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raven99m

Arrow of Light Requirement

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One of the requirements for the Arrow of Light is: Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade...

 

My question is what qualifies as Active? We have a couple of boys in our den who participate in sports in the fall and attend only one or two den or pack meetings until December when they begin to attend meetings again. Do the two or three months when they don't attend count as being Active in the den? It seems that would set a standard where coming to den meetings isn't important and also diminish the significance of those Webelos who never miss a meeting.

 

The boys plan on getting the Arrow of Light in February and I was wondering whether they should all get it together or if the ones who miss most of the meetings should have to wait a couple of months?

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From the requirement for the Webelos badge on p. 49 of my son's Webelos Handbook:

 

"Active means having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects."

 

No one here can tell you what to do since everyone's situation is different, but a couple of things to consider:

 

- Do they "Do their best?" That is, do they come when they can or is sports a convenient excuse?

 

- Aside from sports, are do they participate as much as the other boys in both den and pack events?

 

- Did they attend Pack/Den events last summer (if any were scheduled)? If so, then the summer would count towards the 6 months as well, if you plan on counting month by month.

 

- Have they fulfilled all of the other requirements for AOL (camping, meeting with a Troop, activity badges, etc...)? If so, then they must be pretty active when not doing sports. If not, then you need to take a harder look at the situation.

 

The one thing that I would NOT do is hold the other boys back because of the few in sports. It's not fair to them to hold them back for many reasons:

- getting them into a Troop in early spring is really important to allow them to have time to sign up for summer camp next year.

- this isn't an all-for-one and one-for-all deal. If a boy has earned his AOL, award it to him without unnecessary delay

- the boys in sports need to realize that they've made choices which have repercussions (perhaps not getting AOL with the other boys, for example).

 

Anyway, that's my $.02.

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As AlFansome pointed out, there are some guidelines for what "Active" is in the Webelos handbook but no clear cut rules. This is most likely because circumstances vary from case to case.

 

My council in it's monthly newsletter and at roundtables said that you could not use attendance to define "Active". Although I don't agree with it, it is their policy.

 

Just look at each boy, talk to them and their parents if need be. When we did Webelos Rank, I sat down with a boy and his father and asked them why they missed so much and we determined that we would earn his rank but he had to improve his attendance if he wanted to earn his AOL and so far he has done great.

 

If your pack has activities during the summer and the boys attend then they are being active. If they are attending CSDC or resident camp then they are being active. If the boys have been working on badges over the summer then they are being active. Take all that into consideration.

 

I does take at least some participation to earn the AOL but coming to den meetings should be important to the boys. They can't just do everything at home, come to B&G and get their AOL. If you examine each situation, talk to the problem cases, and weigh all the circumstances you will have no problem with coming up with a plan for the boys to earn their AOL, even if each plan is different.

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Per the 2008 Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures book, BSA defines "active" as -

 

A Scout will be considered active in his unit if he is

1. Registered in his unit (registration fees are current)

2. Not dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons

3. Engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis

 

While this is listed under Boy Scout Advancement, it is a good guideline for Cubs too.

 

In Cub Scouts, the criteria for everything they do is "Do Your Best". This includes Webelos.

 

At the beginning of their first year of Webelos the changes in the program from Wolf and Bear should have been explained to both the boys and their parents.

 

It would be a good idea to now do another den meeting with the parents present and refresh the rules of how the Webelos program works.

 

Remind them that all of the boys advance at their OWN rate. The choice is theirs. You will not be constantly repeating things for the boys who miss them. If they miss den meetings and den activities, they are responsible to do the activity on their own, document it, and bring it in to be reviewed and approved by the den leader.

 

BTW, if one boy takes until April to finish up his AOL, it in NO WAY "diminishes" the work of the boy who received his in December. Every boy is different, and BSA recognizes that. They should get their awards as soon as possible after they have earned them. No matter when they earn them.

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Thanks for all of your responses! The term "Active" sounds fairly open to interpretation. We are not active during the summer so I still do not think it is fair for the boys who participate in sports to only attend one meeting from September to December and have that be considered active. I support the idea that choices have consequences and achieving the Arrow of Light later than the boys who regularly attend the meetings would be the most equitable solution.

 

ScoutNut brought up another issue that was a problem for our den. Our leader did not stress the point that parents are no longer supposed to sign all the achievements for Webelos so some of the parents were bringing in the books with achievements signed with no proof that the requirements were actually being done. In some cases they were not even aware of some of the components of the requirements! When I requested that some documentation or actual projects be brought to the den meetings to be shared with the other boys the parents seemed to feel that I did trust that they were actually being done.

 

I just felt that it was important to show the other boys the work that was being done and perhaps that would serve as an inspiration for the other boys to work on the requirements themselves. I was not supported by the den leader for this.Instead, I was asked to remove myself as the person who tracked achievements for the boys in the den.

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"I still do not think it is fair for the boys who participate in sports to only attend one meeting from September to December and have that be considered active."

 

Not fair how? To who?

 

The only way it would not be fair is if the den leader was signing them off as completing requirements they did not do.

 

According to BSA you can NOT add an attendance requirement (must attend X% of meetings and Y% of outings in order to receive AOL).

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Did they attend the pack meetings or any outings, where they in contact with the den via phone / e-mail / in person, or did they cease to exist during those months? I had a similar problem with some webelos when I was in the pack, I felt that if they were doing their best, completing all the projects that all the others did and attending what meetings they could and staying in contact with me,then I had no problems and I had some hardcore sport players baseball,soccer,basketball,hockey,football, sports camps...you name it they were at it, but they made the effort to stay connected to the den, so in summary-if they're just disappearing completely those months and are not in contact at all then no AOL, but if they are turning in stuff and making an effort...then they earned it.

I will now relenquish the soapbox to the next speaker.

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"According to BSA you can NOT add an attendance requirement (must attend X% of meetings and Y% of outings in order to receive AOL)"

 

If we're going to state rules, I'm just curious where you found this BSA rule? I have never found it in national policies/publications, but maybe I missed it. Just because a council decided this, doesn't make it policy. We all know how common it is for councils to come up with policies with no evidence.

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The logic behind it is you are not allowed to change the requirements.

 

Unit 1 requires 50% attendance

Unit 2 requires 60% attendance

Unit 3 has no attendance requirement

 

All for the same "be active..." requirement.

 

These are not the same criteria. Which one meets the actual requirement? Only one can be correct, because you cannot change the requirement.

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Pack212Scouter, attendance is mentioned twice on the National BSA webpage re: Boy Scout advancement, but I would think it applies equally to Cub Scouts:

 

Rank Advancement

 

 

 

Question: Rank advancement requires a Scout to demonstrate Scout spirit. How is Scout spirit defined and determined?

 

Answer: Scout spirit applies to how a Scout lives and conducts his daily life. He shows Scout spirit by being a role model to his peers, living by the Scout Oath and Law. The concept of Scout spirit is not based on how many Scouting events or outings a Scout attends, but rather by how he helps bring out the best in others as a reflection of his own character and attitude in his daily life.

 

Question: For the Star, Life, and Eagle Scout ranks, how is "Be active in your troop and patrol" defined?

 

Answer: A Scout is considered to be active in his unit if:

 

1. He is registered in his unit (registration fees are current).

2. He has not been dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons.

3. He is engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (Scoutmaster conference, informs the Scout of upcoming unit activities, through personal contact, and so on).

 

The unit leaders are responsible for maintaining contact with the Scout on a regular basis. The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings. However, unit leaders must ensure that he is fulfilling the obligations of his assigned leadership position. If he is not, then they should remove the Scout from that position.

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Many of you have jumped to discussing the BSA requirements. This is a "Cub Scout" question on the "Cub Scout" forum. As I mentioned requirement #1 for the Arrow of Light Award requires that the scout, "Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade...

 

The requirements for the Webelos badge defines "active" as "having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects." Do you consider attendance at one or two den or pack meetings out of 12 to 16 meetings "good attendance?"

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Cub Scouts are a part of BSA, and as such are bound by BSA requirements.

 

BSA also states that the CUB SCOUT criteria is DO YOUR BEST.

 

If their best is only a few meetings, then YES, I would consider them active.

 

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I would note that taking an explanation of a requirement for Star, Life, and Eagle, and applying it downward to AOL, does not make a lot of sense.

 

While I understand the temptation to do that, and yes cub scouting is part of the BSA, there are significant differences to the two programs. Sometimes I feel that we boy scouter types overlook that when attempting to deal with cubs. Just as we wouldn't expect a Sea Scout or Venturing requirement to apply in boy scouting (even though those are also BSA programs), we shouldn't be applying boy scout standards to cub scouts.

 

 

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Ok...been off at Webelos Resident Camp, but now that I am back I am posting what I meant to a while back. The Webelos Handbook states precisely what "Active" means for Webelos and it is not what is shown at scouting.org for Boy Scouts. I am kinda curious now if the Boy Scout handbook mentions it anywhere. I am quoting from the Webelos handbook (page 49 requirement #2 if you want to look it up).

 

"Be an active member of your Webelos den for three months. (Active means having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects.)"

 

So, by the printed definition of "active" you have to have good attendance and work on den projects. What is good attendance, I will leave that up to personal definition since that is not published, but to me 50% is not asking too much and you certainly aren't working on Den projects if you are not there. As for those who what to use the "Do your best" motto, I submit this. If you have a severe illness and can only attend some meetings, then that is doing your best. If you are missing Scouts so that you can participate in three sports, that isn't doing your best, that is setting priorities.(This message has been edited by pack212scouter)

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I agree, if a Webelos scout is missing pack and/or den meetings to participate in some other activity, ANY other activity on a regular basis they are not fulfilling the requirements for AOL.

 

I generally have my DLs draw the line at 60% attendance for this achievement. I understand that if the boy has to miss one or two meetings due to something else that is fine. I also understand that boys get sick and cannot attend. If the boy is sick and cannot attend, those absenses are forgiven and don't count against th eAOL requirements. BUT, if a boy misses den/pack meetings to go play a sport, it's HIS choice and he's NOT choosing scouts and may not get his AOL due to it.

 

Mike B

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