Webelos To Scouts|
Provided to you by
BSA Troop 357
Rotterdam-Schenectady, New York
John M. Papp Scoutmaster Phone 356-3897 Eves, Cell 527-9534
We don't have transition plans for other phases within the program,
so why do we need a transition plan from Webelos to Boy Scouts?
Even though we all think of Cub Scouts, Webelos, and Boy Scouts as
Scouting, the fact remains that most Scouters view Cub Scouts and Boy
Scouts as separate programs. Statistics show us that every year
approximately 35% of all Webelos Scouts do not move on to a Boy Scout
Troop. There are many factors that contribute to this:
Increased competition from other
When boys are in the first grade and ready for Tiger Cubs, there are
not many activities to compete with Scouting for a boy's time and
attention. As he gets older, more activities become available to him and
compete for his time. When a boy is ready to move on from Cub Scouts, he
is faced with many choices. We need to make sure that he has as much
exposure to what's ahead in Scouting as he has to other activities, such
as baseball, soccer, basketball, football, etc.
Misunderstandings between parents and
The Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs are fundamentally different in
that Cub Scouting is a program put on by and run by the adult
volunteers. Boy Scouting on the other hand, is designed to be a boy
planned and run program with guidance and supervision from the adult
volunteers. Due mostly to poor communication, enthusiastic parents of
Webelos sometimes feel shut out by Boy Scout Troop leaders. Once the
parent is disillusioned with their worth or involvement in a new unit,
the child soon follows. Webelos parents needs to be educated on the
differences between the programs and led toward an understanding of the
Boy Scout program.
Cub Scouting is an adult led, activity based program whereas Boy
Scouting is a boy led, outdoor oriented program. The change in program
activities can be intimidating to some boys. Sometimes, those that
haven't had outdoor experiences need to be eased into the program and
their parents, particularly mothers, need to have assurance that their
little boy (because that is still what he is) is going to be okay.
Improper assimilation into a troop
When the boys were cubs, they were all pretty much on an equal level,
in terms of maturity. A Scout troop contains a much wider and diverse
spectrum of levels of maturity. You have the young new scouts, and you
also have the mature scouts, who, in reality, are not boys anymore but
are young men ready for transitions of their own. A young Webelos thrust
into a troop of much older boys will many times be intimidated and may
be easily lost if not properly handled.
Lack of Interest from Troops
Sadly, many troops do not actively recruit Cub Scouts. If a troop
doesn't take an active role in the Webelos program, many boys will move
on to other activities that have shown interest in them (For the most
part, they won't come looking for you). Boy Scout leaders can't assume
that everyone will automatically look to move on to Scouting. You are
getting those that do already, we want the ones who don't. In addition,
boys will almost always follow their friends. If the troop is not
actively pursuing these boys, a single boy will be very reluctant to go
where he doesn't know anyone.
Where do we go from here?
The key to success in any activity in Scouting is preparation and
We must therefore prepare and plan for the transition well before it
occurs. This means that we must start our plan when a boy
"becomes" a Webelos, not when he is ready to crossover. In
essence, the Webelos' transition will begin long before he realizes or
Everyone has a role to play
- Webelos Den Leader
- Webelos Den Chief
- Unit Commissioner
Webelos Den Leader's Role
- Most influential in the Boy's preparation
- Should have the Webelos function as a patrol
- Should insure that the boys attend summer camp
- Should verify the presence of the necessary Scout skills
- Should attend Roundtables and get to know the Scoutmasters
- Attend a Troop meeting and recruit a Den Chief
- Plan the graduation/bridging ceremony and promote Troop summer
- Verify the transfer of documents (the boy's records)
WEBELOS > TO > Scout Transition
5TH Grade (Second Year) WEBELOS Leader's Role
||Have your den select a Scout patrol name, get patrol
patches to wear, make a patrol Flag, and elect a patrol leader.
(Check the Scout Handbook for ideas).
||Complete and return your Webelos roster (tracking
sheet) to your Unit Commissioner or pack committee chairman by
October 30th. This is very important so that troops can send you
Webelos information and invite them to orientation and camp
||Meet with the local Scoutmaster(s) for transition
||Take your Webelos and their parents to visit a troop
meeting. A new Scout- Parent informational meeting at the troop
should include summer camp plans.
||Ask the Troop to appoint a Webelos Den Chief. This
will aid the new Scouts with their transition into the Troop.
||Encourage your Webelos to make the final decision on
joining a Troop
||Assist the Cubmaster in planning a top-notch,
personalized graduation for the February pack meeting.
||Graduate your Webelos into Boy Scouts. Have them
complete a Scout application and register with the Troop. New
Scouts should have the Scout Handbook at this time.
||Webelos should attend Winter Camporee/Klondike Derby
with their new troop.
||Be sure the new Scouts have a schedule and begin
attending Troop activities.
Encourage parents to get involved with the Troop Committee.
||Talk to the Scoutmaster about continuing to work
with the new Scouts as a patrol advisor. This will help boys
become comfortable in the new troop.
||Help as needed with any final details for summer
||Follow up with any of your Webelos as to why they
did not yet join a Troop.
Note: Get the name of the nearest Scoutmaster(s) from your Unit
Commissioner or District Executive.
John M. Papp Scoutmaster BSA Troop 357, Rotterdam-Schenectady, NY
Webelos Den Chief's Role
- Act as a resource for scout skills
- Help for the patrol and scout spirit
- Help operate the patrol
- Assist in the Arrow of Light and Cross Over ceremonies
- This fulfills a requirement for leadership
- Include the Webelos in summer camp reservations
- Discuss program differences with Webelos' parents
- Discuss camp and Troop activity costs with Webelos' parents
- Have Webelos and their parents attend Troop meetings
- Become a part of the Pack graduation ceremony
- Assist in finding Den Chiefs for Webelos Dens
- Ensure all forms are completed
- Invite the Webelos Den Leader to become a part of the Troop
- Hold a pre-summer camp orientation for Scout skills
Scoutmaster's Role Schedule of Events
||Choose and make reservations for your Troop's
long-term, summer camp.
||Meet with your Unit Commissioner and let him/her
know your desires for increasing the troop size.
||Appoint good scouts to be Webelos Den Chiefs to help
get Webelos in nearby Packs interested in joining your troop.
||Identify a Webelos Resource Chairman for the troop
to help with nearby packs.
||Invite Webelos to visit a troop meeting.
||Hold a Webelos parents' night to promote the troop's
summer camp plans and get Webelos ready to participate. Give them
an information sheet with schedule, fees, and general camp
||Plan to be a part of the pack's February meeting and
||Attend the pack meeting in February and help conduct
the graduation ceremony.
| Anytime from Dec. to Feb.
||Webelos should register as scouts with your troop
||Invite the Webelos Leader(s) to be the new Scout's
patrol advisor. This will help May the new boys get adjusted and
provides an excellent prospect for a new Assistant or committee
person for the troop.
||Be sure all new Scouts have the troop schedule so
that they can begin
participating in troop activities
||Hold a spring campout for the troop emphasizing
basic Scout skills for new
boys (e.g. cooking, camping, and patrol methods). This will build
in new Scouts and help prepare them for summer camp.
|| Have a troop parent's meeting for final
details on summer camp.
||Encourage new parents to join the troop committee.
||For information on packs in your area to recruit new
boys from, ask your Unit Commissioner or District Executive.
A list of Webelos leaders and/or Cubmasters, and/or Pack
Committee Chairman can be provided to you.
ALSO: You should receive a list of eligible Webelos in October/November
to invite to your troop. If you do not, contact your Unit
Commissioner or District Executive.
The Unit Commissioner's Role
- Determine which troops can accommodate more Scouts
- Work with the District Executive to create more units where
- Ensure graduations are planned
- Track graduating Webelos and ensure they get registered as Boy
- Attend graduations
- Try and determine causes behind why particular Webelos do not join
a troop (be tactful and discreet)
You're the Unit's Best Friend
Although the unit leader can get help from many places, its special
when it comes from you. Being there in person, you're the first one to
offer personal support.
Troops Need Boys
Many Boy Scout troops have eight boys or less. Even the larger
troops may find recruiting difficult. Though many Webelos Scouts leave
their den when reaching Scouting age, they're not sure about going
into the troop.
You Have the Answer
With little effort, you can be the key person helping both the Boy
Scout troop and the Cub Scout pack to fulfill their needs.
More than 84 % of graduating Webelos Scouts join troops when the
Webelos-to-Scout transition program is used. Leaders can do it
themselves when someone gets them started ... and you're that someone.
Do you want to know how it's done?
What's In It For You?
Unit Commissioner's Schedule of events
||Ensure that Webelos leaders complete and return
their 5th grade Webelos
To Scout Transition Tracking List to you, or the District
Executive, no later than the November Roundtable. Please forward
the list if given to you.
||Determine if your troop(s) can accommodate more
Scouts. Some troops feel they are big enough. If not, contact
your Dist. Exec. Immediately and help Webelos parents form a new
troop to start activities in February.
||Arrange a phone contact or meeting between Webelos
leaders and Scoutmasters to work the plan
||Assist in planning a Webelos visit to a quality
troop meeting, including camp promotion information for new
parents. You should attend this troop meeting, and ensure that
invitations are telephoned to the parents beforehand.
||Help plan a top-notch graduation for Webelos at
their February pack meeting.
||Attend graduation. Be sure new Scouts complete a
Boy Scout application and know the troop's program and meeting
||Assist the troop to turn in applications and
Webelos graduation reports to the scout service center.
||Begin to follow up with boys who have not joined.
Get them invited to visit another troop.
How the Transition Plan Helps the Boy
Many Webelos Scouts will go on into Scouting with no help at all. But
at least half of them need to know more about their opportunities for
fun and adventure in the Scout troop.
That's really the purpose of the Webelos-to-Scout transition plan: to
give the Webelos Scout a sampling of the troop program, troop
leadership, personal advancement, a training and learning experience and
an appreciation of troop organization and relationships.
It will be the boy's (and his family's) decision so we owe it to them
to demonstrate some of the fun experiences and to let him know that he
is wanted. Certain key Scout Leaders are better able to show the Webelos
Scouts the various elements of Scouting. So we need to include everyone,
starting with the Webelos Scouts themselves. That makes the transition
plan an unlimited opportunity.
The boy's Webelos badge and Arrow of Light Award reach into the
requirements bordering on Scouting skills, giving him a view of Scouting
advancement. He sees boy leadership at work and senses his own potential
as a junior leader. He becomes more confident and enthusiastic about the
patrol method, a district camporee, summer camp, and maybe even a
In short, the boy's desire for troop membership is the result of this
gradual change in appetite for troop-oriented activities.
How the Transition Plan Helps the Leaders
For the Scoutmaster, it means more boys - boys already versed in Boy
Scout and Tenderfoot requirements and boys whose families have been
supporting them in pack activities.
For the Webelos den leader, it means fulfillment. It means direct
help with advancement requirements, father/son overnighters, as well as
a pleasant association with the troop. The time spent with a boy is
productive as seen in the boy's desire to continue.
To the Cubmaster, it means assurance of a stable Webelos den, more
graduations and better ceremonies, the ready access to den chiefs and
pack meetings that feature a lively Webelos den and Boy Scout troop
We can only instill the values of Boy Scouting into the lives of Boys
become Boy Scouts.
The Transition Plan
Every graduating Webelos Scout deserves the opportunity to continue
his Scouting experience as member of Boy Scout troop. Your help can make
Here's a plan that bridges the gap between Webelos Scouting and Boy
Scouting. It results in better prepared and more enthusiastic new
members for the troop, a strong feeling of success for the pack,
and-most important of all - an outstanding new Scouting experience for
Many Webelos Scouts go on to Boy Scouting with no help at all, but a
lot of them need to know more about their opportunities for fun and
adventure in the troop.
That's the purpose of the Webelos-to-Scout transition plan: to give
every Webelos Scout a sampling of the troop program, troop leadership,
advancement opportunities, and the fun and excitement of Boy Scouting.
We also must let him know that he is wanted.
The boy's progress toward the Webelos badge and the Arrow of Light
Award introduces him to some of the basic elements of Boy Scouting, and
gives him an early taste of Scouting skills and the Boy Scout
advancement program. He learns more about the troop through joint
den/troop activities, which let him see boy leadership at work and sense
his own potential as a leader. He becomes more confident and
enthusiastic about his Scouting future as he becomes more familiar with
the boys and adult leaders of the troop he will be joining.
Here's How It Works
The Webelos-to-Scout transition plan offers a clear path into Boy
Scouting for every Webelos Scout, beginning early in his fifth grade
year. By linking his Webelos den and a Boy Scout troop in a transition
partnership, he is provided an opportunity, through joint activities, to
sample the fun of Boy Scouting. As his Webelos advancement plan helps
him prepare for Boy Scout advancement, he might also learn more about
Boy Scouting through council and district activities designed to support
the transition plan.
In the early spring, after he has earned the Arrow of Light, he
graduates with the other members of his den into the troop.
The Den/Troop Partnership
The key factor in the transition process is the establishment of a
working partnership between the Webelos den and the Boy Scout troop that
most of the Webelos Scouts will join. This partnership should be firmly
in place by the start of the Webelos Scouts' fifth grade year. Every
fifth grade Webelos den should be linked to a troop, and every troop
should have one or more Webelos dens as partners.
Of course, in many cases these partnerships already exist, and have
been effective for many years. But some Webelos dens are not linked to
troops, and need help from their district in establishing a partnership.
Similarly, troops with no "feeder' Webelos dens might need help.
No Webelos Scout should start his fifth grade year without a clear
path ahead of him that leads to a Boy Scout troop.
The partner troop may provide Webelos den chiefs for the pack, as
well as assistance in Planning and conducting outdoor activities, but
the most important result of the den/troop partnership is the experience
of joint activities.
The fifth-grade Webelos den and the troop should hold several
activities together, including one or two joint campouts. The den could
also join the troop in a court of honor, campfire program, day hike,
field trip, or joint Good Turn for the chartered organization or
community. Visiting a camporee or other district or council Boy Scout
event as guests of the troop might also be included.
Through these joint activities, Webelos Scouts not only learn of the
fun of Boy Scouting, they also get acquainted with the individual Scouts
in the troop. When the time comes to move into Boy Scouting, it is no
longer a leap into the unknown, but a step into an already familiar and
Webelos Scout Advancement
The Webelos Scout advancement pattern has been developed to lead
naturally to earning the Webelos badge in the fourth grade year and the
Arrow of Light Award in the fifth grade year, but still allows boys who
join the Webelos den as fifth-graders (or 10-year-olds) to earn both
ranks. By following the pattern detailed in the Webelos Scout Program
Helps (Webelos Activity Badge Schedule - BSA Recommendations), the
Webelos den leader will ensure that most Webelos Scouts will earn the
Webelos badge in January of their fourth-grade year and the Arrow of
Light Award in January or February of the fifth-grade year.
Early Spring Graduation
Summer camp is a vital part of the Boy Scout experience, particularly
for the new Scout. The expanded Webelos Scout program gives us a great
opportunity to guarantee that graduating Webelos Scouts participate in
summer camp by getting them into the troop in time to prepare for Boy
Webelos Scouts may become Boy Scouts as soon as they have earned the
Arrow of Light Award. For most Webelos Scouts, this happens in January
or February of their fifth-grade year.
From Den to Patrol
Webelos Scouting and Boy Scouting have been designed to neatly
dovetail together, and the Webelos den can move right into the troop as
a new Scout patrol. When the whole den moves into Boy Scouting together,
they continue to provide friendship and support to each other, which
allows each boy to make a smooth transition with his friends into the
Council and District Support
There are several ways that the council and district can help packs
and troops with the Webelos-to-Scout transition process:
Webelos tracking. Every district needs to have a system to identify
and track each fifth-grade Webelos Scout to ensure that he has the
opportunity to continue his Scouting experience as a Boy Scout.
Follow-up should be planned to maintain contact with each boy until he
is enrolled in a troop. This may be assigned as a responsibility of the
commissioner staff or the membership committee.
Webelos Woods. Usually conducted on a council wide basis, Webelos
Woods is an outdoor program activity designed to introduce graduating
Webelos Scouts and their parents to the fun and excitement of Boy
Scouting. The best troops in the council are involved in the program,
and it is held, where possible, in the early spring at the council camp.
For more details, see Webelos Woods, No. 33838.
District Ceremony. Many districts have found that a district wide
graduation ceremony for all Webelos Scouts who are joining Boy Scouting
helps motivate the boys to move ahead. The ceremony may be held as a
part of Webelos Woods or at some other event, such as a spring camporee.
It is important, however, that the district graduation ceremony be held
in addition to - not in place of - the pack graduation.
Joint Roundtables. A joint roundtable, where Webelos den leaders and
assistants, Webelos den leader coaches, and Cubmasters are invited to
participate in a special Boy Scout roundtable event, is an excellent way
to match up Webelos dens with troops in the transition partnership. Once
a year is probably enough, although some districts do it twice, and
October seems to be the best month.
The Webelos-to-Scout transition plan links fifth-grade Webelos dens
and Boy Scout troops together, encourages joint activities, introduces
Webelos Scouts to Boy Scouting and ensures the graduation of the Webelos
den into the troop in early spring. Our
Webelos Scout continues his Scouting experience as a Boy Scout.
Key Leaders in the Transition Plan
The Webelos Den Leader works with the Scoutmaster and the Assistant
Scoutmaster responsible for new boys to provide an introduction to Boy
Scouting for every fifth-grade Webelos Scout. This is done through the
Webelos advancement program, visits and joint activities with the troop,
and an impressive graduation ceremony with the entire fifth-grade den
moving into the troop as a new Scout patrol.
The Webelos Den Chief is a registered Boy Scout, active in the troop
and selected by the Scoutmaster to serve as a program assistant to the
Webelos den leader. He should be skilled in conducting ceremonies,
leading songs, teaching skills, giving demonstrations, leading games,
and helping to prepare the Webelos Scouts for the troop experience
ahead. By his example, he may be the single most important person in
influencing Webelos Scouts to join the troop.
The Scoutmaster, as the primary leader of the troop directs the
establishment of a cooperative link between the troop and the pack. He
or she selects and appoints the Webelos den chief. The Scoutmaster
encourages joint activities and the graduation of Webelos Scouts into
the troop. Through the troop's junior leaders, he or she sets the tone
for welcoming new members.
The Assistant Scoutmaster, (for Webelos to Scout Transition - added
by editor) in addition to guiding the new Scout patrol in the troop,
serves as liaison between the troop and Webelos den. He or she, along
with the Webelos den leader, helps plan joint activities, including an
exciting graduation ceremony. The assistant Scoutmaster also is
principally responsible for the smooth transition of' Webelos Scouts
into the troop by working closely with the Webelos den chief, Webelos
den leader, Webelos den leader coach, and the Scoutmaster.
The Unit Commissioner provides continuing program support to pack and
troop, and helps establish working relationships between the troop and
the fifth. grade Webelos dens of the pack. He or she also encourages and
supports joint activities as well as graduation, and promotes
participation in district and council transition activities such as