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Crossover clarification

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I am looking for some clarification. I can not find it in writing anywhere, but it is my understanding that a Crossover ceremony is for Webelos who are crossing over to a Troop. Let's say you have a Webelos that for one reason or another is not crossing over to a troop. Would that individual still participate in the crossover even though there is not a Troop to receive that scout on the other side?


All of the ceremonies I have read indicate there is a Troop present to accept the scout.


When I was Webelos Den Leader I had 9 of my 10 Crossover. The one that did not crossover still came and I had him helping me with things, but was not part of the ceremony and he was good with it and understood why. I also had one whose father received orders to go overseas. His intention was to crossover to a troop over seas so I had him participate with his fellow Webelos and he was received by his father who was the outgoing Cubmaster.


I have a WDL who does not understand the diffrence between the AOL ceremony & the Crossover. SHe has had the AOL ceremony, but has a few scouts that have not made up their mind as to if they are continuing or not, much less which Troop they are going to.


Any thoughts?

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Yes. Crossover is crossing over to a Troop (or "transitioning" to a Troop). Nothing to do with AoL.

-- You could get AoL and not cross over.

-- You could cross over (if you meet the age criteria) and not get AoL.


So, in the circumstance where 9 of 10 are joining a Troop and therefore crossing over, and the 10th has determined not to go to Boy Scouts, then that 10th shouldn't participate in the Crossover Ceremony (I will give a caveat below).

-- If that chaps the kid or the parents, well, choices have consequences.

-- If ya wanna do the crossover, you have to intend to join the Troop.

-- If you're not sure, it's time to decide.

-- If you pick Troop 1234 now, and switch to Troop 5678 in April, that's fine, but pick one now!


And, for this circumstance of a Scout who is joining a Troop overseas, I'd suggest all 10 Cross, and the receiving Troop announce that they are standing in for the overseas Troop to accept him in absentia, as all Scouts in all Troops are brothers to all other Scouts in all other Troops.


(And if/when a Troop can't show up at a Crossover even if not "across the pond", I'd suggest that approach as well, as being best "for the boy").


My "caveat" on a non-crossover guy "participating" is that we had one guy last year who hadn't put in his 6 months with the Pack, and he stood with his Den as they crossed over, and then he received recognition for his commitment to stay with the Pack and complete his AoL. I think he even said "don't forget about me . . . I'll join you in another month!".




Bert Bender

Pack and District Trainer

South Fulton District, Atlanta Area Council

Overheard at Last Crossover: "We're Gonna Need a Bigger Trailer"


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As an youth Arrowman, most packs do both ceremonies the same nite. So I have done an AOL ceremony with one set of Cubs, and a Crossover with either not as many as AOL recipients, or in one case, and additional Cub who had to join the pack for a few months until his 11th birthday.


I have also seen a "stand in troop" for a troop that was not able to make it.


And as an adult (I know, I know, only youth are suppose to do ceremonies, but there were 2 other ceremonies going on that nite and the ceremony team split in half to cover those) I did an AOL only ceremony for 1 youth. He had no interest in continuing on, and He just received AOL.

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First, understand there is no official crossover ceremony which is why you're not finding much on it. It is whatever the pack decides it is. If the pack wants to focus on graduating from Cubs rather than moving on to Boy Scouts, that's a decision you get to make.


Our pack still generally uses the same program I wrote way back when I was the Cubmaster. It combines Arrow of Light and Crossover (yes, I know some folks don't like that) into one ceremony which we hold during the Blue & Gold banquet (and other people don't care for that, either. To each his own.)


There are three distinct parts of the program, although an audience member may not recognize that. First the boys earning the Arrow of Light and their parents are called forward for that presentation. Then the parents are excused and any remaining Webelos who did not earn the AoL are invited forward. The pack presents all the boys a Boy Scout Handbook (whether or not they are joining a troop -- maybe the handbook will ignite a spark) and a short bio of their Cub Scout career is read. Next the boys who are joining the troop are called out. They walk across the ceremonial bridge where members of the troop replace their Webelos hats and neckers with troop hats and neckers. The boys who are not joining the troop quietly take their seat. Once the new Scouts are all on the troop side of the bridge, the Senior patrol leader leads everyone Scout Oath and Law. A couple times when boys have gone to different troops, the both troops are represented on the Boy Scout side of the bridge and are welcomed to their respective troop in the tradition of that troop.


I like this because I wrote it -- no, I mean -- I like this because it doesn't draw attention to the boys who are sliding in and out of the ceremony. A boy who doesn't earn the AoL (which doesn't happen often, usually a boy who joined as a Web2) slides in and takes part in the graduation ceremony and crossover. A boy who isn't joining the troop receives his AoL, graduates from the pack, then eases out the side.


Everybody's happy.

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I'd like to add a couple of thoughts --


On one troop visit, with my Webelos son, I heard a Scoutmaster lay claim to the crossover ceremony. "It is OUR ceremony." Some Cub Scout packs feel differently, and our troop has certainly been part of a few combined ceremonies (AoL/Crossover) at Blue and Gold Banquets.


Also -- I've been to a couple of ceremonies where Webelos have gone to different troops, and if all troops were not represented, troops that were there always did a "crossover by proxy", which makes sense to me. Although a Webelos may not be welcomed by his new troop that night, he was certainly welcomed to the world of Boy Scouting. Saved the awkwardness.


Another anecdote: one entire Webelos den, except for one Webelos, was transitioning to our troop. He was fence-sitting and told his dad that he'd just rather sit at home and play video games. Dad wanted him to join our troop. We step in prior to the crossover and have our SPL take the kid aside and talk to, which took quite awhile. He finally was convinced to join our troop and crossed over that night. They crossed over late (early June) and I don't recall seeing him prior to summer camp. He showed up on the first day of camp, having arranged it directly through the council and not letting the troop know he was attending. It was a complete surprise to have him there, but he did well during the week. Seemed like he had fun. But he dropped out afterward, and we didn't see him again. I think the video games won.



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Check with your Order of the Arrow Lodge or Chapter to see if they do AOL and/or Crossover ceremonies. I'm a Chapter Adviser and our ceremonies team did their first crossover of the year this past Monday. We have another eight lined up in the next few weeks.

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The only thing I'd add to the advice already given is this: if (as in many Packs) it is a combined AOL/Crossover ceremony, or they directly follow each other without a break, just include the future non-Boy Scout in the ceremony. No big deal. What really matters is not to embarrass or single out the lad. I was at a combined ceremony once where the non-crossing Scout just went and sat back down in his front-row seat surrounded by the empty chairs of the other guys. Bad.


My suggestion for all is to stop using the term "Crossover" and start calling it a "Graduation" or some other term, and make the ceremony about moving on to the boy's next adventure in life. Personally, I would prefer that Webelos/New Scouts were welcomed into their new troop at a troop ceremony, rather than a pack ceremony. And there have been too many times when I've had a Scout cross over, presented him with a troop neckerchief, shoulder loops, and Handbook on the other side of the bridge -- and have never seen him again.


Dan K.

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I think it odd that a troop take ownership of a crossover ceremony as the crosing originates fromthe scout sie.


It is a transition from Cubs to Boys, not just a "welcome to the troop" ceremony.



Now, our pack has a two part AOL/ crossover ceremony.


First, scouts who have earned trhe AOL are brought upand recognized and presented with an AOL award and or plaque. Moms are given a mother's pin.


Dads are shafted because all the get are a handshake.


After we are done with AOL, we begine the crossover ceremony which is handled by either a goup of OA boys or just boys who volunteer from the CO troop.


THose boys are presented with a Scout book by their Webelos den leader.


Boys who crossover , do so with their parents. First the boy crosses over, then the parents follow. The scout are greeted by the troop to which they are joining - who presents them with the troop necker.


About a month later, at our pack campout, we have a graduation ceremony for all scouts who are graduation fron their current rank. They may or may not continue next year. Who knows if they will, but graduation is about completion of the rank you were in, and nothing at all with what you are doing next.


WE have a bridge which is distinctively different from the crossover bridge. Scouts line up ( by den) and as they reach the foot of the bridge, their current rank neckers are removed. As they cross the bridge, their names are anounced.


When they step off the other side, they stand in a line as a den and have the DL tie on their new neckers. Then the DL anounces the newest members of "X" rank.

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Even if the troop does partake in a Crossover or graduation ceremony, doesn't mean they cannot take the necker and woggle backfor their own Investiture Ceremony ;)


My troop had an Investiture Ceremony where we formally admitted them to the troop, and gave them their troop necker, woggle, and troop totem. When everyone started giving out neckers at Crossovers, when we finally got a feeder pack, we place a necker and woggle on them, and then once we led them off, explainto them that they will be getting back when they formally join the troop that friday. No one had any problems.


Me personally I prefer the Investiture Ceremony.

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Everyone has hit it


Two separate ceremony's


Arrow of light for those who have earned it


Crossover for those who have decided to join Boy scouts


The boys who are undecided or not going to can join their families and watch it from the sidelines.


It isn't called the exit from or end of cubbing ceremony, it is called crossover.

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