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sprout18

Webelos transition to boy scouts

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When do most packs transition into boy scouts? I went to Pow Wow last year and took the 3 hr Webelos leader training and they said that we should complete our Arrow of Light by Blue and Gold (February) and the boys should attend Boy Scout meetings after that. I have no problem with this as my boys will definitely be done AOL by our Blue and Gold meeting. The problem comes with one of our parents. She is the committee chair for our pack and her son has been in my den since Tiger. She says that we have never done it this way before and no other pack does it this way. She doesn't care what I do but her son will not be going to the Troop before Cross-over (May) and will continue to attend den meetings. I think most if not all of the other parents are on board with my suggestion as to why they should go to the pack in Feb which includes getting to know the troop members and fundraising with the troop for their summer camp (which can be upwards of $400). Our committee chair doesn't care about my reasons or what I learned at Pow Wow training. She said I'm making the boys grow up too fast and kicking them out of the pack. I'm just not sure what to do. I want to give them their awards at Blue and Gold but am afraid to approach the subject of this with her as she is so against it.

 

Do other packs bridge over at Blue and Gold?

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The requirements are

10 years of age and their AOL

or

11 years of age

or

Complete 5th grade

 

We traditionally cross over in March. I have 2 scouts that will have their AOL by Oct while the other will not. Those 2 scouts are planning on waiting for the other scouts, even though they could cross over at that time.

 

It could also depend on the troop. Do they want all of the the new scouts coming in at the same time? How do they structure their patrols? etc.

 

It sounds like at some point someone focused on the completed 5th grade as the primary driver.

 

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Just a minor thing. There are two separate events--AOL ceremony and bridging (crossover). The AOL ceremony is a Pack ceremony. Bridging or crossover is a Troop ceremony. From what I can tell, the trend nationwide is for the Webelos to crossover in the spring. We've had boys come over to the troop anytime between January and May. This is the CC's oldest son, isn't it? My wife didn't like the idea that my oldest was leaving the Pack and becoming a Boy Scout either. It's a hard transition. At least around here, another justification for doing the crossover in the Spring of the 5th grade year is that if you are in an area with middle schools (6-8), then you add another stressor to the boys-=-not only are they changing schools, but they are also changing from the Pack to the Troop.

 

I've found that earlier is better. It helps the boys to really transition into the Troop before summer camp. The more campouts they get before summer camp, the better off the boys are at summer camp.

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Sprout18,

 

There is no such thing as only one way to do things in this area of Webelos/Scout transition.

 

I took a group of Webelos I boys after Blue Gold (Feb. - a bit early for the transition). I met weekly and by the Blue Gold the following year, technically 6 months into the traditional Web I year, they all had AOL. The CC and CM were not happy. Boys loved it. The second year we just did fun things and that summer, (end of the traditional Web I year, the boys started transitioning over as they turned 10 1/2 years old. I heard all the same arguments, but the parents went along with what I was doing and ... well all of them Eagled so I guess I didn't traumatize them too much.

 

Perdidochas is correct, AOL ceremony is a Pack event and Cross-Over is usually a troop event, but I have seen Packs to it as well.

 

If your CC is intent on holding her son back, there's nothing wrong with that, but she doesn't speak for the others. The final decision as to when the boy starts scouting is spelled out AOL and 10 1/2 years old, or 11 years old, or last day of 5th Grade.

 

Some of the boys even "held themselves back" so that they would get one last chance at Pinewood Derby. :) I didn't care, we just had them go to Scouts anyway. It's supposed to be for the boys.

 

Stosh

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Sprout,

 

As others have said, there is no one way of doing things. Back in the dark ages when I was a Cub, Tigers were a separate program, and Cub Scouts was only three years: 3rd grade was when you joined as a Wolf, 4th was when you were a Bear, and 5th grade was when you became a Webelos. And it usually took the 9 months of the school year to get AOL, hence when most Cross Overs occured. And there are still a few packs that do it that way.

 

When Cub Scouts expanded to a 4.5 - 5 year program, Most packs used the Blue and Gold in February/March as the Cross Over Night for the reasons you have stated.

 

A few years back, my pack decided to do Cross Overs in December. Reason for that was A) it was the earliest they can earn the AOL and Cross Over, B) Our Cubs were getting restless and jumping at the bit to become Boy Scouts, C) Since I charter end in January, we didn't have to deal with any of the recharter paperwork on them for only 1-2 months, and D) Gives them a chance to get to know the troop and get ready for summer camp.

 

For me that last reason, getting to know the troop and preparing for summer camp, is the most important. I know that when I crossed over in May, I really didn't know the troop, nor was I financially prepared to go to summer camp in 3-4 weeks after joining the troop. So I misssed out.

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Some Councils/Districts are piloting a Webelos Transition schedule which will put cross-over to November/December of the 5th grade year, with the expectation that Webelos meet during Troop Meetings during the summer/fall of the 4th/5th grade year. Boys joining new as 5th graders go straight to the troop, skipping Cubs entirely.

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You are both right. Sort of.

 

Pay attention to what your boys want. Make it clear that they can cross-over any time between AOL (which happens to be your banquet) and May. If they want to do pack stuff, let them stay. If they want to do troop stuff, let them crossover.

 

If you are all going to the same troop, just make sure the boys have all the info they need to sign up for summer camp in a timely fashion.

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We cross over our Webelos in February at the BG Dinner. This way the new scouts have the entire spring camping season to become acclimated to Boy Scout camping on weekend campouts and become familiar with their troop and patrol leaders and members. This makes for a much smoother Summer Camp. You don't want the new scout's first camping experience without mom or dad to be a whole week in the woods. It helps avoid many problems.

 

Dale

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Don't pick a fight on this one. There is no strict rule.

 

From what I've seen ... most Webelos end their cub scouting journey at the February blue and gold and start Boy Scouting in March. But it is not a hard and fast rule. It is what we are taught by BSA. Cub Scout leader guide on page 22-4 says ... "The graduation ceremony is often held in February at the pack’s blue and gold banquet. " http://www.scouting.org/filestore/hispanic/english/33221_web.Pdf

 

The important part is to coordinate with the boy scout troops in the area. Many troops want a smooth transition or want to start new scout patrols smoothly at the same time. If webelos trickle in over months, it will make for a rough start to boy scouting. Talk with the local troops. Cross too soon and they might not be ready for you. Cross too late and you might have missed something.

 

PLUS - The 2015 Cub Scout program changes will affect this. Something about Webelos meeting with troop during the 2nd year.

 

 

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Oh for the good old days when there was a one year Webelos program and you crossed over the month of your 11th birthday and you earned AOL at your own pace, which could mean, in a large enough Pack, and aol ceremony every Pack meeting and a crossover ceremony (yes, run by a Troop but often done at Pack meetings) at every pack meeting.

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Our pack historically has lumped crossover + AOL presentation + B&G into one event. Many of our old leaders, some old scouts and eagles, think that the B&G IS the crossover event and all about the WEBELOS.

I'm suggesting to our current 2nd year Web leader that he can award the AOL whenever they earn it, at the next pack meeting. If he wants to.... trying to set the seed that there are three different things here.

 

There is a problem with the age requirements for crossover. Some boys start 1st grade young, and so they will only be 10 when their dens cross out of the pack in Feb or March or whenever.... they will be left in limbo if they don't earn their AOL. Seems like a good way to loose boys form scouting.... for them to not have a place to call home.

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CalicoPenn ... your good old days are something I've never even heard referred too. As long as I've known and in the vast majority, cubs cross over at the same time. Different troops yes, but same time.

 

yours would almost have to be the opposite. Cross over a different times, but same troop

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There's no one answer to when to cross over. The pack at our charter org crosses at Blue and Gold, others in the area cross anywhere from January through March.

 

As SM of a troop that drew scouts from several packs the varied crossover dates drove me nuts.

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As SM of a troop that drew scouts from several packs the varied crossover dates drove me nuts.

 

Very understandable. Hard to have a new scout patrol when they trickle in.

 

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We like to have scouts crossover early in the spring. Usually they go to B&G and then we do crossover sometime in the weeks following. One of the reasons we advocate using this schedule is that a new scout can get a couple of weekend camping trips in before summer camp so that the first or at best second time away isn't for a week.

 

We usually do a cabin camp in March, there's not enough snow to have a fun winter campout and it's usually too cold and muddy for a really pleasant spring campout, and that's an easy first trip. Then we do a Tenderfoot weekend in April where they're really introduced to full patrol based tent camping, another weekend in May, and by summer camp they're used to the program, being away, being responsible for themselves and their gear, etc.

 

If you crossover in May, depending on your troop's schedule, first time away is a week, and that can be a shock to all concerned.

 

As to boys who might be a little young and still in fifth grade, we just leave them technically registered as Webelos who are invited to camp with our troop until they meet the paperwork requirement.

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