Scouting Forums

Upside down badge

I’ve been trying to find documentation, supporting the claim that we are not allowed to present the cubs their badges upside down…any help?

You won’t find it in those exact words. However, you will find that the guide to advancement says you can’t add to the requirements. To me it’s borderline whether that practice is adding to the requirements or not. But I steer clear of it because IMO it cheapens the accomplishment of earning the rank.


Of course not. Nobody pays attention while standing on their heads…


It was covered in a letter from about 20 years ago about awarding the bobcat rank to the scout with the scout upside down.

I don’t think it’s adding to the requirements – the scout earned the rank, and was challenged to go do a good turn.


#5 specifically says it’s not a Cub Scouting concept. Granted, the context of the question was holding the youth upside down, not pinning the badge upside down.

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True, however they aren’t adding a requirement – the scouts are getting the Bobcat rank they earned. And I don’t agree that “Do a Good Turn Daily” isn’t a Cub Scouting concept – the WOSM badge on all scout uniforms has a square knot to remind scouts to do a good turn daily…


Is there anywhere in the Cub Scouting program that scouts learn the meaning of the parts of the WOSM patch?

I’d have to research it. My youngest crossed over to a troop in 2016, before they revamped the Cub Scout program.

It was never a nation-wide custom. When I got my bobcat (quite a wile back), the pin was put on upside down, and my parents were to right it after I did my first good turn. I guess between then and the end of the century, folks decided to have a little more fun with the ceremony.

Then someone decided to ask National for a rule. :angry:

The letter seems a little out of context.Folks who participated in such “scout flipping” said it was the parent who held the kid. As with all such memos from risk management, there is no indication if any scouts were actually harmed in the process – just that some might be. That’s the most annoying thing about all of these risk assessments. Hard numbers are few and far between.
I could accept that risk assesment involves a little guesswork, but these memos often go one step too far and proclaim by fiat that leaders stepped beyond the bounds of the program in endorsing an ideal. In this case, ending that memo with “the daily good turn is not a Cub Scouting concept.”

That last extremely condescending statement alienated half the cub-scouting nation. For that reason alone, I’m grateful that Cubs now promise to help other people at all times, just like every youth in the BSA.

If you’re not teaching cubs about the World Crest you are doing them a disservice. If they are wearing insignia, they deserve to know what it means.



Please don’t misconstrue my response to you, because I’m not commenting on the substance of what you said.

The reason they said that the daily good turn is not a Cub Scouting concept is because Do a Good Turn Daily is the Scout Slogan. There is no Cub Scout Slogan.

Having Cub Scouts promise to help other people at all times was only a minor tweak, since they promised to help other people in the Cub Scout Promise.

Similarly, in the Venturing Oath, Venturers only promised to “help others,” without any mention of when. So, the adoption of the Scout Oath for Venturing was only a minor tweak in that regard as well.

Yours in Scouting,


Agreed, other than to point out that the Cub Scouts do have a slogan -Do Your Best.

Sorry, Steve. Do Your Best is the Cub Scout Motto. There is no Cub Scout Slogan.

Yours in Scouting,


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Wait, are you saying that the Cub Scout individual person is turned upside down in the ceremony?

I thought this was about the badge being upside down… the actual scout? Who even thinks that up? People actually did this? And there’s a question about “if this is a good idea or not?”

It’s not April 1, is it?


When I received my Bobcat in the early 70s, the story told was that it is too hard to turn the badge upside down so they turned the Scout upside down and pinned the patch on his pocket. Most of the Scouts loved this.


Peter, no problem. As you indicate, the only distinctive feature between the Cub Scout Promise regarding helping other people was the lack adverb or adverbial phrase about frequency. That was point of awarding the Bobcat pin upside down. A cub might not figure out how to do a good deed right away or tomorrow or even in the next week. But as soon as he did (hopefully with a parent’s help), he could turn his pin right side up.
Edavignon pointed out that he earned his Bobcat when I did and his pack inverted cubs while mine didn’t. I didn’t realize the kid-flipping tradition went back that far.
That doesn’t justify a scout exectutive disrespecting thousands of cubmasters and their teachers who taught them to put that pin on upside down. The arrogance of “our little committee knows what the program is and you all in the trenches do not” is unconscionable.

A good answer would have been “We have reports of kids being hurt or scared during the ceremony, and we don’t want your scouts to be one of them.”
An okay answer would have been “We haven’t heard of kids getting hurt or scared during the ceremony. But, we think it’s only a matter of time and we don’t want your scouts to be the first.”

I can’t think of any good answer that would accuse scouters of wrongly interpreting the program by encouraging a cub to do a good deed.

Yes, Charles. If one is helping other people, even if not at all times (which is actually impossible), then one is probably doing one or two or more good turns daily.

Stating (even correctly) that the Scout Slogan is not part of the Cub Scout program comes off as a decree issued by those sitting in the top of an ivory tower.


So, inverting the Bobcat Scout is out. I mean, Risk Management is a little paranoid here, but I think any one of us in the same position would probably have similar concerns.

But all in favor of allowing scouter to award him an upside down patch, which his folks can invert upon his next good deed, give us a like! (Is there any way to actually set up a poll on these forums?)


In the compose window, click the gear icon and select Build Poll.


For the record, my Bobcat badge was handed to me along with a card and a mother’s pin in 1974.