Scouting magazine

Scouters share their thoughts on when to hold Webelos Scout ceremonies

Cubmaster C.S. expresses frustration with parents who want Arrow of Light and crossover ceremonies done by December. He asks for tips on getting them to be patient until the blue and gold banquet. 

CHILL, FOLKS
It’s great that folks want to get into Boy Scouts, but it’s not about what the parents want. It’s all about the boys. So relax and let them enjoy the last few months of Cub Scouting. The den leader will need additional time to work on activity pins and teach them some of the skills they will need as a Boy Scout.
Pack Committee Chairman C.J.
WINCHESTER, VA.

SAVOR THE JOURNEY
Unless you’re pushing very hard and not following basic guidelines, Arrow of Light is generally finished around blue and gold. Remember that a Webelos II must be active for six months. You should look at pacing the program. The parents really need to understand that Scouting is a journey. It’s not a race to Eagle.
Cubmaster A.C.
PORTLAND, ORE. 

PACE AND PLAN
In Pack 323, we dedicate half of our January pack show—no one likes meetings—to Arrow of Light. All the boys look forward to the new twist we will put on the presentation. We have blue and gold for our February pack show and make a big deal about the senior Webelos and any Super Achievers. Then we have crossover at a big campout the first weekend of March. We invite all the troops that boys will cross into—some even camp with us that weekend—and celebrate the Webelos becoming Boy Scouts. By clearly separating the events and integrating them with already planned activities, we have great participation and anticipation for each unique step to that eventual crossing of the bridge.
Cubmaster B.G.
LAND O’ LAKES, FLA.

DON’T KNOCK DECEMBER
Our Webelos II den bridges in December at our pack meeting. At that time, we also do the Arrow of Light ceremony. This gives them time to acclimate to the troop before going to camp in the summer. It works well for us that they get both at the same time.
Assistant District Comm. H.C.
BEDFORD, PA.

WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
You might ask the parents what the rush is. It might be they simply want the boys to bridge earlier to have more time to become comfortable with the troop before they go to summer camp for the first time. It could be the Scouts are bored with the Cub Scout program, and Scouting will lose them. Address this by improving your program and encouraging proactive feedback. If this is a case of the parents pushing their sons to advance as rapidly as possible, explain that Scouting is more about having fun and becoming a strong, independent young man than about collecting patches.
Cubmaster A.S.
LAKE HIAWATHA, N.J.

IT’S NOT (JUST) ABOUT YOU
Remind your Webelos II leaders and parents about the importance of the blue and gold ceremony for your other Scouts and the need for those Webelos to demonstrate leadership to the younger Scouts. You need that Arrow of Light/crossover ceremony to give the remaining Scouts in your pack something to look forward to.
Cubmaster T.T.
MACKINAW, ILL.

WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO
Webelos lasts 18 months max, not until blue and gold or anything else special. You need—no, you should be required—to get those kids out of your pack and into the troop of their choice as soon as they are 10½ years old. Don’t make them wait for arbitrary things like the blue and gold banquet. This is when they need to be moving away from everybody-at-the-same-time Cub Scouting to you’re-on-your-own-to-advance-at-your-speed Boy Scouting.
T.P.
DES PLAINES, ILL.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER
We used to do the Arrow of Light and crossover ceremonies at the blue and gold, but it made a long event even longer and the younger boys got stir crazy. This year, we decided to do two ceremonies. The pack meeting before the blue and gold was devoted to the Arrow of Light, and the leader who planned the ceremony had younger boys get involved so they were participants instead of just observers. The crossover ceremony was still just as good as ever, and my son is looking forward to doing it next year.
Pack Committee Chairman R.W.
FRAMINGHAM, MASS. 

TILL WE MEET AGAIN
If the parents and leadership decide to do the crossover before blue and gold, the pack can still invite these boys back to recognize their hard work in the Cub Scout program.
District Commissioner J.M.
STIGLER, OKLA.

WORTH THE WAIT
Most boys in our pack earn Arrow of Light between December and early February, so they don’t have to wait long before the blue and gold. We hold the Arrow of Light ceremony right before we eat lunch, and the crossover ceremony begins after the meal. We do not hold any other rank ceremonies during our blue and gold. This day honors Webelos Scouts only. We have a separate graduation toward the end of May for other dens.
Cubmaster M.C.
FOREST CITY, PA.

ENCOURAGE (MORE) ADVANCEMENT
Why hold back the Super Achievers? When we have a group of boys who have achieved Arrow of Light way before the blue and gold date (most likely because they are very active and have gone to summer camp, day camp, and most meetings), we hold their ceremony in the fall. We then have them focus on achieving their 20 pins and other awards, such as the Nova and World Conservation awards.
Cubmaster S.N.
EASLEY, S.C.

MAKE IT A ‘WOW’
Parents can be involved in planning, developing, and organizing these events to create a sense of uniqueness. Reward patience by allowing families to be part of the Arrow of Light and/or crossover ceremonies, and make them incredible events for the boys.
B.H.
Idaho Falls, Idaho

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