New Cub Scout Shooting Sports Awards

Cub Scout shooting sports awards

Boy Scouts of America

Have you heard about the new Cub Scout Shooting Sports Awards?  The requirements were recently released and posted on Scouting’s program updates page.

Because the BB gun and Archery belt loops and pins are no longer available, Cub Scouts needed a new way to be recognized for this shooting sports achievements.

You can find a detailed guide for shooting sports by clicking here.

While the program is brand new, a couple of things haven’t changed.

  1. Shooting sports are only allowed at district or council events.  This means you can’t have shooting sports at a pack campout.
  2. Shooting sports must be under the direction of a qualified leadership–a trained range officer.

Here’s how it works.  Cub Scouts can qualify for the award in archery, BB guns and slingshots.  Boys will start by picking a discipline and completing the Level 1 requirements for that discipline. Level 1 requirements are different for each discipline, but they are the same for each rank.

For example, the Level 1 requirements for BB guns are the same for Tigers, Bears, Wolves and Webelos.  There is a different set of Level 1 requirements for archery, and a different set for slingshots.  These sets of requirements are the same for all the ranks, so regardless of rank. everyone will have the same Level 1 requirements within the discipline.

The requirements for Level 1 are teaching the boys safety while they learn about the equipment for that disciple.  Upon completion of Level 1 in any discipline, boys will receive a shooting sports patch for their rank.  You can see these in the image above.

The patches are considered temporary patches and will need to be worn on the right pocket of the Cub Scout’s uniform.Archery Gear at

Next, the boys will work on the Level 2 requirements for the same discipline as their patch.  For example, Grant can’t complete Level 1 requirements to get his patch in archery and then work on Level 2 requirements to earn his BB pin.  Instead, he must complete the archery Level 2 requirements.

Level 2 requirements are rank specific, so Tigers will have different requirements than Bears or Webelos.

After the boys have earned their patch and first pin, they may choose to earn the award for a second discipline. For example, Grant has earned the award for archery and wants to earn the BB gun award.

Since he already has a rank specific badge, he will not earn another badge.  Instead, he will receive the pin for that discipline after he completes Level 1 requirements and Level 2 requirements.  The pin can be added to the rank specific patch.

If a boy wants to earn the award in the third discipline, the process is the same as the second discipline.

When a Cub Scout moves up to the next rank, his shooting sports awards “reset.”  He will begin again with the Level 1 requirements for the discipline of his choice.  This will help ensure that our young men remember what they have learned.

After the Level 1 requirements have been completed, the Scout is awarded his shooting sports badge for his rank, and he then can work on the pin for that discipline.

The file are available on the Scouting website, but I’m posting them here to make it easy for you.  Just click on the links to download the files.

Cub Scout Shooting Sports Awards Requirements 2016

FAQs for New Shooting Sports Awards

Shooting Sports Tracking Template

I would love to hear what you think about the new awards, so leave a comment below.

Yours in Scouting,

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24 thoughts on “New Cub Scout Shooting Sports Awards

  1. Mike

    Does it start *now* or are they retroactive to the beginning of the Scout year? . Son did archery with the district in december and appears to qualify for level one.

  2. Debbie E

    Do you know if these are retroactive for this scouting year? Back in November many of our cubs scouts went to a district event where they participated in BB Guns and Archery. These more than met the Level 1 & 2 for shooting; however each Scout would have to work on the Level 1 requirements. Would this be allowed?

  3. Mike

    Thank you for the information. The only thing that I’m not liking is that it can only be earned at a council or district event, not on a pack event at a council range.

  4. Ian

    Are these awards only for events held after February? Or are they retroactive to the beginning of the program change? Thank you for any replies

  5. Leanna

    As an Archery instructor, I’m on the fence with the changes. In the old program, I felt pressured to get the boys through the range as quickly as possible. We have so many kids wanting to participate that quantity ruled over quality. Yes, we’d discuss the safety rules but it was quick. We didn’t have much time to work with every boy to help them shoot with proper stance. This program is more intensive, but I think will be more effective in teaching the boys the basics of the sport.

    What makes me on the fence is that not all councils are created equal (or resourced equally). We have a limited # of bows and even fewer trained volunteers. Hopefully this will encourage councils that need to invest in improving our Cub Shooting Sports.

    I do wish they would allow individual boys who participate in non-scouting Archery programs (Archery in Schools, JOAD, 4-H Shooting Sports, or who take lessons under a certified instructor at a local range / sporting goods store) to earn this as well. I can understand not allowing it to be a Pack activity (because of the liability of qualified instructors under the umbrella of BSA), but I don’t see why an individual boy who participates in shooting sports related non-scouting activities can’t earn this.

    1. George Hunt

      I am also an Archery instructor. I agree with You ! This will be better for the kids but is going to make it harder on us trying to teach with limited resources and time ! The program at the camp where I teach archery will have to be completely revamped to allow this to work !

      1. George Hunt

        After reading more I see that I will not be allowed to teach archery any longer because I do not hold any of the certifications required to get the BSA certification !
        None of the shooting sports instructors at our camp is NRA certified as far as I know , so I guess we will not offer them this year! WHAT A LOSS FOR THE KIDS ! We were good enough to teach them last year but now we are not !

        1. George Hunt

          Ok I just re read this for the 4th time , I think I misunderstood it the first time .
          As I see it we only need to be certified by The BSA National Camping School .
          I’m sorry for any misunderstandings I have caused !

  6. Diane Gedoc


    I completely agree with you. The boys love these sports. I understand the question of safety. To be on the extra safety side, these vendors can apply for a BSA certification type approval and each council could publish who they are. I know of cases where people who are BSA Certified also work for private companies.
    What makes them less qualified?

  7. Shari Drennen

    I am not any kind of instructor but I am a mother, Grandmother and Cubmaster. My, husband and sons have served several years as scout masters and cubmasters and we have numerous firearms and our own shooting range. I totally understand the need for more safty training and teaching a betting understanding of the weapons they are using. Even though it is a sport, they are still weapons, and even a bb gun and sling shot can injure or kill.
    My biggest concern for the new program is that it seems complicated to me. They earn a patch for one thing and then a pin for level 2 and a new pin for everything else, thenk start over next year with a new pin. I have enough trouble tracking achevements already. : )
    Now, that said, even though it may make it more complicated, maybe it would help if they schedule a semenar for level 1 training sometime before summer camp, so to allow more time for actual shooting. Kind of like in the cc classes I’ve taken, the initial training was not on the range.

    1. Sherry Post author

      I agree–it does seem more complicated than in the past, and it will be harder to keep track of. Hopefully after using it a couple of years, we’ll figure out the best process to use to implement it.

      My fellow day camp directors and I went over this just a few days ago to see if we needed to include a session covering the safety information. Our range officers already cover most of the information for level 1, but there are a few things that they don’t.

      Here’s how we decided to handle that. The way our camp works is that we’ll have 10 or 12 boys on the BB or archery range at a time. Half of the boys are on the firing line at a time, and the other half are waiting to shoot. We will have one of the range assistants talk about the extra topics with the group who’s waiting.

      1. Samantha Mahan

        We had the same problem with our groups of boys, our range master came up with the idea of having the boys that were waiting to shoot be spotters for the boys who were shooting. It keeps them all engaged and not running around. Just a thought. It has worked quite well for us.

  8. Chip

    I see you have the patches as being worn as temporary insignia, on the right pocket. By chance where did you come across this information? Some of us planning our day camp were discussing it and can’t find a source for patch placement. Thanks!

    1. Old Time Cub Scouter


      In my experience, I had learned as a general rule of thumb that if a Cub Scout earned an award that was not directly related to Advancement (rank), it was to be considered as temporary insignia (generally), and would be worn centered, on the right pocket of the field uniform. Most scout uniform and insignia questions can be answered in the BSA’s Guide to Awards and Insignia, but it appears that the latest Guide was last updated before the current Cub Scout Shooting Sports program was released. Sherry is correct in that the Cub Scout Shooting Sports Award is considered as temporary insignia. For more information directly answering your question, see the BSA website/Outdoor tab/Shooting Sports/Cub Scout Shooting Sports Award FAQs (and scroll down near the bottom of the last page). Or try this link here:

      I wish that you, your Cubs, and your staff have a wonderful Day Camp experience!

      1. Old Time Cub Scouter

        I just noticed that Sherry included the same link above! Click FAQ’s for New Shooting Sports Awards. (Sorry for the redundancy- my bad).

  9. p

    Does anyone have any good suggestions for “learning about 5 examples of shooting or archery in literature and history”?

    1. PaulR

      P – For our council (Denver), we have a slide deck that we have put together for teaching the Rangemaster courses that includes a bullet list of items (if anyone would like it, please response and I will get a copy emailed to you).
      Additionally, if you look at the new cub scouts shooting sports information that Sherry had posted (Cub Scout Shooting Sports Awards Requirements 2016), it has a history bit in there as well.

      1. Sherry Post author

        Thanks! I actually wrote a blog post about the guide, but I totally forgot to link to it from this post. I updated this one to add the link.

        Thanks again for reminding me! 🙂

  10. Angie

    Our Wolves, Bears, and Webelos have completed their level one and level two requirements for BB Gun Shooting and Archery BUT none of our district or council level camps offered the Slingshot classes. Do you know, are boys still able to earn their pins for BB Guns and Archery OR must they earn all three in order to get a “Shooting Sports Award.” There seems to be a lot of confusion and I have not heard back from the scouting office.


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