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  • Crossing Early

    My son is currently a Webelos I and he'll be 10.5 in April. he is pretty much done with cubs and is ready to move on the Boy Scouts. Right now we are planning to have him cross over next August/Sept. Does anybody have any experience with a boy joining Boy Scouts that early? I want him to stay in Scouts and have fun but I'm still a little concerned it might be too soon for him.

  • #2
    One scout in Son#1's den was 10 when he crossed over with his buddies. No problems.

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    • #3
      I asked the SM. Oldest son's Scoutmaster does not want to take youngest son early. They take all crossovers in early March and put them into a New Scout Patrol. So.....waiting one more year.

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      • #4
        Yeah, I can see that too early might be a problem.....
        but waiting gives time for the scouting spark to extinguish and let other interests get in the way.
        Hopefully WEBELOS will continue to be fun for him so he sticks around.

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        • #5
          Look at another troop. I know our troop takes Scouts whenever. Last year, we had one scout begin in October, another in December. yes it's easier to have a NSP, but it's not a big deal to integrate one or two scouts into existing patrols.

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          • #6
            You know your son better than anyone. Make your decision. If it's going to a troop, find the best one and don't look back. I will say that Webelos, done right is a fun transition to boy scouts and you definitely want to stick around to earn Arrow of Light. If you don't feel the current Webelos program is challenging enough for your son step up and offer to plan some events. Last chance for Pinewood Derby.

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            • #7
              The problem with crossing too early is that the scout might not be ready for the independence and expectations of the troop. Also there is a big difference between elementary age and middle school/high school age.

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              • #8
                Your son will be eligible to join a Troop as soon as he completes the requirements for his AOL. Part of those requirements is visiting Troops he would like to join. Talk to the Scoutmaster(s) about your son, and find out, working with the Troop's schedule, when the best time to cross over would be

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                • #9
                  I also agree that you can enrich the Webelos den schedule in the meantime (better yet, you and your son).

                  With regards to the troop, ask SM if Webelos son can attend meetings and events as guest until troop's bridging time. After a few events, your son, on his own, might decide to wait for his den buddies to join him. While what he does as a troop visitor will not count for advancement, what he LEARNS will be useful after he bridges.

                  Most families can only handle one troop at a time, so I encourage you to try to work it out with older son's troop.

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                  • #10

                    dang double posts... almost everytime !
                    Dean
                    Last edited by DeanRx; 03-02-2014, 02:33 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I would be cautious about crossing early... Do you want your 10.5 year old in there mixing it up with 16-17 y/o? Huge age difference. It makes it a ripe envorionment for being bullied. It might turn him off to Boy Scouts if the troop is off doing things that he is not physically up to doing yet (i.e. 10 mile packpack trip for a 10-11 y/o is pretty demanding).

                      I don;t want to be a sick in the mud, but as an ASM, I tend to agree with your older son's SM. I would advise to find ways to make Web II more exciting (i.e. WEB only den campouts, some more challenging camp activities / etc...) that will prep him for Boy Scouts and keep him interested.

                      An early entry into Boy Scouts can be just as bad as treading water in Webelos... Many boys while ready on paper with the right requirements completed are not physically, nor emotionally ready to take on a sometimes rougher boy-led environment. Unless the troop he will be bridgeing to is not boy led (there are plenty out there that are Web III, IMHO....) - I'd say enjoy Web II. Go on WEB only campouts, give the WEB II's jr leader status in the pack. All these things will get them ready and make them more effective Boy Scouts. One of the worst things that could happen is you put him in early, he gets in over his head and then a parent has to step and "fix" a situation... That is a receipe for disaster. Your son would already be viewed by the other boys as the smallest in the group, then he would have "mommy" or "daddy" fixing things... thats just bad all around. Best to hold him back a little and make sure he is over prepared, than to send him forward, perhaps prematurely, to face challenges he is not ready to tackle.

                      Dean

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                      • #12
                        I think you need to have a chat with your son and see what he wants. If he wants to move on, talk with the SM.

                        In my experience, most Webelos IIs are chomping at the bit and raring to go into Boy Scouts. I know my oldest son's den was like that, and so far so good. I have not seen any real problems with new scouts and older scouts.

                        Me personally I do not think a Crossover should be later than March of 5th grade. My reasons for that are the following:

                        1) give both the parents and scouts time to get to know the troop before a week at summer camp Sometimes even if mom knows the leaders, it's hard convincing them to let their sons go to summer camp. Heck it took me about 6-8 months to convince SHMBO to let our son go to summer camp, even if I have to go with him ( and to think I was going to fight her about that , as my son's ASM stated, "ARE YOU CRAZY, SHE"S SENDING YOU TO CAMP FOR THE WEEK!?!?! ).

                        2) Give time for Scout to raise the money for summer camp. I joined my first troop at the end of May and only had 3 or 4 weeks to prep for summer camp. No way could I get the money in time to go.

                        3) Get the scouts "accepted" for lack of a better term, with the troop. For whatever reason, summer camp is a bonding time with the scouts in a troop, and if you miss your first one, you are way behind not only skills-wise, but socially in the troop.

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                        • #13
                          Your son is a Webelos I and will be 10.5 in April? Is this typical for where you live? My son turned 10.5 in Webelos 2 in March of 5th grade and bridged the same month with his W2 den members. My school district has a December cutoff so he was one of the younger boys in his grade. However, he did fine and made Eagle - he is 20 now. I think that 10.5 is old enough to be in scouts but if your son moves up without his friends, he'll not only be the youngest but he'll be without his support group of friends. That's the main reason I would hold him back. My son wasn't the only 10 year old there, there was enough of them to form 2 patrols that year and many of them wound up remaining in scouts through HS. If your son doesn't have friends to tent with or work with in a patrol, he may not want to be in scouts anymore. Perhaps you can think about having him volunteer with a den or to help out at pack meetings so he doesn't feel bored.

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                          • #14

                            Well as far as offering a more challenging Web II program, I have no problem with that. the issue is that the other parents just are not letting their boys participate in anything more challenging than the Cub Scout program. that's where the real problem lies, he's ready for a bigger challenge and I've tried to provide it but when none of the other scouts can attend what's the point.

                            I've had several discussions with him and he wants to go, we've visited with a few troops and gone on a camp out with one, he's going on another campout in May. That's with the troop I think he'll be joining. I get that he'll be leaving his buddies but honestly I don't see more than 2 of the current den of 8 crossing over the Boy Scouts. If he goes to our associated troop he'll at least know the scouts that just crossed over from our pack to there. Not to mention he knows several of the older scouts from their time in the Pack.

                            Far as his age, well the cut off here for starting school is Sept 30st and his birthday is in October. So he'll be a grade behind the scouts that just crossed but he's only a few months younger.

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                            • qwazse
                              qwazse commented
                              Editing a comment
                              If the boy is enthused about a unit, and the unit is enthused about the boy, let him join it.

                              The other alternative, that folks are ignoring here, is to simply quit scouting for a year. We recruit the occasional boy who was fed up with cub scouts. They do well. The occasional boy who didn't like cub scouts but was forced to participate, then forced to crossover ... he doesn't do so well.

                              Now, regarding the young crossover who I knew, it's not like he was engaged in the troop continuously. Around age 14 he begged off scouting for about a year. He claimed that was because of maturity issues, but I don't think it was from issues that stemmed from him crossing over young. That is, had he crossed over a year older, he would have hit the same "rut" at high school age.

                          • #15
                            So has the lad earned his arrow of light?

                            I have had 9 year olds ready to join boy scouting and some 15 year olds who have not......


                            So to ask a bunch of random folks on the internet, who do not know your son or the troop he hopes to join is a really bad idea.


                            We do not know your situation or your son........So we cannot provide relevant advice.


                            I would like to add, if your going to try and cross him over in the fall, why? The big push to cross over before the end of the cub program year, June, is so the boys can get used to Boy Scouting before they head off to summer camp with the Troop in June or July typically

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