Webelos Scout Resources for a Great Program
We'll Be Loyal Scouts
Prepare a Cub Scout to be a Scout
Webelos is for 4th and 5th grade youth to prepare to join a Scouts BSA 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 Scouts BSA 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 Scouts BSA 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 at least six adventures, the Webelos rank is earned.
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 five Webelos required adventures:
- In addition to the five required adventures listed, complete at least one Webelos elective adventure of your den's or family's choosing from this list for a total of at least six adventures: Aquanaut, Art Explosion, Aware and Care, Build It, Castaway, Earth Rocks!, Engineer, Game Design, Into the Wild, Into the Woods, Sports
- With your parent, guardian, or other caring adult, 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.
- 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.)
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 the 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 the Scouts BSA program. There is more responsibility put on the scout to remember and bring the 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 Scouts BSA merit badge system where recognition items are displayed on a sash.
- 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 the scout 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. Scouts BSA members 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 leadership skills. The den leader should spend some extra time with the patrol leader explaining how to run a meeting and giving encouragement to lead the other scouts.
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.
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 one 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
May 22, 2015 - Ati So'o
May 23, 2015 - Scouter Paul
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.
May 31, 2015 - Den Ldr Rich
Jun 01, 2015 - Scouter Paul
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.
Jun 02, 2015 - sara burch
Jun 03, 2015 - Scouter Paul
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.
Jun 04, 2015 - Rose
Jun 04, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Jun 07, 2015 - ben
Jun 07, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Jun 07, 2015 - Logan dobson
Jun 23, 2015 - Kevin ordway
Jun 23, 2015 - Scouter Paul
So, it appears what you ask is fine, and that a scout could earn Arrow of Light before earning Webelos rank.
Jul 10, 2015 - ScoutmomX2
Jul 10, 2015 - Scouter Joe
Best advice is per-purchase awards for your boys, especially more popular awards like the "Super Achiever".
Jul 29, 2015 - Mandy
Jul 29, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Aug 21, 2015 - Daniel Kim
Aug 22, 2015 - Alice/Ron Piri
Aug 24, 2015 - Scouter Joe
@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.
Aug 27, 2015 - cubbie
Aug 31, 2015 - Scouter Joe
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.
Sep 11, 2015 - Chuck
Sep 14, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Chuck - There are tight guidelines for Cub Scout camping at the den and pack levels. OWL Training is not required, but an attending adult responsible for each scout is required. For a Pack campout, BALOO Training is required. See BSA page as a starting point.
Sep 18, 2015 - Steve Jacobson
Sep 18, 2015 - Scouter Paul
The new den leader guides provide you with a complete program if you want to follow a pre-defined year of meetings.
Sep 22, 2015 - Tracy
Can they also earn pins from the NEW program that can be used toward their compass arrow points?
Sep 22, 2015 - Scouter Joe
@Tracy - Yes they can! During this period, both are valid.
Sep 30, 2015 - Tania
Sep 30, 2015 - Leader Chris
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
Sep 30, 2015 - Scouter Paul
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.
Oct 30, 2015 - Kathy
Nov 01, 2015 - Scouter Joe
Now if they are apart of a religion that has multiple levels of awards, and they earn the next level that would fulfill the requirements. Otherwise they will need to pass off the alternative requirements at home.
Nov 03, 2015 - MariaK
Nov 03, 2015 - Scouter Paul
Nov 18, 2015 - Boedee
Nov 19, 2015 - Scouter Joe
With the new program, the requirement for needing to earn you Webelos to earn your AOL was removed; BUT the AOL cannot be awarded before the Webelos rank for those boys not just joining the Den.
Now depending on the type of Unit you are this could or could not effect you. I encourage LDS units to switch back ad forth between the two and work in a yearly cycle because they only have one year of Webelos..
They as parents can work on whatever and get the DL ok, but warn them that you will be working on them too, suggest that they only work on the elective Adventure pins..
Dec 05, 2015 - Rolanda
Dec 08, 2015 - Lori
Dec 08, 2015 - Scouter Paul
If all the other scouts in his den are crossing over to a Boy Scout troop, then that would most likely be best for him since he'll be moving on with the gang. Whether or not he earned his Webelos rank and AoL doesn't matter in Boy Scouts.
May 04, 2016 - Larry French
May 05, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Larry - You, as a den leader, shouldn't be having an argument
with the other den leader. You have no authority over him/her.
You should inform your Cubmaster of your concern that the den
leader is not using the BSA Bear program and is disrupting your
Webelos program - see Cubmaster
If the Cubmaster does nothing, or you want to escalate things, bring it up to your Pack Committee Chair at the next Pack committee meeting - see Committee Chair Role.
There is no Web I or Web II. There is the Webelos program and the Arrow of Light program, but both are for Webelos dens. I hope your Pack is using the new Cub Scout program materials that became active last year.
May 18, 2016 - Nancy E. Barnes
May 18, 2016 - Scouter Paul
@Nancy - Do you mean this Outdoor Activity Award?
May 22, 2016 - A. Varble
Jun 03, 2016 - Meems
Jun 04, 2016 - Scouter Paul
A Cub Scout works on Cub Scout ranks. A Boy Scout works on Boy Scout ranks. A Boy Scout does not go back and complete Cub Scout ranks.
Your son should be focusing his efforts on his Scout rank, then Tenderfoot, and on up to Eagle. Understanding that he ran out of time to earn Webelos could be used as incentive to help him strive towards upcoming ranks he wants to achieve.
Jun 04, 2016 - Meems
Aug 04, 2016 - Maria
Aug 04, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Your scouts do not need to start over. Their new den leader should continue with the program and help them earn their Webelos rank and then Arrow of Light award if possible before they move on to Boy Scouts.
Aug 30, 2016 - Miss Sally
Aug 30, 2016 - Scouter Paul
Sep 09, 2016 - Rachael
Sep 09, 2016 - Scouter Paul
If a scout completed some electives, and his den leader is comfortable that he actually did them, then they just get signed off and life goes forward. The den leader has (hopefully) set a schedule of what required and elective adventures will be done as a den and the scouts can do them as scheduled. A scout that has already completed one of those scheduled can either help the other scouts, do it again himnself, or figure out some other adventure to do since he's already doing things on his own anyway (which I think has him missing out on a lot).
Sep 10, 2016 - Rachael
Oct 02, 2016 - John
Oct 26, 2016 - Jessica
Oct 29, 2016 - Scouter Paul
"An incoming 5th grade Webelos, who is only working towards Arrow of Light, can use any Webelos Required Adventures towards his Arrow of Light Electives."
A Scout who has used the Webelos required adventures to earn the Webelos rank can NOT use them again towards his Arrow of Light rank.
Mar 05, 2017 - Kate McVicker
May 04, 2017 - Maureen G.
May 04, 2017 - Scouter Paul
@Maureen - On page 5 of the Webelos Handbook, it states "Boys
who have completed the third grade work on the Webelos rank.
Boys who have completed the fourth grade work on the Arrow of
On this BSA page, it states "... boys who were previously members of a Webelos den but did not earn the Webelos rank, shall work on Arrow of Light requirements during their fifth-grade year."
So, the BSA directs that the Webelos rank is to be earned in 4th grade.
May 09, 2017 - Jane
And for all Cub Scout ranks, the Pack Committee has the discretion to grant an extension of time for individual Scouts if they are close to earning their rank at the end of the school year. Please see section 188.8.131.52 "Do Your Best" on pages 18-19 of the BSA's Guide to Advancement:
Dec 08, 2017 - JKS
And if he must wait an additional year, what does he work toward after completing the AOL requirement?
Dec 08, 2017 - Scouter Paul
@JKS - Check out the official BSA youth application:
"Children can be Scouts if they have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, OR have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old, OR are age 11 but have not reached age 18."
So, "10 years old" is the minimum age to join Boy Scouts. He can join on his birthday, if he has completed 5th grade or earned AOL.
In the meantime, has he completed every Webelos/AOL adventure? And there are a few other Cub Scout awards he could earn.
Jan 15, 2018 - Bill
Jan 15, 2018 - Scouter Paul
Jan 15, 2018 - Bill
Jun 26, 2018 - Elenaluvs777
Jun 30, 2018 - Jane
Here are the current requirements for Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks: filestore.scouting.org/filestore/cubscouts/ pdf/WEBELOS_AOL_Addendum.pdf
All of the Webelos Walkabout adventure can be done with the Scout's family. Just complete the requirements. Pictures might be a good idea. But a Scout is trustworthy, so he should be able to talk to his Den Leader after the requirements have been completed and get credit.
Dec 02, 2019 - Tate
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