Jump to content
Ranman328

Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

Recommended Posts

Question to all you Scouters out there.  I am a Scoutmaster.  I do not have much experience with the new Cub Scout Program.  I have two brothers in my Troop with a third in an Arrow of Light Den in a nearby Pack.  I was notified by the father of the AOL Scout that he would be crossing over to our Troop in October 2018.  I thought that was weird as I was under the impression that the new cub scout year does not start until June 1.  They have to be in the AOL Den for six months.  This would be December, correct?  I just want to make sure this scout doesn't cross over prior to actually earning his AOL and there are not problems with him earning it.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He may be eligible to join based on age.  You can join a troop at age 11, you don't ever have to have completed AOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the requirement.

 

  1. Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old. (emphasis added) 

 

So if he turned 10 in April, he could cross over in October. Personally I'd talk to teh dad to see if he would wait so that son coul;d get some more time to prepare for Boy Scouts.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The AOL rank requirement states:

"1. Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old." (emphasis added).

There are no AOL dens - there are only Webelos dens (although most packs have a den for 4th graders and a den for 5th graders), so the 6 month active tenure requirement starts when a Webelos Scout completes the fourth grade or when the Webelos Scout turns 10 years old (whichever comes first).

Dens crossover at the end of the school year (for non-LDS packs).  The exact date is determined by the pack committee.  June 1 is just an arbitrary date by national.

Edited by Thunderbird
clarification

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In short, crossing over early isn't illegal nor a problem in itself. However sometimes it can create issues in regards to separation of friends etc. It all depends on how the Scout Troop sets up the patrols and the ego of the scout and the scout's parent. Then again, staying in the AoL program when you've completed everything could cause a scout to loose interest. 

I've seen an AoL cross over early, about nine months before the rest of his unit. He had an enthusiastic parent who made sure all his requirements were met and he had his AoL way ahead of everyone else in his unit. He did okay, was absorbed into a patrol. The rest of the AoL unit crossed over and most of them chose the same troop since he went there and they were all friends. However the new boys formed a new patrol so they were separated. While they still had their common experience in cub scouts, being in different patrols separated them in many different ways. Also a feeling of superiority on the count of that one boy. All in all, it had a lot of issues. I can't say all of those issues were the result of ego etc, as some were caused by the super enthusiastic parent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are cases where it may be of value to cross over early.  Take for example a kid who participates in a spring sport like baseball or lacrosse.  If he crosses over at a traditional time, he may run into a bunch of conflicts such as not being able to camp on the weekends that first spring.  If he starts BS in the fall of his 5th grade year, he can get some camping and other pre-reqs done as opposed to essentially waiting a year.

Another factor to consider is the effect of the stripped down AoL program.  When they eased it up a year or two ago they went way to far in my opinion.  It's not unrealistic for a kid to be done with his AoL requirements before he even starts the 5th grade.  Why just pass time running out the clock in cub scouts if you can get started in boy scouts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also of note is that this scout just joined Cub Scouts in October of 2017 and received his Webelos rank at the end of January 2018 three months later.  I was in the first group to go through the new Webelos and AOL program.  The new program started when my Cub Scouts went from Bears to Webelos.  I don't see how they are doing it in three months and providing a quality program for these boys.  I have a few scouts in my Troop from the old program that still don't know how to function as a Patrol and can't recite the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and outdoor code properly.  That just tells me that they were not prepared to become boy scouts. 

I agree, I was disappointed at the stripped down AoL program as well.  They really need most of the year to prepare for Boy Scouts.  I am seeing way too many boys coming over to Boy Scouts not knowing the basics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why I dislike the idea of a program "year" starting in June or September or whatever. My program is ongoing, with no "beginning or end." The way my CO runs it, boys become Webelos Scouts when they turn 10 and cross over to Boy Scouts at 11. So I don't wait for any specific times to award them any rank - once they complete the requirements, they advance in rank. SO usually, that means 3 - 4 months after their birthday they earn their Webelos rank, and 6 - 8 months after they earn their Arrow of Light. This results in boys earning these ranks throughout the year, and usually there are only a few boys earning rank at any given pack meeting. It makes it much less of a bother to "get it done," because the boys are moving at their own pack, and never feel left out if they don't earn a rank "with all the other boys" because they all earn it at different times anyway.

Sometimes there are unusual cases. I have had boy join my group a few months after they have turned 10 already, which may mean making choices. If possible, I have them work solely on the Arrow of Light, but if they won't have 6 months to complete the tenure requirement, we just focus on the Webelos rank, and we don't make a big deal about his not being able to complete the AofL. Fortunately, since there isn't any "end of the program year," there are no overwrought Arrow of Light/Crossing-over bonanzas for him to feel left out of, so I never have any boys or parents complaining if the AofL isn't earned. There's also a lot of communication going from the beginning so that it's never a last-minute shock if it doesn't happen - I make plans with families as soon as boys enter the den, so if certain awards can't reasonably be earned, it's something we are all prepared to deal with. 

It's a very nice, stress-free way to deal with rank advancement in Webelos, and as a result I have never had to deal with any serious parental complaints in the 2 1/2 years I have been doing this. I recommend it to anybody looking for ways to help Cub Scout families - if not the calendar changes, at least the communication part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ranman328 said:

I agree, I was disappointed at the stripped down AoL program as well.  They really need most of the year to prepare for Boy Scouts.  I am seeing way too many boys coming over to Boy Scouts not knowing the basics.

Why is the pack waiting until they are in 5th grade to prepare Crossing Over into Boy Scouts? WeBeLoS stands for 'We'll Be Loyal Scouts, and they should begin preparing for Boy Scouts as soon as they become a Webelos, not waiting until after they earn the Webelos Badge. The dens and packs that I have seen with good retention rates of Crossovers staying in Scouting, are those that prepare the Cub Scouts as soon as they become Webelos, and sometimes sooner.

So I love the 18 month Webelos/AOL program when it is done properly because it works better than the old 3 year program that I went through back in the day.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, the new program is a two year program.  The AoL is it's own separate rank.  You don't have to earn the Webelos badge to earn the AoL.  I agree, as soon as the boys become Webelos, they should become a patrol and start learning the Patrol Method.  That is what I did.  At the end of their Bear year, they voted on a Patrol name and I ordered their patrol patches and flag which is actually my profile picture.  They all had a chance to be a patrol leader as well as serve other functions within the patrol.  I am not sure how this pack is going to get these boys ready especially since I just found out they take the summer off.  They just had a bridging ceremony telling everyone that it is their last event until September.  What a great way to lose scouts.  I think I am going to invite the Webelos to come out to some of my Troop meetings this summer to participate in some of our events.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a good idea. Funny, the more I hear about these School-based calendars, the less I like them. And taking the summer off just sounds like lunacy to me. Summer is the season for Scouting! No School to compete with, the boys have time, the weather is great - I accomplish more in the summer months than I ever can during the rest of the time. I think inviting the Webelos to your Troop meetings is the EXACT answer to your situation. Just make SURE to have activities planned that will engage them and that their parents can observe if they wish. Not having Scouts is a catastrophe for that pack, but hey, you might as well turn it into a goldmine for your recruitment efforts!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2018 at 1:51 PM, The Latin Scot said:

That's why I dislike the idea of a program "year" starting in June or September or whatever. My program is ongoing, with no "beginning or end." The way my CO runs it, boys become Webelos Scouts when they turn 10 and cross over to Boy Scouts at 11. So I don't wait for any specific times to award them any rank - once they complete the requirements, they advance in rank. SO usually, that means 3 - 4 months after their birthday they earn their Webelos rank, and 6 - 8 months after they earn their Arrow of Light. This results in boys earning these ranks throughout the year, and usually there are only a few boys earning rank at any given pack meeting. It makes it much less of a bother to "get it done," because the boys are moving at their own pack, and never feel left out if they don't earn a rank "with all the other boys" because they all earn it at different times anyway.

Sometimes there are unusual cases. I have had boy join my group a few months after they have turned 10 already, which may mean making choices. If possible, I have them work solely on the Arrow of Light, but if they won't have 6 months to complete the tenure requirement, we just focus on the Webelos rank, and we don't make a big deal about his not being able to complete the AofL. Fortunately, since there isn't any "end of the program year," there are no overwrought Arrow of Light/Crossing-over bonanzas for him to feel left out of, so I never have any boys or parents complaining if the AofL isn't earned. There's also a lot of communication going from the beginning so that it's never a last-minute shock if it doesn't happen - I make plans with families as soon as boys enter the den, so if certain awards can't reasonably be earned, it's something we are all prepared to deal with. 

It's a very nice, stress-free way to deal with rank advancement in Webelos, and as a result I have never had to deal with any serious parental complaints in the 2 1/2 years I have been doing this. I recommend it to anybody looking for ways to help Cub Scout families - if not the calendar changes, at least the communication part.

This appears to be in violation of the Guide to Advancement.  No leader, pack, etc can add/delete/change the advancement criteria.  Unless you are an LDS pack which goes by age, you cannot impose restrictions like making a scout wait until he's 10 to join a Webelos den.  You've mentioned other things of concern as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/3/2018 at 12:22 PM, Ranman328 said:

Also of note is that this scout just joined Cub Scouts in October of 2017 and received his Webelos rank at the end of January 2018 three months later.  I was in the first group to go through the new Webelos and AOL program.  The new program started when my Cub Scouts went from Bears to Webelos.  I don't see how they are doing it in three months and providing a quality program for these boys.  I have a few scouts in my Troop from the old program that still don't know how to function as a Patrol and can't recite the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and outdoor code properly.  That just tells me that they were not prepared to become boy scouts. 

I agree, I was disappointed at the stripped down AoL program as well.  They really need most of the year to prepare for Boy Scouts.  I am seeing way too many boys coming over to Boy Scouts not knowing the basics.

I agree the new program is light but argue that that's not the reason scouts are joining troops unprepared.  The Scouting Adventure requirement for AoL is virtually identical to the Scout rank in Boy Scouts.  If a scout earns AoL and still joins Boy Scouts unprepared, I put that on the cub leaders for passing along a kid who didn't really meet the AoL requirements as opposed to blaming the thinner rank requirements.  To earn the AoL rank the scout must still "know how to function as a Patrol and can't recite the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and outdoor code properly."

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never believed that it is at all necessary for a boy to have been a cub scout and earned AoL in order to become a successful scout. As a scoutmaster, I considered AoL to be irrelevant. It's just another piece of bling.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, SlowDerbyRacer said:

This appears to be in violation of the Guide to Advancement.  No leader, pack, etc can add/delete/change the advancement criteria.  Unless you are an LDS pack which goes by age, you cannot impose restrictions like making a scout wait until he's 10 to join a Webelos den.  You've mentioned other things of concern as well.

Well then it's important for you to know that I AM in an LDS pack, and that's how we do things - standard LDS policy is that boys advance by age, so from 10 to 11 they are Webelos Scouts. The BSA has always been very accomodating to us in that regard; it fits how we run our children's programs, and the BSA has long granted us the right to operate our program in that way. And I never tamper with advancement criteria; if anything I am known for being determinedly orthodox in my expectations. So I would be happy to know what other things "concern" you, as I am confident that I run my program as close to policy as it can possibly be run. But do share if you have questions. ;)

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×