Jump to content
Ranman328

Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

Recommended Posts

When we went through our New Program Training, they were very specific that the AoL program is it's own rank.  It sounds like they have watered down the program even more since I was in it and that was two years ago.  I think the Cub Scout Leaders need to spend more time making sure the boys are ready for Boy Scouts.  I had a Den/Patrol of 12 boys and we finished up at the beginning of February.  We didn't cross over to Boy Scouts until Mid March.  I didn't want them to miss their last Blue and Gold Banquet.  We spend the last month working on having them ready for the Scout Rank in Boy Scouts and refining their Patrol Method skills. 

Good point about Scouts joining in August and September.  I had a Scout join in September so the earliest he could cross over was February.  I wonder what Packs do about that, cross their boys over and leave the new ones behind?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Ranman328 said:

We didn't cross over to Boy Scouts until Mid March.  I didn't want them to miss their last Blue and Gold Banquet.  We spend the last month working on having them ready for the Scout Rank in Boy Scouts and refining their Patrol Method skills. 

I hear this from the Webelos leaders that cross over into our troop.  They all want to wait until after the B&G.  Mid to late March is typical here too.  When I was a Cubmaster, I did the same.

As a Troop CC, I'd recommend thinking about this differently. One of the best ways to get a new Boy Scout off to a good start is to get him to go on a couple of camping trips and then to Summer Camp.

When a Scout crosses at the end of March he's lucky to have 8 meeting a before summer.  That's not a lot of time to get integrated into a troop and ready for Summer Camp.

If it were up to me, I'd have all crossovers in February.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not reading anything at all about Webelos and AOL being two separate programs when I was doing the new program  training at RTs prior to it coming out. Otherwise our LDS brethen could not earn both. I do remember that you no longer had to earn Bobcat and Webelos badge to  earn AOL. Just the Bobcat badge. 

I personally think crossing over depend on when they are ready.  I know some packs will cross over in December/January because they are chomping at the bit to become Boy Scouts. My sons' pack is like that, but we also do summer activities, so some consider us a year round pack. They also start the transition to Boy Scouts as soon as they become Webelos. Others do it at BnG because of tradition, and their Scouts have a little extra time. But key is ARE THEY READY?  I've seen some Scouts cross over and are not ready for Boy Scouts.

As for watering down the requirements December 1, 2016,  yes they did. I mentioned the Castaway changes as I had to live with them in my house. But I know that one pack's Webelos den was not going to be able to Cross Over as a den in March, until the requirements changed. Everyone, including those whose attendance had been sporadic, was able become Boy Scouts. Sadly we lost 4 of the 9 in less than a year.

As for those who join late, it depends. We had some join in 5th grade, not earn AOL, but cross over as they met the age requirement. Others "officially" are still Cub Scouts with the pack, but are doing lots of Troop visits, and working on AOL or bidding their time until they turn 11. It depends upon what the Webelos and parents want.

And I agree with Parkman about February at the latest.  In addition to getting  both Scouts and parents comfortable with the troop prior to summer camp, it gives them a a chance to get the money for it, and possibly do fundraisers with the troop. I was under the old 3 year Cub Scout program, crossing over to Boy Scouts in May of 5th grade. Not only was my  mom uncomfortable with the new troop, I had 2-3 weeks to come up with the money! So I missed out my first summer as a Scout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earning the Webelos rank is no longer a requirement to earn the AOL rank, but both ranks are part of the Webelos program  That was one of the changes they made back in 2015, because the BSA thought it was overwhelming to boys who join Cub Scouts for the first time in the 5th grade to have to earn both ranks in only 6 months (assuming that most Webelos dens crossover in the January-March time frame).

I prefer that they crossover by the end of February, too.  They need time to get integrated into a troop, and the troop needs to know which Scouts are going to summer camp (the earlier the better).

I did like how the 2016 modifications to the requirements gave Webelos Den Leaders some options "Do X out of Y requirements".  (Den Leaders can always do more than the minimum to enrich the experience for the Scouts.)  But I still don't understand the reason for reducing the total number of adventures for Webelos and AOL ranks (used to be 7 adventures for each rank, now 6 for Webelos and 5 for AOL).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

22 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

IAs for watering down the requirements December 1, 2016,  yes they did. I mentioned the Castaway changes as I had to live with them in my house. But I know that one pack's Webelos den was not going to be able to Cross Over as a den in March, until the requirements changed. Everyone, including those whose attendance had been sporadic, was able become Boy Scouts. Sadly we lost 4 of the 9 in less than a year.

Sadly, I have also see several scouts leave when they came from a very active Webelos Den that spent a great deal of time trying to prepare the boys to crossover in February and get to Scout rank as soon as they crossed to the troop.  I attribute it to "Scouting fatigue".  The Boy Scouts didn't feel very different to them in program, and they didn't see a great deal of value in going to summer camp (spending the whole week without my phone/tablet/gaming system?!?!).  By the fall, they leave.  And where in the Cubs they could get away with missing every other meeting and every other weekend activity, they can't do that in Boy Scouts and advance as fast as their peers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Thunderbird said:

My understanding is that the Webelos program is still intended to be around 18-20 months (for non-LDS packs), with crossover around January-March of the 5th grade year (individual packs vary).  With the current requirements, they can complete the Webelos and AOL ranks sooner, but IMO it makes for a better experience and allows more time for them to be better prepared for Boy Scouts (especially for the younger kids - some of whom will be closer to their 10th birthday) if they aren't rushed.  Extra time means more opportunities for more experiences such as visiting Boy Scout troops or earning additional adventure pins (or other awards). 

We're getting ready to go through round 2 of this with our kids. We are in a school district with a *very* firm Sept 1 cutoff for K. My kids both have early Sept birthdays so they can crossover in March as AOL with 6mos in their dens since turning 10 or ~9months total as Webelos and as 4th Graders. For older son this was a great option. The other choice wasn't waiting a whole year, it was to join BS in the Fall as an 11yo with or without AOL. Instead, he's been to summer camp and every monthly camp out. Tomorrow he'll finished 5th grade as a 11yo and Saturday we head off for his crew's Boundary Waters trip. While he'll be the youngest, he won't be the weakest kid on that trip by a good stretch.

Younger son will be a 4th grader and cross over next year. His best friend is 6 months younger and in his den so that'll be awkward but he is so ready it is the only viable choice. His buddy will join many of the Scout campouts as a Webelos, but it is not yet clear whether he will cross over the following Fall or Spring. Either way my son will be able to attend camp next Summer.

For older kids the age vs grade requirements may be the best way to keep them in the program.

PS: For Scouts the situation may be reversed. Our troop is spinning back up its venture crew solely to serve the 4 or 5 kids who turn 18 during senior year who want to do Seabase SCUBA next Spring.  If I were in charge I would  have more age flexibility for Cub Scouts while allowing Scouts to stay active until HS graduation regardless of age.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, oldbuzzard said:

We're getting ready to go through round 2 of this with our kids. We are in a school district with a *very* firm Sept 1 cutoff for K. My kids both have early Sept birthdays so they can crossover in March as AOL with 6mos in their dens since turning 10 or ~9months total as Webelos and as 4th Graders. For older son this was a great option. The other choice wasn't waiting a whole year, it was to join BS in the Fall as an 11yo with or without AOL. Instead, he's been to summer camp and every monthly camp out. Tomorrow he'll finished 5th grade as a 11yo and Saturday we head off for his crew's Boundary Waters trip. While he'll be the youngest, he won't be the weakest kid on that trip by a good stretch.

Younger son will be a 4th grader and cross over next year. His best friend is 6 months younger and in his den so that'll be awkward but he is so ready it is the only viable choice. His buddy will join many of the Scout campouts as a Webelos, but it is not yet clear whether he will cross over the following Fall or Spring. Either way my son will be able to attend camp next Summer.

For older kids the age vs grade requirements may be the best way to keep them in the program.

PS: For Scouts the situation may be reversed. Our troop is spinning back up its venture crew solely to serve the 4 or 5 kids who turn 18 during senior year who want to do Seabase SCUBA next Spring.  If I were in charge I would  have more age flexibility for Cub Scouts while allowing Scouts to stay active until HS graduation regardless of age.

 

Yes.  Even though the program is designed to be 18-20 months long (give or take), what might be best for some individual Webelos Scouts might not be good for others.  Some are older / more mature and can cross over earlier, while some are younger and need more time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ParkMan said:

I hear this from the Webelos leaders that cross over into our troop.  They all want to wait until after the B&G.  Mid to late March is typical here too.  When I was a Cubmaster, I did the same.

As a Troop CC, I'd recommend thinking about this differently. One of the best ways to get a new Boy Scout off to a good start is to get him to go on a couple of camping trips and then to Summer Camp.

When a Scout crosses at the end of March he's lucky to have 8 meeting a before summer.  That's not a lot of time to get integrated into a troop and ready for Summer Camp.

If it were up to me, I'd have all crossovers in February.

 

I know for me and my son, we visited troops in December and January.  Once he decided on the troop we did double meetings until crossover.  Did that for a month until crossover, really helped him get to know the other scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

 

Sadly, I have also see several scouts leave when they came from a very active Webelos Den that spent a great deal of time trying to prepare the boys to crossover in February and get to Scout rank as soon as they crossed to the troop.  I attribute it to "Scouting fatigue".  The Boy Scouts didn't feel very different to them in program, and they didn't see a great deal of value in going to summer camp (spending the whole week without my phone/tablet/gaming system?!?!).  By the fall, they leave.  And where in the Cubs they could get away with missing every other meeting and every other weekend activity, they can't do that in Boy Scouts and advance as fast as their peers.

I'm going to use your Scouting fatigue comment to jump in a slightly different direction because I think that fatigue is only going to get worse with the introduction of the Lion rank.  That's another year of kids doing similar adventures across ranks.  (Ho many police or fire station trips can you take?)  I suspect adding Lion is going to lead to kids burning out well before Soy Scouts.  And it could also lead to kids not joining in the 2nd & 3rd grades - "why should I join, I already missed 2 (3) years?"

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


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

I'm going to use your Scouting fatigue comment to jump in a slightly different direction because I think that fatigue is only going to get worse with the introduction of the Lion rank.  That's another year of kids doing similar adventures across ranks.  (Ho many police or fire station trips can you take?)  I suspect adding Lion is going to lead to kids burning out well before Soy Scouts.  And it could also lead to kids not joining in the 2nd & 3rd grades - "why should I join, I already missed 2 (3) years?"

I think you're right about the fatigue. 

My son went through a very active pack and generally had good den leaders.  I remember looking at the den roster in his Webelos year and thinking about how few of the boys that started in Tiger's made it to the end of Webelos.  Sure, there were more that joined along the way - so he had a good graduating den.  But, in terms of those boys that started 4.5 years earlier - many had left.  I remembered that all the boys that left did so in a trickle.  A couple after the Tiger year, a couple after the Wolf year, etc.  It was always stuff like - "he decided he wanted to do Karate instead Cub Scouts."

Share this post


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

I'm going to use your Scouting fatigue comment to jump in a slightly different direction because I think that fatigue is only going to get worse with the introduction of the Lion rank.  That's another year of kids doing similar adventures across ranks.  (Ho many police or fire station trips can you take?)  I suspect adding Lion is going to lead to kids burning out well before Soy Scouts.  And it could also lead to kids not joining in the 2nd & 3rd grades - "why should I join, I already missed 2 (3) years?"

yea, just finished wolf scout, have had about all I can handle with arts and crafts

if I had to do a 3rd year of arts and crafts I would probably skip the meetings and just show up for camp, to heck with the badge, 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The current Cub Scout adventure program doesn't seem to share as many activities across ranks as the old (pre-2015) program did.  This is both good and bad.  It's good in that the Cubs aren't doing the same thing year after year, which gets boring.

It's not so good for really small packs that have to combine dens.  So, if a pack has a bicycle rodeo safety day, I think there's only 1 rank with a bicycle-related adventure (Rolling Tigers), so all of the other Cubs in the pack, but they wouldn't be doing anything rank-related.  They would have to be creative to work in some other things for the other ranks (Webelos could work on building a Cubmobile that day as part of the Build It adventure, or something like that).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

The current Cub Scout adventure program doesn't seem to share as many activities across ranks as the old (pre-2015) program did.  This is both good and bad.  It's good in that the Cubs aren't doing the same thing year after year, which gets boring.

It's not so good for really small packs that have to combine dens.  So, if a pack has a bicycle rodeo safety day, I think there's only 1 rank with a bicycle-related adventure (Rolling Tigers), so all of the other Cubs in the pack, but they wouldn't be doing anything rank-related.  They would have to be creative to work in some other things for the other ranks (Webelos could work on building a Cubmobile that day as part of the Build It adventure, or something like that).

I think you found part of nationals new growth strategy.  Make it hard for small packs so that they will be incentiveized to recruit more.

:)

 

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Everybody,

I will just share my experience and perspective from when I was a Cub scout den leader.   We did the requirements in the book to the best of our ability, but since I had no experience with the Boy Scout program, I was not aware of any expectations that the Webelos journey was all about prep for Boy Scouts.  We did the things in the book, which included some things related to Boy Scouts, but that was about it.

Regarding the young man who will be coming into your troop,  take him where he is when he comes in, just as you would take in any other boy with an interest in Scouting.  We need to welcome anybody and everybody to Scouts, and just as you would welcome a man with no Scouting experience, you will meet this Scout where he is. 

11 year olds are young!!  Obviously they are still only just beginning to learn.  The real formation happens in Boy Scouts.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2018 at 11:46 AM, The Latin Scot said:

Our den has a "patrol" name, flag, patch and shout, and our monthly denner has a number of supervised duties to help the boys gain leadership experience. The whole POINT of Webelos is preparing boys to get a head start with their Boy Scout experience!

We did all these things in our Webelos / AOL Den, but -- just know that it was the boys (and my) first time trying out any of these concepts, and it was more about an initial exposure to these concepts than full mastery.  

I fondly remember the meeting where the boys were trying to come up with a patrol name, and various kids were pitching ideas, and some wanted to give campaign speeches, etc.  The Illuminati was a contender, but they came up with the Night Owls -- and it was contentious, not everyone was happy with that result.   But it worked, and they had a patrol flag with them when they went on a troop visit. 

Note -- we did not do a patrol patch in Cubs, and our denner program was on the weak side, but the boys elected denners, and they had some additional responsibilities, that were sometimes carried out better than others.

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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

×