Arrow of Light Requirements
For the oldest Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light program offers 5th grade Webelos the opportunity to earn a patch that transfers to their Scouts BSA uniform. By earning this recognition, a scout demonstrates readiness for the next step on the boy scout trail.
During their last year in a Pack, Webelos get a larger say in which adventures their den will do, and in leading their fellow scouts, both skills that will come in handy in Scouts BSA.
A youth that is new to Scouting in 5th grade does not need to earn any previous ranks. The Bobcat badge and then the Arrow of Light can be earned along with the scout's den, even if the scout does not have the Webelos badge yet. If it's important to the youth, the scout can put in more effort and fulfill the Webelos requirements during 5th grade also, without missing out on the adventures the den is doing for Arrow of Light.
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.
Arrow of Light Advancement
Webelos Scouts do adventures described in their Webelos handbook that advance them towards their Arrow of Light rank. By completing five adventures, the Arrow of Light is earned.
Arrow of Light Requirements:
- Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old. (Being active means having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects.)
- Complete each of the four Arrow of Light required adventures:
- In addition to the four required adventures listed above, complete at least one elective adventure of your den's 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, Sports
- With your parent, guardian, or caring adult, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.
- Earn the Cyber Chip award for your age. (The Cyber Chip portion of this requirement may be waived by your parent or guardian if you do not have access to the internet.)
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 Scouts BSA.
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 Arrow of Light Information to Use:
Arrow of Light Core Adventures - Do four for the Arrow of Light
Arrow of Light Elective Adventures - Do one for the Arrow of Light
Activities - great den meeting ideas
Awards - see what awards are available to Webelos scouts
Ceremonies - a few ceremonies
Games - den or pack games just right for 4th and 5th graders
Graces - fun meal graces
Jokes - funny, gross, and silly jokes for scouts
Projects - community or conservation projects for your Webelos den
Recipes - tasty food recipes for fun snacks at campfires or on overnights
Skits - skits that Webelos Scouts like to do
Songs - songs for scouts
Stories - choose stories that Webelos scouts will enjoy and understand
Uniform - make sure you put all those badges and patches in the right spots
Tests - online tests for Webelos Scouts to test their knowledge
May 08, 2015 - John
May 08, 2015 - Scouter Paul
May 08, 2015 - Scouter Joe
May 08, 2015 - John
May 18, 2015 - Brian
May 18, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Jun 10, 2015 - Robert
Jul 22, 2015 - Joe
The only change is that scouts joining in 5th grade do not have to complete the Webelos required pins or the extra two electives, but they still CAN if they want to, provided they have the opportunity (for instance, by working with the 4th grade Webelos den).
Aug 15, 2015 - Brian L
My Son's B- day is March 19 .. at our pack meeting for august I expect him to earn his weblos badge, and that will leave him 1 section from completing his Arrow of Light - which he should have completed by september. I wanted to confirm if the time involved in the weblos and the Arrow of light (3 and 6 Months respectively) can overlap .. or if the minimum time involved is 9 months for both ... I asked this at a round table on thursday and there seemed to be some confusion
Aug 15, 2015 - Scouter Joe
Aug 15, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Since you are in an LDS Pack, your den age divisions may impact how this works.
It would be interesting to hear what other councils do, too.
Aug 17, 2015 - Scouter Joe
Tenure is cumulative - 3 months while working on Webelos, 6 months while working on AOL. In cases where boys work across required adventures, the total tenure required is still 9 months.
Aug 18, 2015 - Brian L
Aug 30, 2015 - Sunita
Aug 31, 2015 - Scouter Joe
Boys who are new to Scouting (after June 1) need to use the new advancement program.
There are opportunities to be efficient: for this year, boys working on AOL with the old program may use some of the new adventures as electives; the new boys may earn them as well, so there is no need for parallel programming in those cases.
Sep 13, 2015 - Andrew
Specifically, I would like my new AOL's to take First Responder, because otherwise they wouldn't cover first aid stuff.
Sep 14, 2015 - Scouter Joe
First Responder is really close to Readyman, so if they have already have earned that activity badge then it would be pretty easy for them.
Sep 15, 2015 - Andrew
I am so glad that AOL is a separate rank now, because I've had several fifth graders come and leave because of having to do both ranks.
Oct 02, 2015 - Noel
Oct 04, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Noel - See bottom of page 11 on Program Updates PDF - it will require
individual coaching and individual efforts supervised by his
Many of the old Arrow of Light requirements are in the new Arrow of Light adventures, especially the Scouting adventure. As den leader, you can plan some activities that will fulfill both old and new requirements.
Yes, he must be in the Webelos den for 6 months in order to receive the Arrow of Light rank.
Oct 19, 2015 - SgtFitz
Oct 22, 2015 - Scouter Joe
With the new program they would not need to earn their Webelos rank to earn their AOL, just their Bobcat rank if they are new.
Nov 02, 2015 - Gordon
Nov 02, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Nov 03, 2015 - Scouter Joe
Our Pack calls them Arrows, those they are still technically Webelos.
Nov 15, 2015 - Kristy
Nov 16, 2015 - Scouter Joe
So it sounds like they are eligible to move up to Boy Scouts, especially if they are causing behavior problems.
Award them their AOL at the next Pack Meeting and move them on
Dec 15, 2015 - John Thompson
1] Can he participate in the cross over ceremony to the troop on 1/15/2016? or does he have to wait until he is 10 & 1/2 years old? [Assuming he has his AOL]
2] Can he do the crossover 6 months after receiving his AOL, if he has not yet earned it?
3] If he has been as inactive as he apparently has, Can his work [totally with his parents] to earn is Webelos Award [and possibly his AOL] be acceptable to the BSA even though he has had little participation with the Webelos Den?
4 Can he do the crossover with other Webelos II Scouts who are in the 5th grade on 1/15/2016, but then just not participate in troop activities until he is 10 1/2 years old on 3/17/2016?
Dec 16, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Boy Scout age requirement is: completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old, or is age 11, or has earned the
Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old.
1] A boy that has earned the AOL and is at least 10 can join a Boy Scout troop.
2] He would not have received his AOL if he had not earned it.
3] I don't know how a scout could complete the Scouting Adventure requirement #3, nor the Camper Adventure requirements #4 and #5 without his Webelos den.
4] This boy has to wait until he is 11 years old, or earns AOL, or completes 5th grade to join a troop.
Jan 18, 2016 - Fred
Jan 30, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Feb 06, 2016 - Dennis
Feb 06, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Dennis - There is no AoL requirement that the Webelos rank needs to be earned first. A scout could earn just the AoL, or earn it before the Webelos rank. But, see FAQ page where it explains the Webelos rank should be earned before AoL. The "just AoL" option is intended for boys just joining scouts after 4th grade so they have an incentive.
Feb 06, 2016 - Dennis
Thank you for the quick response!
Feb 08, 2016 - Dell from Michigan
Feb 09, 2016 - Scouter Joe
At Philmont this was brought up, and yes technically a boy could earn his AOL before his Webelos rank. HOWEVER, he should not be awarded the rank before Webelos.
This IS meant specifically for boys entering Cub Scouts in the 5th grade or 2nd year of Webelos in a traditional unit. There will be those who want to push the rules, so the above rule is meant to encourage scouts to earn both.
Feb 10, 2016 - Kris
Feb 11, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Kris - No, see FAQ page.
Feb 12, 2016 - Sharon Dustin
Mar 04, 2016 - Scouter Joe
May 20, 2016 - CM Steve
May 20, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Jul 31, 2016 - Christa Campbell
My boys just returned from AOL camp and they had a new requirement that I do not see listed on my Webelos Trax no have I heard of it. It is called Shooting Sports. Would you know about it and if it is truly a new requirement I can count towards their AOL rank?
Jul 31, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Christa - Sounds like you are referring to Shooting Sports award. It is not an Arrow of Light requirement. It is a separate award.
Sep 07, 2016 - Kevin
Sep 07, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Read the BSA Youth Application to find out that a boy can join a troop when he is at least 10 years old and has either completed 5th grade or has earned the Arrow of Light Award, or when he turns 11 years old regardless of any past scouting experience.
Sep 07, 2016 - Prin
Sep 07, 2016 - Prin
Sep 07, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Sep 11, 2016 - Kevin
Sep 11, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Sep 30, 2016 - Lisa
I have a Arrow of Light scout who is 5th grade, 10 years old, just joined our pack, first meeting Sep 22. Our Blue and Gold is Feb 25. That is only 5 months away. The requirement states 6 months active to receive AOL. Is the 6 months requirement a guideline? Can this scout receive his AOL by Feb 25 if all other requirements are met? Just need to be clear to explain to parents- thanks
Sep 30, 2016 - Scouter Paul
His AOL could be presented to him at the next pack meeting after he completes 6 months.
Nov 16, 2016 - James
He'll turn 10 in December and the pack Blue/Gold is scheduled for May...
Nov 16, 2016 - Scouter Paul
He can earn the AoL a month later and join the troop then.
Mar 23, 2017 - Thad
Mar 23, 2017 - Scouter Paul
May 22, 2017 - Vikki Webster
May 22, 2017 - Scouter Paul
When the new program was introduced in 2015, both Webelos and AoL took 7 adventures, but in December, 2016, Webelos was reduced to 6 adventures and AoL was reduced to 5.
Sep 16, 2017 - Brian L
this is about an LDS Unit where the Weblos program is only 1 year
or are they disallowed from completing the award upon Turning 11
Oct 11, 2017 - Lori Kaumans
My question is this: if a boy has been in cubs since he was 8 but has not earned his Bear or Wolf, can he still earn the Arrow of Light? Thanks for any insight you can give on this.
Oct 11, 2017 - Scouter Paul
@Lori - Yes, ranks in Cub Scouts are age-based, not based on earning any previous ranks. In Boy Scouts, each rank can only be earned after earning the previous rank.
Oct 18, 2017 - Shari Shirley
Nov 17, 2017 - Justin
Nov 18, 2017 - Jane
The clock will start for your son on his 10th birthday.
Feb 02, 2018 - Suzanne
Specifically in time to attend summer camp with his brothers.
Feb 02, 2018 - Scouter Paul
If the scout completes the AoL requirements and meets the Boy Scout joining requirements, then he can join the troop, and camp with them.
Meeting the following two requirements would be a challenge, besides pushing through the Webelos and AoL adventures all in 4th grade:
AoL #1: Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.
Joining: A 10 year old can join a troop if he has either completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light.
To complete AoL #1, he must have turned 10 before December 1 of his 4th grade year in order to be active for 6 months as a 10 year old Webelos by June 1.
That would also satisfy the 2nd part of the Joining requirement: "earned AoL and is at least 10"
So, the requirements really set the minimum age to join a troop for a Webelos scout that earned the AoL as 10.5 years.
Feb 12, 2018 - Sara
Apr 19, 2018 - Steve
Apr 23, 2018 - David Willis
Aug 27, 2018 - Jonathon
Aug 27, 2018 - Jane
1) Is at least 11 years old (but not yet 18 years old) OR
2) Has completed the 5th grade OR
3) Has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old (but is not yet 18 years old).
If he is currently in the 5th grade and turns 11 years old in December, then he can stay with his friends in Webelos (assuming that they are all in the 5th grade). Most Webelos cross over from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts around January - March, but different packs might do things differently.
Sep 11, 2018 - Heidi Cole
Sep 11, 2018 - Scouter Paul
My comment was that the AoL age and tenure requirements ensure that nearly all children will be at least 10.5 years old before joining a troop.
Feb 12, 2019 - Rick
Feb 12, 2019 - Clark
So, the Webelos could still complete it so long as he did not cross over into Boy Scouts (aka no longer a Webelos) and not yet 11. Question is if there is still a den and a den leader if everyone else crossed over? Who is he aligned with within his Pack?
Feb 12, 2019 - Rick
Feb 12, 2019 - Jane
While it is a goal for Webelos Scouts in the 5th grade to earn AOL and crossover to a troop in the January-March time period, this is not an absolute requirement. If they have not earned AOL rank yet, they can stay in the pack and keep working towards it until the end of the school year, if this is what they choose.
As Clark says, it is important that the Scout does not register with a troop, because once he joins a troop, he cannot go back and work on Cub Scout ranks and awards.
As for the den, does your pack have a Webelos Den for 4th graders? If so, I would put him with them to finish up. If not, you can be his acting Den Leader and his den would just have him as its one member.
Talk to the Scout and his parents and find out what they want to do.
Feb 13, 2019 - Rick
Mar 14, 2019 - Rachel Clements
Mar 14, 2019 - Scouter Paul
Mar 26, 2019 - Rick Carrillo
Mar 26, 2019 - Scouter Paul
Mar 26, 2019 - Jane
Complete Option A OR Option B.
The requirements for option A deal with a campout.
The requirements for option B deal with an outdoor activity.
Either option is acceptable. As Scouter Paul said, a campout is not required.
Oct 18, 2020 - Virginia
He is friendly with the boys in this den and wants to continue scouting with them and also complete Webeblos 2 with THIS den.
Upon that completion of Webelos 2 and receiving AOL he will be 11 and a half. This will happen right before his 11 1/2 birthday mark in March 2022.
Is he ok to continue on this path?
Oct 26, 2020 - Jane
Dec 06, 2020 - Kelli
Dec 06, 2020 - Jane
Dec 06, 2021 - Scouter Eric
Dec 06, 2021 - Scouter Paul
@Eric - There used to be a requirement to visit a troop meeting and outing, but not multiple troops. Now, those requirements are in the Scouting Adventure, required for AoL. See this page for old requirements.
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