Webelos-to-Scouts Transition

“Webelos” stands for “We’ll Be Loyal Scouts.” As Webelos near the end of the Cub Scout trail, it’s time for them to embrace that pledge and prepare for the next leg of the journey: Scouts BSA.

Webelos and their families should be familiar and comfortable with the youth and adult leaders of the Scouts BSA troop, their role in the troop and troop activities, and feel excited about beginning this new adventure. The passage from a pack to a troop should be smooth, with no time lost in between. The crossover ceremony should clearly signify the transition to a new level of Scouting. It could include the presentation of the Arrow of Light badge, a Scouts BSA Handbook, and a troop neckerchief.

The key factor to a good Webelos transition is the ongoing working relationship of the leaders of a Cub Scout pack and a Scouts BSA 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 Scouts BSA troop the same way schools move students from elementary school to middle school.

By planning and coordinating their efforts, the pack and troop can help make the Webelos-to-Scout transition seamless and give all Webelos Scouts a chance to experience the fun and excitement of joining a Scouts BSA troop.

Pack Responsibilities

It should be the goal of the Cubmaster and Webelos den leaders to graduate every Webelos Scout into a Scouts BSA troop. The key to accomplishing this is to begin promoting the full Scouting journey when Cub Scouts are still in their Tiger, Wolf, and Bear dens, helping Scouts and their families view Scouting as an ongoing adventure.

Pack and den leaders can use these tips to help Webelos take the next step and bridge into a Scouts BSA troop:

  • Develop a working relationship with the leadership of a Scouts BSA troop or troops in the community. Most troops should have either an assistant Scoutmaster or a committee member assigned to new Scouts. Your unit commissioner can help put you in contact with troop leaders.
  • Compare calendars of troop and pack activities to coordinate. Community events can be done together, and planning can help prevent conflicts in use of equipment and facilities.
  • Work with troop leaders to secure den chiefs for each Webelos den and Cub Scout den.
  • Work with troop leaders to plan and conduct Webelos overnight activities.
  • Work with troop leaders to plan visits to troop meetings. Never show up without first calling in advance.
  • Invite the Scoutmaster and troop youth leaders to special pack activities. This will help create familiarity and a level of comfort for the Webelos Scouts and their parents as they ease into the troop.
  • Plan a meaningful crossover ceremony at the pack’s blue and gold banquet. Include troop leadership to be present to accept the Webelos Scouts as they graduate.
  • Webelos leaders should be strongly encouraged to move into the troop with their Scouts, either as assistant Scoutmasters or troop committee members. This will give them a familiar face at troop meetings and a connecting link.
  • If a troop does not exist in your community, discuss with the head of the pack’s chartered organization about the possibility of organizing a troop. A graduating Webelos den can form the nucleus of a new troop.

Troop Responsibilities

The transition from a Webelos den to a Scouts BSA troop is an important stage in the Scouting journey, but one of Scouting’s greatest challenges is to make the next level of Scouting readily available for youth once they meet the joining requirements.

It is crucial that Scout leaders do everything they can to make the process as seamless and inviting as possible for Webelos and their parents, including:

  • Select Scouts to serve as den chiefs for each Webelos Scout den and Cub Scout den. Arrange for den chief training.
  • Serve as a resource for overnight activities. The troop can be of service to provide equipment, leadership, and logistics for Webelos campouts.
  • Conduct an orientation in the Bear Cub Scout dens to explain how being a Webelos Scout will help prepare them for joining Scouts BSA.
  • Webelos den/Scout troop campouts should show Webelos Scouts and their parents what to expect when they move into the troop. The troop should cook and camp by patrol and use skills that the Webelos Scouts can participate in.
  • Arrange for Webelos dens to visit a troop meeting. This should be planned several weeks in advance.
  • Provide each Webelos Scout a copy of the troop’s activities for the upcoming year.
  • Work with Webelos den leaders to encourage them to move into the troop with their Webelos Scouts and to serve either as committee members or assistant Scoutmasters to help create familiarity and a level of comfort for the Webelos Scouts and their parents as they ease into the troop.
  • Conduct a Scoutmaster conference under the guidance of the Scoutmaster or the assistant designated by the Scoutmaster. This conference should cover the meaning of the Scout Oath and Law, the advancement program, troop camping, the patrol method, summer camp, and personal equipment.
  • Work with the Cubmaster in planning a meaningful crossover ceremony at the pack’s blue and gold banquet. Coordinate the ceremony and arrange for each Webelos Scout to receive a troop neckerchief and Scouts BSA Handbook along with their Arrow of Light Award.

Unit Commissioner Responsibilities

The unit commissioner is the connecting link in the chain between the troop and the pack. Often, the same unit commissioner will serve both a pack and troop in the same community, making them a great resource for assisting in the Webelos-to-Scout transition.

Unit commissioners can use these tips to help Webelos take the next step and bridge into a Scouts BSA troop:

  • Be a catalyst in developing good relationships between troop and pack leaders.
  • Promote communication by scheduling a meeting of key volunteers.
  • Help plan a Webelos den visit to a troop meeting and other joint activities.
  • Keep the pack and troop on schedule as plans develop for the crossover ceremony at the blue and gold banquet.
  • Attend the crossover ceremony.
  • Be sure new Scouts have completed a Scouts BSA application, that they have a copy of the troop’s activities, and that they know when and where the troop meets.
  • Work with the pack and troop in their charter renewal process to help ensure Webelos Scouts are moved from pack rosters to troop rosters.
  • Work with the Webelos transition chair to follow up on youth who have not yet joined a troop. Make sure they are invited to join a troop.
  • Be sure Webelos Scouts join a troop in time to prepare for Scout summer camp.

District Webelos Transition Chair

Another key role for a successful Webelos-to-Scout transition is the district Webelos transition chair. This person is a member of the district membership committee and is charged with making sure every Webelos Scout is given an opportunity to join a troop. A district Webelos transition chair can use these tips to help Webelos take the next step and bridge into a Scouts BSA troop: 

  • Contact all packs in early fall to update a list of all fifth-grade Webelos Scouts.
  • Coach Cubmasters and Webelos den leaders in the transition process at roundtables, training courses, and through personal contact.
  • Report to the membership committee chair and keep the district committee informed.
  • Track and maintain records of Webelos graduation by using a wall chart that lists the transition record of each pack.
  • Work with unit commissioners to follow up on Webelos Scouts who have not joined a troop.
  • Work toward 100 percent Webelos transition.

Webelos-to-Scout Plan

Key:

  • CM-Cubmaster
  • PLC-Patrol leaders’ council
  • SM-Scoutmaster
  • SPL-Senior patrol leader
  • TCC-Troop committee chair
  • TG-Troop guide
  • TMC-Troop membership chair
  • WDL-Webelos den leader
September

August

Person Responsible

1

Get names, addresses, and telephone numbers of second-year Webelos Scouts. Record the information on the Webelos Scout Tracking form.

TMC, WDL, CM

2

Plan a joint Scout troop/Webelos den camping trip for October.

SM, PLC, CM, WDL

3

Plan a program of upcoming events to present at a Webelos den meeting visit in November.

TMC

4

Select a den chief for each Webelos den.

SM, SPL, CM

September

September

Person Responsible

1

Mail a letter of introduction from the Scout troop to second-year Webelos Scouts to introduce them to the troop.

TMC, SM

2

Put second-year Webelos Scouts on the mailing list to receive the troop newsletter.

TMC

3

Continue planning the joint camping trip for October.

SM, PLC, CM, WDL

September

October

Person Responsible

1

Conduct the joint camping trip with the Webelos den.

SM, TMC, SPL, CM

September

November

Person Responsible

1

Attend a Webelos den meeting to teach the Webelos Scouts how the Scout troop works.

SM, TMC, SPL

2

Have den chiefs attend a local council or district training course.

SM

September

December

Person Responsible

1

Set a date for Webelos Scouts and their parents to visit a Scout troop meeting in January.

SM, WDL

2

If desired, send a small holiday gift to each Webelos Scout.

SM, TMC

September

January

Person Responsible

1

Host Webelos Scouts and their parents at a troop meeting.

SM, SPL

2

Plan a bridging ceremony for the blue and gold banquet in February to welcome graduating Webelos Scouts to their new troop.

SM, CM, TMC, SPL

3

Attend a meeting of first-year Webelos Scouts to introduce them to Scouts BSA.

SM, TMC, CM

September

February

Person Responsible

1

Hold the bridging ceremony at the blue and gold banquet.

SM, CM, SPL, TMC

2

Get new Scouts actively involved with the troop through troop activities.

TMC, SM, CM

3

Recruit parents of new Scouts to become assistant Scoutmasters or troop committee members.

TCC, SM

September

March

Person Responsible

1

Plan a troop activity for new Scouts to get them involved with their new troop.

PLC, SM, TMC, TG

September

April

Person Responsible

1

Conduct summer camp orientation to encourage troop involvement.

SM

2

Attend a meeting of Bear Cub Scouts to introduce them to Scouts BSA.

SM, TMC, CM

3

Sponsor a troop activity for the new Scouts.

SM, TMC, TG, PLC

September

May

Person Responsible

1

Work closely with new Scouts and parents during their transition to a troop, ensuring their needs are met and that their move has been natural and fun.

TMC

2

Work on rank advancement with new Scouts.

SM, SPL, TG

September

June

Person Responsible

1

Ensure that all new Scouts attend summer camp.

TMC, SM

September

July

Person Responsible

1

Work closely with new Scouts and parents during their transition to a troop, ensuring their needs are met and that their move has been natural and fun.

TMC

2

Work on rank advancement with new Scouts.

SM, SPL, TG

 

Download the second-year Webelos Scout tracking form.