How do we earn badges?

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How do we earn badges?

8 January 2013



We all know that Scouts earn badges and it’s great to see the young persons face when they are awarded. We have a wide range of badges that can be achieved, but how are these given out? There are three types of badges that are given out:

  • The Core Badges
  • Activity Badges
  • Challenge Badges

The Core Badges

These badges are generally given out when a young person joins a section and include the purple membership badge which every Scout wears world wide, the Leicestershire and Loughborough badges and the Nanpantan Scouts name tape. Core badges also include the moving on awards (given out after transferring to a different section), badges to indicate how long they have been in Scouting or occasional badges e.g. the Diamond Jubilee.


Activity Badges

Many of the badges available for a young person to achieve are activity badges. These allow a young person to show their progress in existing pursuits, to try new things and to broaden their interests. For the young person to achieve the badge, they have to complete a number of tasks.

e.g. for the Cubs Martial Arts Badge:

  • Take part in a regular martial arts activity (as recognised by the Sports Council) and show improvement.
  • Discuss with a leader the skills needed and the rules to be observed.
  • Take part in one exhibition or competition.


Generally speaking, young people are expected to look at which badges they wish to gain and work towards achieving independently, although some activity badges may be done during the section evenings.

For Beaver Scouts there are 12 activity badges, for Cub Scouts there are 33 activity badges and for Scouts there are 72 activity badges

Staged Activity Badges

There are 6 blue staged activity badges; Emergency Aid, Hikes Away, Information Technology, Music, Nights Away and Swimming. They can be warn whatever section they are in and can transferred when moving up to the next section. This means that a young person can earn whichever badge is appropriate to the level they have reached.

It is possible, for example, for a Beaver Scout who is an excellent swimmer to gain a higher level badge than a Scout who has just taken up the activity.

A young person should always wear only the highest of each staged badge type that they have gained on the uniform.

Challenge Badges

Gaining a challenge badge involves accomplishing a number of more ambitious tasks within the section or community. There are several challenge badges across a number of themes, from the physical and outdoorsy to challenges dealing with the local community or issues connected with the Scouting world.

Challenge badges are section specific where the Beaver Scouts have yellow challenge badges, Cubs Scouts have 7 red challenge badges and Scout have 9 blue challenge badges.

The Chief Scout’s Award

The Chief Scout’s Award is the highest award in each section. For Beavers this is the Chief Scout’s Bronze Award, Cubs is the Chief Scout’s Silver Award and for Scouts it is the Chief Scout’s Gold Award. They may wear this award once they move up into the next section. It is achieved by completing a number of a challenge badges.