The Journey of Scouting includes the Journey of Webelos Scouts. It is vastly different from that of the Tiger, Wolf and Bear Cubscouts. First, there is the Webelos Rank itself. Then there is the Arrow of Light Rank. All obviously must be completed before the awarding of each Rank.
Over the past 18 months or so, I have written about how I look at Webelos and what I am doing with my son. The first was back when Elliot was close to moving up from Bears to Webelos I and also another post about just explaining what Webelos requirements are. I even had a couple posts about the Webelos Summer, and how to work with Beltloops as a Webelos. I think that the most fun of all the Webelos outs we had that worked on advancement was when the Tree Scouts (as they are called) went to the Ape Caves in the fall.
So, why all of a sudden blogging about Webelos Rank Requirements?
In a Linkedin Forum that I take part in a Cubmaster posted a question about what are the requirements of the Arrow of Light and when can the Scout move on from Cubscouts to Boyscouts from the fourth grade. With a lot of back and forth between several people, it came down to this:
126.96.36.199 The Arrow of Light Award
“The Arrow of Light Award may be completed only while the following four conditions are met: (1) The Webelos Scout has been registered and active for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or since turning 10 years old; (2) he is still registered in a pack or as a Lone Cub Scout; (3) he has not yet joined a troop; and (4) he has either not yet graduated from the fifth grade or has not yet turned 11, whichever is the latter.”
There is not a pick one and fulfill, it’s “While the following four conditions are met!”
Seems pretty simple enough? Insert monkey wrench here. A few people came up with situations of a boy held back to repeat the 4th Grade. Or what about Home Schoolers or boys that skip a grade due to being very smart. Ok, you got me. But, here is my response.
As to the Scout who repeated the 4th Grade. He would be in the 5th Grade if his grades were acceptable. He isn’t held back within the Pack because of grades, he moves with his buddies since he earned/completed the Webelos Rank requirements. Use the Age Requirements as your guide.
The same will be fore the Home Schooler and those who skip a grade. You must also look at the time in rank requirements. Webelos must be active for 3 months. Webelos 6 months.
In my son’s case, he is 11, but has not graduated from 5th Grade. He has at this time fulfilled all requirements and Activity Pins for Arrow of Light. He is crossing over with his buddies. Yes, I could make an issue of it and push him to a Troop sooner than the rest, but it’s his Journey and his buddies would not be there until they cross. He has told me, he wants to go with his buddies.
Now, there are parents who will want their son in the Troop so they are start working on the Eagle for various reasons. There are parents who will say their son is bored, that everything is done or the completed everything early and there isn’t anything to do.
First: Eagle is a journey, not a destination. What happens after the fact he becomes an Eagle Scout? Secondly, isn’t the Scout who is earning it and NOT the Adults?
Which, really brings me to a point made by a fellow Beaver and Cubmaster in the Denver Council. Five Ways to Help Webelos Transition to Boy Scouts. If, we as Cubmasters and Den Leaders read the book, understand the Webelos Program and know what is in store for them, then everyone is successful.
If we do not understand and are not “Prepared”, then we have collectively failed. It is not our Journey, it is the Scout’s Journey.
Unfortunately, as Cubmasters and Den Leaders cannot save a Scout from his Parents. We can just show them the BSA literature that guides us and hope they understand. If not, maybe they will reap what they sew.
I know that within the District our Pack is in, there are 14 others. Each Webelos and Pack Program is carried out different. It is the same throughout the BSA Scouting Program in every Council. Everyone does it differently. Some, are drastically wrong and make for horrible war stories during trainings. Others, are gleaming lights of inspiration that only Green Bar Bill and Baden-Powell themselves would be in awe of if they saw it. My hope, is that our program meets the need of the Webelos that are in the Pack. I know it does.
Just make sure that if your Pack is doing it wrong, that you step-up and correct it sooner than later.