Cub Scout Arrow
Pack 44's Career Arrows
What are Career Arrows?
Career Arrows are one of Pack 44's most popular traditions. Arrows are marked to
show the major achievements in a boy's Cub Scout career. The arrows are then
presented during the Arrow of Light/Webelos Graduation ceremony.
What do the markings mean?(or go directly to
how to make a Career Arrow.)
There are many packs that prepare career arrows and probably just as many
different methods for marking. Some use a sparse system while others have
markings for every event. Pack 44 marks arrows to show rank advancements, arrow
points, activity pins, and religious awards. This mix makes for an attractive
arrow that is not cluttered. Besides, the Scouts have the
pack and segment program to commemorate other pack activities.
The arrow show at the top of this page is our "Challenge Arrow". This arrow
shows the maximum possible markings. Lets just look through it and see what the
markings mean. The career marks start at the feathers and move towards the
|The orange bar with black ends indicates that the
Scout was a Tiger Cub.
|A white bar with blue ends is for the Bobcat
|The red bar with white ends marks the Wolf
|The gold and silver bands indicate gold and silver
|The Bear badge is shown by a green band with
|The next set of gold and silver bands are for the
Arrow Points earned for the Wolf badge.
|A purple band indicates a religious award.
Many Scouts earn a religious award during their second year, as shown here,
but it can be earned in any year. Some Scouts earn more than one religious
|The blue band with white ends is for the Webelos
|The black bands indicate the number of Activity
Pins the scout has earned while a Webelos Scout.
|The Webelos badge has a formal religious requirement.
Many Scouts earn a Religious Award at this time.
|The last award shown is the Arrow of Light.
This band mixes the blue and gold of Cub Scouting with the red of Boy
|The Scouts also receive a laminated card explaining
How we make the Career Arrows
Before you start to make your arrows there are three decisions you need to
First... Where are you going to get the shafts?
Check with your local archery outfitter. You don't need the best shafts. In
fact, they don't even have to be perfectly straight. You can make good looking
arrows from slightly warped shafts and might even get them free. Start looking
for arrows well in advance and be sure to get extras.
Second... What are the shafts going to look like?
We have ours painted yellow with two blue and one yellow feathers. If possible
we use a blue plastic nock. At the other end of the arrow we use a rounded
target point. You can buy plastic arrowheads that look like knapped flint. They
look nice but add to the cost. Don't use a sharp hunting point. Those things are
just too dangerous and they make it hard to prepare the arrows.
Last... How are you going to make the bands?
In the past we have use various colors and widths of chart tape. The tape is
easy to use and looks good but has a big disadvantage. After time the tape can
come unstuck and peel off. Paint is more durable but using a brush takes a real
steady hand and a better eye than I've got. But there is a happy medium.
We use paint sticks. These are like magic markers but contain enamel paint
instead of ink. You can find a variety of colors at your local discount store.
Look in the model car and airplane section, the handicraft area, paint supplies,
and the automotive area. You can also find them in hobby shops and so forth. The
most useful ones have a chisel tip instead of a point. With the chisel tip you
can turn it one way for a narrow line or turn it the other for a wider line.
OK, how do I put the paint on the arrow?
The easiest way is to rotate the arrow. I took some scrap wood and threw
together a holder for a variable speed drill. The tip is chucked into the drill
and there's a felt covered sliding support for the other end. With the drill set
on slow speed it is easy to make the bands.
First paint on the basic colors for rank badges, arrow points, and activity
pins. I start with the Tiger Cub colors near the feathers and working up to the
Arrow of Light near the tip. Then I set the arrow aside to dry while work on the
others. After the paint has dried I set it up again and add the end colors to
the rank badge markings.
Two additional hints. One, it really helps to have a list of boys and awards
in order. Two, write the boy's name on a piece of tape and put it on the nock so
the arrows don't get mixed up.
Career arrows are a great tradition and the boys really like them. If you
have a career arrow tradition then keep it going. If not, why not start?
March 08, 1996 George Hutcheson
Additional Reader Input
Under "First... Where are you going to get the shafts?" -- You can now buy a an arrow from your
local BSA or Council Scout Shop. Most of them carry or can order a "Ceremonial Arrow
Kit" Item #7353. It can be a little difficult to locate on-line. There are three ways to get to it:
1. Navigate the site
Enter "Ceremonial Arrow" in "Keyword or Item# Search" at
Proceeds from BSA or Council Scout Shops benefit the BSA and the Council
Suggestion taken from:
Central Florida Council