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RainShine

Crossover schedule

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Our Pack activity schedule tracks with the school year, starts in September and ends in June. So the Webelo Scouts completing fifth grade in June are welcome to join the local Scout troop. My son crossed over last year in June with his den buddies.

But the Scouts were backpacking and going to five-day summer camp. It was a big leap for my son, especially summer camp. Its okay, he got through it. They all did. Learning more, the Troop was doing much easier car camping and hikes in March, April and May. Surely would have been an easier transition. Plus when we arrived in June, it was summer, so troop families were on vacation and stuff, so there is much more variation in attendance.

My observation is that most Packs in our city crossover in March or April. I don't know why ours does June. I suppose crossing over in June gives the Webelo Arrow of Light Den Leader more time to help his Scouts achieve their AoL goal.

I suppose the Scouts could cross over onsey-twosey as they achieve AoL. Then the guys that for whatever reason dont complete AoL would cross in June. That would make the Den kind of skimpy and awkward as guys get left behind.

I know the man that will be Webelo II Den Leader at the Pack and he will soon start considering his program and calendaring the activities. I feel like urging him to tighten that stuff up so his guys can crossover earlier. 

What does everyone else do?

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Our CO's Pack crosses over in late March / early April as well. From my my observation, the Webelos are eager to join a Troop and their leaders are ready to be done. Personally, I like that extra month to have those crucial consersations about summer camp.

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Webelos was changed to a to a 18 to 24 months with the goal of getting the Webelos to Cross Over no later than April of 5th grade so that they, and more importantly IMHO their parents, could get use to Boy Scouts, now Scouts BSA, and go to camp their first summer. I know first hand how much an advantage  those who go to summer camp their first summer have: I didn't catch up to my former den mates in rank until almost a year later.

Pack I was with crossed them over as early as December 18th (oldest son), and as late as February 25th ( youngest son). Youngest Son was chomping at the bit to join Scouts BSA, and beginning in January was going to meetings and helping with fundraising. DL picked the 25th because it was her birthday, and having them Cross Over that day was a big deal for her. But several Scouts were ready in January.

 

10 minutes ago, RainShine said:

But the Scouts were backpacking and going to five-day summer camp. It was a big leap for my son, especially summer camp. Its okay, he got through it. They all did. Learning more, the Troop was doing much easier car camping and hikes in March, April and May. Surely would have been an easier transition. Plus when we arrived in June, it was summer, so troop families were on vacation and stuff, so there is much more variation in attendance.

This exact scenario is one reason why BSA switched from a 1 year Webelos program with Cross Over in May in the 1980s and earlier to the 18-24 month program post 1990. Crossing Over no later than April gives people time to adjust to the new program and get ready for Summer activities.

 

12 minutes ago, RainShine said:

My observation is that most Packs in our city crossover in March or April. I don't know why ours does June. I suppose crossing over in June gives the Webelo Arrow of Light Den Leader more time to help his Scouts achieve their AoL goal.

If your pack is an old one with lots of history, they may be tied to the tradition of Crossing Over in the May/June time frame. Or if they get lots of new 5th grade Webelos, they may trying to catch up, hence the pushing back of the Cross Over.

 

17 minutes ago, RainShine said:

I suppose the Scouts could cross over onsey-twosey as they achieve AoL. Then the guys that for whatever reason dont complete AoL would cross in June. That would make the Den kind of skimpy and awkward as guys get left behind.

It's an option. You gotta do what is best for the bulk of the Scouts. Some Scouts will get it together if they feel they will be left behind. Some may not care about AOL.

19 minutes ago, RainShine said:

I know the man that will be Webelo II Den Leader at the Pack and he will soon start considering his program and calendaring the activities. I feel like urging him to tighten that stuff up so his guys can crossover earlier. 

What does everyone else do?

 Webelos is one continuous program with 2 separate ranks earned. The plan should have been made the summer between 3rd and 4th grade. 

In the pack I was with, and when I trained  WDLs,  I stated that Webelos should begin transitioning to Boy Scouts, now Scouts BSA, AS SOON AS THEY BECOME WEBELOS (emphasis). It is a continuous program so that they can earn all  the required Adventures need for both Webelos and AOL ranks to receive their  Webelos Rank, then work on electives to get the AOL rank. By doing this, February is pushing it, but March/April is more doable.

My old pack did stuff year round, with summer going to biweekly fun activities. Webelos tend to be chomping at the bit come December to Cross Over.

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Packs in my area mostly crossover in January-March.  The Scouts (and mostly parents) need time to acclimate prior to summer camp.  And summer camps fill up early where I am, so we need parents to make a decision as soon as they can about whether their Scout will be going to summer camp.  It's not always possible to add new Scouts later if camps are full.

Webelos Scouts only need 6 adventures (5 required plus 1 elective) in order to earn the Webelos rank.  If they complete 2 adventures per month (on average), they can earn their Webelos rank and then move on to Arrow of Light required adventures (due to February 2019 changes in the Guide to Advancement) while still in the 4th grade.

And then for Arrow of Light rank, they only need 5 adventures (4 required plus 1 elective).  Even if you start up again in September, it's not to difficult to complete 5 adventures in 6 months (September through February) - they would still have time for fun electives.

Personally, I think it's a good idea to work on adventures over the summer and try to spend time in the fall visiting different troops to get an idea what different troops are like.

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I'll be the den leader for 1st year webelos this upcoming year. My goal is to have everyone ready (or at least have the possibility of it) by January of the 2nd year. I don't see any reason to stick around earning lamer versions of merit badges instead of going out and camping. 

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2 minutes ago, malraux said:

I'll be the den leader for 1st year webelos this upcoming year. My goal is to have everyone ready (or at least have the possibility of it) by January of the 2nd year. I don't see any reason to stick around earning lamer versions of merit badges instead of going out and camping. 

We've had crossover in the Jan-Feb range the past few years.  It gives scouts a few months to get used to the troop and then increases the odds they go to summer camp.  If they go to summer camp the first year, they tend to stick around and stay with the program.

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In our Pack and Troop we have increasingly run into Webelos burn out at the beginning of fifth grade. The other problem is that is also the time when we lose a lot of webelos to intensive club sports. 

We are going to try an earlier crossover this year to try to capture some of them before they hang it up. I really think that the responsibility is on parents, but overall our den and pack leaders have been doing the same things year after year. They are tired, kids are tired. 

I don’t know what the answer is. But the webelos program hasn’t been working for us over the last four years. 

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20 minutes ago, marcbloch said:

In our Pack and Troop we have increasingly run into Webelos burn out at the beginning of fifth grade. The other problem is that is also the time when we lose a lot of webelos to intensive club sports. 

We are going to try an earlier crossover this year to try to capture some of them before they hang it up. I really think that the responsibility is on parents, but overall our den and pack leaders have been doing the same things year after year. They are tired, kids are tired. 

I don’t know what the answer is. But the webelos program hasn’t been working for us over the last four years. 

If the problem is a lackluster Webelos program that is causing Scouts to loose interest in continuing, then perhaps you could have the troop do some signature events that let the Scouts know what is coming.

Every year, our troop very visibly puts on some awesome events that are unlike what is typical for a Cub den.  We invite Webelos & AOL scouts.  Those scouts see the troop, what we do, and it looks pretty cool.  As a result, we easily have 80%+ of the AOL scouts crossover.  If anything, we get the "I'm soooo tired of Cub Scouts, I cannot wait to crossover."

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Our pack crosses over in February-March.   In doing anything later, its doing a disservice to those crossing over.  They wont have an idea on how the patrol method works and wont know what's going on for summer camp.   Also it provides those 5th graders a chance to learn what its like in being around older kids so its sort of preparing them for junior high school.  

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Once again, I'm SOOOOOO grateful my unit crossed our boys over by birthday, not all at once as a group. It made it so much easier to give each boy individual attention as he prepared to move on, and to tailor the last few weeks of his Cub Scout experience to his strengths and needs. And that way, it didn't matter whether his birthday was in January, June, September, whatever - he got a custom-made plan to prepare him to join the troop, and we had 100% retention after they crossed over. I don't think I could ever manage to do it by school year.

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@The Latin Scot

There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. In the current non-LDS 5 year program,  the Cubs are burningout IMHO. All three of mine  were ready to Cross Over when they did, or before. While the younger 2 were indeed 11 when they crossed over, it had to do more with when the ceremony took place, Middle son was tempted to  skip the Webelos badge and go straight to AOL since he was caught in the 2015-2016 program changes, and did not need Webelos to earn AOL. Only reason he stayed was the friend factor. Thankfully he had 2 WDLs who knew how to run the program, and they were acting more like a NSP, or an 11 year old LDS patrol, than Cub Scout which helped.

Youngest was a different story. He was ready to move up 2 months prior to the Cross Over. He was actually attending troop meetings, camp outs, and fundraisers at the same time he was getting some extra Adventure Pins the last 3 months of Webelos. In fact the only reason he went to den and pack meetings was SWMBO forced him. She wanted him to finish Cub Scouts strong. Plus she committed herself as Bear ADL until the end of the School year. ;)

So one disadvantage  until waiting is that the Cub can lose interest if they are forced to wait.

Another disadvantage, depending upon when the Cub Scout ages into Scouts, BSA, is that they may not have time to be fully prepared for summer camp. I know that is not an issue with LDS troops since 11 year olds cannot go to summer camp, but for non-LDS troops, it can be a problem. I know when I did the traditional 3 year program back in the day, I turned 11 and crossed over a month before the troop went to summer camp. Not only was my family unable to afford the camp fee on one month's notice, my  mother also had other issues. Long story short, my original Council, the New Orleans Area Council, had a major sex abuse scandal in the 1970s. My family didn't know the troop's leadership very well and had reservations sending me with people they really didn't know. Grant you there are ways to overcome that, but it can be an issue.

Biggest advantage to the traditional 3 year program as still practiced by the LDS Church is that it does not cause burn out and, as you mentioned, can be customized more to the individual

 

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