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Arrow of Light Building a Better World Adventure

This information is for the Cub Scout program before the June 1, 2024 updates. After June 2024, all Cub Scouts should use the updated program requirements. See here.

Embarking on the Arrow of Light Building a Better World Adventure is an exciting journey for Cub Scouts. This adventure is more than just earning a badge; it’s about understanding the bigger picture of our role in the community and the world. Scouts dive into the history of the United States flag, learning not just about its origins, but also the respect and etiquette it commands. This adventure takes Scouts beyond the flagpole, challenging them to explore their duties and rights as citizens, and what it means to be loyal to their country.

Building a Better World Pin

The Building a Better World Adventure encourages Scouts to engage in conversations about the rule of law and its impact on daily life, fostering a sense of justice and fairness. By meeting with community leaders, Scouts get a firsthand look at governance and civic responsibility, and they are inspired to discuss real issues affecting their neighborhoods.

Leadership is at the core of this adventure. Scouts are tasked with planning and leading an activity, showcasing their ability to take initiative and work independently. Additionally, the adventure broadens Scouts’ horizons by encouraging them to learn about Scouting in other countries, understand global energy use, and even connect with Scouts worldwide.

This adventure prepares Scouts to be conscientious, knowledgeable citizens who are ready to contribute positively to their communities and the world. It’s a journey that combines learning with action, helping Scouts to build a better world one step at a time.

Arrow of Light Building a Better World Adventure Requirements

Requirements for the Arrow of Light Building a Better World Adventure

Complete the following requirements

  1. Explain the history of the United States flag. Show how to properly display the flag in public, and help lead a flag ceremony.
  2. Learn about and describe your rights and duties as a citizen, and explain what it means to be loyal to your country.
  3. Discuss in your Webelos den the term “rule of law,” and talk about how it applies to you in your everyday life.
  4. Meet with a government leader, and learn about his or her role in your community. Discuss with the leader an important issue facing your community.
  5. Show that you are an active leader by planning an activity for your den without your den leader’s help. Ask your den leader for approval first.
  6. Do at least one of these:
    6A. Learn about Scouting in another part of the world. With the help of your parent, guardian, or den leader, pick one country where Scouting exists, and research its Scouting program.
    6B. Set up an exhibit at a pack meeting to share information about the World Friendship Fund.
    6C. Under the supervision of your parent, guardian, or den leader, connect with a Scout in another country during an event such as Jamboree-on-the-Air or Jamboree-on-the-Internet or by other means.
    6D. Learn about energy use in your community and in other parts of the world.
    6E. Identify one energy problem in your community, and find out what has caused it.


Understanding the history of the US Flag and how to show respect for it are key elements of the Building a Better World adventure. Let’s look at these more closely.

The History of the US Flag

The United States flag, often called “Old Glory,” has a rich history that reflects the growth and change of the country itself. The very first official United States flag was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. This date is now celebrated as Flag Day across America. The original flag had thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, representing the thirteen original colonies that declared independence from Britain. It also featured thirteen white stars in a blue field, symbolizing a new constellation, which represented the birth of a new nation.

As the United States expanded, adding more states, the flag evolved. New stars were added for every new state, but the number of stripes was eventually set back to thirteen to honor the original colonies. This means that with each new state that joined the Union, a new star was added to the flag on the following Fourth of July.

The current flag has fifty stars, one for each state in the Union, and it has had this design since Hawaii became the last state to join in 1960. The flag’s colors also hold meaning: red stands for valor and bravery, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

Throughout American history, the flag has been a symbol of freedom, courage, and unity. It has flown during times of peace and war, celebration and mourning. The United States flag stands not just for the country as it is today, but for the history and principles that have shaped the nation.

United States Flag Cootie Catcher

History of the United States Flag Cootie Catcher

Looking for a fun and interactive way to learn about the history of the United States flag for your Building a Better World Adventure? Check out this “Cootie Catcher” activity! It’s a paper craft that folds up and lets you play a game while discovering fascinating facts about the U.S. flag’s history. Not only is it a creative way to meet requirement 1, but it also makes learning about our flag’s past entertaining.

Displaying the US Flag

Displaying the United States flag properly is a way to show respect and honor for our country. Here are some important rules to follow when you’re showing the flag in public:

  • Right Position: When you display the flag with other flags, like state or community flags, the U.S. flag should be in the position of honor. This means it goes to its own right (the viewer’s left) or in the center and higher than the others if they are in a line. Read more about displaying the US flag with other flags.
  • Raising and Lowering: The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. It’s a special moment that deserves respect. Read more about raising and lowering the US flag.
  • Time of Day: Usually, the flag is flown from sunrise to sunset. If you display it at night, it should be lit up so people can see it.
  • Weather: It’s best to display the flag only in good weather, unless it’s an all-weather flag, which can handle rain and snow.
  • Half-Staff: Sometimes, the flag is flown at half-staff to show mourning. When you do this, first raise it to the top for a moment and then lower it to the halfway point.
  • Condition: Make sure the flag is always in good condition. It should never be torn, faded, or dirty when displayed.
  • Over the Street: If you hang the flag over a street, make sure it’s hung vertically with the union (the blue field of stars) to the north or east, depending on the direction of the street.
  • Against a Wall: When the flag is displayed on a flat surface like a wall, the union should be at the top left from the viewer’s perspective.
  • Other Flags: When the U.S. flag is displayed with other countries’ flags, all flags should be at the same height and the same size. It shows that all countries are equal in terms of sovereignty.
  • Special Situations: In some cases, like when the flag is displayed on a vehicle or on a person’s clothing, there are specific rules to ensure it’s shown respectfully.

By following these guidelines during the Building a Better World adventure, we honor the flag and everything it stands for. It’s a way to show our respect for the country and the people who have served it.

Leading a Flag Ceremony

In the Building a Better World Adventure, one of the key requirements is to help lead a flag ceremony, which teaches respect and proper handling of the U.S. flag. Understanding how to correctly raise and lower the flag, fold it with care, and conduct both opening and closing ceremonies indoors are essential skills. Additionally, learning to retire a flag respectfully is a meaningful way to honor our nation. These activities not only fulfill a part of the adventure but also instill a sense of patriotism and respect for one of our nation’s most important symbols.

Here is more information on these topics to ensure a dignified flag ceremony:

Rights and Duties of United States Citizens

As part of the Building a Better World Adventure, Cub Scouts dive into understanding their roles as active citizens of their country. Learning about your rights and duties is not just about knowing what you can do, but also what you should do to contribute positively to your community and country. Rights like freedom of speech and the right to vote come with responsibilities like obeying laws and respecting others’ opinions.

Being loyal to your country means more than just feeling proud to be a part of it; it’s about actively participating in its betterment and standing by its values, even when it’s challenging. In the Building a Better World Adventure, you’ll explore these ideas deeply, discussing what loyalty looks like in everyday actions, such as helping others, being informed about national issues, and understanding how government works.

This part of the adventure isn’t just about learning; it’s about applying what you learn to be a better citizen and leader. By engaging in discussions and activities about your rights and duties, and what loyalty means, you’re taking important steps in the Building a Better World Adventure. These lessons are crucial for becoming a thoughtful, active, and caring member of your community and country.

Rule of Law

In the Building a Better World Adventure, Cub Scouts get to explore a very important concept: the “rule of law.” This might sound like a big, fancy term, but it’s really about understanding how laws help us live together peacefully and fairly. It means that everyone, no matter who they are, follows the same rules, and that these rules are made to protect and help everyone.

During the Building a Better World adventure, your Webelos den will dive into discussions about how the rule of law affects you daily. Think about the simple rules at home, like doing chores, or at school, like following classroom guidelines. These rules help everyone get along and ensure things are fair. In your community, laws help keep people safe and make sure people’s rights are respected.

Talking about the rule of law in your den meetings is a big part of the Building a Better World Adventure. You’ll learn that by understanding and respecting laws, you’re contributing to a better world for everyone. This adventure encourages you to think about how you can be a good citizen by following laws and helping others understand their importance, too. It’s all about making your community and the world a better place.

Government Leaders

For the Building a Better World Adventure, you will meet with a government leader in your community. This isn’t just a meet-and-greet; it’s an opportunity to dive deep into how your community functions and the challenges it faces. Government leaders play pivotal roles, from making laws to ensuring public safety, and everything in between. By talking to them, you get to see firsthand how decisions are made and how these decisions affect everyone’s daily life.

During this part of the adventure, you’ll not only learn about the leader’s responsibilities but also discuss an important issue your community is dealing with. This could be anything from improving local parks to enhancing road safety. The goal is to understand the problem, how it’s being addressed, and how you, as a concerned citizen and Scout, can contribute to the solution.

This requirement of the Building a Better World Adventure teaches you about civic engagement and responsibility. It shows that even as a young person, you have a voice that matters and can make a difference in your community. Meeting with a government leader is a step towards becoming an informed, active participant in your community, embodying the true spirit of the Building a Better World Adventure.

Planning an Activity

In the Building a Better World Adventure, one of the challenges is to show off your leadership skills. This means you get to plan an activity all by yourself for your den. But remember, even though you’re taking the lead, you need to get your den leader’s approval before you set your plan into action. This step is crucial because it ensures your activity is safe, fun, and fits within the scouting guidelines.

  • Brainstorm Ideas: Think about what kind of activity your den would enjoy. Consider something that could be fun, educational, or help your community. Maybe a hike, a service project, or a craft activity.
  • Consider the Skills: Pick an activity that also helps your fellow Scouts learn something new or practice a skill. It could relate to a badge the den is working on or a scouting value like teamwork or leadership.
  • Plan the Details: Once you have an idea, work out the details. What materials will you need? Where will the activity take place? How long will it last? Make a list of everything you need to make the activity a success.
  • Ask for Approval: Before you go any further, present your plan to your den leader. Explain the activity, why you chose it, and how you think it will benefit the den. Your den leader will make sure the activity is safe and appropriate for the group.
  • Prepare: With your den leader’s approval, start getting everything ready. You might need to gather materials, make reservations, or send out information to the rest of your den so they know what to expect.
  • Lead the Activity: On the day of the activity, take charge but also be flexible. Things might not go exactly as planned, and that’s okay! Leading is also about adapting to changes and making sure everyone is having a good time and staying safe.
  • Reflect: After the activity, take some time to think about how it went. What did everyone enjoy? What would you do differently next time? Sharing this reflection with your den leader and fellow Scouts is a great way to show your growth as a leader.

This part of the Building a Better World Adventure is all about taking initiative and contributing to your den in a meaningful way. It’s a chance to put into practice the leadership qualities you’ve been developing as a Scout. By successfully planning and executing an activity, you’re not just having fun; you’re also building a better world within your Scout community by fostering teamwork, friendship, and learning. This is what being an active leader in your den is all about.

Around the World

In the Building a Better World Adventure, Scouts have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn about the global impact of Scouting and the importance of energy conservation. This adventure takes you beyond your local community, encouraging you to explore and connect with the wider world through one of these activities.

Learn about Scouting in Another Part of the World

Scouting exists in many countries, each with its unique traditions and activities. Choose a country and discover how Scouting operates there. You might find out about their Scout oath, law, motto, and the kinds of badges they earn. This research can help you appreciate the global brotherhood of Scouting and see how Scouts everywhere are committed to making the world a better place, just like you are in the Building a Better World Adventure.

Share Information about the World Friendship Fund

The World Friendship Fund supports Scouting programs around the globe, especially where financial resources are limited. By setting up an exhibit at your pack meeting, you can teach others about the importance of international Scouting friendship and cooperation. This activity goes perfectly with the spirit of the Building a Better World Adventure, as it promotes understanding and support among Scouts worldwide.

Connect with a Scout in Another Country

Through events like Jamboree-on-the-Air or Jamboree-on-the-Internet, you have the chance to communicate directly with Scouts from other countries. This interaction is a fantastic way to learn about different cultures and make new friends. It embodies the essence of the Building a Better World Adventure by fostering international camaraderie and mutual respect.

Learn about Energy Use

Exploring how your community and other parts of the world use energy can be eye-opening. You’ll learn about renewable and non-renewable energy sources, how energy consumption impacts the environment, and what can be done to use energy more efficiently. This knowledge is crucial for contributing to a sustainable planet, a key aspect of the Building a Better World Adventure.

Identify an Energy Problem in Your Community

Identifying a local energy issue and understanding its causes can empower you to be part of the solution. Whether it’s excessive energy use, reliance on fossil fuels, or lack of energy-efficient practices, recognizing these problems is the first step toward advocacy and action. This task encourages you to be a leader in your community’s efforts towards sustainability, reflecting the goals of the Building a Better World Adventure.

By engaging with these activities, you’re not just earning a badge; you’re joining Scouts around the world in a shared mission to leave the planet better than you found it. Through research, education, communication, and action, you’re taking meaningful steps towards building a better world for everyone.

Citizenship Football Game

The Citizenship Football Game is a fun way to learn concepts for the Building a Better World adventure. This game turns learning about citizenship, rights, and duties into an exciting football match. You’ll answer questions to move the ball and score points, making it a perfect team activity for your den. It’s a fun journey into understanding what being a good citizen means. So, gather your Scout friends and get ready to kick off a game that’s as educational as it is entertaining!

Frequently Asked Questions for the Building a Better World Adventure

What is the main goal of the Building a Better World Adventure?

The main goal of the Building a Better World Adventure is to teach Cub Scouts about global citizenship, leadership, and community service. It aims to broaden Scouts’ understanding of their role in the community and the world, encouraging them to take active steps in making positive changes and being responsible citizens.

Who can participate in the Building a Better World Adventure?

The Building a Better World Adventure is designed for Arrow of Light Cub Scouts, who are typically in the fifth grade. It’s one of the required adventures for Scouts looking to earn their Arrow of Light rank, the highest rank in Cub Scouting.

How can I find a government leader to meet for requirement 4 of the Building a Better World Adventure?

Start by identifying local government officials in your area, such as city council members, mayors, or school board officials. Your den leader or parents can help you contact these officials to set up a meeting. Often, these leaders are more than willing to meet with Scouts and discuss their roles and community issues.

What are some tips for planning a den activity for requirement 5 of the Building a Better World Adventure?

Begin by thinking about what interests your den mates and what would be fun and educational. Consider activities that also serve the community, like a cleanup project or a charity fundraiser. Plan the details carefully, and remember to get your den leader’s approval before moving forward.

How can I connect with a Scout in another country for requirement 6C of the Building a Better World Adventure?

Participating in events like Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) or Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI) is a great way to meet Scouts from around the world. You can also ask your den leader or local Scouting organization if they have any international contacts or sister Scout groups you could communicate with.

Why is learning about energy use and problems important for the Building a Better World Adventure?

Understanding energy use and identifying energy problems in your community are important because they teach Scouts about sustainability and environmental stewardship. By learning about these issues, Scouts can take informed actions to conserve energy and promote a healthier planet, aligning with the goals of the Building a Better World Adventure.

Can completing the Building a Better World Adventure help me in other aspects of Scouting or life?

Absolutely! The skills and knowledge gained from the Building a Better World Adventure, such as leadership, civic engagement, and global awareness, are not only valuable in Scouting but also in everyday life. These experiences can inspire Scouts to continue making positive contributions to their communities and the world as they grow.

Together, We Make a Difference

Together, We Make a Difference

The Building a Better World Adventure is about opening our eyes to the role we play in our communities and the world. Through understanding the history of the U.S. flag, meeting community leaders, and even connecting with Scouts from other countries, we learn that our actions have a global impact.

This adventure teaches us that being a good citizen and a strong leader involves more than just following rules; it’s about actively contributing to making our world a better place. Whether it’s through conserving energy, understanding different cultures, or simply being kind and fair in our daily lives, every step we take can make a difference.

So, let’s take what we’ve learned in the Building a Better World Adventure and put it into action. Let’s be leaders in our communities, advocates for positive change, and friends to Scouts and non-Scouts alike, across the globe. Together, we’re not just Scouts; we’re builders of a better, more connected world.


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