WEBELOS Scouting prepares boys for the change from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. While they technically still are members of a Cub Pack, WEBELOS Scouts become more involved in planning their activities, and performance approval begins to move from parents to unit leaders.
The two-year WEBELOS experience is a time of transition from Cub Scouts toward crossing the bridge to membership in a Boy Scout Troop. First-year activities are directed toward earning the WEBELOS Badge.
WEBELOS II Scouts concentrate on achieving the Arrow of Light. The prestigious Arrow of Light Badge advances with the Scout and is worn on his Boy Scout uniform.
Leaders and parents who understand the transition role of WEBELOS Scouting help boys have a more positive move from Cub Scouting to a boy-run Troop. WEBELOS are encouraged to do more hiking and camping. This often is facilitated by developing a relationship with a Boy Scout troop.
WEBELOS transition involves the Cub Scout Pack, the Boy Scout Troop, the Unit Commissioner, and the District WEBELOS transition Chair. Each plays an important role in helping the Scout to become aware of the exciting experiences of Boy Scouts, to choose the “right Troop” and to be prepared to make the change from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.
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WEBELOS transition is more than an annual WEBELOS Woods or WEBELOS Ree. These important weekend campouts are the culmination of two years of growth toward becoming a Boy Scout.
Improved WEBELOS Transition.
This is the official Boy Scouts of America page on WEBELOS Transition. Be sure to view all four sub-links for an excellent overview of individual leadership roles for effective WEBELOS Transition.
For additional information, type “WEBELOS Transition” in your web search engine, such as Google.com. This will list dozens of sites. Many are local units, districts or councils promoting their program, but you’ll find a wealth of interesting information. NOTE: While these sites are hosted by committed Scouters from across the country, they may or may not reflect the official position of the Boy Scouts of America. They will, however, help to provide additional understanding of WEBELOS Transition.
BOY SCOUT LEADERS – Ensure your Troop’s future with the easiest recruiting you’ll find anywhere. Get your unit linked to one or more Cub packs. Encourage your Scouts to gain leadership experience by volunteering to be Den Chief of any Den in the Pack. Invite WEBELOS dens or patrols to visit a Troop meeting. Invite them to join you on a tailgate campo ut or Camporee (WEBELOS Scout camping rules apply). Offer to help with the Bridge Crossing of boys coming into your Troop.
WEBELOS DEN OR PATROL LEADERS – Investigate all of the Troops in your area. Find out about their program. Choose those whose activities are most interesting to your WEBELOS Scouts and set up a visit for the boys to see them in action. Ask to join them at their Camporee.
PARENTS – Get involved! That doesn’t mean becoming a unit leader. While that certainly is a great thing to do, you can be involved in your son’s Scouting experience by helping his den or patrol leader with activity lessons, attending a Troop visit with him, and, talking at length with him about his choice of Troop. Your guidance and adult perspective can provide him with invaluable counsel as he makes his decision.
WEBELOS to Boy Scout Transition
“A critical step in the journey of Scouting”
PLANNING – PREPARATION – PERFORMANCE – SUCCESS
You must plan ahead for what you are going to do, to recruit WEBELOS Scouts into your Troop or (from a WEBELOS Leader’s point of view) what you are going to do to get the WEBELOS sent on to Boy Scouts. You must then prepare for this transition with activities built along this plan. You must complete all of these activities, not just part of them, in order to achieve success.
Strong>The importance of a good WEBELOS Leader.
• The leader must accept the need for a good outdoor program
• Must have knowledge of outdoor skills, fire building, cooking, wood tools and knots, camping, sanitation, tents and equipment.
• Should be Scoutmaster Fundamental trained (outdoor program section)
The WEBELOS Den Leader’s Role
• Most influential in the boys’ preparation
• Should have the WEBELOS function as a patrol
• Ensure the boys attend camp
• Verify the presence of the necessary Scout Skills
• Attend Roundtables and get to know Scoutmasters
• Attend troop meeting and recruit a Den Chief
• Plan the graduation/bridging ceremony and promote Troop summer activities
• Verify the transfer of documents (the boys’ records)
The Scoutmaster’s Role
• Include the WEBELOS in summer camp reservations
• Discuss camp and troop activity costs with the WEBELOS parents
• Have WEBELOS and their parents attend troop meetings
• Become part of the Pack graduation ceremony
• Assist in finding Den Chiefs for WEBELOS Dens
• Ensure all forms are completed
• Invite the WEBELOS Den Leader to become part of the troop
• Hold a pre-summer camp orientation for Scout skills
The Assistant Scoutmaster’s Role
• Helps to form the new scout patrol
• Makes sure the WEBELOS feel welcome and they belong to the troop
• Works with the Troop Guide in planning instruction of scout skills and patrol learning
• Assist with advancement up to the Star rank
• Verify and reinforce the basic scout skills
The Den Chief’s Role
• A resource for scout skills
• Helps form the patrol and patrol spirit
• Helps to operate the patrol
• Assists in the Arrow of Light and Cross Over ceremonies
• Counts as Leadership time
The Cub master’s Role
• NOW –Search for Scout Troops; develop point-of-contact for the Troop; examine membership levels and activities within the Troop
• OCTOBER—Confirm the February Graduation; invite the Scoutmaster(s) SPL(s) and ASPL(s) to the Blue and Gold Banquet; encourage visitation to Troop meetings
• FEBRUARY TO APRIL—Conduct the Graduation; ensure the boys’ funds get transferred
The Unit Commissioner’s Role
• Determine which Troops can accommodate more Scouts
• Contact District Executive to start more Troops, if necessary
• Ensure graduations are planned
• Track graduating Scouts and ensure they get registered as Boy Scouts
• Attend graduations
• For those WEBELOS who do not join a Troop, determine why
• Family moving?
• Parent problem?
• Scout problem?
• Troop problem?
• Finances? (be discreet)
A good WEBELOS Den Leader will:
• Train the boys to be good scouts
• Enforce the requirements for camping and troop visitations (at least two and three best)
• Enforce the importance of the Arrow of Light Award (it’s as important as the Eagle Award)
• Work for February to April graduation plan (to keep them interested)
Why a two year WEBELOS plan if they are going to graduate in February to April
• Better retention
• Early transition is important so they are ready to go to summer camp
• 70-80% of Boy Scouts were WEBELOS
• 300% better chance of retaining a scout if they attend summer camp their first year
• the boys are looking forward to summer time fun
• May is the end of the year for school and sports
• WEBELOS is really a 22 month program
• 1st year – 4th grade, 12 months
• 2nd year – 5th grade, 10 months
• Arrow of Light in January of the second year
• Join the troop in February
• Graduate as a patrol and stay as a patrol in the Troop
• The SM and SA get to know the boys before they go to summer camp
Second Year WEBELOS Leaders
• Have the boys begin functioning as a patrol and not a Den
• Choose a patrol name
• Make a patrol flag
• Wear a patrol emblem/patch
• Elect patrol officers
• Rotate patrol positions
Use of Den Chiefs
• Resource for scout skills and help training
• Assists in operating the patrol
• Assist in the patrol graduation
• Counts as leadership time
Find a troop early
• Contact Commissioners, Scout Executives and professional Staff
• Ask other Scouters
• Ask at Scoutmaster Fundamentals
• Ask at WEBELOS Overwinter Training
• Plan joint activities
• Summer camp funds savings
• Build a good relationship with the boys of the troop
• Makes the transition natural and fun
Planning the Transition
• The Scoutmaster and the WEBELOS Den Leader should meet in November or December to:
• Share rosters
• Plan the transition graduation (bridging ceremony)
• Review camp plans and fees
• Set a date for the scoutmaster to meet with the WEBELOS parents
Troop and Pack Committee‘s Role
• Share the responsibility for the graduation ceremony
• Transfer Cub Scout Camp accounts
• Ensure the transfer of records and transfer application is completed
Graduation Briefing to WEBELOS
• Remind the WEBELOS that Activity Badges are like Merit Badges
• Accuracy is important
• Neatness is important
• Timeliness is important
• The Arrow of Light qualifies the WEBELOS for the Scout Badge
• The WEBELOS Badge required them to earn Fitness and that has the requirement of the course for substance and child abuse, which is part of the Scout Badge requirement
• The Arrow of Light Ceremony equates to the Eagle ceremony for Boy Scouts. Ensure that the AOL ceremony is just as nice
• An impressive ceremony will instill in the boys the desire to continue
• Shows that the Scoutmaster and Troop junior leaders really want the boys in their Troop
Thanks go to John Lerch for this article.