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Liz

Webelos AOL & Crossover

Curious: AOL and Crossover - Same Event or 2 Events?  

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  1. 1. Are your Webelos AOL and Crossover ceremonies the same event or two different events?

    • Our Webelos earn their Arrow of Light in one ceremony, and cross over into Scouts BSA in another ceremony.
      5
    • Our Webelos earn their Arrow of Light and cross over into Scouts BSA at the same time.
      15


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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Treflienne said:

First off, the more traditional approach is by birthday -- though the age used to be 12, not 11.

And the promoting-by-age is not an LDS-only exception.  The brand new Scouts BSA Handbook for Girls says, on the inside front cover

Our troop knows of one girl (not a cub scout) planning to join as soon as she turns 11.   Oddly enough, her mother was not aware of the age-instead-of-AOL grounds for joining scouts, even though the girl has two brothers who have gone through cub scouts.

 

We're talking about advancing rank within Cub Scouts, not moving from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA .  The practice of advancing Cub Scouts to the next rank by age is/was exclusive to LDS units.

Edited by Pale Horse
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On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 2:17 PM, The Latin Scot said:

Webelos SCOUT! 

I'm sorry, it's in my signature so I am obliged to be a pain about it. :laugh:

I don't entirely understand this logic. Does your pack meeting attendance vary that much from month to month? Ours is pretty consistent throughout the year, so a boy crossing over in October has as many "witnesses" as a boy who crosses over in May. And with fewer Scouts with to share the limelight, the focus on him is all the greater. Though, this reminds me that it's not about how many people are there as much as who those people are.

Also, my point about "catching up" wasn't actually referring to the Scouts - it was more about their parents, who at this age are, unfortunately, the ones who seem overly concerned about getting their kids to the same "level" as their peers - a mindset which perpetually troubles me, deeply. In the end however I agree with @mrkstvns' main point: there are advantages to every crossover strategy which ultimately depend on the child for whom they are designed.

Our pack meetings had about the same number each meeting - which was probably about 2/3 of the total membership.  By having the crossing over at the same time as the Blue and Gold, it's the one time that we had near-total attendance because it was a special occasion.  Parents (and scouts) tend to be so busy that having a single afternoon makes it a little easier on the schedule.

One big difference between meetings and the crossing over/B&G - and this will vary with each pack as well - is that a lot of our parents let the younger Cubs run wild during the meetings, and our CubMaster pretty much lets it happen.  The only time I've ever seen them fairly attentive, as a group, was when we did the mystery-solving skits.  (Adults dress up as different characters and present a scenario where a crime has been committed, and the scouts have to try and figure out 'who done it'.)  At a specific, more formal ceremony, the parents do a better job of keeping the Lions and Tigers in check, so it automatically feels more special; more reverent.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

We're talking about advancing rank within Cub Scouts, not moving from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA .  The practice of advancing Cub Scouts to the next rank by age is/was exclusive to LDS units.

Actually that's not the case; there are other, non-LDS CO's who use the same model. In my own district there are a few. Admittedly it's not as common outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints these days, but neither is it particularly rare. It's all at the discretion of the chartered organization head. 

Edited by The Latin Scot
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16 hours ago, Pale Horse said:

We're talking about advancing rank within Cub Scouts, not moving from Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA .  The practice of advancing Cub Scouts to the next rank by age is/was exclusive to LDS units.

Are we? I thought this was about crossover? Whenever I think about crossover, I think about Cub Scouts moving into the next program (crossing over to the older program).  I do think most units move scouts from wolf to bear to Webelos scouts by grade, but moving on to Boy Scouts (not Scouts BSA) has often been done by whenever the boy both completed his AoL and met the requirements for joining (age based) instead of waiting until a grade transition.

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9 hours ago, mds3d said:

 Whenever I think about crossover, I think about Cub Scouts moving into the next program (crossing over to the older program).  I do think most units move scouts from wolf to bear to Webelos scouts by grade, but moving on to Boy Scouts (not Scouts BSA) has often been done by whenever the boy both completed his AoL and met the requirements for joining (age based) instead of waiting until a grade transition.

 

Cross Over use to mean one specific event: Moving from CUB SCOUTS TO BOY SCOUTS (now SCOUTS BSA) . Don't know when the term started being used to mean moving from Tigers to Wolves, Wolves to Bears, and Bears to Webelos, but IMHO it has denigrated the actual Cross Over Ceremony. Yes moving up within Cub Scouts can be a big deal, but it is not the same as moving fromthe Cub Scout program to the Scouts BSA program.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, mds3d said:

Are we? I thought this was about crossover? Whenever I think about crossover, I think about Cub Scouts moving into the next program (crossing over to the older program).  I do think most units move scouts from wolf to bear to Webelos scouts by grade, but moving on to Boy Scouts (not Scouts BSA) has often been done by whenever the boy both completed his AoL and met the requirements for joining (age based) instead of waiting until a grade transition.

The thread branched a bit, sorry for the confusion. My question and subsequent followup in response to Treflienne was specific to Cub Scout advancement "ranking up", not Crossover.

Edited by Pale Horse

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Our tradition is that the 5th graders (aka AOL-rank scouts, not Webelos anymore, thanks BSA for making this confusing) bridging to Scouts BSA receive their AOL patch at our Blue and Gold Dinner in February, and are received by their respective troops as their "cross the bridge". We invite the whole pack (50+ families) to the Blue and Gold Dinner, but only the AOLs are recognized, so maybe a third of the rest of the Pack attends, usually the families of the Scouters plus a few more.

We do our lower ranks bridging ceremony as a big pot-luck dinner in mid-May, where all of the other Cubs "bridge" to their next rank.

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11 hours ago, sierracharliescouter said:

Our tradition is that the 5th graders (aka AOL-rank scouts, not Webelos anymore, thanks BSA for making this confusing)...

Not to be that guy, but actually, there is no such thing as an "Arrow of Light Scout," nor even an Arrow of Light den according to official Cub Scout structuring. All boys above the rank of Bear are called Webelos Scouts, and belong to the Webelos den. Some packs choose to split these older kids into two groups by age (and use unofficial terms like AofL Scouts or Webelos II), but that is a customization not officially recognized by the Cub Scout program of the BSA. So make sure you call ALL of your older Cubs Webelos Scouts - that's their title, and they only get to use it for a year or two! :) 

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9 hours ago, The Latin Scot said:

Not to be that guy, but actually, there is no such thing as an "Arrow of Light Scout," nor even an Arrow of Light den according to official Cub Scout structuring. All boys above the rank of Bear are called Webelos Scouts, and belong to the Webelos den. Some packs choose to split these older kids into two groups by age (and use unofficial terms like AofL Scouts or Webelos II), but that is a customization not officially recognized by the Cub Scout program of the BSA. So make sure you call ALL of your older Cubs Webelos Scouts - that's their title, and they only get to use it for a year or two! :) 

Thank you for that clarification. This is how I understood it and I was starting to get confused... it was on my to-do list to go research and see what I was missing! LOL! 

We have a small pack, 9 registered Scouts at this time, and I was looking forward to combining what's now our Bear den with our one Webelos Scout and putting it all together to function like a single den. 

I understand using AOL Scout as a clarification for kids who have already earned their Webelos badges and are now working on AOL requirements, but I've never thought of it as a separate rank. AOL is an award, not a rank. 

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Actually ... 

The Arrow of Light IS a rank, the highest in Cub Scouting. What makes it different is that Cubs are not identified by this rank as they are at earlier levels, hence the confusion. So, a boy who has earned the rank of Arrow of Light is still called a Webelos Scout, and still belongs to a Webelos den.

As for combining different ages, I have written much in other threads detailing the many reasons this is a bad idea. Far better to have two small dens of 2 or 3 boys working their own program together than to try and combine two very different programs with kids of dissimilar ages. It's better for their cognitive, social and behavioral development to keep them with other Scouts their own age and not mix them with older/younger Scouts working a different program.

Ultimately, we must remember that choices which may appear convenient for adults are not as important as choices which will most benefit the youth we serve. It will require more work to make it happen, but if it helps these kids have a better experience, isn't that extra effort worth it?

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5 minutes ago, Liz said:

I understand using AOL Scout as a clarification for kids who have already earned their Webelos badges and are now working on AOL requirements, but I've never thought of it as a separate rank. AOL is an award, not a rank. 

 

Arrow of Light is a rank, but it is not a separate den level / type.  The BSA sometimes uses the term "award" loosely where all ranks are awards, but not all awards are ranks.
 

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