ZM’s den are officially Webelos now. The Webelos program is different from the earlier Cub Scout programs, so I put together a little explanation for the parents in my den and did a mini-orientation for them. I try to get most of the program accomplished in meetings, but it really helps if they have a general idea of what our goals are.
I also think this is a good opportunity to ask them to help. They can look at all of the Webelos badges and see if they are related to something they do at work or for fun. I’m especially surprised sometimes to find out what people do in their spare time.
I don’t have an assistant den leader, so the parents in my den have to take turns being the second adult at our meetings. If I know which badges they might be able to help with, I can try match up the meeting they are helping to supervise with the badge.
Welcome to Webelos!
Your son has just completed his Bear year and is moving on to Webelos. The Webelos program is different from the Tiger, Wolf, and Bear programs in several ways:
- Webelos is a transitional program between Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA. During the next year and a half, we will be doing more traditional scout skills like first aid, fitness, outdoor skills, and scout craft (knots and things like that).
- Instead of working on achievements, your son will be earning activity badges. The badges are vocation and interest oriented.
- We will spend the first few months working on the Webelos badge. After the Scouts earn that badge, they will be working on their Arrow of Light award.
What Are Activity Badges?
As mentioned above, Webelos work on Activity badges. When your son completes the requirements for a badge, he will receive a pin to wear on his uniform. There are twenty activity badges which are grouped into five different groups:
- Physical Skills Group: Aquanaut, Athlete, Fitness, and Sportsman
- Technology Group: Craftsman, Engineer, Handyman, and Scientist
- Mental Skills Group: Artist, Scholar, Showman, and Traveler
- Outdoor Group: Forester, Geologist, Naturalist, and Outdoorsman
- Community Group: Citizen, Communicator, Family Member, and Readyman
The requirements for the badges can be found in your son’s Webelos handbook. If you have any expertise in any of these areas, then your help with the badge would be greatly appreciated. Or maybe you have a relative or friend who could come to one of our meetings and give a presentation related to the badge we are working on.
How Does My Son Earn the Webelos Badge?
- He must learn some things about Webelos and Scouts BSA
- He will lead a flag ceremony
- He must complete the Faith components of the requirements.
- He must earn the Fitness activity badge, the Citizen activity badge, and one other activity badge from the Technology, Mental Skills, or Outdoor group.
- You must read the Parent’s Guide in the front of the Webelos handbook and sign the book to indicate you have read it.. This is one of the requirements for the badge.
We will try to do most of the requirements during meetings, but he might have to do some things at home also. Our goal is for all of the Scouts in our den to complete the Webelos badge requirements by December of their first Webelos year.
How Does My Son Earn the Arrow of Light Award?
- He must earn his Webelos badge first.
- He will need to earn the Outdoorsman activity badge, the Readyman activity badge, and three more activity badges – including one from the Mental Skills group and one from the Technology group. These must be in addition to the activity badges he earned for the Webelos badge requirements.
- He must continue to learn about Scouts BSA.
- He must do some camping or hiking.
- He must visit the Scouts BSA Troop with you and talk to the Scoutmaster.
- There are a few other requirements also.
Once again, we will try to do most of the requirements during our meetings. Our goal is for all of the Scouts in our den to complete the Arrow of Light requirements by December of their second Webelos year.
Why Is the Arrow of Light Award Important?
The Arrow of Light award is the highest award a Cub Scout can earn. In addition, boys who have earned the Arrow of Light can join the Scouts BSA Troop even if they are only 10 years old. If he doesn’t earn the Arrow of Light, he cannot join the troop until he is 11.
Working on this award is also important because it prepares your son to be a Boy Scout. The Scouts BSA program is much different than the Cub Scout program. The experience your son gains while working on his Arrow of Light award will help him transition smoothly into the Scouts BSA Troop.
The Webelos Uniform
Webelos can continue to wear the dark blue Cub Scout shirt or they can wear the tan Boy Scout shirt. There is no need to go out and purchase a tan shirt right away, but if your son is outgrowing his dark blue shirt, purchase the tan shirt as a replacement. Then he can continue to wear the tan shirt when he joins the Scouts BSA Troop.
Just remember, if you have any questions, I am here to help.