The Cub Scout Academics and Sports program complements the scouting program by providing opportunities for scouts to improve scholarship, develop sportsmanship, and explore new games while collecting Cub Scout belt loops and pins. The emphasis of the program is to try new things and to put forth a best effort, not of achieving proficiency or winning. This program is one method of addressing the third aim of Scouting: the development of physical, mental and emotional fitness. Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).
Cub Scouts of all ages from Tiger Cubs to Webelos can participate in the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program and earn a belt loop or pin for each activity. Activities can be done individually, in the Den, or as a Pack. (Archery and BB-Gun Shooting can only be earned through a certified instructor, not at a den or pack level.) A scout participating on school teams or other organized teams may use those activities to fulfill requirements of this scouting program.
Activities are divided into two categories: Academics and Sports. Each category has many skills and activities from which Scouts may choose. The Cub Scout belt loop and pin program encourages a boy to do his best while learning skills and promoting good sportsmanship.
There are currently 28 sports activity areas: Archery, BB Gun Shooting, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bicycling, Bowling, Fishing, Flag Football, Fitness, Golf, Gymnastics, Hiking, Hockey, Horseback Riding, Ice Skating, Kickball, Marbles, Roller Skating, Skateboarding, Snow Ski and Board Sports, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Ultimate, Volleyball
And, 25 academic activity areas: Art, Astronomy, Chess, Citizenship, Collecting, Communicating, Computers, Disabilities Awareness, Family Travel, Geography, Geology, Good Manners, Heritages, Language & Culture, Map & Compass, Mathematics, Music, Nutrition, Pet Care, Photography, Reading and Writing, Science, Video Games, Weather, Wildlife Conservation
Belt loops are awarded to scouts completing the three belt loop requirements in an academic subject or sport. Academic belt loops are gold, and Sports belt loops are silver, except for the Archery and BB-gun Shooting belt loops, which are brass colored. Belt loops are worn on the Cub Scout belt.
Pins are awarded to scouts that continue participating in an academics or sports area and meet the specific requirements for each pin. Pins typically require completion of the corresponding belt loop requirements plus 5 or 6 more challenging requirements. These Academics and Sports pins are NOT attached to the cub scout uniforms. The Academic and Sports letter can be used to display pins on a sweater, jacket, or patch vest.