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when can you start working on arrow of light

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I apologize if this has already been discussed. I searched but couldn't find it. I know a boy has to be 10 1/2 or 6 months past 4th grade to receive AOL, but when can a boy start working on the requirements? Can they complete some of the requirements while working on the Webelos Badge? If not how long after receiving the Web badge can they start working toward AOL. Some of our boys earned the Webelos Badge in Feb, some are still working on it. The den leader would like to work on some of the AOL requirements over the next few months. Also can they earn a pin from say the mental skills group now and use that to meet the requirements for AOL later or will they have to earn another one from the mental skills group. If you have a place that it's down in writing that would be great. Thanks

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The official date is June 1st. When school ends you can begin working toward your next rank.


Like boy scouts it can all be worked on at the same time. You can work on all the ranks thru 1st Class at the same time.


The Pins and Belt loop....If you read it, it says "As a Webelos Earn......Belt loop". It is written in your book. But here is the link




8. While you are a Webelos Scout, earn the Cub Scout Sports belt loop for swimming.


Remember a scout is Trustworthy, it seems someone is trying to find some short cut. In the process you will end up short cutting their scouting experience.

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Yes and No!


The way I read it and understand it: ( from Cub Scout Webelos Handbook #33452 / page 63)


When you are working towards your Webelos badge, you are technically already working on your AoL badge, or at least, partial requirements needed for the AoL badge.


You have to have two specific Ab's to get the Webelos badge. Those are explained again in AoL ( although it seems redundant).

You have to earn 5 more badges total, ( although again, 4 will earn you the Compas Points badge).


So basically, Once you earn your Webelos Badge, then earn your Compass Points badge, you only have to earn 1 more Activity Badge to have earned your AoL.


It does not require you to earn a badge twice...BUT you cannot count a few particular activities that earned you your Webelos badge again for the AoL.

Example: 1 Boy Scout Troop meeting and Boy Scout ORIENTED activity.


If you used a particular boy scout outing to fullfill the Outdoorsman activity badge( requirement # 4), you cannot count THAT particular outing towards your AoL badge. That is if you happened to use Outdoors man as your third activity badge to earn your Webelos badge.


Technically, you are working on AoL from the first day as a Webelos rank cub scout. But you cannot recieve it until after being an active Webelos Scout for a period of 9 months.

but like written above..if you rush it, then too much substanance might be lost upon the scouts(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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Scoutfish you are close on the requirements. But the handbook says be a Webelos for 6 months after graduating fourth grade or be 10.5 years old and earn the Webelos badge. In my reading of the requirements the comma after the age/grade clause separates the Webelos badge from the six months part. The Webelos badge says be a member of the den for three months. Therefore, first 3 months can be part of the total 6 months, not 9 months.


Theoretically a boy could join in grade 5 as a never ever in September, get his Bobcat in a couple of weeks, take 3 months to Webelos. Then another 3 months to complete the needed activity badges and Aol and graduate to a troop in March or April. He'd have to be determined and have a good DL, but it can be done. I doubt he could get all 20 pins but getting the 7 needed for AoL is not out of the question.


Basementdweller, since Webelos/AoL is a 18 month continuum program the June 1 date requirement isn't part of their program. Webelos/AoL is designed to flow from start to ending with AoL and hopefully a crossoevr to a troop (separate events and not necessarily completed by all in a den) It does come into play when going from Tiger to Wolf, Wolf to Bear and Bera to Webelos.



RR, For the Webelos badge a scout earns citizen, fitness and one other badge of his choice. These badges count toward his needed total of 7 for AoL. They don't re-earn Webelos badges. They do re-earn belt loops that were earned in Tiger, Wolf and Bear if they want to count them towards a Webelos badge. As a current Webelos leader I confused as to why your kids haven't earned Webelos yet. Unless you got a really late start this year, it only takes about 2-3 months to get the three needed badges.

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For the record: The Arrow of Light is not a rank, it's an award.


The award requirements don't really say when you can start working on it, but you do have to be:


active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old), and earn the Webelos badge.


to earn the award itself.


In our pack, the boys start working on it after they have received their Webelos rank, but don't receive it until six months or more after the new year.


If the boys are earning more activity badges, those will count towards Arrow of Light, much as if a Boy Scout is earning merit badges on his way to Eagle.





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Good call on the comma. That does change everything.6 months it is!


I have found out that sometimes, you have to read a paragraph, read it again, then read it 3 more times. Think about what it means, then read it again.


That comma does change the whole thing!

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Wow, that does change things! Thanks for pointing that out. It might be easier understood if that last part was put before the time requirement, I think.


This will be a boon to boys who start the program late, but it certainly doesn't change things for boys who are just waiting to move up to 5th grade or 10 years old.

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a boy can remain active as a webelos till he is 11 1/2. Most are ready to be in boy scouting.


my bear son will have the AOL requirements complete by the time the Pack starts back up in september. Two Resident camps and Day camp. Plus two Den camps no problem. then it is just waiting for the time to pass and work on AB that he wants. He will cross over as soon as he can, his choice he has made a number of friends in the troop.

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I have a whole den of hang around and wait kids. We are just finishing up our first year and every boy could have AoL after our campout in late May. I will have 1 20 pinner, several 15-18 pinners and the rest are lower teens. Almost all could be 20 pinners if their parents just helped them with scholar, family member and handyman.


Unfortunately they won't meet the age requirement if we went that way until December of this year for 2 of the 10 or March to May 2011 for the rest of them. We are picking the 6 months after grade 4 graduation and crossing over in December. We plan to spend the fall doing troop visits and working on the hiking BL and pin.


I really have a hard seeing how Webelos is supposed to be an 18 month program if you offer a year round program and go to summer camp or day camp. We met 4 times over the summer break and went to day camp and now we're done and have to hang out for 6 extra months. Luckily 3 of those months are summer break.


My final thought of the night on this subject is go recruit the grade 5 boys. They can do the program and prepare for BS with their classmates. Some of these boys want to join, but get told to wait until next year, you can't get anything out of Cubs. The handbook says otherwise. Go get them!

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Just to be clear, a total of 8 (not 7) activity badges are required for AOL.


Three are needed for the Webelos badge:

- Citizen

- Fitness

- One other activity badge from a different activity group


Five more are needed for the AOL:

- Outdoorsman

- Readyman

- At least one from the Mental Skills Group

- At least one from the Technology Group

- One more of your choice


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Say you have a 4th grader who's really gung ho, and can "show his knowledge of the requirements to be a Boy Scout" and can recite the Scout oath - are you *really* going to wait until June 1 after his 4th grade year to sign that? Or you vist a Boy Scout oriented outdoor activity twice during 4th grade - you'd sign that, right?


Being active in your den for six months since turning 10 or completing 4th grade is just one of the requirements for the Arrow of Light. It is not a prerequisite to allow a Scout to work on the other requirements. An active Webelos Scout in an active den could actually get that requirement signed off last - when the six months have elapsed.


So really - a Webelos Scouts starts working on the Webelos badge and the Arrow of Light as soon as he becomes a Webelos Scout.

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My son will be 10-1/2 yrs old when he completes 4th grade. (We waited a year for him to start Kindergarten)


For the sake of argument... he woulc have been a Webelos for 12 months at the completion of 4th grade... thus he "theoretically" could have his Webelos Badge by September/October of 4th grade...


and also his Arrow of Light at the end of 4th grade? (meeting the requirement of "or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old, and earn the Webelos badge")


So technically my son could get his AoL, and be 10.5 years old at the end of 4th grade ?? (A question... not a statement)


Not that I would want him to do it... (1) I would not want him to push himself that fast to do it... slow and steady is better.. and (2) He needs to be with his friends/den buddies vs. leaving them so early...


Still interesting.... He could go to a troop at the end of 4th grade... correct ??

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For the Webelos Badge the time requirement starts when he becomes a Webelos at the end of 3rd grade (June 1st). His 3 months as a Webelos would be up at the beginning of September.


The AOL time requirement that would apply would be - Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since becoming 10 years old. If he turns 10 sometime in November, his 6 months as a Webelos would be up sometime in May.


My question would be - Who is signing off on his Webelos Activity Badges over the Summer? Parents can no longer arbitrarily sign off on requirements for Webelos. The Webelos den leader (or someone assigned by the DL) is the one responsible. If you are the Webelos den leader, are you planning on having 2 separate Webelos programs? One for your son, and one for the rest of the den? How will that work?



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What if your pack has occasional activities throughout the summer, but the den does not meet during the summer - would you still count that time toward "active in your den"? (Personally, I wouldn't think so, but don't know of an official policy on this.)

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I see your point about working on his Webelos requirements during the summer...


I was really more "surprised" by the fact that he could, per rules, bridge to a Boy Scout Troop at the end of 4th grade, do to his being 10.5 years old by then.... I am not going to encourage him to do that...


I think he will have more fun, and will be better prepared for the transition by remaining a Webelos for another 7-8 months... Just because its "possible" does not mean it's "advisable".


Thought it was just interesting that he could... just for the point of discussion here...

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