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crossover and age/maturity

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Hello everyone, I posted this in the general section and perhaps that was the wrong place...sorry...

My wife and I are already thinking about our son's future in Boy Scouts. He will be a first year Webelos this comming May. He has a November birthday and will turn 10 this year. We have a very large Bear Den currently and are looking at splitting it when they become Webelos (15 Scouts currently) but still having some combined activities. Our den has a good mix of kids with differing maturity levels and age (recently 8-9 1/2). My questions are as follow: How to split the den...age, maturity level, random? When to cross over boys who earn Arrow of light...all together, when they earn it, ask parents what they want, ask scouts what they want? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Dave.


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Why not just have a sign up sheet and let them pick?? That way they have the most control. Anytime anyone does not feel in control there are problems!!

Just my suggestion.

Best to do it as soon as they all become Webelos and everyone is on an even playing field.



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It is difficult to drag the slower boys along with the quicker ones, so you will be tempted to divide your big Web Den along those lines. I would counsel not to. The boys will have their own friends and buddies, and those groups should be kept, and that is the way to divide if that is judged to be the best thing.

Encourage the boys to pick a "Den Name" to set them apart. I've seen "C-17" , "Boas", "Rough Rider" Dens. Don't have to be the usual Scout Patrol names.

Check with local Troops and the local District OA dance team for memorable crossover ceremonies. But don't be too eager to get the boys out of Cubs, some of your Webs may not be able to earn the AoL by the fabled February B&G . Let them use the rest of the year (with your encouragement and direction) as necesssary. If you can get all of them to C/O together, great. But the AoL is not a requirement to C/O, don't hold them to that requirement. They can C/O at the end of the year, when they are of age and grade, not WHEN they earn AoL.

?More than one C/O?

Check with the local Troops in your visiting about summer camp and summer activities. Help the boys and their parents to see the various choices open to them.

Keep them active, all the way up to the C/O. They are the "senior scouts" in the Cub Pack, let them bask in that glory alittle. Let the other Cubs see the Webelos' success as their possiblity.


Heed Bob the Tomato: "It's for the kids".

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When I lived elsewhere, the Webelo's all crossed over at the Blue/Gold banquet in February by coordinating with our local Troops. It was done with much pomp and circumstance with all the local troops attending as we did not feed directly into a specific troop. Everyone could choose the troop that fit them best and we had a huge turn out. The younger boys were in attendance, and it was a big deal to them to see the boys come out all decked out from the BSA as well. While I know the requirement does not say hold 'em till February, I felt that this was the best run system I'd ever seen the reality was it was purely functional for all the groups involved.


That said, I am not advocating holding 'em till February, but more coordinating with the groups they enter to make it functional for all. This plus a hearty send off makes for a memorable event. My son, now an Eagle Scout and JASM, still says it was one of the best things about being a Webelo. He knew the date of Crossover, he knew he wanted his AoL by that date, and even as a youngster, he knew enough of what was coming to look forward to it.


Just my experience, here.


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First select your Webelos Leaders then let them choose their meeting times and places. Then have the Webelos and their parents decide which den is best for them. Something between where your friends go and the meeting times that meet the parents' needs will make the decision. The pack leadership does need some contingency for a 13-2 split.


The decisions regarding the timing of crossover should be made with an eye for a smooth Webelos-to-Scout transistion. February or March is the traditional crossover time because it allows the new Boy Scouts three or four months and two or three campouts with the troop under their belt before going to summer camp. The first year of real Boy Scout camp is an emotional hurdle for some new Scouts and their parents and the idea is to make them as comfortable as possible with the troop and being with the older boys.


The timing of Arrow of Light is similar. A good Webelos program will be planned out so that the boys finish AoL just before crossover. As soon as boys finish AoL, I promise you a good precentage of them will see Webelos as "done" and will stop attending. A good WDL will have the Webelos II year programmed out so that the boys finish just before crossover. There are variations (like finishing AoL in December, but then as a den all earning World Conservation, or something like that). But the principle remains to keep them engaged right up to crossover.

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