps lots of packs or den leaders like it that way, and that’s what they did in practice. Sadly, it means imposing on a family that didn’t really need a new shirt yet to go out and buy one.

Could you please provide me a reference to that old rule in writing. I would love to get this resolved.

I just happened to take the uniform training modules for Scouts BSA yesterday. They emphasize that common sense should rule the day. I have always felt that custom and culture of the unit should be taken into consideration. If you feel that the custom should change then the right way to do it is to work thought the unit committee and parent community. I have seen examples of units that went from casual to “full uniform” troops successfully and not so successfully.

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The “once a uniform, always a uniform” argument makes me feel better about allowing kids to wear blue in 4th grade, as has always been the tradition here. Though, I suspect that the clothing designed for girls would fall outside of that category. Was that introduced after the decision that Webelos should be in tan?
We’re aiming to get the Webelos rank completed by our March 1st Blue and Gold, so I’m suggesting that as the time frame for those who aren’t yet growing out of their shirts to be budgeting for a new uniform. Some families have really appreciated not having to pay for that at the same time as paying their annual dues & getting a new book.

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