Webelos Scout Resources for a Great Program
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Prepare a Cub Scout to be a Boy Scout
Webelos is for 4th and 5th grade boys to prepare to join a Boy Scout troop while learning outdoors skills and participating in many adventures. A well-run group of Webelos is a gradual change from being an 'adult-run' den to being a 'scout-run' patrol ready to fit right into an adventurous Boy Scout troop. This migration requires the parents and den leaders to give the scouts more and more control, decision-making power, and responsibility as they progress in skills, abilities, and maturity.
How to Join:
- Go to BeAScout.org
- Click the 'Cub Scouts' tab.
- Enter your zipcode and click the arrow button.
- Click on a Pack near you to see its contact info so you can call the Pack or your local Council about joining.
- Complete a BSA Youth Application and Health Record and give them to the Cubmaster of the Pack you choose.
The Webelos program has two major milestones - the Webelos rank badge to be earned toward the end of 4th grade and the Arrow of Light to be earned in 5th grade. The final part of Webelos is bridging over into a Boy Scout troop selected individually by the scout.
Once the goals of Webelos are understood, the methods of the program make a lot of sense!
Webelos Scouts do adventures described in their Webelos handbook that advance them towards their Webelos rank. By completing seven adventures, the Webelos rank is earned.
Add your ideas for fun ways to complete adventures to win a Scout Shop gift card - Learn More
Webelos Rank Requirements:
- Be an active member of your Webelos den for three months. (Being active means having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects.)
- Complete each of the following Webelos required adventures with your den or family:
- Complete two Webelos elective adventures of your den or family's choosing from this list: Adventures in Science, Aquanaut, Art Explosion, Aware and Care, Build It, Build My Own Hero, Castaway, Earth Rocks!, Engineer, Fix It, Game Design, Into the Wild, Into the Woods, Looking Back, Looking Forward, Maestro!, Moviemaking, Project Family, Sportsman
- With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide and earn the Cyber Chip award for your age.*
* If your family does not have Internet access at home AND you do not have ready Internet access at school or another public place or via a mobile device, the Cyber Chip portion of this requirement may be waived by your parent or guardian.
There are a few major changes between Cub Scouts and Webelos scouts that are very important to the success of your program.
- Advancement Sign Off - each Webelos scout is supposed to take his handbook to the den leader or assistant den leader for sign off when a requirement is completed. This is a change from having a parent sign off every activity. This change prepares the scout to have a Scoutmaster sign off each advancement requirement in Boy Scouts. There is more responsibility put on the scout to remember and bring his handbook to meetings and get it signed.
Tip: Help the scouts along until they get the routine. Have them bring their Webelos handbook to every meeting and reward them for bringing them until they get it. Have a list of adventure requirements that you plan on completing at a meeting so you, your assistant, or a parent on your behalf can sign off those that are completed right away. This will help the scouts understand the importance of the handbook.
- Webelos Adventure Pins - Tiger, Bear and Wolf scouts earned belt loops. Webelos earn pins which can be displayed on the Webelos Colors device. This moves closer to the Boy Scout merit badge system where recognition items are displayed on a sash.
- More Electives - Webelos have two elective adventures and Arrow of Light has three electives. Individual scouts may complete different adventures at different times. This change gives the scout more control over his advancement and lets him choose areas he enjoys more.
- Camping - Webelos dens should Camp! Cub Scouts can camp as a pack, but Webelos should go out as a den as much as possible to give the scouts opportunities to learn and use their new skills. Each Webelos scout needs to have an adult responsible for him on each camping trip. Campouts in the backyard with dinner and s'mores made on a gas grill can be a great way to ease your scouts into the world of camping. Taking your den to a district or council organized summer Webelos camp should be a required part of your program. Most councils have a one or two day overnight camp every summer for Webelos. A Packing List is helpful for a short campout.
Tip: Be sure you follow Rules for Safe Scouting practices on your camping trips.
- Patrols - a patrol is just another name for the den but it does have some significance. Boy Scouts are organized into Patrols, each with their own name, flag, yell, leader, and emblem. As Webelos, a den can begin to operate as a patrol and select an emblem for their uniform, make up a yell, name, and flag. This can really get the scouts to become a team. Taking their flag along on a campout or hike and announcing themselves with their yell is pretty fun.
Tip: A great time to start working as a patrol is when everyone in the den earns their Webelos rank. Have a den meeting with the goal of becoming a patrol - choosing a name, selecting an emblem, coming up with a yell, and designing a flag. You might also elect a patrol leader (a denner) to serve for the next month. Each month, a new patrol leader could be elected so each scout has the opportunity to practice his leadership skills. The den leader should spend some extra time with the patrol leader explaining how to run a meeting and giving him encouragement to lead his friends.
Webelos Den Leader:
A well-trained Den Leader is critical to the success of a Webelos Den. The Webelos Den Leader makes advancement opportunities available to the scouts and tracks their advancements. The den leader can also recruit other adults to plan and organize individual adventure outings. One of the main roles of the Webelos den leader is to give each scout opportunities to lead and make decisions, both individually and for the den.
Every Webelos Den is required to have a registered den leader whose responsibilities are:
- Work directly with other den and pack leaders to ensure that the den is an active and successful part of the pack.
- Plan, prepare for, and conduct den meetings with the assistant den leader and den chief.
- Plan overnight campouts and other outdoor activities.
- Attend pack leaders' meetings.
- Lead the den at pack meetings and activities.
- Help the den earn the National Den Award.
- Work with local scoutmasters to ensure the transition of Webelos scouts to Boy Scouts.
There are many resources available to help the den leader plan and run a successful, interesting program for the scouts. The Webelos Den Leader Guide is the most important one. It has complete den meeting plans for each adventure and many ideas for activities that promote the purposes of Cub Scouting. Using this guide minimizes the time needed to plan worthwhile den events.
Tip: The Cub Scout motto of Do Your Best should still be a key part of the Webelos program. There is no level of competence or skill required to complete adventures. Putting in personal effort and having fun with fellow scouts is success.
Tip: Many available Awards are never earned by Webelos. Learn about additional awards offered to your scouts such as the World Conservation Award and Outdoor Ethics Award and try to work them into your schedule, especially for scouts that are completing the adventures quickly.
More Webelos Scout Information to Use:
Webelos Core Adventures - Do five for the Webelos rank
Webelos Elective Adventures - Do two for the Webelos rank
Webelos Activities - great den meeting ideas
Webelos Scout Awards - see what awards are available to Webelos scouts
Webelos Scout Ceremonies - a few ceremonies
Webelos Scout Games - den or pack games just right for 4th and 5th graders
Webelos Scout Graces - fun meal graces
Webelos Scout Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
Webelos Scout Projects - community or conservation projects for your Webelos den
Webelos Scout Recipes - tasty food recipes for fun snacks at campfires or on overnights
Webelos Scout Skits - skits that Webelos Scouts like to do
Webelos Scout Songs - songs for scouts
Webelos Scout Stories - choose stories that Webelos scouts will enjoy and understand
Webelos Scout Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
Webelos Scout Tests - online tests for Webelos Scouts to test their knowledge
Webelos Scout Schedule - sample schedule of meetings and activities
May 22, 2015 - Ati So'o
There are 18 elective adventures, 5 Webelos core adventures, and 4 Arrow of Light core adventures. Completing all 27 of them would certainly take extra effort by the scout.
If you will be using the new program, then those past activities from the old program will not be used unless you find specific requirements in new adventures that exactly match what was done in the activity at camp. For example, in old Readyman scouts "attend a first aid demonstration" but in new First Responder they "visit with a first responder" - those are not the same.
But, if you look over the Webelos requirements, the Castaway elective adventure is the only one that has a camping requirement - a scout does not need to camp to earn Webelos.
So, it appears what you ask is fine, and that a scout could earn Arrow of Light before earning Webelos rank.
Best advice is per-purchase awards for your boys, especially more popular awards like the "Super Achiever".
@Alice/Ron Piri - Council Shops may be different but National Shops will have old Webelos awards until May 2016 for those who have decided to run the old program. The policy for other awards will be determined later this year.
This provision was put into the program specifically for those boys who enter the Cub Scout program in the 5th grade. They felt this would help boys not get discouraged and continue into Boy Scouts.
For boys who do not fit into this category, techincally they can earn their AOL before Webelos BUT National has said that AOL can NOT be presented before Webelos.
Webelos should be encouraged to earn the Webelos rank as normal unless extending circumstances prevent this.
The new den leader guides provide you with a complete program if you want to follow a pre-defined year of meetings.
Can they also earn pins from the NEW program that can be used toward their compass arrow points?
@Tracy - Yes they can! During this period, both are valid.
Your situation is similar to mine. My den is now two 5th graders that earned Webelos last year and a new first year 5th grade Arrow Of Light'r. We don't have the resources to have another leader just for the new boy so I have to figure out a way for the two older boys to keep on the old program while also implementing the new program to the new boy all the while making sure all three of them get their requirements met and have fun doing it. It's an exercise in pushing the leader's patience to it's limit. The older boys have far too many of the achievements done or in progress to change now (8 finished 3-5 in progress from summer activities). Somehow we need to keep the excitement and follow the requirements to the letter. In my opinion thats a tall order
Usually, there is a 4th grade den and a 5th grade den. You are running into the common challenge when combining the two - 4th graders are doing Webelos and 5th graders are doing Arrow of Light.
If that new 5th grader wants to, he could earn both Webelos and Arrow of Light. It would take some extra effort on his part, doing all the Webelos adventures along with the 4th graders, and probably doing the AoL adventures more on his own.
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