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Blue and Gold the end all of Cub Scouting?

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Now, I have only been in scoutting for 3 years, but I am definantly wondering why B&G is considered the end all of Cubs.

Why is it that everybody expects all Cub Scouting to end at B&G?




It is not G&A (graduate and advance) is is not crossover, and it is not listed in any end of rank requirements nor listed as an entry option/requirement/ date for Boy Scouts.


So how it it a birthday became an exit event.


To me and most of the members of our pack, B&G is just another reason to get together, have a skit or two, maybe hand out a special award or two and most importantly ...eat some food and enjoy some fellowship.


Our DL's do not look at B&G as any kind of date that makes or breaks the scout year nor do they see that date as the point at which rank has to be reached.


I mean, Scout Sunday is coming up, why not fret about wether scouts have received their religious awards yet?


Won't be long at all before many scouts go to fall camps within the pack or at council/distric....yet nobody sees this as a "earn by" date for conservation or outdoor awards.



Dose anybody look at their kids on their 18 birthday and say: "You should be moved out and own your own home now!"




By 21 birthday: "You ought to be finished dating and getting married by now."



By 25 birthday: "You should have at least one kid by now."




I mean, Blue and Gold is JUST a birthday event. It's about BSA being around for "X" number of years.


Not B&G&E (Blue and Gold and Exit).

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no clue.......Tradition I suppose.



Looking at the way the packs and troops I am involved with work....Both like to have the Webelos crossover now to integrate them into the troop before summer camp.


We hold a graduation camp out at the end of may......Saturday noon we advance the boys and they spend the afternoon with their new den leader. Works well, the troop puts on stations boys have some fun. Plus we knock out the youth youth protection and parent guide stuff.

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Yeah, I'm guessing that's why the B&G has evolved into a "graduation" - troops want a few months to work with the new Scouts and get them worked into patrols, learning some skills, etc., before sending them off to their first summer camp. It just falls at the right time.

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It isn't an exit for our pack. It is a goal for rank advancement, but we make it clear that boys who don't make it can keep working on their rank right up to May 31. I like to hit rank advancement early (not hard with Tigers, admittedly) so the boys feel pride and we can be extra flexible about den meeting activities.


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I think that B&G has evolved into the end of Cubs is because BSA pretty much has directed it that way. The BSA Cub cycle indicates that the bridging to Boy Scouts should happen in the Feb/Mar time frame and because that coincides with B&G it is used to make a "big show" of it. I know when I went to the Cub Extravaganza training at Philmont, we talked extensively on the program timing and it was explained to us about why and when Cubs should bridge. Some of the points that were discussed were too early of a bridging and the boys 1st summer camp experience would not be as good because they would have already completed enough by summer that they would not participate in transition programs and too late of a bridging and they would not have learned any of the patrol method before camp so it ends up being Webelos III. Of course this is all based on the experiences of a lot of people and a few decades of perfecting it but it still boils down to when the boy is ready. Here is the official BSA plan: http://www.directservicebsa.org/pdf/13-027.pdf .

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Tradition is a big part of it.


In the packs I've served, B/G has always been a huge celebration or "the formal banquet" for Cub Scouts. And now with this new Delivery method, meeting all the requirements for Rank can be attained by B/G.


Is it getting ridiculous? Absolutely.


Some of our boys, and their parents, are starting to get stressed out about finishing up by B/G. I've told them that they do have until the end of the school year to complete the exercises they need. Even have a couple of boys who still haven't decided about the Troop they want to go to. I've told them they don't have to decide until they're comfortable with their decision. B/G is just a public forum that has everybody there to see what's going on with the pack.


I think B/G has turned into a bigger than life production, because it is a time for the extended family to see what the pack does. My sons' Grandparents don't come to Pack meetings, but they will attend B/G to see the accomplishments of the Pack, especially their grandchildren s'.


As far as the Troop is concerned. I do believe that boys coming in early( Dec-Feb) aren't put into such a chaotic situation, as the one coming in right at the end of school. The ones coming in early do get some experience with the Patrol method and can be better prepared for the rigors of summer camp. They've had a few campouts under their belt, and they're learning how the Troop functions as a whole, and what their place is in the patrol. Besides, our summer camps do offer an early bird price for boys that are registered by late March, Early April.


We are trying to change B/G up this year, by making it just about the boys. Last year we spent an hour and a half on our B/G program..Way too much time for the kids to get restless and bored. We've toned the program down and hopefully are done in about an hour.

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I have the opposite view on the blue and gold being a big thing. Traditionally in our pack boys earned badges whenever and everyone crossed over at the end of the year. Our blue and gold was a normal pack meeting in february with ice cream at the end.


Well, let's just say there's a little enthusiasm about doing a true banquet this year and the boys are motivated and excited at the prospect of receiving rank badges at it if they are earned.


And if you're doing two den meetings a month and have even a reasonably active pack program, the "new" delivery method is no big deal...no stressed parents here.


Ceremony is great! Bigger is better!(This message has been edited by 83eagle)

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This year we have switched from the big banquet to cupcakes and ice cream.


Our Pack goal is to have our Ranks completed to be presented. We also do a special program. This year we are inviting past Cubmasters and school administrators to come and be a part of the celebration and hope that it will be a tradition.


For us it lines out having the Pinewood in January, B&G in February, Crossover in March, a fun meeting in April and a Pack campout in May. Our Spring is almost planned before we start.


Our Troops are the ones who directed us to do the crossover in March for reasons previously stated above.





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The three packs in our town have evolved their Blue and Gold banquets into end of the year awards ceremonies, to the point that the date is pushed out (as early as March, as late as mid-June) and hold all awards until the banquet. Whereupon dens are called before the crowd, a list of accomplishments are read, and small plastic bags filled with patches are awarded. It frustrates me.


One year, in fact, the year my youngest was awarded Arrow of Light, the B&G banquet was held in early March. The problem, though, was that the pack considered it the end of the program year, and had no intention of doing anything at all until the start of the next program year (for them, recruiting in September, and first pack meeting in October). So, October to March. Honestly, I was happy to be done with that pack.


Now that we're fully invested in a troop, it frustrates me that our "feeder pack" does kind of the same thing. But they have their B&G in mid-June. End of the program year is mid-June, recruiting in September, first pack meeting in October. The mid-June B&G date means that their crossovers don't go to summer camp, which for us is in early July. Our local camps seem to be well set up for first year campers (whether they do the "first year program" or not). But the crossovers from this pack aren't around to take advantage of it.


This year, I'm trying something new. I'm talking, early and often, with the Cubmaster who also has a son that is crossing-over. By mid-April I want to encourage them to finish AoL and then start coming to troop meeting and troop outings. We have a pretty good summer camp lineup this summer, so I want to get them excited about it early.


I hate the award ziplock bagful arrangement. It does everything to undermine what advancement is all about (accomplishment/achievement/immediate recognition).



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As a Cub Scout parent and Den Leader I always wondered why Cub Scout crossovers (not graduations) occur in February. When I became a Scoutmaster, I found out why.


I had Cubs crossover into our troop in late February to late April. Our troop was traditional in that it camped once a month and participated in Summer camp in June (I spent 7 Father's Days in a row at summer camp). With a February crossover, that meant the boys would be able to camp in March, April and May before summer camp. For the April crossovers, that left May only. It really helps for the Scouts to have at least 2 weekend outings under their belt before a full week of summer camp with out "gasp" mom or dad accompanying them.(This message has been edited by acco40)

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I suspect B&G becomes the high point for recognition because in many Packs the B&G night is the Pack Meeting that gets the greatest attendance from family and extended family.


That said, whether held in February or April or June, it shouldn't be the "end": there can/should be more stuff to do. And often just pure fun stuff to do, which is easier and better for all.


And for those who got their Rank Badges at a prior Pack Meeting you can still recognize them at the B&G. They'll just be wearing the Patch, not having it handed to them and their parents. Then they get double recognition. How awesome is that!


The whole "you must do it in February" aspect of it, however, chafes me (and others): OK, the origin is a birthday celebration, but ... whatever. It's a party, and Cub Scouting isn't there to blow out the cake.


Plus, Cub Scouting will get over it if you celebrate the birthday late, especially because that takes stress off of Den Leaders who want to see more of their kids earn the Rank badge by the time of the Banquet (even if they award every month along the way). Scouting is very forgiving of late birthdays so long as more people have fun at the party.


We often do ours in March.


And I agree wholeheartedly that Packs/Troops should have flexibility to allow crossover early, to get the Web II guys incorporated into new Troops, so if an early B&G is deemed necessary to allow that, so be it.


But Crossover doesn't have to be at a B&G.


And here's a radical idea: there probably isn't a rule that Web II's can't "come back" to a Pack event after they cross over. So let 'em cross but invite 'em back.


So if my Web II's say in December that they're ready and wanna cross and meet the criteria, if that works for them, I'd let 'em. And I'd probably still want them included as special guests at the B&G, since they were part of the Pack in that last year. And they could be great salesmen if they have good news from their Troop experiences.


So, let 'em cross, and invite 'em back.


YMMV. But I dunno: keep it simple and make it fun. Or take it easy.


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In the pack I served, B&G was clearly all about the Webelos. All other rank advancements were presented the "right" way -- as they were earned -- but all AOLs were presented at B&G. It became a self-fulfilling cycle: because all the AOLs were presented at once it became a big deal; because it was a big deal, it became easier to present all the AOLs at one time.


Cross over in Feb/March is a good thing. That most follow that schedule has driven the B&G/AOL/Crossover jumble, as others have posted.


But back to 'Fish's original post, if you eliminate all the hoopla surrounding the Web2s, what's left? Does anyone really care February is the birthday of Scouting. Okay, last year was an exception. But otherwise?


I came along in Scouting during the era when you chugged along from Cubs to Webelos to Boy Scouts all by yourself, changing dens or units on your individual birthday. Consequently B&G was no big deal. I have absolutely no memory of any B&G, but I can clearly tell you about my first and last pack meetings and pinewood derby.


And maybe back in the day, B&G was the one annual excuse for a party? During my time as Cubmaster, and I belive still, we had big banquet-like events at least quarterly. We always kicked off the year with a late-summer pool party and picnic; the fall campout was close enough to home that all the moms brought dinner for a big campfire; winter was B&G with all the attending AOL/B&G swirl; and we ended the year with another campout and picnic during which all the cubs "graduate" to their next level.


We do plenty of banquets. Frankly, without all the Webelos II stuff, B&G would loose its raison d'etre.

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This may come across as snarky, and maybe it's meant to be snarky.


My opinion is that the B&G is now seen as the end all because some "geniuses" (and by genius, I mean idiot) decided that Webelos wasn't enough - we needed Webelos 1 and Webelos 2 which essentially took a 1 year program that worked just fine and turned it into a 1 & 1/2 year program designed to push every Webelos into earning the AOL all at the same time, so they could all cross-over together as one large group, instead of letting it remain a more organic program where Webelos earned the AOL at their own pace and crossed over when their age required them to cross-over.


Makes me wonder if those "geniuses" were the same crew that came up with the idiotic "first class, fist year" program.

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