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Advancement – Bear Rank

Earning the Bear Rank

To earn the rank of Bear, your Scout will need the Bear Handbook. All advancement requirements are listed in the Handbook, and are available on our advancement tracking site at Below is an outline of the material covered in the handbook.

Note: Some of these activities are done at home and signed off by the parent in the Handbook or on after the boy has completed the task.

Note: There are no performance requirements for completing tasks. Simply participating and doing one’s best in an activity constitutes completion.


To begin his path to the Bear Rank, a boy must first earn the Bobcat Badge. Other earlier ranks (e.g. Tiger or Wolf) are not required to earn the Bear badge. The Bobcat requirements are outlined at the beginning of every handbook in Cub Scouts.

Once completed and reported to your Den Leader, the Bobcat Badge will be awarded at the next Monthly Pack Meeting.

Note: Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat… Once he earns his Bobcat Badge he can skip it in other handbooks as he advances through the ranks.

Bear Rank Requirements

In order to earn the Bear Rank, the Bear Scout must complete seven “Adventures” – six required Adventures, and one elective Adventure. The Scout must also complete child safety exercises and earn his Cyber Chip online safety award.

  • Complete each of the following Bear required adventures with your den or family:
    1. Baloo the Builder
    2. Bear Claws
    3. Bear Necessities
    4. Fellowship and Duty to God
    5. Fur, Feathers, and Ferns
    6. Paws for Action (Duty to Country)
  • Complete one Bear elective adventure of your den or family’s choosing.
  • With your parent or adult partner, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide, and earn the Cyber Chip award for your age.

As he completes each Adventure, he is awarded a Belt Loop which is worn on his uniform belt.

The Required Adventures

  • Baloo the Builder
    Complete all of the following requirements.

    1. Discover which hand tools are the best ones to have in your toolbox. Learn the rules for using these tools safely. Practice with at least four of these tools before beginning a project.
    2. Select, plan, and define the materials for the project you will complete in requirement 3.
    3. Assemble your materials, and build one useful project and one fun project using wood.
    4. Apply a finish to one of your projects.
  • Bear Claws
    Complete the following requirements.

    1. Learn about three common designs of pocketknives.
    2. Learn knife safety and earn your Whittling Chip.
    3. Do one of the following:
      1. Using a pocketknife, carve two items.
        Note: One of the items carved may be used to fulfill Whittling Chip requirement 3.
      2. With a pocket knife, safely perform each of these tasks:
        1. Demonstrate how to cut a piece of rope, twine or fishing line;
        2. Open a sealed box without damaging the contents;
        3. Open a can with a can opener tool on a pocket knife;
        4. Remove and replace the screws on an object with the screw driver tool on a pocket knife;
        5. Open a letter.
  • Bear Necessities
    Complete Requirements 1–4. Requirements 5 and 6 are optional.

    1. While working on your Bear badge, attend one of the following:
      1. A daytime or overnight campout with your pack or family
      2. An outdoor activity with your den or pack
      3. Day camp
      4. Resident camp
    2. Make a list of items you should take along on the activity selected in Requirement 1.
    3. Make a list of equipment that the group should bring along in addition to each Scout’s personal gear for the activity selected in Requirement 1.
    4. Help set up a tent. Determine a good spot for the tent, and explain to your den leader why you picked it.
    5. Demonstrate how to tie two half hitches and explain what the hitch is used for.
    6. Learn how to read a thermometer and a barometer. Keep track of the temperature and barometric pressure readings and the actual weather at the same time every day for seven days.
  • Fellowship and Duty to God
    Complete the following requirements.

    1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
    2. Complete at least one of the following:
      1. Identify a person whose faith you admire, and discuss this person with your family.
      2. With a family member, provide service to a place of worship or a spiritual community, school, or community organization that puts into practice your ideals of duty to God and strengthens your fellowship with others.
    3. Complete at least one of the following:
      1. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so.
      2. Make a list of things you can do to practice your duty to God as you are taught in your home or place of worship or spiritual community. Select two of the items and practice them for two weeks.

  • Fur, Feathers, and Ferns
    Complete Requirement 1 and three others.

    1. While hiking or walking for one mile, identify six signs that any mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, or plants are living near the place where you choose to hike or walk.
    2. Visit one of the following: zoo, wildlife refuge, nature center, aviary, game preserve, local conservation area, wildlife rescue group, or fish hatchery. Describe what you learned during your visit.
    3. Name one animal that has become extinct in the last 100 years and one animal that is currently endangered. Explain what caused their declines.
    4. Observe wildlife from a distance. Describe what you saw.
    5. Use a magnifying glass to examine plants more closely. Describe what you saw through the magnifying glass that you could not see without it.
    6. Learn about composting and how vegetable waste can be turned into fertilizer for plants.
    7. Plant a vegetable or herb garden.
  • Paws for Action (Duty to Country)
    Complete Requirement 1 and two others from Requirements 2-4.

    1. Learn about our nation’s flag. Display it at home for one month. Say the Pledge of Allegiance and learn its meaning.
    2. Do at least one of the following.
      1. Find out about two famous Americans. Share what you learned.
      2. Find out where places of historical interest are located in or near your community, town, or city. Go and visit one of them with your family or den.
    3. Do at least two of the following.
      1. With your school or den, visit a local sheriff’s office, police station, or fire department OR talk with a fire safety officer or law enforcement officer visiting your school or den. Find out what skills the officers use to do their jobs. Ask questions that will help you learn how to stay safe.
      2. Make a list of emergency numbers and discuss with your family where the list should be kept. Show your family that you know how to call for help in an emergency. Talk with your family about people who could help you if a parent is not available.
      3. With your family, develop a plan to follow in case of an emergency, and practice the plan at least three times. Your family can determine the emergency, or you can develop several plans.
    4. Do at least one of the following.
      1. Do a cleanup project that benefits your community.
      2. Participate in a patriotic community parade or other civic event that honors our country.

Individual Adventure belt loops are awarded to each Bear as they are earned. After completing the six required and one elective Adventure, the Bear is awarded the Bear rank. Rank awards are presented to the Scout during Pack ceremonies to allow all members of the Pack to recognize your Scout’s achievements.

Note to Parents

  1. Your Den Leader will track the advancement items completed during Den and Pack activities.
  2. You should use the Scout Handbook or ScoutBook website (preferred) to record each advancement item completed at home. There are places to “Sign Off” on each activity in the handbook.
  3. If recording advancement in the Handbook, bring the book to Den meetings to have your family activities recorded by the Den Leader.
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