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Big_Dog

question about 5th graders...

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Hi,

 

Well, we're finishing our first year as a troop, and I must say it's been great! I've been working with the pack because they had almost ceased to exist. They now have some great leaders and we're planning a BIG school night for scouting. The second year webelos den numbers 3 kids. So here's my question: If we recruit some 5th graders, what do we do with them? If we put them in with the existing webelos, they probably won't earn the arrow of light at the same time and won't bridge with the original scouts.

Suggestions would be welcomed!

 

bd

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Big_Dog

 

I've been Den Leader, Webelos Leader and Cubmaster. I ran the Webelos as one program and mixed Webelos 1's and 2's together. In a nutshell here is how it worked. All first year Webelos earn the Outdoorsman and Fitness in the fall. It is an 18 month rotating program. The badges worked on during year 1 are worked on again in the 3rd year and the badges worked on during the 2nd year are worked on again in the 4th this allows the Webelos the opportunity to earn their Arrow of Light within the 18 month framework. Nothing stops the boys from working on any badges on their own. We believe in having a strong outdoor program for the Webelos with at a minimum of 2 Webelos campouts and as many hikes as possible.

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I had two guys join my W2 den last year. They tried like heck to earn the AOL, but didn't. They crossed over with the den, they just didn't do the AOL ceremony. I talked with each Scout and their parents about their options well before the ceremony. They were understanding and elected to cross over vice being "left" behind for a few months.

 

One doesn't have to earn the AOL before joining BSA.

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BD,

 

We were in the same situation last year with two boys who joined the pack as Webelos II's. We crossed our "veteran" boys over in February. We visited with the 2 new boy's and their parents about staying with the pack to complete their AOL. They agreed and continued to meet with the Webelos I's and completed their AOL by the Cub graduation ceremony we hold in May. At the ceremony, they crossed over to a troop. They could have chosen to cross over to a troop in February without their AOL, but didn't. Since they were new to the pack and den, strong ties had not really been made with the other boys that caused them to feel the need to move with them. They knew it would only be another 3 months before they crossed and would be back with them. It worked great for us.

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We had two boys join as W2s last year, one earned his AoL and the other didn't.

 

When you are registering boys as new W2s be sure to look at their birthdates. If their birthday falls after your usual crossover date and they don't earn the AoL, they'll be left hanging when the rest of their den crosses over. The requirements for joining a troop are be 11 years old, earn the AoL or complete the fifth grade.

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This pretty much seconds the comments of others. There is no shame in not earning Arrow of Light, particularly if you have just joined Cub Scouting at the beginning of fifth grade. If the new recruits are 11 at the time everybody else is crossing over, they can choose to join the troop at that time, or they can stay till the end of fifth grade and probably will have time to earn Arrow of Light if it is something they want to do. It should be their choice, and of course the sooner they turn 11, the greater their range of options, so that is a factor to consider as well. The only way they can join the troop without having earned Arrow of Light is to be 11 or have finished fifth grade.

 

My suggestion for a boy who joins at the beginning of fifth grade and decides NOT to go for Arrow of Light (either because he will be 11 at the time everyone else crosses over, and wants to join a troop at the same time, or because he just doesn't want to rush through the advancement process) is to focus on the advancement requirements OTHER than the activity badges. Primarily, the requirements (for both Webelos badge and Arrow of Light) that prepare the boy for the Boy Scouts, such as knowing the Oath, Law, sign, etc., and those that focus on character and citizenship (flag ceremony, the new Character Connection, etc.) Then he can squeeze one or two activity badges in there, because the activity badges are designed to introduce the Webelos to a Boy Scout-type advancement process, but with age-appropriate requirements.

 

Or to put it another way, the most important thing is that the boy have a good experience that prepares him for what comes next. Rushing through the requirements just to earn badges is something that a boy CAN do if he really wants to, but he and his parents should first understand the options and limitations that confront a boy who has essentially arrived in the pack two-thirds of the way through the Webelos program. I also think that the one thing NOT to do is tell the boy to wait till Boy Scouts instead of joining the pack, the result of that probably would be that he never joins at all.

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Good thoughts, everyone. You, too Bob White!!

 

Had a planning meeting Tuesday night with pack leaders, and it's really neat to work with folks that are so excited. I hope we recruit 15 fifth graders and then next year, I'll have some thoughts on this. ;)

 

bd(This message has been edited by Big_Dog)

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