Lake Ridge, Virginia
A Guide for Webelos Cub Scout Leaders
Here are some details below, some of which you may already know, for your information for joining the Boy Scouts -- specifically Troop 1396.
Scouts BSA Troop 1396 meets on Tuesday evenings through the year at Lake Ridge Middle School. Our meetings start at 7:30 pm, though sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes for a quorum to arrive and for the boys to get organized. Everyone enters through the school's main entrance, the one near the school office on the East side of the building. Once you enter the front, keep going straight ahead -- down that hallway -- 3/4 way down on the right. (The meeting is held in the all-purpose room/cafetorium.)
We need to be sure the Webelos Scout is qualified to join Boy Scouts -- in his case, that basically means he must meet the age requirements –- a boy who has completed the 5th grade, is 11 years old, or has earned his Arrow of Light. In the sidebar is some information borrowed from the BSA website's "Webelos-to-Scout Transition."
So, he completes his Boy Scout Application and Health and Medical Record form and pays his Troop fees. Once that's been done, he'll be recognized (formally introduced to the boys in the Troop) at the first meeting after he joins, and we'll make sure he has his proper uniform items (unless he had already received some at a bridging ceremony). Bridging -- Troop 1396 cap and Boy Scout epaulets; pay Troop fees -- Troop 1396 red T-shirt; achieve Scout rank recognition -- Scout rank patch, a Troop 1396 neckerchief, and slide.
Then he can get to work immediately on Scout Requirements. He'll receive recognition as soon as it's earned unless delayed for presentation at a Troop Court of Honor. Advancement requirements, Tenderfoot through Eagle, are signed off by the Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmasters, and, for some of the Tenderfoot, 2nd and 1st Class hands-on requirements, by our senior Scouts. For merit badges, we have quite a few counselors in our Troop, and also have access to Prince William District Merit Badge Counselors. (As with most merit badges, just about everything has to be presented to the merit badge counselor, even though the activity itself might be done with a practitioner.)
With coordination, we can be ready to work on Webelos-to-Scout transition requirements with your Webelos when they visit:
For those who are ready, we can take the Webelos (and their parents) aside and go through the Scout Oath or Promise, Scout Law, Motto, Slogan, and the Outdoor Code, in much the same way we do with every boy who joins the Troop. These are principles they all must understand and agree to live by.
Emphasize to the boys' parents the need to purchase a Boy Scout Handbook as soon as possible, pointing out to them that they've now completed two of the requirements for Scout, and that the Scout emblem (shown at right) is worn above their Arrow of Light (and if any of the boys already have a Handbook with them, go ahead and initial both items), and;
At the conclusion, explain the remainder of the "Scout" requirements.
After that, depending on time and the other things we've planned, we may start discussing with the boys, in some detail, the Scout Salute, Scout Sign, Scout Handshake, Scout Badge, Square Knot, and so forth.
Each Scout must be able to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Of course, we'll have applications available also. :-)) Each boy must complete and submit a Boy Scout application and health history, signed by his parent or guardian.
Lastly, he must participate in a Scoutmaster conference. It is here that the Scoutmaster can confirm that all requirements have been properly met and that the boy is duly and truly prepared to become a Boy Scout and receive the Scout rank.
The ongoing relationship of the leaders from the Pack and Troop is the key factor in improving the Webelos Transition, ensuring that Webelos Scouts become Boy Scouts.
Webelos to Scout Transition
It should be the goal of the Cubmaster and Webelos Den leader to graduate every Webelos Scout into a Scouts BSA Troop. The key to accomplishing this is to begin promoting Boy Scouting when Cub Scouts are still in their Tiger, Wolf, and Bear Dens, and to "sell the sizzle" of the great outdoors. Scouting should be viewed as an ongoing adventure, and the progression should be as normal as moving from elementary school to middle school.
Develop a working relationship with Troop leaders.
Compare Troop and Pack calendars to coordinate activities.
Work with Troop leaders to secure Den Chiefs who will work with Webelos Dens.
Work with Troop leaders to plan Webelos overnighters.
Invite Scoutmasters to special Pack activities.
Plan a meaningful crossover ceremony from the Pack into the Troop.
Webelos leaders should be encouraged to move on to the Troop. This will give the new Scouts a familiar face to identify with.
Appoint Scouts to serve as Den Chiefs.
Serve as a resource for overnight activities for the Pack.
Webelos Den/Troop campouts should show Webelos Scouts and their parents what to expect when they move into the Troop.
Arrange for Webelos Dens to visit Troop Meetings.
Provide Webelos Dens with Troop activity calendars.
Conduct a "Scoutmaster Conference" with Webelos Scouts to cover the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Work with the Cubmaster to plan a meaningful crossover into the Troop.