Moving From Webelos to Boy Scouts
During your Cub Scout's 5th grade year, they will "transition" into Boy Scouts. Let's talk about how simple the process can be.
Summer before 5th Grade
The summer between 4th grade and 5th grade should have a trip to 5th grade Webelos Camp at either Stearns or Navajo. The program at these camps highlight how great Boy Scouts is and will get your boys excited about the next step!
Meeting with the Boy Scout troop
Just like you're in a Cub Scout pack, boys who are 11 and older are in a Boy Scout troop.
In August or September as you start the 5th grade year, your den needs to establish contact with a local troop. This contact should be initiated by the troop, but it doesn't hurt for you to reach out to two or three troops yourself.
So, what do you do with that Boy Scout troop? You meet with them throughout the fall and have your den meetings on the same night and location as their troop meetings (which happen weekly). This helps ease the transition between the two programs.
You can also go on campouts and start integrating with the troop.
Once December rolls around, you can "crossover" to that troop. Crossover means officially join the Boy Scout troop. The "crossover" process happens at some point between December through March.
It's up to your den when this transition takes place.
Each youth will need to have some paperwork processed as you are changing units (from the pack to the troop). This paperwork could be a new youth application or a list of all boys in your den with a parent's signature by their respective youth's name. Afterwards, the list is given to the troop who then turns it in to the Scout Office.
It's critical that your 5th grade boys get signed up for summer camp that first summer as well. If boys get to camp with their new troop, they are going to have a TON of fun and can start working on merit badges and rank advancement!
Simple Process Summary for Arrow of Light Scouts (5th Grade)
- August-September - Start meeting with a local troop (or two)
- August-December - Attend campouts with the local troop (including Camporees)
- December-March - "Crossover" into troop (at Crossover Ceremony)
- Crossover-on - Meet with troop as you are now registered Boy Scouts
- June-August - Attend Summer Camp with troop (Many Point, Tomahawk, or other)
Working Together - Cub Scout Pack AND Boy Scout Troop
Few boys join Tiger Scouts BSA with the intent of remaining in Scouting until their 21st birthday as a Venturer. However, Scouting offers a continuous program that becomes progressively more challenging.
Cub Scouting takes place largely in the family. Beginning Tigers must be under the age of 8, have completed kindergarten or be in the first grade or be age 7. Wolf and Bear Scouts must have completed the first grade but not completed third grade or be age 8 or 9. And Webelos Scouts must have completed third grade but not completed fifth grade or age 10 but not yet 11 1/2.
Boy Scouting is designed for boys ages 11 through 17, who are old enough to be on their own in the out-of-doors. While adults serve as key leaders, Boy Scouts hold leadership positions and plan the troop's program.
The passage from Cub Scout pack to Boy Scout troop should be smooth, with no time lost in between. By the time Webelos Scouts are ready to cross over, they and their families should be familiar and comfortable with the youth and adult leaders of the troop, their role in the troop and troop activities, and feel excited about beginning this new adventure. The Webelos Scout's graduation ceremony should clearly signify his transition to a new level of Scouting, and could include the presentation of his Arrow of Light badge, a Boy Scout Handbook, and a troop neckerchief.
A Webelos Scout who has earned the Arrow of Light rank has now completed all the requirements for the Scout badge and may join a Boy Scout troop.
The key factor to improved Webelos transition is the ongoing working relationship of the leaders of a Cub Scout pack and a Boy Scout troop. Ideally a community organization would have both a pack and a troop with leaders who work together to help move Webelos Scouts into a Boy Scout troop the same way schools move students from elementary school to middle school.
There are a number of ways a pack and troop can work together to