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Crossover and Webelos with Incomplete Requirements

A Question About Crossover and Incomplete Requirements

Reader Pamela asked this question about incomplete requirements

Hello Scouter Mom,
I am the Assistant Cubmaster for Pack 234.  This is my first year, as well as our Cubmaster’s first year doing a crossover ceremony. I’ve read all of your amazing ideas. However, what should we do if we know some of the boys won’t be continuing on to Scouts BSA? Do we still present them with a neckerchief? Do we give them some sort of plaque to show their completion of Cub Scouting? What do we do with the boys that failed to complete the requirements for crossing over? Can we delay the crossover to allow them more time to complete the requirements? Please help!!

Arrow of Light and Crossover Are Separate

Pamela, this is a common question. First of all, it is important to remember that the Arrow of Light presentation and the crossover can be two different things. So present the AOL recognition to those who earned it. This can be immediately followed by the crossover ceremony to be participated in by those who are crossing over, regardless of whether they have incomplete requirements or not.

Arrow of Light Is Not Required

Also remember there are three different requirement options for joining  a Scouts BSA Troop:

  • Youth can join Scouts BSA if they are at least 10 years old, currently in the fifth grade and register on or after March 1st; 
  • OR have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old, 
  • OR are age 11 but have not reached age 18.

Alternatives for Recognition

Whether you want to give the ones who are not crossing over and who did not earn the AOL due to incomplete requirements a neckerchief or some alternative recognition is up to your pack.  You will have to decide that based on the families involved. Is it important to them? In my experience, the Cub Scouts who did not manage to finish AOL are usually not that concerned with recognition but your case might be different. Talk to their parents about it.  Perhaps they can pitch in to purchase some small recognition.

Readers, what do you think? Add your ideas to the comments below.

More Resources

Scout Recognition Certificate

Scout Recognition Certificate – Fill In Your Own Information

Since the you enter the information, you can use it for ranks, awards, merit badges, or whatever you like.

Gift for Webelos to Scout Crossover

A reader is looking for suggestions for a gift to give her son for crossover. Several Scouters gave some great ideas for gifts for Webelos who are crossing over to Scouts BSA.

Welcoming Webelos to Scouts BSA Troop

Aaron sent in this question “I am looking for ways to welcome Webelos into Scouts BSA at Pack Meetings, any ideas? Like a cross over, but not as formal.”

Blue and Gold, Webelos Crossover, and Arrow of Light Ceremony Ideas

A reader asks about how to involve younger Cub Scouts in the Blue and Gold activities to make it more engaging for them.

Crossover Bridge Design

Chip sent in this question: “Hi, We are looking to build a crossover bridge and was wondering if you know where we could find some plans Thanks, Chip”

Plan Now for a Great Crossover Ceremony

“It doesn’t need to be some big glitzy thing,“ says one Cub Scout leader, talking about their pack’s AOL-to-Scouts-BSA crossover ceremony. ”It could just be simple.”


16 responses to “Crossover and Webelos with Incomplete Requirements”

  1. Jon Avatar

    Like said above, we do the AOL separate from the crossover….kinda. We do them the same day with a meal break in between to distinguish then two. For those boys that did not finish AOL, they know going into the ceremony that they will not be receiving the award. Just like a Webelos that did not finish the Aquanaut, when they call boys up for awards, they know not to be concerned when they are not called. For crossover, we give each boy graduating out of Cub Scouts a token of out appreciation for their time and service. Those gifts vary each year. When each boy crosses the bridge, we start with the boys going to Boy Scout unit #…and then the next Boy Scout unit # (We have 3 in our area to choose from) and the boy(s) that are just graduating still cross the bridge but are accepted into the BSA by a District representative. The boys that went to Troops each get a neckerchief and slide from the Troop, not the pack. Even if all the boys are going to the same Troop that year, we do it this way. As a side note…we give the boys their graduating gifts as a group no matter if they go to a Troop or which one.

  2. Jamie Avatar

    I had this same problem two years ago. I had 3 scouts that did not want to continue into boy scouts and did not earn aol. They were all reluctant to even show up at the crossover, but I spoke to the parents and explained that the boys put in 5 years and not only earned the right to cross over that bridge but owed it to their fellow scouts, whether or not they were continuing. I bought certificates at the scout shop that says they completed cub scouting and presented them with that. I also had them cross first and walk over to just their parents at the other side. It all turned out ok, except that those boys were upset with themselves and felt a little left out, (aol presentation, etc) one was even crying and left early, but it was more that he was disappointed in himself for not putting in any effort at the end.

    1. Robin A Avatar
      Robin A

      Jamie, I don’t understand ‘completed’ cub scouting. How do you complete cub scouting but not earn the Arrow of Light? Also, how do you earn the right to cross over if you are not in fact crossing over?

  3. John Avatar

    In our pack we have asked similar questions. Last year we had several boys that joined as Webelos 2s and completed all of their requirements to earn their Webelos badge and AOL in 6 months. The AOL was awarded at the January pack meeting and the crossover was held with the B&G. That seems very fast to me.

    This year we have 2 Webelos 2s that missed all or part of their Webelos 1 year due to family issues. They are working hard but will not have everything completed for AOL by B&G which is when our pack has traditionally held crossover. Our pack is going to delay crossover until they have completed all of their requirements for AOL. Our other Webelos 1 boy is ok with this as they all want to crossover together.

    I know in our pack that B&G is traditionally the time for crossover. Does any one hold it at another time? With some dens getting everything completed in time for B&G is like fire hosing the boys and I am not sure that they really learn what the should be learning. What are other Packs doing about this? We could use some ideas on how to handle this rush to get everything done by B&G.

  4. Chris Avatar

    I’m facing the same situation now. There are 12 boys in our Den, 11 are AOL recipients. Our 12th scout joined Cub Scouts this past Fall. We are presenting the 11 boys with AOL award/certificates, and the other boy achieved his Webelos Rank requirements and will be presented w/ his Webelos Rank at the ceremony as well. All 12 boys are also being presented Career Arrow Plaques. The only difference is the scout who didn’t achieve AOL will still receive a career arrow plaque, obviously w/o the sun’s rays or as many color bands. Even though he hasn’t been w/ us very long, he’s still put in a lot of effort that we want to acknowledge that. Our Pack has the AOL ceremony in February and the B&G later in the season, somewhat out of the norm, but it’s been done this way for a long time and no one seems to mind. We’re in the Northeast and prefer to hold the latter in warmer weather. Good luck -)

  5. Dan Avatar

    Webelos IIs conduct more and more of their activities at Troops for the purpose of finding a Troop. While the crossing over ceremony “formalizes” this for the boys that have earned their Arrow of Light Award, it doesn’t preclude a boy who hasn’t (or won’t be able to because of lack of time available) earned his AOL Award from crossing over as well to a Troop he plans to join. He must only participate as a Webelos II in the Troop (not fully because of some BSA Safety Guidelines limits, e.g. he can’t go on a canoe trip) until he turns 11 and becomes an official Boy Scout. So go ahead and cross him over, AOL or not, to the Troop he intends on joining. Most likely it’s the Troop that a friend has joined anyway.

    The Den is realistically not going to conduct any more den meetings after the crossing over ceremony with the 1 or 2 boys that didn’t earn the AOL when everyone else is attending Troop Meetings.

    The Crossing Over ceremony should occur in the February-March time frame, because at about that time, Troops are beginning to finalize planning for Summer Camp. Boys need to be active in the Troop and “socialized” with the boys in the Troop with whom they’ll be camping in the summer. They’ll be comfortable with the Troop by Summer Camp time. Statistics verify that boys who attend Summer Camp, stay active in the program!

    Bottom line, everyone should cross over. Hard feelings are avoided best if the AOL award presentation is at a different time than the crossing over ceremony, but that’s not always feasible in a February (short month)/March (spring break sometimes) – filled Pack calendar. Cub Scouts and Cub Scout leaders “do our best”!

    Oh, last thing: Little known BSA membership guidelines allow boys to stay in Cub Scouts until 11 1/2 years old (buried deep in the Cub Leader’s Manual). This allows more time for older boys to cross over with their Dens as a group, and for developmentally challenged boys to keep pace with their Dens. Unfortunately, many parents feel the need to RUSH into Boy Scouts as if their son will miss out on something. The only thing to avoid missing is the first Boy Scout Summer Camp when the boy is 11 years old. There are almost 7 full years of Boy Scouting in which to accomplish… well… the sky’s the limit!

    BEWARE the EAGLE CHASERS (parents mostly)!

    A Cubmaster AND District Webelos to Scouts Coordinator.

  6. David Marshall Avatar
    David Marshall

    I have an issue. If I have 7 boys in our Web 2 group, and 6 of these boys get AOL, what do I do with the lone boy? The 6 came to majority of meetings, while the last young man barely made Webelos rank, mainly due to attendance. Both leaders did everything they could to help advance the young man.

    1. Scouter Mom Avatar
      Scouter Mom

      If he did not do the requirements, then he should not receive the award. Hopefully he will enthusiastically cheer on the other Webelos as they receive theirs.

  7. Cheri Corfey Avatar
    Cheri Corfey

    Our Pack traditionally performs both the Arrow of Light Award presentation and the Crossing Over Ceremony at our Blue and Gold Dinner. We only give the AoL Award to the scouts that have completed all of the requirements to earn it; however in all the years I have been with our Pack I have actually not seen anyone not earn it. This year my husband and I have a Cub Scout who took a break from Scouting and then re-joined us in the 2nd year of Webelos and is having to catch up to earn the AoL. We are working with him to do so, but he is aware that if he does not complete the requirements, he will not receive the award at the ceremony; we will have him assist us in handing out the awards to his fellow Webelos. For the Crossing Ceremony, if a Cub Scout is not continuing on to Boy Scouts, we have them cross first, one at a time, to their family and recognize their efforts in scouting at that time.

  8. Adv Coord Sharon Avatar
    Adv Coord Sharon

    Here’s my question for next week’s crossover. We typically have all the Web 2’s finish AOL, but this year’s Web 2 den has only 4 who finished AOL. (One boy, for example, joined cubs just at the beginning of 5th grade — he’s earning his Webelos badge and Bobcat virtually at the same time, since I didn’t shop for awards for the pinewood derby/pack meeting last month or for the snowy pack meeting in January! But although he earned Webelos, he didn’t get all the way to AOL.)

    Anyway — we get ribbons and an arrow pin for the moms as part of the crossover ceremony…but do I get them for all 7 boys, or just the 4 who earned AOL? Maybe I get ribbons for all 7 moms, and only parent arrow pins for the 4?

  9. Cynthia Barclay Avatar
    Cynthia Barclay

    So we have 13 boys earned AOL and crossing over. Two are crossing over but didn’t earn AOL. One just joined this fall, and there wasn’t time. He gets it and doesn’t mind. The other has been in scouts since first grade. but just doesn’t care about AOL. He is perfectly fine with not receiving the award. Has anyone done certificates for all scouts, AOL or not? I would like to present all boys with a certificate – just not sure what to put on it. Thanks!

    1. John McIntosh Avatar
      John McIntosh

      Cynthia, I have an awesome one I can send to you if you’d like.

      1. kelley Avatar

        Hello John…I too am in the same boat…would u be willing to send that to me also?!

    2. Scouter Mom Avatar
  10. Kurt Darby Avatar
    Kurt Darby

    I have new Arrow of light scout this year that is go-getter. He has been with his Den for the past six months and has done all the Arrow of light requirements. He has been also working on his Webelos rank requirements to finishes before crossover too. My question can he do that or because he is in 5th grade the only rank he can get his is Arrow of light? There isn’t really a clear answer I can find for the Webelos rank and Arrow of light. Thanks for the help.

    1. William Furlong Avatar
      William Furlong

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Kurt here is what I’ve found on BSA website


      Clearly states no Cub Scout can “go back” and earn a rank 5th graders are required to enter the AOL program to prepare them for Scouts. Since he is in 5th grade and I’m assuming he is 10.5 or 11 then I see two options he can go directly to Scouts as he qualifies for age and earning AOL. Or if he wants to stay and crossover with his friends have him work on other adventures or the Nova awards.

      One final note, although he can not earn the rank doesn’t mean he can do the requirements. First Aid, Cooking etc are all going to help him earn the Scout rank when moving up.

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