In 1930, the BSA was twenty years old and solidly
established as the preeminent organization for older boys and young men.
“Cubbing” began as an experimental program and was carefully controlled
by the national office. This trial continued for three years. In 1933,
the National Executive Board removed the “experimental” label and began
to strongly support it. The leadership of the Cub Scout den was a Boy
Scout known as a Den Chief. A den mother helped to guide the den chief
but was not the key leader. By 1936, den mothers were permitted to
register with the national council but still remained in a supporting
role to the den chief. It was soon realized that dens with adult
leaders functioned better than with den chiefs.
The original ranks of Cub Scouting were Wolf, Bear and
Lion. In 1938, the Bob Cat pin was introduced as the entry-level for a new
Cub. It was for civilian wear only. In 1959, it was approved for wear on the
uniform. At that time it was changed from Bob Cat to Bobcat.
In 1941, the Webelos rank was added for Cubs who had
completed their Lion Badge and some requirements for the Boy Scout
Tenderfoot rank. In 1954, a Webelos Den was created for boys 10½. The rank
of Lion was dropped in 1967 and 15 activity badges were added to the Webelos
program. In 1972, the old Webelos badge became the Arrow of Light.
In 1982, Tiger Cubs was introduced into the program. Tigers were associated with a local Cub Pack but met separately and attended the blue and gold dinner in February and a graduation ceremony in the spring. The program was designed to bring the seven year old closer to his parent and introduce him to Scouting. There was no advancement plan and no uniform. In 1986, a Tiger Cub graduate emblem was designed and presented to tigers who moved on into the pack. In 1997, this emblem was replaced with the tiger strip to be worn on the uniform. Over the years the tiger program has been drawn more into the Cub program and tigers now wear the Cub Scout uniform and have a complete advancement plan. Tiger is now a rank advancement.