Regardless of what age your child enters Cub Scouts, the first rank they’ll earn is Bobcat. A simple badge, Bobcat will help you and your kid get into the scouting mindset.
Cubs need to demonstrate the following to their Den Leader, but don’t worry, they’ll be given help if needed.
1. Learn & Say The Scout Oath
The Scout Oath
On my honor,
I will do my best,
To do my duty,
To God and my Country,
And to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
And morally straight.
If you’ve ever been to a Den or Pack meeting, you’ve heard how the Scout Oath has a certain cadence your Cub will need to learn. Make sure your child pauses at the end of each line while practicing. They’ll practice the cadence and quickly retain each short phrase. This also makes the oath easier to understand when forty Cubs are all reciting at the same time.
2. Learn & Say The Scout Law
The Scout Law
A Scout is
3. Show The Cub Scout Sign. Tell What It Means.
Hold up your right arm and make a ‘V’ shape with your index and middle fingers, like the sign for peace. The fingers represent the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. They also mimic the listening ears of a wolf and are used by Scout Leaders to call for attention during meetings.
4. Show The Cub Scout Handshake. Tell What It Means.
Think of the Scout Handshake as giving the Scout Sign while shaking someone’s hand. Keep your middle and index fingers straight, instead of grasping the other hand. The handshake is a reminder that Scouts recognize and help one another, as well as the importance of the Scout Oath and Law.
5. Say The Cub Scout Motto. Tell What It Means.
Do your best each and everyday, in everything you do, especially when no one is around to watch you.
6. Show The Cub Scout Salute. Tell What It Means.
While in uniform, join the index and middle fingers of your right hand together and touch the tips to your hat brim or right eyebrow. The Cub Scout Salute is used during ceremonies to pay respect to the flag. When not in uniform, just place your right hand over your heart.
7. Youth Protection
In the back of the Cub Scout manual for your rank, there is a tear-out pamphlet titled ‘How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.’ As a parent, simply review the guidelines outlined in the book by yourself and complete the accompanying exercises with your child.
My wife and I found this an awkward experience at first, but our son didn’t really seem bothered by it. The pamphlet covers several important topics we had yet to discuss with our little Tiger, but probably should have. Use the Youth Protection guide to start a conversation with your kid that will make you all a little smarter and more prepared.
How To Study For Bobcat
The most difficult requirements for the Bobcat rank are memorizing and reciting the Scout Oath and Law. I recommend a three-part study method that worked well for my son. You can print this page for easy study or flip through your Cub Scout manual for guidance.
Study Step One: Read
Have your kid read the Scout Oath and Law multiple times, straight from the page.
Study Step Two: Rehearse
Once they’ve built some confidence, have your kid rehearse the Scout Oath and Law without reading them directly. Make sure the page is nearby for your Cub’s easy reference and encourage them to read each as necessary if they get stuck.
Study Step Three: Recite
Have your Cub rectite the Scout Oath and Law for you without being able to reference them. If they’re standing, they should be at attention and showing the Cub Scout sign. Use this page to gently correct any errors until they can easily recite the required information.
When my son was working on his Bobcat rank, it became a family game to ask him something from the list of requirements anywhere, anytime. At breakfast, in the car, brushing his teeth- he always needed to be be ready to stand up and speak. It was beneficial, not to mention fun, for him to be continually tested and he had no problem passing the test for rank.
Like most things in Cub Scouts, testing for Bobcat isn’t like taking a school examination. As the first rank of their scouting career, earning Bobcat helps to include your child in the basic ceremonies of Cub Scouts and entrusts them with some responsibility.
It shouldn’t take more than a week or two to prepare. When they’re ready, have your Cub ask their Den Leader to test. After a meeting, they’ll be asked to recite and explain the various tasks they’ve been working to memorize and will be offered as much help as necessary.
You’ll love the proud look on your kid’s face when they put their hard won knowledge to use and earn the Bobcat rank. Once that’s behind them, time to start working on the next rank!
I hope this page has been beneficial to you and your Cub. Good luck with Bobcat and let’s get it done!