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Wolf - Bear - Lion - Scout = Webelos?

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I think the first "e" was just "filler" and the second "e" is just a coincidence. From WBLS they had to come up with a pronounceable word, and maybe they intentionally used the e from Bear, so now they had WBeLS, then they took the THIRD letter from Lion and had WBeLos (or we could have ended up with Webelis!), and just filled in the "e" after the "W". If you are looking for any more logic than that, I don't think you are going to find it.


The conventional wisdom is that "WE'll BE LOyal Scouts" was invented to replace Wolf-Bear-Lion-Scout after Lion was eliminated, but I'm not sure about that. I think "We'll be loyal Scouts" was around before that.


I have only a hazy personal recollection of this whole thing, as I was a Wolf in the year Lion was eliminated. In my inherited old Scouting book collection I do have a Lion-Webelos book which I assume goes back to the early 60's or late 50's and was used until the first Webelos-only book came out in 1967. I believe the den was a Lion den and boys age 10 to 10.5 worked on the Lion achievements and the boys 10.5 to 11 worked on the Webelos requirements, which (I assume) were very close to the Tenderfoot (now Scout badge) requirements. I may have some of that wrong, and I don't have the book with me at the moment.

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Tough to say it is Wolf Bear Lion Scout if you did away with Lion. That was why BSA changed it to We'll Be Loyal Scouts not due to missing vowels.


Kind of like when First Class Scout was the HIGHEST rank and Star, Life, and Eagle were like add-ons to First Class. A Scout was First Class that had earned the xxxxx badge. Now they are very seperate and people act like Eagle is the only rank worth recognizing. (It is a GREAT accomplishment and I do not wish to diminish it value but I think ALL ranks earned are accomplishments to the Scout that earned them.)


The new program of adding "Lion" as a Kindergarden rank is, to me, like making Eagle the first rank in Scouting (right after Scout and before Tenderfoot). Diminishes the rank for those that earned it.


My $0.02


Rick(This message has been edited by ghermanno)

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Nov 1959 Boys Life uses "We'll Be Loyal Scouts". Lion rank still existed then


The term is explained in this excerpt from the 1948 Lion Cub Scout Book:


The name WEBELOS (say Wee-belos) is like the name of an Indian tribe. Its the word to use when you want to talk about all of the boys everywhere who are Cub Scouts.


The letters W-B-L-S in Webelos are the first letters of the Cub Scout Ranks which lead up to Boy Scouting WOLF, BEAR, LION, SCOUT.


Meaning of "Webelos." The name Webelos (which is always spelled with the 's') and the Arrow of Light symbol actually date from Cub Scouting's founding in 1930. Webelos was the name of the made-up "tribe" to which all Cubs belonged, symbolized by the Arrow of Light (which was not yet a badge to be earned). When the BSA created a new rank above Lion in 1941, they used the Cub Scout tribe name and symbol (the new rank was called the Webelos award until 1977, when it was renamed the Arrow of Light award and yet another new rank created bearing the name Webelos). From 1930 to 1967, the Webelos name had a double meaning. The consonants in WeBeLoS stood for the Cub Scout rank progression culminating with graduation into a Boy Scout troop (Wolf, Bear, Lion, Scout), a meaning lost when the Lion rank was discontinued. The full name stood for "We'll Be Loyal" (later, apparently because someone felt the final 's'; should stand for something, this became "We'll Be Loyal Scouts"). For about a decade after the creation of the Webelos rank, the Webelos tribal name was still applied to all Cub Scouts. During the 1950s, the name gradually became the sole property of the senior Cub Scouts working on the Webelos badge (although all new Cub Scouts must still learn the secret meaning of the Webelos name as a requirement for the Bobcat rank).



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Boomerscout has the right of it.

I was a Cub, Bobcat back in, oh , let's see, 1955 I was 7, and my mom was one of our several Den moms. I earned Lion and then Webelos rank (with the Arrow strip). Went on into BScouts.

When I came back to Scouting as an adult, and discovered the new ranks, I thought that they had not necessarily done a good thing by enlarging the Webelos rank by a year and removing the Lion rank. Even as a boy, then, I discerned the rank progression: Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, Lion as a logical progression of size and bravery/meaness/strength...

I do not understand the rationale of starting as a Lion and then a Tiger and then a Wolf... it short circuits the Junglebook connection, too. Where does Mowgli come into this? And Akela? A cub (wolfcub?) is by rights the start of the pack progression, if one is to retain the Junglebook mythos.

Or maybe Kipling is no longer appropriate for our boys to learn from.

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We should now award the BoTiWoBe (Bow - Tie - Woe - Bee) award. Initially, it is derived from Bobcat - Tiger - Wolf - Bear ranks. Later on, we can "re-educate" and state that is stands from Boy, Tiinkering Worsens the program Besides the best intentions of those who do it.

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