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Blue and Gold - Pack Event or Crossover Event?

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When we first started, we had the big, massive, recognize everyone and their mother, as well as AOL & crossover. Scouts and adults were bored to tears. We worked it down to where B&G was focused on the Webelos IIs for AOL and crossover. This made it a big event for them and for the younger boys to look forward to crossing the bridge when their turn came. To cut time out of the program, we moved the recognition for the other scouts to a separate pack meeting.

 

 

Our real problem now days is not how long the B&G is, but having enough cubs to have anything (but that's another thread).

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When we first started, we had the big, massive, recognize everyone and their mother, as well as AOL & crossover. Scouts and adults were bored to tears. We worked it down to where B&G was focused on the Webelos IIs for AOL and crossover. This made it a big event for them and for the younger boys to look forward to crossing the bridge when their turn came. To cut time out of the program, we moved the recognition for the other scouts to a separate pack meeting.

 

 

Our real problem now days is not how long the B&G is, but having enough cubs to have anything (but that's another thread).

well yours sounds just like ours..... quite honestly no real incentive for the rest of the pack to show up.

It should be the WEBELOS 2 Den Banquet!

 

I think I'm a typical dad.....As much as I want to feel a desire to support the boys in the W2 den and share in their "accomplishment" of sticking it out..... It's not nearly as strong as my want to see my son (not a W2) have some fun, maybe get some awards, and celebrate the pack's birthday.

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You really have 4 things. B&G, Arrow of Light and cross overt. I think it nees to be 2 separate meetings. I have been involved with 2 different packs the first pack made some changes so I have actually seen 3 variations.

 

- B&G - target for obtaining rank, focus on all of the scouts (except arrow of light)

- Crossover - focus on the Webelos 2 with arrow of light and crossing over

 

My worst experience is when you try to combine all: obtaining rank, arrow of light and crossing over into B & G. It becomes a long event and someone feels slighted.

 

I know that B&G doesn't need to be the target for obtaining rank but it seems like it often is.

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My son has just joined a new Pack in his Web1 year, and I've offered to chair the B&G committee. The new Pack has decided they want to uncouple the non-WEB2 award component from the rest of the event for the first time, moving it to the end of the year Pack outing. However, we still want this to be a birthday party, such that the entire Pack participates.

 

Most of the reasons for the change have already been articulated in previous comments: a) it shortens a lengthy event, b) it magnifies the importance of the WEB2 graduation and c) it takes pressure off of the other dens to achieve their ranks in an abbreviated way, especially when winter weather can wreak havoc on schedules.

 

This is a grass-greener scenario for those of you who dislike their current format because it "ignores" the rest of the Pack. The hope is that the boys will grow to really look forward to the day when the spotlight is firmly on them alone as WEB2s. It also addresses some criticism I saw in my former Pack (we had very similar discussions about moving to this approach) where the WEB2 parents didn't feel the event focused enough on their kids. (IMO, this wasn't just whininess...I see validity in their comments)

 

But with the change comes the risk that we have trouble getting complete attendance from the Pack because the other dens are not getting their rank awards.

 

So....for those of you doing it this way....what "incentives" do you build in to the agenda to get everyone to attend the event?

 

 

 

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What Blue & Gold was - originally - was simply the birthday party for Cub Scouting. Which is why it is traditionally held in February, the birthday month for BSA.

 

It was/is the "target for obtaining rank" because February is a good time frame to use for completing rank award requirements when planning out your Cub year. A February completion date should not be written in stone, however, it is very doable, and gives procrastinating parents/Scouts a goal date to shoot for.

 

What better time to celebrate your Scouts achievements than at a birthday party!

 

BSA encourages a February/March crossover of Webelos to Boy Scouts because Webelos who have had more time with their new Troop before Summer, will be more likely to attend Summer camp that first year, have a better first year Summer camp experience, and will be more likely to stay in Scouting.

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The end of the Pack year is for graduating to the next Cub level.

 

Awards that have been earned should NEVER be held back. Present the boys their awards when they have earned them. Do not hold them hostage for months until the Pack decides THEY want to give them out!

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It seems obvious, I suppose, that if you only recognize boys when they earn their AOL, they'd be spread out over what could be a significant period of time. I see the Cross Over as a special ceremony that celebrates the Webelos II's who are continuing into Boy Scouts. I have also seen Packs use it as a night to "elevate" each Den to the next level. I wouldn't "hold" the AOL awards until that time, but that doesn't mean you can't have a ceremony recognizing them (again in some cases) for their achievement. Some Packs give out extra AOL recognitions at the Cross Over.

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You award the rank at the next Pack Meeting. When the Web earns AoL, that should also be awarded at the next Pack Meeting.

I see four special events in the Cub year: Pine Wood Derby (maybe rain gutter, Cub Scooters, too), Blue and Gold Banquet, Cub to Boy Scout Crossover, and the End of Year Picnic/swim party/ball game, when all Cubs rise to the next year opportunity. When you try to combine too many of these events into one, you have a hard time. Each of these events should be a separate event, taking the place of a usual Pack Meeting.

Blue and Gold should be a "Birthday " celebration, as has been mentioned. Have Tails and Scales come from your local park. Show "Down and Derby" or "Follow Me Boys". Let the Dens develop really good skits. Get a local celeb or sport celeb appear and speak. Ask NASA to invite an Astronaut. Lots of possibility, just mention "Cub Scouts" and see the doors open. Too much bling awarding, and it becomes a Rotary meeting for the adults, and that ain't why we are here. Go back to Veggietales, and "It's for the kids".

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I wonder how many scouts out there got AOL and never had a chance to ever sew it on their Cub Scout uniform because of the way it was handled? Kinda like the death-bed Eagles who never wear their rank on their youth shirt.

 

Stosh

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I wonder how many scouts out there got AOL and never had a chance to ever sew it on their Cub Scout uniform because of the way it was handled? Kinda like the death-bed Eagles who never wear their rank on their youth shirt.

 

Stosh

 

I would say the majority. It seems like most packs /den leaders will hold back on ane of the requirements so that they all obtain them around the same time. I think that some packs do not want to do the AOL and cross over multi times a year.

 

We have several scouts that could have AOL the end of Nov (6 months after completing 4th grade). We could go with the 10.5 for some of the scouts but we have one that turned 10 in Aug. Do we make the one scout wait just because his birthday is later, when he has completed all of the requirements at the same pace as the rest of the den? In theory I could be down to a den of 1 right now which would be only because of the late birthday.

 

But looking at are pack calendar. Dec - Christmas party, Jan - Pinewood, Feb - B&G, so we have traditionally done AOL and cross over in March. If we were to complete the AOL in Dec or Jan it would get lost in the other event. If we did AOL and crossover in B&G it would tend to make B&G about the Webelos rather than the pack.

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Sidney,

 

I understand some parental need to have every boy be equals, but sometimes personal achievement needs to be recognized as such.

 

First of all withholding advancement for the boys is just plain wrong. We do the instant gratification beads to placate them when they're young and then hold out the grand prize at the end. Just doesn't make any sense to me why the adults need to be playing their little power games like that.

 

Then there's the cross-over bit. Seriously? Why are the Packs even involved in such an activity? I have seen Packs do the "Cross-over to Nowhere" routine and have a ceremony where no boys are going on to a Scout troop. I think they did a little torquing to come up with a cross-over to life kinda thingy. It didn't make much sense and was pretty much a self-esteem, let's have everyone feel great kind of going nowhere ceremony. It's almost as bad as the cross-over to troops where the boys cross-over and then go off and sit with their parents because they aren't going on to Scouts. After 40 years, it always surprises me the lengths some pack leaders go to to be dumb.

 

My thoughts. A boy earns his AOL. He gets the patch at the next den meeting. Card waits until next Pack meeting, special recognition at the B/G banquet, and then let the Boy Scouts worry about the cross-over and welcome ceremonies. My council has a cross-over ceremony at Boy Scout spring camporee every year for the boys that didn't get one in their troops for some unknown reason.

 

These Web II Blue Golds are too much of a graduation ceremony anyway and only emphasizes that something can be ending instead of a ceremony celebrating the next step in the Scouting journey.

 

I took the Web I boys and they all earned their AOL before the end of their first year and wore their AOL patches for the Web II year. They left the den as they aged out and were welcomed into the Troop as individuals, not as a group of Cub Scouts.

 

Stosh

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For us, both events MUST happen in February.

 

In our city and per BSA, Webelos cross over in late Feb to start meeting with their Boy Scout troop in early March. Standard in the city. BSA promoted design. So, troops plan to their program to include the new scouts March 1st or so.

 

We want the cross over to be the last event in the pack for the Webelos. With February being Blue and Gold, it is only natural to the last Webelos awards and cross over at the Blue and Gold.

 

The only way we could avoid it is to have the Blue and Gold be February 1st or so and then have a 2nd pack meeting in February as late as possible.

 

IMHO, it's about making it fast, fun and meaningful to everyone. So I see no reason to not do it as the B&G. Just do it well.

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Fred, there is nothing per BSA that says Webelos crossover must happen in February. I've seen it happen in January, February, March and April.

 

In terms of crossover, it should be a TROOP thing. It is a TROOP ceremony in which the TROOP welcomes the new Boy Scouts. Arrow of Light is a PACK thing. It is a PACK ceremony in which the Pack honors the Webelos who have completed the Arrow of Light.

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I have never seen the crossing over to nothing. IMHO a Web2 is old enough to understand that they are making a decision not to cross over and should respect the process. They still would get the AOL if earned.

 

I get that cross over is a troop thing and not a pack thing. But one of the complaints is that AOL is viewed as too much of graduation and leaves an opportunity to leave scouting. I would think that by having it at a cub scout function the younger scouts see the cross over and they make the connection that boy scouts is the next progression. I would think that if cross over was done at a troop event AOL would take on more of graduation. This is not saying that AOL should not be given when earned

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