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Webelos Cross-Over Ceremony

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Acco40's right, there is not official policy one way or the other. The Den Leader's Handbook isn't much help, but suggests that some "Graduation Into A Boy Scout Troop" take place. It does reference the Cub Scout Ceremonies book which lists three Webelos to Boy Scout "graduation" ceremonies. All three emphasize the Cub Scout trail, with only a cursory mention of joining a Scout troop.


KC, you make my point for me. If you try to distinguish between AOL, graduation, and crossover, it gets to be a long, convoluted mess. And frankly, 80 or 90% of the boys are going through all three.


One thing the Leader Book says is that because the AOL is the highest award earned in Cub Scouting, it should have a separate, meaningful ceremony of it's own. Amen to that.

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As pack leaders, it's our responsibility to award a W2 his rank/award as soon as he earns it (official BSA policy). There's nothing wrong with handing out AOLs one at a time if there's a W2 who's earned it. This can motivate the other W2s to get it in gear.


Crossover is reserved (by definition) for those W2s who are joining a troop. That means they've either received their AOL, turned 11, or completed 5th grade. Once again, there's nothing wrong with holding this ceremony more than once a year.


Finally, graduation should be reserved for the last pack meeting of the school year. Every W2 should be recognized for their participation in the pack and den during the previous year. This should include those W2s who already joined a troop. Let the younger cubs see their older friends in the tan shirts with red tabs, troop numerals and neckerchiefs.


An important goal of the cub scout program is to prepare boys to join a troop. Look at your webelos programming in this light and let it inform your decisions about ceremonies. BTW, you might also see an increase in the number of den chiefs available for your pack!

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I think we need to stop feeding the adult leadership's need for formalities and printed ceremony guidelines for something that is meant to be fun.

Cross Everyone Over.

For those who have stated their desire to join a troop, great.

For those who have not, the crossover ceremony, a handshake from the SPL and SM, receiving a boy scout handbook and a troop neckerchief may be that small spark to change the next seven years of their lives.

Please don't waste an opportunity.


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Thank you to everyone who has posted their opinion here. For those who still think that everyone should crossover, look at the definition of "Crossover in the glossary section of the Cub Scout Leader Book. It states: "When Webelos Scouts become Boy Scouts: "Webelos Crossover"." Nothing more, nothing less, and no one added.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gosh I hate it when the committee is having a battle. So often it has nothing to do with Scouting, and too much to do with adults wanting to be "right".


Been in Scouting forever, and I've never seen a policy. I doubt there is any since "cross over" is not an advancement, award or achievement.


However, as SM I was at a Pack Cross Over last spring. There were 3 troops receiving boys. I counted the Webelos, and then the list of who was being called to go where, and I was appalled: there were going to be three boys left on the stage when all was said and done, going literally nowhere.


I had a hurried talk with the Cubmaster and said "put us last, we'll call our guys, give them neckerchiefs, and then we'll call the other three and give them a warm congratulations!!!


My guys did exactly that (I have four scouts who do this kind of ceremony) and the end result was all the cubs had big smiles, everyone felt "graduated" or "commenced" or whatever, and no one got left out ---and for me, that's Scouting.


So, tell the committee to lighten up and remember that Scouting is for the boys.


By the way, KC, I get it that you apparently didn't want "those other boys" cluttering up the cross over. If that's true, then shame on you!


Hawk was exactly right. In fact, that's the post-script to our story. One of those 3 who initially had told his folks he'd rather do soccer than scouts ended up in our Troop. But just think, he might have ended up with a bad taste in his mouth instead, and grown up to be a judge, and ended up on the court that got the case the next time the BSA got sued over exclusionary policies... Oh well, life goes on.............


yis(This message has been edited by denver4und@aol.com)(This message has been edited by denver4und@aol.com)

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Traditions are interesting. They are great for adding fun and character to a program, but can bring it to a stand still as well. I watched one pack restrict their Webelos from joining a Troop until April because they always wait until April to do Crossovers, and I saw another Pack of Webelos have to go through a paperwork nightmare because the Troop they visited in January submitted the applications they filled out for the AOL requirement before the Pack submitted their names for the AOL award.


I have found that Blue and Golds go on twice as long because someone once said that they were only for Webelos graduations. Others have said that Blue and Golds are the only place a Scout can receive his AOL. Our Troop is getting new Scouts in December because their leader is moving out of town.


We have the opportunity here and now to start a new tradition. Packs do graduations, troops do the Crossovers. The graduation can have a bridge or something different and better. The Troops can start their own cool ceremony where the SPL has the opportunity to welcome the Webelos and his family into his Troop. The SM stands back proudly watching his PLC doing what they do best, lead the Troop. Now that sounds cool to me, boy run at it's best.


Whatever we adults decide is best for the boys, its still just adults deciding what we think is best for the boys at that time. It's still just traditions that can be changed into a new and better traditions when we find they don't fit the program anymore. Be creative, be thoughtful, be compassionate, and make sure it's fun. If you do all that, it will be a great new tradition.


My favorite crossover was the one where we lite the Webelos neckerchiefs on fire then watch them burnout without any damage to the neckerchief. They weren't on the boys at the time ofcourse. Now that was fun. I love this Scouting stuff.




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Ok, I cant resist putting in my two cents on this topic.


First, the highest award you can receive as a CUB SCOUT is the Arrow of Light. That being said, if you do not choose to join a BOY SCOUT troop, then you have reached the pinnacle. SOME districts or councils have an additional award sometimes called the 20 Patch, or Super Webelos, or Super Achiever. This is awarded to boys who earn all 20 Webelos pins.


I agree with many other posters here that an AOL ceremony should be a separate and substantial ceremony recognizing those scouts who have earned CUB SCOUTINGS highest award.


I would also like to point out that there an several areas around the U.S. who have separate DISTRICT events to crossover Webelos to Boy Scouting. This is nice because it allows for some big productions that might otherwise be too costly for a small group.


KC SCOUTING DAD: Sorry, but I too will not be able to quote any specific BSA policies regarding this issue. It may benefit your committee to change the title of this event from Webelos Crossover to Boy Scout Induction ceremony. I also agree with the majority here, that this is an event for boys who are JOINING/ CROSSING OVER/ BEING INDUCTED into a Boy Scout troop. I would define joining as; filled out and signed a Boy Scout application AND stroked a check for registration to that troop.


I would also ask you to consider this. In most typical crossover events the boy starts with his den leader and/or Cubmaster then during the ceremony he is turned over to (received by) his new SCOUTMASTER. In the case that some have mentioned where some boys might be going to a different troop, then there are that many SCOUTMASTERS there to receive THEIR boys. Seems to me if I were a Scoutmaster that I would only be receiving boys who JOINED my troop. Also keep in mind that many times (most of the time?) the Scoutmaster will be presenting items like epaulets, neckerchiefs, troop numeral patches, and sometimes handbooks. Does anybody really think that the troop is going to pay for these items for a boy who is not going to join their troop, much less a boy who is quitting the program?


Just my two cents. Hope you find this helpful. Good luck!


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I also like EagleDads suggestion about making this a TROOP event! That way the boys who are retiring from Scouting dont feel like they have been left out of a PACK event. Having this as a separate event (not part of the Blue and Gold dinner for instance) would help a lot.

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Traditions are just that, traditions and not rules. We let the parents of our 2nd year Webelos Cub Scouts plan the Blue & Gold Banquet (a BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR CUB SCOUTS) which traditionally we use as our Pack meeting for the month of February. During Pack meetings we formally present awards. For the Blue & Gold, this includes the AOL award. We also have a cross-over ceremony for the boys who are going on to Boy Scouts. We present all 2nd Year Webelos with a "Boy Scout" compass. We present the boys who have earned it the AOL award. We present the boys who have decided to join a troop a Boy Scout handbook and cover. We invite a representative from the Troop that they are entering (usually the SPL & SM) to attend and welcome the boys. They (the troops) usually present the boys with the red epaulets. Usually, receiving the troop neckerchief, hat, etc. is done at a Troop induction ceremony (a Troop event) and not at a Cub Scout event like the B&G.



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