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Cub Scout Pack 487
(Forest Lake, Minnesota)
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Why Do Scouts Wear a Uniform?

Wearing uniforms has been a method of the Scouting movement from the beginning. Decades of experience show uniforming to have many benefits, including these:


The uniform represents a democratic ideal of equality. Boys from various cultures and different economic levels wear the same uniform and cooperate as equals.



The uniform identifies a boy as a member of the Cub Scouts. Badges on the uniform tell other members that he belongs to their den, pack, and council. The uniform itself identifies a good citizen to the entire community.



The uniform displays badges and other awards so the accomplishments of each Cub Scout can be immediately recognized.



Wearing a uniform is a constant reminder to each Cub Scout of his commitment to the ideals and purposes of Cub Scouting: duty to God, loyalty to country, and helpfulness to others.


For these reasons, among others, all parents should emphasize to their Scouts the importance of wearing the correct and complete uniform on all suitable occasions.

What to Buy

One of the first things you'll want to do when your son joins Cub Scouts is buy him the uniform.  There are several Scout Shops in the area, or you may purchase it online from

For those new to Scouting or at least the Tiger rank and transitioning from wearing the Lion t-shirt to "Class A" Cub Scout uniform you will find a few tips below.  Besides the local Scout Shops that have the latest uniforms, patches, and provide sewing services, you can get boys uniform shirts from Northern Star Council uniform exchange -- info at, Craigslist, hand-me-downs, or anywhere else.  However, what patches are required and where do they go?  The BSA website has a great online uniform guide, which explains where each badge or patches go.  Here is the link and a list of the minimum patches your Scout will need:

The basic shirt comes with a U.S. flag patch on the right shoulder and "Boy Scouts of America" embroidered over the right pocket.  Blue shirts are for Tiger Cubs, Wolves, and Bears; khaki shirts are for Webelos (Webelos can wear their blue shirt if it still fits but the khaki shirt can carry over into Boy Scouts).  It is generally recommended to purchase a short-sleeved shirt.  Your son can always put a long-sleeve shirt on underneath his Cub Scout shirt when the weather is cool.  The patches you need are the Northern Star Council patch, 4-8-7 white on red pack numbers, world scout crest, and den and patrol patches (once those are assigned).  Scouts also need a rank-specific hat and a belt.  Everything you need is pictured below.

Shirt (Blue for Tiger, Wolf, and Bear; blue or khaki for Webelos. Short-sleeve is recommended)


Northern Star Council Patch
Location: Left Shoulder, top. Note: the older "Northern Star Council" patch is still acceptable to use, but will no longer be sold in stores. 

4-8-7 Pack Numbers (White on Red)
Location: Left shoulder, under council patch


World Scout Crest
Location: Above left pocket


Rank-Specific Hat (Optional) 
Clockwise from top-left: Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, Webelos


Denner / Assistant Denner Cords
Each den may have a Denner and an optional Assistant Denner. The Denner's job is to help the Den Leader, who determines specific duties. The Denner wears two yellow cords over his left shoulder. The tab is pinned to the shoulder, and the Denner's arm goes through the loops. The Assistant Denner wears a single cord.


Brag Vest (Optional)
Cub Scouts tend to accumulate a lot of patches, but only a few of them belong on the official uniform. One solution is to purchase or make a "brag vest" and sew patches onto that. This felt vest is available for around $15 at the Scout stores. Pack 236 also has two brag vest templates that some dens have used to make their own vests.


Den Number Strip
Den numbers are assigned
Location: Right shoulder, under American Flag


What NOT to Buy

The Scout stores have pants, shorts, socks, etc., which are strictly optional.

The Pack Committee will provide rank-specific neckerchiefs and neckerchief slides for each Scout.

Patch Placement on the Uniform

Official BSA uniform guide and interactive website: