Scouting Forums

Lions to Bobcat: Rank Advancement

We are in our first year of the Lion program and will have our Lion “Graduation” next month. Through the course of the Lion program, they have all completed the requirements for Bobcat (including demonstrating over the past year). Is there any reason to hold back the advancement in rank to Bobcat until the start of school next fall, or just do it at the end of school year ceremony?


They are not eligible to complete Bobcat requirements until they are Tigers, which should occur at the end of your school year. They could potentially earn Bobcat very quickly after that and hence be awarded the Bobcat badge early in the summer.


For the most part the BSA considers June 1st to be the transition date for cub scouts. So you could award them bobcat at the same advancement ceremony. Would be a really cool ceremony :smiley:

You can’t award it until it’s earned. They can’t earn it until after they become Tigers. They can’t earn it as Tigers until after they become one and the only way to earn an item is to do it while they’re that rank.

They’re a Lion Scout until they complete the Kindergarten since the program is based on school year.

So if your graduation is after school is out for the year you’re fine. If it’s before it you should wait.

Really, for me I would wait until fall and see how many new first Scouts join. Bobcat is the joining rank for 1st through 5th so imagine the ego boost to have a bunch of 1st graders knowing the oath and law better than any new 2nd or 3rd graders.

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FYI-They become tigers in two weeks.

I would wait until the new school year, that way they can help their new Tiger friends who might be new to the program. This also allows the whole Tiger den to do it as a den with any new scouts you might get in the fall.

I would also agree to wait. running thru the bobcat ceremony is meant to be special, its best to do it once with all your new recruits. Also we made up our own Lion ceremony that that we do during our bobcat one, just to make sure I new Lions don’t feel left out and get a little face paint as well.

The only exception to that is if your den is going to do stuff over the summer. You could earn bobcat rank then work on tiger electives over the summer. When the new class comes in, you can work on bobcat rank again. Otherwise you can not earn any tiger adventures. If you plan on doing adventures in the summer, but wait on bobcat —- current scouts will get adventure loops with bobcat rank versus new scouts getting just bobcat.

Our council here does a bobcat day in the fall where they work on everything. They go swimming, etc afterwards. This happens right after school starts around Labor Day. Other packs do around there or early summer.

I have a 5 year old lions who already knows the scout oath, law, motto, etc. and plan to get this bobcat rank early summer and then work on a couple elective adventures.

The Scout does not have to earn Bobcat before earning (and being presented) adventure loops. The only thing a Scout cannot earn before Bobcat is a rank patch.


From the Guide to Advancement: Bobcat

While working on Bobcat, a Cub Scout may work on the age- or grade appropriate rank, but must finish Bobcat before any other rank is awarded.

As Ed said, Cub Scouts can earn and be presented with adventure loops / pins prior to completing Bobcat.

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“First graders, and anyone beyond that grade who is new to Cub Scouting, completes the Bobcat Badge prior to working on their grade-specific badge of rank.”

Source: Cub Scout website on The Advancement Trail,

This clearly states that you need to complete Bobcat rank before even working on anything for the current rank. This needs to be updated on the website because I expect that more people have read that than Mechanics of Advancement in Cub Scouting.

The Guide to Advancement contains the latest advancement guidelines. If there is a conflict in information, the Guide to Advancement is the controlling document.