This is the final year for Elliot before he crosses over into a Boy Scout Troop. The focus is generally on Webelos Activity Pins. The other focus is learning the Scout Oath & Law. As well as several other items needed to earn the Arrow of Light.
Just like in Boy Scouts, Cub scouts can earn ALL 20 Webelos Activity Pins. For those who do, they can earn a patch like shown above. Councils have their own version of this patch. Within the Boy Scout Program, they are called Eagle Palms.
So, is earning all 20 bad? Is earning all 144 (or so) Merit Badges bad? Is it good? That is something for your son to answer for himself. You as the Adult are not earning them.
In earlier posts about earning Webelos Pins, I got into a funk about getting Elliot to earn these Webelos Activity Pins. I soon came to realize that I was pushing him and pushing Scouting on him. I completely backed off. That was the Summer of 2011. I read a blog about earning Merit Badges at Summer Camp this Summer.
That guided me this summer and how I approached the Webelos II camp at Adventure Cove. In years past I would see the Webelos Den Leader fork out lots of metal to the Webelos. COOL, I thought. Go to a week of Summer camp and get half the Pins! DONE. I realized from last summer to now with reading, listening and observing that this is NOT a Method of Scouting.
While Advancement is a Method of Scouting, it’s not the total answer to be a Scout. The Method of Cubscout is a tad different from Boy Scouts, but the journey and goals are the same.
The Webelos Activity Pins are a great help into providing knowledge and fun while earning the Webelos & Arrow of Light Badge. These Activity Pins help spark interest in various areas, which may lead into a career. The Merit Badge program is very similar. Once the required Webelos Activity Pins are earn, the rest help the Webelos Scout keep interest within Scouting.
“3. Using Advancement
Recognition is important to boys. The advancement plan provides fun for the boys, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they earn badges, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members and their den leader work with boys on advancement projects.”
It is not the primary focus of Cub scouts or Scouting.
The primary focus should be THE JOURNEY. As pointed out in the Merit Badge blog, memories that are created will last longer and be a lot better than a sash full of badges. They could be lost or forgotten, but memories will come out fast and strong when talking to buddies years from now.
So, if you son is way into Scouting and the Webelos Activity Pins are his thing and he has a lot of fun, great. Do them. Make sure that the memories created are just as good and rewarding as earning the Webelos Activity Pins. I know that during the Webelos II Summer Camp at Adventure Cove on the Oregon Coast, I just let Elliot do what he wanted. He had more fun doing that, than cranking out Webelos Activity Pins.