Cub Scout Patch Placement Guide for Parents

Cub Scout Patch Placement - Sleeves

If you aren’t a seamstress, consider using Badge Magic, available through my affiliate link!  It’s an easy, no-sew, no-iron solution to sewing those Cub Scout badges.

Cub Scout patch placement can be very confusing–especially for a new Cub Scout family.  In this article, we’ll cover the basic Cub Scout patches and badges so that you can get your son’s uniform ready for his first Cub Scout meeting!

Left Sleeve Cub Scout Patch Placement

Let’s start with the left sleeve.  At the very top along the shoulder seam, place your Council shoulder emblem.  It is shown as position 1 on the diagram above.

Just below the Council shoulder emblem at position 2a is where the small Veteran Unit Emblem is worn, if you use it.  It is for units (in our case, packs) that have been chartered at least 25 years.  The number on the emblem represents how many years your unit has been chartered.  Wouldn’t it be great to be in a unit chartered 50 or 60 years ago?

Next, in position 2 above, is your pack number.  Our pack number is 3 digits, but yours could be more or less than that.

A little hint if you’re sewing…  Sew the numbers together first then sew the connected numbers onto the uniform.  MUCH easier than sewing each number individually onto the shirt!

Easy Cub Scout Patch PlacementRight Sleeve Cub Scout Patch Placement

The American flag is sewn on right sleeve of the Cub Scout uniform at position 1.  If you purchase your uniform new, the flag will be sewn on already.  If your uniform is used, the flag may have been removed, but you can buy another one from your Council.

Directly below the American flag in position 2 is your den number.  In our pack, a Tiger den is given a number when it is formed and that number stays the same for that group of boys.  For example, when my Webelos 2 was a Tiger, his den was numbered Den 3.  He is still in Den 3.

Your pack’s most recently earned Journey to Excellence patch is worn below the den number on the right sleeve at position 3.

Cub Scout Patch Placement - Pockets

If you aren’t a seamstress, consider using Badge Magic, available through my affiliate link!  It’s an easy, no-sew, no-iron solution to sewing those Cub Scout badges.

Left Pocket Cub Scout Patch Placement

The World Crest is worn above the left pocket.  It is centered between the left shoulder seam and the top of the left pocket.  It signifies that the Boy Scouts of America is part of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

The badges of rank go on the left pocket as shown in the image above.  They are placed in this order:

  • Bobcat Badge – 12:00 Position
  • Tiger Badge – 6:00 Position
  • Wolf Badge – 9:00 Position
  • Bear Badge – 3:00 Position

Right Pocket Cub Scout Patch Placement

The Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award patch is worn on the right pocket flap.  Pins earned for the Summertime Pack Award are pinned onto the Outdoor Activity Award patch.

Temporary patches can be worn on the right pocket.  These include patches earned for participating in an activity or for completing an achievement.  Only one temporary patch can be worn at a time.  Read this article for some ideas on what to do with those temporary patches when you put a new one on your son’s uniform.

If your son earns the Recruiter patch, it is worn directly below the right pocket.

Adventure Loops and Pins

Tiger, Wolf and Bear Scouts will earn an “adventure loop” for each adventure he completes.  They are worn hooked over the Cub Scout belt. Boys may wear as many loops as he has earned.  For example, your Bear Scout can continue to wear the adventure loops he earned as a Wolf.

Webelos will be awarded adventure pins rather than loops.  Pins may be worn on the Webelos colors or on the front of the Webelos cap.

Yours in Scouting,

P.S.  Get uniform shirts and accessories at great prices from eBay!  Check them out through my affiliate link.

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  1. Aprille August 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing your ideas. Your time and effort are much appreciated!

  2. Holly September 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you! This clarifies things for this first-time scouting mom.

    1. Sherry September 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Great! Glad I could help!

  3. Tania Fountain November 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Thanks. I just had a parent ask me last night about the badge location.

    1. Sherry November 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

      So glad it was helpful, Tania! Thanks for reading!

  4. Kristy May 7, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    <—— First time scout mom no longer feeling so overwhelmed, and now feeling excited! thank you thank you thank you!!!

    1. Sherry May 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Awesome! So glad the information was helpful!

  5. Kristy May 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    oh, wanted to ask… what was the idea for what to do with pins? We’ve been pinning them on his collar because no one else could tell us what to do with them lol. I’m so curious to hear your suggestion for them if they are not technically supposed to be on the uniform itself?

    1. Old Time Cub Scouter March 15, 2015 at 9:27 pm


      As a boy’s tenure in Cub Scouting increases, so will his collection of temporary insignia; i.e.: patches from Pinewood Derbies, Scouting for Food, Blue & Gold, World Conservation, Whittling Chip, etc. and pins from the Cub Scout Sports & Academics program. Sherry is correct in that these pins have no place on the Class A uniform; and a scout is only allowed to wear one temporary insignia centered on the right pocket. Most boys will put all these items on a patch vest, or brag vest, which they usually wear at Pack meetings. Most scout shops carry these simple red felt vests, but I have seen many scouts wearing homemade patch vests as well. These make great additions to a Cub Scout’s wardrobe, and the boys tend to like to show off their past activities and accomplishments!

      1. Sherry April 2, 2015 at 2:09 pm

        Thanks for sharing!

      2. Juanita robinson July 26, 2015 at 9:04 am

        We have also had parents and scouts make an achievement (we try not to say brag) blanket. They went to a fabric store and brought red flannel material and put their patches on it. These young men did not like wearing the vests and chose this option. They hang the blankets on the wall. They look really sharp.

  6. Greg Nixon December 20, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Why are Cub Scout patches and clothing so expensive? My son is a Tiger Cub. For his Class A shirt, required patches, a belt, a cap, and a neckerchief with slide it was $92.

    1. Sherry February 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      I understand. A uniform and accessories can be costly. You can often find more affordable options gently used online. For future uniforms and accessories, you might want to check them out here.

      1. Old Time Cub Scouter March 16, 2015 at 12:31 am

        Thrift shops are also a good place to look for “experienced” uniforms!

        1. Sherry April 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

          Yes, they are! I have a Goodwill Outlet store close to me, and I have found all kinds of goodies there. My most recent find was 2 unopened Cub Scout centerpieces that we can use at our next Blue & Gold. Thanks!

        2. Juanita robinson July 26, 2015 at 9:08 am

          We bought my son his vintage shirt at goodwill. Cost me less than two dollars. It was huge on him as a tiger, we always tell parents to buy big no matter how you buy, and he wore that shirt until he crossed over to Boy Scouts.

    2. Old Time Cub Scouter March 16, 2015 at 12:23 am

      I know where you’re coming from. When my son first wanted to join Cub Scouts, I was under-employed and enrolled in college full-time. Money was tight. But I was a Cub Scout when I was a child, and it was a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience for me. And I thought it could be good for my child as well. After attending that first School Night for Scouting roundup, we both ended up registering with the BSA. That meant two uniforms were in our near future! Our Pack paid the fees for my training at the district office: Fast Start, New Leader Essentials, Cub Scout Leader Specific, and Youth Protection Training. Through this experience, I learned the benefits of proper uniforming:
      1. It promotes equality. Boys from different socio/economic levels wear the same uniform and cooperate as equals.
      2. It provides identification. The uniform identifies the boy as a member of the Cub Scouts, which in itself identifies a good citizen to the community.
      3. It promotes achievement. The uniform is where the Cub Scout displays the badges/awards that he earns.
      4. It provides commitment. The uniform is a reminder to the Cub Scout of his commitment to the ideals and purposes of Scouting: his duty to God, loyalty to country, and helpfulness to others.
      As a new Cub Scout Den Leader, it was important for me to be properly uniformed so as to set a good example for my scouts. That was more than 10 years ago. I spent about the same amount as you for each of us (about $180 -$190 total). I bought a shirt that was a little bit large for my son, and it lasted him through Webelos I. When he was a Webelos II, we got him the tan shirt that he could wear when he crossed over to Boy Scouts (again a little on the large side so he could grow into it).
      Since that time, my children have also participated in band, orchestra, baseball, and softball. The cost of a scout uniform was just a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of just the concert uniforms alone, besides the musical instruments, music stands and various accessories; and the sporting equipment: ball gloves, helmets, bats (and batting gloves), baseball pants and cleats. The point I’m trying to make is this: compared to other extracurricular activities, scouting doesn’t seem as costly, but the life lessons and character development are so much more rewarding. Scouting will not only have an impact on your son’s life, but it will impact the lives of others in your community as well.

      1. Sherry April 2, 2015 at 2:08 pm

        Great points! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. kelly January 17, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Hi everyone,

    My grandson is a cub scout, my question is does the patches go the same way on the vest as they would put on a shirt?

    Thank you


    1. Sherry January 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Hi, Kelly! Just to clarify, do you mean the red “brag” vest? And do you mean the temporary patches or the rank patches? I have an article about temporary patches that I’ll past below. If that doesn’t answer your question, let me know!

      Temporary Patch Placement

  9. Rondi McGill February 25, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Thank you for this information. It is very helpful. A couple of questions, where does the Webelo badge go? If we don’t have Tiger Cubs, do the badges go 12:00-Bobcat, Wolf-6:00, 9:00-Bear, 3:00-Webelos?

    Can you share a simplified version, such as this one, for patch placement on adult uniforms?

    1. Old Time Cub Scouter April 26, 2016 at 9:38 pm


      To answer your question “where does the Webelos badge go?”, there are three possible scenarios per the BSA’s Guide to Awards and Insignia (and using Sherry’s clock face reference):
      1. If your Cub did not earn the Tiger Badge, the badges of rank would be positioned on the left pocket of the blue or tan shirt as follows:
      • Bobcat Badge—first position (12:00)
      • Wolf Badge—second position (9:00)
      • Bear Badge—third position (3:00)
      • Webelos Badge (No. 43, diamond-shaped)—fourth position (6:00)
      2. If your Cub has earned the early rank badges (Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear), these badges would be removed from the uniform and the diamond-shaped Webelos Badge would be worn centered on the left pocket of the blue or tan shirt.
      3. If your Cub has earned the early rank badges (Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear), these badges would be removed from the uniform and the oval Webelos Badge (No. 80375) would be worn centered on the left pocket of the tan shirt only.

      As far as patch placement for adult (Scouter) uniforms, it is somewhat simpler, as adults do not earn Cub Scout rank badges or (most) Cub Scout awards. The adult uniform will have mostly the same insignia on the sleeves as the Cub Scout uniform, depending on their position with the Pack. The one notable addition is the Badge of Office, which is located on the left sleeve in position 3 (below and touching the unit number). Scouters can also be recognized with various emblems, awards, recognitions and devices for their training, service and tenure. For more information, consult the Guide to Awards and Insignia at:

      1. Sherry June 20, 2016 at 9:53 pm

        Thanks for the clarification!

  10. Rich August 30, 2016 at 7:51 am

    One thing that I see which is missing or off in the article is the spacing above the left pocket. The diagram makes it appear that the World Crest is just above the Service Year pin. This leaves no room (and the article does not mention) “knot” patches. While they are primarily for Boy Scouts & adult leaders, many cub scouts earn the religious award, which they can earn as a Tiger, Wolf, or Bear. (They can earn a different award as a Webelos). The knot patch (if more than one religious award is earned, they have small medal pins called devices that are worn on the knot patch). Along with the patch, the boys receive a medal that is worn on the uniform for special occasions (Blue & Gold, etc). It is worn at the top of the left pocket flap.

    1. Sherry October 3, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Hi, Rich! Thanks for bringing that up. The base diagrams were taken directly from the BSA uniform inspection sheets which doesn’t have the religious emblem pictured. You’re right. If the Cub Scout earns the religious emblem, the knot is worn above the left pocket. The Guide to Awards and Insignia says that on page 77 in the Religious Emblems section.

      Thanks for sharing this with everyone.

      1. Old Time Cub Scouter December 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm


        You are both correct in that the BSA Guide to Awards and Insignia reserves the space immediately above the left pocket seam for “square knot” emblems (and their corresponding devices) which were not pictured on the above diagram. The diagram above also does not accurately portray the placement of the World Crest emblem in relation to the top of the left pocket. As Sherry stated above, the placement of the World Crest Emblem is “centered (horizontally) over the left pocket and vertically between left shoulder seam and top of the pocket” (see the Guide to Awards and Insignia, Section 3, Scouting Honors and Special Recognition, Participation and Achievement, page 66). This placement will generally leave plenty of room between the pocket and the World Crest Emblem for most Scout’s (and Scouter’s) square knot emblems and Service Stars.
        As a Scout/Scouter’s tenure increases, they may acquire multiple square knot emblems/devices for advancement or achievement, recognition in some program area, service or tenure in the program, and training. If the Scouter chooses to wear all of his/her square knot emblems on their uniform, they may have to raise the World Crest emblem as needed to accommodate their knot emblems and Service Stars.

  11. Wendell August 30, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    A solution I found to help with sewing patches/badges on any uniform is to use school glue. You add a little school glue to the back of the patch/badge and put it on the shirt. While the glue is still wet, you can adjust the patch so that it ends up in the right place. Leave the shirt hanging OVERNIGHT. In the morning, when the glue is dry, it will hold the patch in place while you sew it on. The next time you wash the shirt, the glue will wash away. Works for me every time.

  12. Jordan September 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    This is helpful. Thank you! One question – I see you have Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf and Bear rank badges on the left pocket… Where do you put the Webelos badge?

    1. Old Time Cub Scouter December 3, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      See my reply to Rondi above.

  13. Jim November 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for the simple diagrams. We handed out our Bobcat badges tonight, and I gave each parent the picture from your site.

    1. Sherry November 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Glad it was helpful. Thanks for reading!

  14. Sandy November 29, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Where do I put me cubscout patches he earns, like his farway patch etc??

  15. Sandy November 29, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Sorry for the spelling ( my cubscout) and ( Fareway patch

    1. Sherry December 11, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Hi, there! Are you in the United States? I can’t find information about the Fareway patch, so I thought you might be involved in Cub Scouting in another country.

  16. Pingback: A Beginner's Guide to Cub Scouts for Parents

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