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Welcoming Webelos to Scouts BSA Troop

Aaron sent in this question about welcoming Webelos to a troop:

I am looking for ways to welcome Webelos into Scouts BSA at Pack Meetings, any ideas? Like a cross over, but not as formal.

Thanks for the question, Aaron.  Our crossover ceremonies are usually not very formal at all. I have seen formal crossovers and they are very nice, but traditionally ours are very simple.  Our pack usually does the “ceremony” immediately after a more formal Arrow of Light presentation.

Usually the SPL says a few words. Some SPLs really say little more than “Welcome.” while others might speak a little longer. Then the Webelos cross from the left side of the room to the right, where members of our troop are waiting. The Scouts BSA remove their Webelos neckerchiefs and put on their Scouts BSA neckerchiefs. They also give them their Scouts BSA epaulets and Scouts BSA handbook.

While not elaborate or very scripted, it is youth-led. At one crossover, the Scouts BSA encircled the Webelos, so nobody could see what was going on. Then the circle opened up and there were our new Scouts BSA. I wasn’t expecting it and it was a nice touch and I made a point to tell them so afterwards.

Readers, do you have any ideas for a “Welcoming Webelos”  ceremony? (And check the comments as several Scouters have already left some additional ideas.)

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3 responses to “Welcoming Webelos to Scouts BSA Troop”

  1. Kellie Avatar

    My son just crossed over and his Troop does a new scout campout to welcome the new boys and get them up and off to a good start. It was only one night and just 3 or 4 older scouts went along. It also gave the scout master a chance to get to know the new boys. A few weeks later they all went away for 2 nights with the whole troop.

  2. Jessica Avatar

    We just crossed 10 boys over into a troop. They did nothing to formally welcome them. Our troop provides the boys with their handbooks and a troop t-shirt.

    Our boys attended the troops monthly Court of Honor during the same month of their Arrow of Light Ceremony. Our boys were seated together on the other side of the church pews opposite the Boy Scouts. Picture a small, older, traditional church with two rows of pews with a walkway in the middle. The troop sits on one side and the audience sits on the other. They sat our boys on the audience side. After a long ceremony, they had the boys stand and the announcer asked that the audience applaud to welcome them to the troop.

    They did not feel welcome. They felt alienated. The parents felt like they were alienated.

    Here is what I wish they WOULD HAVE DONE, and I intend, as the other half of a new leader that crossed over with our son, to be sure it is more personal in the coming years.

    I WISH they would have:

    Sat the new boys on the same side as the Boy Scouts. In their own row, sure. But with their new Troop.

    Announced them one by one to come forward. Introduce them and present them with their handbook. (They opened a box after a meeting and just had them go grab one.)

    Had all of the leaders go forward. This would have had all of the leaders facing the parents, would have helped the parents to put names with faces. And it would have been nice, had the Scoutmaster then said just a couple of welcoming words to the boys. Just something as simple as, “Welcome guys! Congratulations on earning your Arrow of Light and welcome to our Troop. We are excited to have you and you will have a blast!”

    Just this small gesture would have meant a lot to these boys and to their parents.

  3. Robert Moore Avatar
    Robert Moore

    Ask the Order of the Arrow in your council if they have a group who can conduct the Arrow of Light Crossover Ceremony. Most already have a group who will conduct the ceremony for you.

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