Arrow of Light

Arrow of Light Award Requirements

Arrow of Light Award Requirements

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The highest award in Cub Scouts is earned by Webelos that have been active participants in their den and are ready to join a Boy Scout troop. Many of the requirements for the Arrow of Light are intended to familiarize the scout with a local troop and hopefully show him that crossing over into a troop is the next step to take in scouting. A scout that earns his Arrow of Light patch has also completed nearly all the requirements to earn the Scout badge in the troop so he has already begun his Boy Scout trail.
  1. Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old), and earn the Webelos badge.
  2. Show your knowledge of the requirements to become a Boy Scout by doing all of these:
    • Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath or Promise and the 12 points of the Scout Law. Tell how you have practiced them in your everyday life.
    • Give and explain the Scout motto, slogan, sign, salute, and handshake.
    • Understand the significance of the First Class Scout badge. Describe its parts and tell what each stands for.
    • Tell how a Boy Scout uniform is different from a Webelos Scout uniform.
    • Tie the joining knot (square knot)
    See the Boy Scout Study Guide.
    Use this handy Memorization Wheel to learn and review the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, and Outdoor Code.
  3. Earn five more activity badges in addition to the three you already earned for the Webelos badge. These must include:
    • Fitness (already earned for the Webelos badge)
    • Citizen (already earned for the Webelos badge)
    • One of your choice (already earned for the Webelos badge)
    • Readyman
    • Outdoorsman
    • At least one from the Mental Skills Group
    • At least one from the Technology Group
    • One more of your choice
  4. With your Webelos den, visit at least
    • one Boy Scout troop meeting, and
    • one Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity.
    • (If you have already done this when you earned your Outdoorsman activity badge, you may not use it to fulfill requirements for your Arrow of Light Award.)
  5. Participate in a Webelos overnight campout or day hike.
    (If you have already done this when you earned your Outdoorsman activity badge, you may not use it to fulfill requirements for your Arrow of Light Award requirements.)
  6. After you have completed all five of the above requirements, and after a talk with your Webelos den leader, arrange to visit, with your parent or guardian, a meeting of a Boy Scout troop you think you might like to join. Have a conference with the Scoutmaster.
  7. Complete the Honesty Character Connection.
    1. Know: Say the Cub Scout Promise to your family. Discuss these questions with them. What is a promise? What does it mean to keep your word? What does it mean to be trustworthy? What does honesty mean?
    2. Commit: Discuss these questions with your family. Why is a promise important? Why is it important for people to trust you when you give your word? When might it be difficult to be truthful? List examples.
    3. Practice: Discuss with a family member why it is important to be trustworthy and honest. How can you do your best to be honest even when it is difficult?

Online Webelos Arrow of Light Test
arrow of light award


 Sep 11, 2012 - Kristopher Cole
I have a scout how was active frotiger thru wolf yet due to health reasons could not continue with scouting until now, he will be 11 years old on 12/29/12 is there any way for him to earn his arrow of light before he crosses over?
Sep 11, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Kristopher - All he needs to do is complete the requirements on this page to earn his Arrow of Light.  Are there some that he would not be able to do?
Earning the Webelos rank requires 3 months of being active in a Webelos den.  The Arrow of Light requires 6 months of being active.  It does not say that the 6 months need to come after the Webelos rank is earned, so 6 months total would put him at March, 2013 if he became active in a Webelos den right now.
Sep 24, 2012 - Sara
I have a son who would like to earn his arrow of light with the rest of his Webelos den and cross over with them in Febuary, but he just turned 10 in September and will not be 10 and a half until March. How strict are the age rules. Would he have to wait another month to join his friends?
Thanks Sara
Sep 26, 2012 - William Taylor
There is no reason that he can't earn the arrow of light nor bridge over with his friends, as to actively participating in Boy Scout Activities in that six month period, that is up to the leadership of both your Pack and the Troop he wants to bridge over to. In my experience a lot of latitude is given if it is in the best interest of the child involved. I suggest that you talk with your Cubmaster and the Scoutmaster involved, I believe that between the two they can probably get it done.

Good Luck and God Bless.
Sep 26, 2012 - Kenny Mauerman
I have a boy who just movined into my neighborhood. He is already 11. He keeps asking me if he can get his arrow of light. He and his partents tell me that the scouting program in his previous neighborhood was not very strong.  Thats why he didn't get it. Can he earn his arrow of light as an 11 year old?
Sep 28, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Sara - If your son is in 5th grade, and has been participating in the Webelos den this school year, then he fulfills the 'age' portion of requirement #1.  In order to join a Boy Scout troop, he needs to have earned the Arrow of Light so that should be no problem that I see.
Sep 28, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Kenny - He can if he is not yet 11 and a half, according to the official BSA Youth Application.  He'll just need to do all the requirements listed on this page.
Oct 03, 2012 - Courtney
My son is in 5th Grade and turned ten at the end of May.  He is currently registered with the Webelos IIs.  This is his first scouting experience and he wants to be able to earn his arrow of light badge.  However, he will not have his six months in prior to February.  Is he able to start with the Webelos Is instead of Webelos IIs so he can back up a year and have the time to do this?  Or is there another way for him to complete the Arrow of Light and still crossover with the other 5th graders?

Oct 03, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Courtney - A boy can be a Webelos if he has completed 3rd grade but not completed 5th grade, or be at least 10 but not yet 11.5 years old - so he could be part of the younger Webelos den if you want.  But, next November he'd move on to Boy Scouts.
To become a Boy Scout, he either has to complete 5th grade, or turn 11 years old, or earn the Arrow of Light.

I think the simplest thing to do is have him do all the Arrow of Light requirements with his current den and then receive his Arrow of Light and join a troop as soon as his 6 months is complete.  That would be mid-March if he just started in mid-Sept.  
If his buddies cross over the end of Feb, that's just a couple weeks he's not really active with them.  During that time, there's no reason he can't get his Scout Handbook and start learning knots and other skills for Tenderfoot.  He might ask his Scoutmaster-to-be at his requirement #6 conference if there is anything he can do to get ready to join the troop.
Oct 04, 2012 - Andres
Looking at the requirements here, I see that wehn I was 10 I almost completed most of them. But when I turned 11, I thought that my chances of getting the Arrow of Light were over. I didn't give up, I did complete the requirements anyway. so, since I didn't get it then, is there a way that I could still get it, many years later, since I did complete the requirements before 11 and a half??
Oct 05, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Andres - The Arrow of Light is only awarded to youth, while they are Webelos scouts.
Oct 05, 2012 - Brandy
My son was a Tiger Cub last year. He is a Wolf this year and is in second grade. During the spring 2012 banquet, another Tiger Cub, who was completing 1st grade, received the Arrow of Light. This boy is the same age (7) and in the same grade (second), and is a wolf this year as my son. My son has his mind made up to work towards meeting the requirements for the Arrow of Light, but after reading the age requirements above, I question is it possible? Are there stipulations or waivers so younger boys can receive the Arrow of Light as I saw during my pack's 2012 banquet when the 7 year old, first grade, Tiger Cub received it?
Oct 05, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Brandy - that was a big mistake on someone's part in your Pack.  The Arrow of Light is ONLY for Webelos scouts.  A Tiger is not eligible to receive it.
You could inform the Cubmaster and Advancement Chair about the requirements for the Arrow of Light, or ask them "what the hay?" and find out if you thought you saw something but it was actually something else.  I'd love to hear what you find out if you follow up on it.
Oct 05, 2012 - Brandy
Thanks for your advice! I looked through the pictures of the 2012 spring banquet, and sure enough the 7 year old Tiger Cub is lighting the candle in the Arrow of Light ceremony, as he receives the honor. The boy's mother is a den leader and part of our local council, so I will follow up, and in the mean time, I will explain to my son that patience, hard work, and dedication will lead him to the Arrow of Light honor when he is a Webelo and the time is right. Thanks for your prompt reply!!!
Oct 09, 2012 - Lisa
Hi - my son is trying to complete his requirements for arrow of light and with regards to #5, what are the details for completing the day hike?  Does it have to be with the Troop or Pack or can he do it on his own?  Is their minimum requirements that need to be done in which to complete the day hike - length of hike? how long the hike is? Any guidance that anyone could provide would be great as our Webelos overnight was used for the Outdoorsman badge.  Thanks, Lisa
Oct 10, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Lisa - the requirement says to do a Webelos campout or hike.  To me, that means the den goes hiking or camping.  It doesn't need to be the entire den, but certainly the den leader and at least one other scout.  A walk alone or with mom or dad doesn't seem to fulfill that requirement to me.  There is no specific length of time or distance required, but walking around the block doesn't seem adequate to me.  
The specifics of the hike is up to the den leader and den chief to set up.
Oct 17, 2012 - Denise
Sara - If your son is in 5th grade he is eligible to become a Boy Scout December 1st of 5th grade regardless of his age.  The way it is worded is confussing but as long as he is 10 and has earned his AOL he is eligible.  Re read AOL requirement 1 that should help.
Oct 21, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Denise - The official BSA Youth Application states, for joining Boy Scouts:
"Your son can be a Scout if he has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old or is age 11 or has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but has not reached age 18."

You are correct about being able to join if the boy is 10 and has earned his Arrow of Light, but there is no mention of a December 1st date or any other date.
Oct 22, 2012 - Seth
On number three, it says "two more of your choice". I looked in my book, and it says "one more of your choice". Please fix! :)
Oct 22, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Seth - The requirement is to complete eight activity badges.  I understand the current book printing says "one more..." but if you add all those up, it is only seven.  A Webelos scout needs to complete two more activity badges of his choice in order to complete the requirement.
Nov 04, 2012 - Jan Damsteegt
My son is being told that in order to receive his arrow of light he needs to go on a Webelos overnight campout or day hike before February.  Since it is already November (and the Boy Scouts had their November hike yesterday but we couldn't attend), that leaves December and January.  However, my son participated in an overnight campout with Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts last Spring on the USS Silversides (a retired submarine - no bathroom facilities/heat etc. on board).  I am thinking that this should fulfill that overnight campout requirement.  What is your opinion?
Nov 04, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jan - I believe you are asking about requirement #5.  If your son's Webelos den went on that campout together, then it seems to me it should be counted.  If he just went as a scout, then not.
I would think it would not take a whole lot of effort to ask his den leader to arrange a hike for the den sometime in the next two months.  Having your son do that hike would fulfill the requirement.
Nov 05, 2012 - marge
We have a scout in our den that has not can to one den meeting and does not plan on come to any.this is his 2nd year webelo can he still get his arrow of light.His mom says he does all his requirements at home.
Nov 05, 2012 - Scouter Paul
marge - requirements 1, 4, and 5 specifically say the Webelos scout does something with his den.  Also, the Webelos den leader is the person that signs off advancement requirements as being complete - not the scout's parent.
As a den leader, I wouldn't be able to sign off on #1 if the scout came to no den meetings.  I don't understand how the scout could possibly complete "all his requirements" at home since two of them specifically require activity away from home with the den.
Nov 06, 2012 - Stanley Chang
The requirement outdoor activity with Boy Scout. Can Scouting for Food with Pack and Troop count? Native American Workshop with the OA BoyScout, can that also count? The requirement does not say Overnight or Camping Trip with Boy Scouts. I know the Outdoorsman Pin say over night camping. I assume AOL requirement is not an over night since it does not say so. ???

To complete 4b - Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity. Can I set up a table outdoors and have a Boy Scout Patrol help the Webelos Den with Knot tying and lashing? Or a fire building competition? Does that count?

Nov 06, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Stanley - Requirement #4 is for a "Boy Scout-oriented outdoor" activity.  The purpose of these visits should be for the Webelos scout to look ahead with anticipation to his future as a Boy Scout and observe troops he might join.
The Webelos den leader could count either of the activities you mention, but if the Webelos scout is not learning anything about how Boy Scouts work, he's missing the benefit of the intent of the requirement.  If I were the den leader, I would look for other ways for the Webelos to get to know the Boy Scouts - like a campout, hike, scout skills day, or some such activity.

It does NOT need to be an overnight activity.

For your knot table, I wouldn't do it - the Webelos should join into a Boy Scout activity, not have Boy Scouts come to a Webelos activity.
Nov 06, 2012 - Stanley Chang
Got it, Thanks.
Nov 07, 2012 - Robbie
Active in cub scouts for 6 months..we have a scout who has completed all requirements except the active for 6 months. He came to a 2 campouts as a second year Webelos, 1 pack meeting and did a Community service project.. Would he be considered as active?
Nov 07, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Robbie - According to the Webelos handbook: Active means having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects.
"Good Attendance" is not defined as a percentage so the den leader needs to decide if he is active or not.  
Nov 13, 2012 - Eddy
I'm Den Leader for Webelos II... my Boys are working on getting their arrow of light and cross over to Boy Scouts... We have completed most of the requirements listed above. Is this all? Once they have completed the requirements listed, will they be ready to cross over? Thanks. Eddy.
Nov 13, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Eddy - Yes, the requirements listed on this page really ARE the Arrow of Light requirements.  The requirements to join a Boy Scout troop are on this page - most of which are included in the Arrow of Light requirements, but there is an age and application requirement to meet too.
Nov 14, 2012 - LR
As a Den Leader, I have 6 Web IIs that have met ALL of their requirements for AOL.

The Pack Committee recognized the achievement and the Co Advancement Chair submitted the advancement to Area Council via electronic advancement. The boys records reflected AOL received.

A week later the Charter Representative had the award retroactively purged from their Council record because he insists they wait till Blue and Gold to receive it.

I consider being forced to wait until Blue and Gold to be an additional requirement which cannot be enforced based on the "Policy on Unauthorized Changes to the Advancement Program".  However, Area Council is backing the Charter Rep and will not reinstate the award.

What are my options and how can I proceed?  The parents are livid and the Scouts wish to acquire AOL ASAP but it is being thwarted.  National?

Nov 14, 2012 - Scouter Paul
LR - Contacting the national council is not appropriate.
Your pack has some real issues if you have a Chartered Organization Representative countering advancement of scouts - that's not his role.  See COR Role.

A face-to-face talk between your COR, Committee Chair, Advancement Chair, and Cubmaster is needed to sort out who does what.  I would talk with the CC, AC, and Cubmaster before that to ensure they see things the same as me and want things to change.  Parents could also let them know their views on the topic.
If the pack leaders have no issue with waiting, then you could recognize the AoL recipients at a den ceremony now and let them know their patch will be presented later so the entire Pack can congratulate them.

Whatever you do, don't poison the scouts - keep it positive for them.
Nov 19, 2012 - Gavin Meeks
My son is almost done with his Web II and is about to crossover in February.  He started scouts at Bear level.  He has his Bobcat, Bear, Web I and is currently a Web II.  Does he need to complete Tiger and Wolf also in order to earn the Arrow of Light.  Our Pack is saying he does.

Nov 19, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Gavin - There is no "Web I" or "Web II" in scouting.  A boy is in a Webelos den for usually about 18 months.  He earns his Webelos rank and then his Arrow of Light rank.  
This has nothing to do with earlier ranks.  Whoever is telling you that has no idea what they're talking about.  And, you can just read the beginning of your son's Webelos Handbook to see all the requirements.
Nov 21, 2012 - uncertain den leader
I am a Webelos Den Leader... I have offered five of the requirements for 5 - 12 of the Outdoorsman badge - LNT, 3-mile hike, etc.  Only two scouts have attended all events.  Outdoor conservation project has been offered twice, same situation.  Should I keep trying to offer events to help everyone catch up, or have them work on the requirements at home?  That seems to be a problem though, since many of the requirements say to do as a den.  We have a small den, only 4 boys, and we wanted to crossover in December.  Thanks!
Nov 21, 2012 - Scouter Paul
uncertain - As a den leader, I found that communication and setting expectations up front helps with Cub Scout families.  When scheduling, I've given families a 6-month calendar of dates for den activities that fits my personal schedule.  I ask them to choose the dates that work for them.  Scheduling months in advance really helps.
In a den of only 4 scouts, it should be easy to find dates that work for everyone.  If not, then maybe Scouting is too low on their priority list to earn the Arrow of Light.

If the Webelos and their parents are given a plan of upcoming den events and they know which ones are required in order to earn some specific recognition, then it's up to them to attend or not.
You'll probably be contacted by some parent wanting another hike, project, or [whatever] for his/her son.  You can certainly schedule another one, but it does take some commitment and effort on the scout's side to actually earn awards such as the Arrow of Light.
Nov 26, 2012 - Den3 Jen
Hi -- what counts as a "Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity?" Three of my Web II boys will have everything for AoL except that by Dec., and are intending to attend a four-day troop activity (with overnights, but in heated cabins and iiuc indoor cooking/eating), which will presumably involve some outdoor activity (hike?). Asst Troopmaster isn't sure that event will count because of the eating/sleeping indoors. I'm not finding info on what qualifies anywhere online. Can you advise? Thanks!
Nov 27, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jen - Requirement #4 is for a "Boy Scout-oriented outdoor" activity.  The purpose of these visits should be for the Webelos scout to look ahead with anticipation to his future as a Boy Scout and observe troops he might join.  If the Webelos scout is learning about how Boy Scouts work together in the outdoors, that fulfills the intent of the requirement.
Just exactly what the Webelos den leader counts is up to him/her but if your three Webelos are doing activities outside with the Boy Scouts, it sounds good to me.

Nov 27, 2012 - Candice
Hello, I am a Webelo II leader and I had 2 scouts join this year as fifth graders.  They have attended all/most of the outing we have had this school year, but have done little to catch up to the core group of boys I have had since 1st grade who have all completed their requirements for AOL. Even though I have given them leads and encouraged them. My question is:  at the Blue and Gold, how are these scouts to be recognized?  Should they receive the "gifts" the other boys receive at the ceremony?  
Nov 27, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Candice - That's really up to you and the Pack leaders since these "gifts" are a tradition of your Pack.  If the recognition is for completing the  Arrow of Light requirements then only those scouts that complete them should be recognized.  I expect these aren't the first Webelos to not earn the AOL in your Pack.  
I also expect you've offered opportunities this school year to complete all the requirements except activity badges that were earned last year.  If the new scouts and their parents decide to not put in the extra effort to do those on their own, that's fine.  Everyone doesn't have to earn the AOL and they can still move on to Boy Scouts which is really the goal of Webelos.
Nov 29, 2012 - Jenni
I have a father who has a son active in the local boy scout troop that meets on the same night as our pack meets. His younger son is in the 4th grade and the father is asking me what he can do to push him through to get his AOL by the end of his 4th grade year for convenience. Unless his birthday is in November, I can't see a way for that to happen. Am I wrong? Also, does he have to complete the 4th grade first or just have turned 10?
Nov 29, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Jenni - You are correct.  Arrow of Light requirement is that the scout is at least 10 years and 6 months old, OR completed 4th grade plus 6 months.
Dec 11, 2012 - Outside
Our Webelos are getting ready to cross over in February and the Den Leader just went over a list of who needs what. One boy went to the Boy Scout sleepover but slept in a cabin, not a tent and the den leader said it didn't count for #5? Another boy did not go to the Troop meeting but Venture scouts came to a den meeting he is counting that as #4?  We never had a "den" hike or campout - the Den leader is counting the various pack hikes & sleepovers since June 2011 to make sure all have met #5. My son was looking forward to doing "Webelo only" activities, based on reading the handbook and feels let down, he doesn't feel he "earned" AOL - is he being too hard on himself or is his den leader cutting corners? I want him to feel good about recieving the AOL.
Dec 12, 2012 - Scouter Paul
Outside - Your son's den leader is not fulfilling the promise of the Webelos program, and that's a disservice to the scouts in his charge.
I would not count camping with a troop as a "Webelos overnight campout or day hike".  I would not count the Venture visit as a visit to a Boy Scout troop.  But, as a den leader, I would have made sure to offer opportunities to the Webelos to properly fulfill the AoL requirements.

There's still two months in which you could discuss this with the den leader and arrange opportunities to actually do the requirements.  Have the den visit a troop meeting, ask the Scoutmaster or Sr. Patrol Leader what outdoor activities the Webelos could attend, and schedule a day hike for the den - there's not much to it, really.  If the troop has no outdoor activities planned, ask if they'll put on a hike so the Webelos can see how they operate - after all, that's the reason for the troop visits.
Jan 29, 2013 - Den Leader Kay
If a scout has completed all requirements of AOL, can he still work on WEBELO pins?  What if the AOL paperwork was completed and turned in?  This scout wants to wait until he completes pin #20 before joining a troop.  Another parent has questioned this, stating that AOL is the final Cub scout award, and he is now a Boy Scout.  This Cub scout is 10 1/2, and still in 5th grade. Please let me know where to fing the answer in BSA policy.  Parent's are anxious to know.  Thanks
Jan 29, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Kay - A Webelos scout can work on the Webelos activity badges as long as he is in a Webelos den.  In my Webelos Leader Guide (page 9), it says a Webelos can remain in the pack for six months after his 11th birthday.
If a Webelos could earn no more activity badges after earning his AoL, then no one would ever earn the Compass Points Emblem or the points that go on it.  And, no one would ever earn all 20 activity badges.
Jan 30, 2013 - ROB
Is there any way a boy who has bridged from weblos to Scouts without having been able to get his arrow of light get it now? He turned 11 years old in Dec 2012. Is arrow of light mandatory to become an eagle scout?
Jan 30, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Rob - That scout can not go back and earn his Arrow of Light.  It must be earned while registered as a Webelos.
Arrow of Light is NOT a requirement to earning the Eagle Scout rank.  A boy could decide to join Boy Scouts for the first time when he's 13 or 14 and earn his Eagle rank.
Feb 12, 2013 - Christy
I'm looking to purchase a small gift to give each of the Webelos II's when they cross over into Boy Scouts next month. (7 of the 9 have earned their AOL and have been with our Pack since Tigers.)  Can anyone suggest a small $10-15 gift for the scouts?  Thanks.

Also, I have been looking for a wooden "scout" clock for our Pack leader as he is moving up to Boy Scouts.  Has anyone seen one for sale?  My Google search is not bringing anything up even though a friend said she saw one.
Feb 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Christy - I'd ask the Scoutmaster of the troop they are joining to find out if there is any particular bit of gear that all new scouts should have - maybe a compass, knife, handbook cover, flashlight.
Never heard of a wooden clock, sorry.
Feb 21, 2013 - candi
My sons first year weblos everyone quit, but second year weblos let my  son earn requirements and in 8 months got his arrow of light now they are saying he cant join boyscouts till he finish 5 th grade ,but t if hes 10 why cant he
Feb 21, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Candi - Please read see the age requirements in the BSA Youth Application.  There's a link to it on the Scout page and if your son meets the requirements, he can join.  Take the requirements to the Scoutmaster and ask him/her why your son can't join.

Feb 25, 2013 - Ashley
If a boy is choosing not to cross over to Boy Scouts - can he still earn his arrow of light if he has completed the rest of the requirements?
Feb 26, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Ashley - Absolutely!  Joining a Boy Scout troop is not one of the Arrow of Light requirements, so he hasn't completed 'the rest' of the requirements - he's completed ALL the requirements.
Feb 26, 2013 - scott
My 11 yr old son is crossing the bridge next month and I just ordered the arrow of light award for all 8 scouts crossing with him. Is there another appropriate scouting gift I can give my son to honor his hard work and dedication? He is determined to become an Eagle at age 15 so I was thinking maybe there is something he may need to achieve his goal that I could present him?  Any input would be appreciated!
Feb 28, 2013 - Jan
Hi! When my grandaughter had a big dance recital, I got a bouquet of flowers to give her.  Next Sunday, my grandson crosses over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.  What small token gift could I get (on a very limited budget) for him to give to him at the banquet.  I've asked around and a lot of people are suggesting a pocket knife or Leatherman, but he has so many knives now.  Any suggestions?  
Mar 01, 2013 - Tiffany
How do you paint the arrow of light? My son joined as a webelos. Do i just start with the webelos badge and go on from there with the awards on the arrow?
Mar 01, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Jan and Scott - There are lots of gift ideas on - keychains, knives, ornaments, wallets, and tons more.
But, two things that would be VERY USEFUL for a new Boy Scout are a sturdy, simple compass and a Scout Handbook cover.  
Mar 01, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Tiffany - There are many different plans for Arrow of Light plaques and memory arrows and othe recognition.  There is no 'official' way to paint, design, or decorate any of them.  If you google search, you'll find lots of suggestions.
Mar 03, 2013 - Ben
I have 19 Webelos 1's in my den, more than half have earned the "Arrow of Light" but don't bridge to Boy Scouts until next Feb. Can they be awarded the "Arrow of Light" now or do they have to wait until the Arrow of Light and Bridgeover Ceremony that we normally do once a year?
Mar 03, 2013 - Renee
Our pack does things differently than all other packs in town.  There is a district crossover on Tuesday night.  Our pack leaders say if our boys attend that ceremony they can no longer attend Webelos and complete the final AOL step, even though the district crossover team says differently.  It seems like our pack leadership is bullying the boys into participating in their private ceremony and missing out on the district one.  Can they really not do both?  We are told it is against the rules.
Mar 03, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Ben - If the scouts have fulfilled the requirements, they should receive their recognition as soon as possible.  The Arrow of Light award is usually presented at a Pack meeting.  It would be a shame to wait a year for recognition.
Mar 03, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Renee - That is silly.  It's just a ceremony to recognize the scouts' achievement.  They could attend a recognition ceremony put on by their pack, their district, their church, their family, their class at school, ... as many as are offered.  There are no BSA rules preventing multiple ceremonies, and if your Pack made up some rule, that's ridiculous.
Your unit commissioner could help sort this out - or your district advancement chair.
Mar 05, 2013 - Aaron
We have a weblow getting the arrow of light.  He might take next year off from scouting.  Is their any reason not to perform the bridge ceremony?  
Mar 06, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Aaron - There are often TWO ceremonies for scouts finishing their Webelos years.  Unfortunately, the are often rolled into one ceremony.
First, there is the recognition for earning the Arrow of Light.  Any Webelos that completed the AoL requirements gets recognized.
Second, there is the crossing over from Cub Scouts to a Boy Scout troop.  It is not 'graduating' from Cub Scouts.  It is 'Joining' a troop.
The boy that is not joining a troop should not participate in the crossing over ceremony.
Mar 11, 2013 - Web. I leader
I'd like some clarification on AoL requirements. "Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old), and earn the Webelos badge."

Does this mean 6 months past earning the Webelos Badge, or is a boy who is in 4th grade, 10 1/2, 1 month past earning his Webelos badge eligible for AoL?
Mar 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Web - It means the Webelos needs to be active in his den for at least six months since completing fourth grade.

In addition to being active for those six months, he also needs to earn his Webelos badge.  The requirement for the Webelos badge which says to be active for three months is NOT in addition to the six months for the AoL.  It is six months TOTAL for the AoL, not nine months.
Mar 14, 2013 - Wendy
Hi, our pack leadership as we all as our district advancement coordinator are saying that an overnight camp out is required in order to receive the AOL/Outdoorsman.  The language in the book says a Webelo day hike or camp out.  hey are saying that the spirit and intent of the awards is that the boys have a camping experience.  they said this is an important part of scouting and that at the Boy Scout level they have to do a lot of camping for various merit badges.   Don't see where what takes place it the Boy Scout level has anything to do with the requirements of the AOL/Outdoorsman at the Cub level.  They've also gone on to say that if we feel they have "done their best" to earn the awards, then they should be given, even if they did not do the camping but instead chose the Webelo day hike.  he language says either or.  Can these leadership people interpret this language and require overnight camping to earn these awards because in their opinion camping is in the "spirit" and "intent"
Mar 14, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Wendy - Simple answer is NO.
Longer answer is NO WAY AT ALL.

There is absolutely no requirement at all that a Cub Scout go camping.  Boys may not be ready to camp this young.  They may need to be introduced to the outdoors more gradually, and that is why there is the "or day hike" option for the AoL requirements.

You can tell these folks that a scout can become an Eagle Scout by camping as little as 20 nights TOTAL.  And, it's possible to be an Eagle Scout with having never started a fire.

But, it sounds like they are not stopping a scout from receiving the award when he completes the requirements, so it's all good.  I guess.
Mar 14, 2013 - Papio Tom
Wendy-Just a voice from a gallery WDL... You've said AOL/Outdoorsman twice, so I'm not sure if you're interpreting these as separate things. The day hike fulfills the AOL requirement if it's NOT the same event used for the Outdoorsman. (You can use it for a bunch of other stuff, too.) But the AOL also (and separately) requires the Outdoorsman, which it seems to me would be really easy to get with an overnight campout, but really hard to get without one.

I don't know the logistics of your situation, but I'd suggest coordinating with your local Boy Scout troop. They have to go camping, and if your Webes can tag along, the Outdoorsman is a piece of cake.

If your Webelos already have/has the Outdoorsman, then a day hike is all that's necessary for the AOL.

Mar 14, 2013 - Papio Tom
Wendy-LOL Scouter Paul just answered what I was next going to say. If your question is not about the nuts-n-bolts, but rather, does the Pack leadership have the right to absolutely REQUIRE an overnight-- no. You have to convince your Advancement person, but if the Den Leader and the Parents both agree that a boy has done his best to achieve a requirement, then it's done. I believe "spirit" and "intent" are terms that should be applied to the boy, not to the requirements.
Mar 25, 2013 - Phil
I am a Webelos II leader. I have a boy that completed Webelos I and earned his Webelos badge. We started out Webelos II year and he only showed for Sept and Oct. He never showed again. He did not recharter. In the middle of March mom calls to ask if he can finish. Now our Arrow of light is ceremony in in the middle of April. He has done the overnights and meet with a Boy scout troop, but it still shy 2 Activity pins. If he finishes the 2 activity pins and recharters, should he be allowed to earn his Arrow of Light.
Mar 25, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Phil.  Interesting question.  The fact that your unit successfully rechartered and the boy did not is the key.  He cannot 'recharter' now (an individual does not recharter, a unit does, an individual registers) he can only register as a 'new scout'.  Everything he did prior to January 1, 2013 (I'm assuming this is your recharter date, when he officially ceased to be a scout) counts, but nothing after.  Ergo, he can still finish his AoL assuming that all the requirements you listed that he has completed he did so prior to the above date.  If after the date, he must re-do them after he registers and while he does those 2 activity badges he is still missing.
Mar 25, 2013 - Phil
@ Yukon Jack.  Thank you for your response. Sorry for the Recharter/Register mix up. So let me get this straight. Everything he did prior to our Units recharter date counts. Everything after he registers will count but nothing inbetween those two will count.
Mar 25, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Phil.  Bingo.  Basically, from Jan 1, 2013 to whenever he registers, he was not a scout, so nothing then counts.  Its quite simple and fair once you slog through all the regulations and policy.
Apr 22, 2013 - Michele
My son who is 11yrs old and is very active in Weblos2 is invited to a campout with the boyscouts this Friday 4/27/13
My question is:Is this really nessecary for him to do this?
He does not sleep good on the ground. He also has a soccer game the next day on Sat.
Mrs. Michele
Apr 22, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Michele - No, it's not necessary for your son to go camping.  Scouting should be fun and something he wants to do, not something he has to do.  
If you are asking if it is required to earn his Arrow of Light, then that's different.  He needs to do one outdoor Boy Scout activity *with his den*, not just by himself.  

Just sending your Webelos scout off with a Boy Scout troop to camp is not appropriate Scouting.  From the site - "Joint Webelos den/troop campouts including the parents of the Webelos Scouts are encouraged to strengthen ties between the pack and troop. Den leaders, pack leaders, and parents are expected to accompany the boys on approved trips."
May 16, 2013 - kevin
As a pack, we have found that a large percentage of the Scouts who earn there AOL in February and then immediately join Boy Scouts seem to be quitting Boy Scouts fairly quickly. We think that it may be immaturity.  Can the AOL be done in June instead of Feb? Then the boys can join Boy scouts in September when they are a little more mature.
May 17, 2013 - Stan
My son has been done with the AOL since January. We have been waiting on the pack and two other boys to finish up so they could all go on a hike with the local troop at the same time. On the day of the hike my son had a bad fever over 102. The cross over is coming up next week and the scout troop will not be doing anything again until after the crossover. Can my son still get his AOL? He has earned it and is being held back because the pack leadership is a joke. They keep changing thing and make excuses on when and why he can or can't cross over.
May 17, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Stan - If your son actually HAS completed all the requirements, then of course he can get the award.

It sounds like your son has ALMOST earned the AOL because he still has at least two more requirements to complete, that being #4 doing a Boy Scout activity and #6 which isn't done until after #1 thru #5.  If that's the case, then he needs to complete all the requirements to earn the award.

The 'cross over' is a ceremony.  It has no meaning in regards to your son's BSA membership.  Your son is a member of the Pack until his membership expires, he becomes too old, or he transfers to a troop.  It shouldn't be too difficult to have your son talk with the troop's Scoutmaster and ask if he could go on a hike with some of the scouts.  After all, he already did have a conference with the Scoutmaster so he should know him.
May 17, 2013 - Stan
Thanks for answering my questions. You just helped me out a lot. I over looked one event that he did with the troop. while working on his AOL. Thank you very much! No one with the council will return my calls. Again thank you!!
May 20, 2013 - Anna R.
When appling rank stripes to the Arrow of Light Arrow, are there any more items to consider other than those listed here:
*Tiger rank & # of elective BEADS
&Bobcat rank
*Wolf rank & Gold & silver arrow points
*Bear rank & Gold & silver arrow points
*Webelos I rank
*Webelos II rank
* # of Activity badges pins
*Arrow of Light
*Denner cord
Thank you. Anna R.
May 26, 2013 - Ted
I have a child who is a webelos but a first year scout. He has completed all requirements for Arrow of Light and earned all activity pins needed plus a few.  The Pack Leader feels he is not mature enough to cross over so she will not award him the Arrow of Light. Does she have this ability or should they award him what he has earned?
Jun 06, 2013 - Steve
What is the purpose of making a boy wait until they are 10 1/2 to get their AoL if they complete everything else?
Jun 07, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Steve - That is one option of a two-option requirement.  The other option is "at least six months since completing the fourth grade".  
A requirement to join a Boy Scout troop is: "... completed the fifth grade, or is 11 years old, or has earned the Arrow of Light Award."
These two requirements together help ensure boys are not joining a troop while they are too young.  The BSA programs are designed to be age-appropriate and some parents try to push their sons into activities not generally suitable for boys their age.
Jun 10, 2013 - Alex
I'm a Webelos den leader of 7 scouts, all fourth graders.  Only two of these scouts (my child and one other) have completed this year's requirements and they seem to be the only ones returning.  I don't know how to continue with only 2 boys.  They both want to earn AOL and want to continue into boy scouts.  Cubmaster wants them to join the den behind them (will be first year webelos in the fall) but how do they earn what is remaining and not overlap? Can I just work with the other dad and reach out to the boy scout troop to complete those requirements? Or do we no longer count as a den because we are too small?  Thanks for helping me sort things through.
Jun 10, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Alex - If one of you adults will be the den leader, then two scouts are enough for a den.  You can still have a lot of fun and do everything a larger den would do.  You also might encourage the two guys to seek out a friend to join their den so they can earn the Recruiter patch.
Jun 13, 2013 - tess
I need to know who can help the boys with the CPR part of their readyman.. and how much do the need to do..
Hands only, adult CPR, child CPR please help. I'm a nurse can I help my Grandsons den Thank you
Jun 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@tess - Anyone that knows the proper procedures can help.
The requirement is to show what to do for stopped breathing, so having manikins available is certainly the best approach.  The pages in the Webelos handbook are outdated so current guidelines should be presented to the scouts by someone up to date with their knowledge and skills.
Jul 08, 2013 - Yukon Jack
Question for all.  I am a WDL that recently had to deny an AoL award to a boy because his parents took him (without the knowledge of any registered scouter) to complete requirement 4.  I said no because of the words "With your webelos den" that leads me to believe the spirit of the requirement is that the scout do the activity with the den to see the patrol method in action.  Now I'm getting accused of 'punishing the boy for the mistake of the parents' and being unflexible.  I offered to help the boy make up the requirement in the next few months but the parents are quite upset.  Also, they say the boy is very upset, but my experience with this young man is that he is a good boy, but apathetic towards scouts.  Furthermore, this dad is known to have lied before (pinewood derby dad, enough said).
Any thoughts?
Jul 09, 2013 - DL Mike

I think you are doing the right thing as long as all scouts in the den are held to the same standards then making an exception sends the wrong message.  I think that requirement 4 is an easy requirement to fulfill and one that most boys would enjoy doing with their den.  It is not you that is punishing the boy, it is the parents by refusing to support your decision and working with you to find a postive resolution.
Jul 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Yukon - I'd be curious how the parents explain away the "With your Webelos den" in their righteous indignation.  I interpret it as you do.
Jul 27, 2013 - Rich
A boy recently moved into our unit who is already 11 years old and wants to be awarded the Arrow of Light award. His parents say he did all the work but there is no record in his Cub Scout book to verify. Can a boy who is already 11 years old be awarded the Arrow of Light award?
Jul 28, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Rich - If your 'unit' is a Pack, and the boy registers as a Webelos scout, then Yes an 11 year old can be awarded the Arrow of Light.
It seems that it should be fairly easy to contact his previous Webelos den leader to find out when and how he fulfilled the requirements.
Oct 03, 2013 - Jorge
My son is 9 yrs old in the 3rd grade and is currently a weblos 1.  He will be 10 in July. Will he be able to cross over?
Oct 04, 2013 - Scouter Paul
You can review the official BSA Youth Application at

In that document, it states:
"Your son can be a Scout if he has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old, or is age 11, or has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but has not reached age 18."

So, to cross over into a Boy Scout Troop, he must be one of these:
1. 11 years old
2. 10 years old and completed 5th grade
3. 10 years old and earned the Arrow of Light

Oct 06, 2013 - Veronica
I need your help again! A 5th grader just joined my Webelos II den, but he has never been a scout before. The rest of the boys joined last year, but in time to earn their Webeblos Badge. I have him already working on his Bobcat badge, but does anyone have any suggestions on what he should work on next, given that we only have 4 1/2 months until crossover? The Cubmaster and the rest of the leaders have boys who are younger than my group, so they haven't gone through Webelos yet.
Oct 06, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Veronica. The Webelos Rank requires 3 months of active participation in the den--this scout can do that! AoL requires an additional 3 months, which seems impossible with the facts you've given. Have your new scout work on his Webelos Rank, that's why he's there!
Oct 08, 2013 - J.D.
@ Veronica: Your new Scout can work on the Webelos badge and the Arrow of Light award simultaneously - but he won't have the 6 months tenure that he needs until March or April (depending on when he joined your Webelos den).

The Fitness activity badge can be completed in about one week - it's mostly done at home.  The Citizen activity badge can also be completed quickly, especially if his parents are on board and willing to work on some of the requirements with him but verified by you as the Webelos den leader.  He can also work on the Outdoorsman activity badge with your Webelos II den.  He would be well on his way to earning his Webelos badge, and he would have almost half of the activity badges required for the Arrow of Light award.
Oct 09, 2013 - Rusty
Hello. My Webelos scout turns 11 on Oct 27. Is there a "deadline" for completing the AOL? The scout troop he was going to go camping with this week canceled the trip, which sets back his calendar a little.

Also, our tiny Cub Pack is composed of boys from all over the city, and the three older Webelos will all cross over to different troops. The AOL requirement 4 says to participate in a Boy Scout activity "with your Webelos den". Is it okay for them to do this individually with the various different troops they are most likely to join?
Oct 11, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Rusty - On the BSA Youth Application, it says a boy can register as a Webelos as long as he is under 11.5 years old.  That tells me your son has until April 27 to complete all his Cub Scouting adventures.  I expect his Webelos den will probably dissolve before then due to scouts joining Boy Scout troops.
"With your Webelos den" means going together as a group, rather than individuals.  It is supposed to be a den activity.  You should find out what his den leader is arranging and participate in that.
Oct 11, 2013 - J.D.

The BSA Guide to Advancement says:

"The Arrow of Light Award may be completed only while
the following four conditions are met: (1) The Webelos
Scout has been registered and active for at least six
months since completing the fourth grade or since turning
10 years old; (2) he is still registered in a pack or as a
Lone Cub Scout; (3) he has not yet joined a troop; and
(4) he has either not yet graduated from the fifth grade or
has not yet turned 11, whichever is the latter."

By the book, he has until the end of the fifth grade.  However, because he is older you will probably want him to cross over to a troop as soon as is practicable.
Oct 15, 2013 - Imar
My son is in 5th grade, 10 years old wont be 11 until Sep and a Webelos 2nd year I dont think he is mature enough to join Boy Scouts. Can the Arrow Of Light be completed in June instead of Feb? Then the boys can join Boy scouts in September when they are a little more mature.
Oct 15, 2013 - Paige Lawson

This is a very personal choice between you, your scout, and your scout & Cub master. I suggest having a scout master's conference with both your cub scout master and the boy scout master to discuss why you feel this way.

Keep in mind, having that time between feb and summer camp will get him more familiar with the troop hes moving up to. Having seen a few boys transition from cubs to boys... you would be surprised how fast they mature up when they cross over.
Oct 15, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Imar - Your son does not need to join a Boy Scout Troop as soon as he earns his Arrow of Light.  I think it would be more enjoyable for him to complete the Arrow of Light along with his den, but then you could have him wait until you are ready for him to join a troop.  
I do believe that keeping him out of the troop over the summer may make it seem like he has to "catch up" to the other scouts which is not really the case in Boy Scouts.
Oct 16, 2013 - Yvonne~Leader Mom
My son completed 4 consecutive months of Webelos Sep - Dec 12, we were unable to actively participate due to my military service over a 6-month period.  He completed activities and participated/attended when we could.  He is now going to be active in Webelos II from Sep 13 to Feb 14, our Cubmaster stated he not eligible to earn his Arrow of Light...thoughts? I would hate for him to not earn it because I wasn't able to get him to the meetings.
Oct 16, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ YLM. The cubmaster is mistaken.  As long as your son completes 6 months of active participation while a webelos scout (and the other requirements obviously) before aging out of cub scouts, he is eligible for AoL.  I count 6 months of active participation time as of this month, October 2013.
Oct 18, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@YLM - What is the reason given by the Cubmaster?
The specific time requirement is worded "active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old)".
If your son turned 10 before last Dec 12, then it sounds like he will have done 6 months.  If not, then he would complete that requirement 6 months after the date he signed up for this year's program - the date should be on his current youth application.  If nothing else, he could receive the award on March 13.

Nov 04, 2013 - Happy Hitchhiker
Our den moves up at the pack meeting in December.  Does this present any challenges for the WEBELOS program since it is cut short this way?  Does is pose any challenges for the scout if they just started 5th grade 3 months earlier?  My son is the youngest in the den and so uses the grade level progression and I am a bit concerned about joining boy scouts when he just barely turned 10.  Am I worrying about nothing?
Nov 04, 2013 - Arrggg

If he has earned all his requirements for the Arrow of Light, then he has the skills to become a Boy Scout.

However as a parent, you know your boy the best.  If you don't think he is Emotionally/Socially ready, you have final say weather he goes to a troop or not. If you feal this way, it might be a good time to do some more Webelos campouts with other Troops in the area. Or just work on more compass points.
Nov 04, 2013 - Simon
Scouter Paul,
My Webelo is working on his AOL.  A question-he attended an awesome STEM day several weeks ago.  His group was lead by Boy Scouts who were advanced in their ranks.  They spent lots of time outdoors including archery,bb guns and other fun things.  The Boy Scouts leading our group were great and I know my scout learned a lot.  Can this be counted as his outdoor activity?
Nov 04, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Simon - Requirement #4 is for a "Boy Scout-oriented outdoor" activity.  The purpose of these visits should be for the Webelos scout to look ahead with anticipation to his future as a Boy Scout and observe troops he might join.  If the Webelos scout is learning about how Boy Scouts work together in the outdoors, that fulfills the intent of the requirement.
Just exactly what the Webelos den leader counts is up to him/her.
Nov 05, 2013 - Geri
My son is a Webelo II and his Den it's going on a campout with the Boy Scouts, however we can't get their until later that day, so his Den leader it's telling me that if my son and I are not their from the beginning of the required time that he will not get his AOL. Is that true? That it's not acceptable?
Nov 06, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Geri - If there is a 60 minute meeting, and you show up for the last 30 minutes, did you attend?  How about if it's only for the last 5 minutes?  
The den leader needs to set some requirement for counting participation, and it sounds like "from beginning to end" is it for this outing.  I think that is reasonable.

Your son does not need to camp with a Boy Scout Troop in order to earn the AOL.  If you can't make it to this activity, then work with the den leader to offer another opportunity for the Webelos den to go on an outing with the Boy Scouts.
Nov 13, 2013 -
The Webelo camp out in our area is only offered once a year.  Last year it interfered with our family vacation.  I am concerned that with only one option, it may be difficult to fulfill the requirement.  What are my oth options.
Nov 13, 2013 - Happy Hitchhiker
@  They don't have to go to camp as a Webelos.  They also have the option to go on a Webelos day hike.  Our den combined that with earning the hiking belt loop for the kids who don't like to or can't attend camp.
Dec 10, 2013 - Carrlos
My son completed AOL last night. My pack doesn't do a ceremony until March. Should my son have to wait 3 months to get the award? He is 10, 5th grade, turns 11 in February.
Dec 11, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Carrlos - Congratulations to your son!
Many Packs do as yours does, but it goes against the immediate recognition philosophy of the BSA to have a scout wait many months for an award presentation.
It makes sense to me for each scout to receive his recognition patch at a den meeting as soon as he's earned it.  Then it can be displayed longer on his uniform.  A grand ceremony where all the AoL recipients are recognized at the Pack level at the end of the year can still be done.
Dec 11, 2013 - Carrlos
Thank you. That makes sense! That is exactly what I had suggested to the cubmaster! :-)
Jan 16, 2014 - Lisa
My son was active in his troop for all of fourth grade.  The troop wasn't a good fit for him, so in the fall we looked for a different troop for him to join.  In Sept. we did end up doing the requirement for camping out with a boy scout troop overnight.  In Oct. we found the right webelo troop for him to join, and have stayed with them.  Their troop is having the cross over ceremony in Feb., but I was told that because he hasn't been in the new pack for 6 consecutive months that he won't be able to receive the arrow of light.  It's a smaller pack, and he will be the only one not getting the AOL.  Is it true that the 6 months have to be with the same current troop, or would the fact that he participated in the boy scout campout in Sept (but not with the current troop) be able to be "added" to the six month requirement?  
Jan 17, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Lisa - There is no stipulation that the "active for six months" requirement be with the same den.  

There is no Arrow of Light requirement that the Webelos scout camp out with a Troop.  He needs to visit a Boy Scout outdoor activity, and he needs to camp out or hike with his Webelos den.

If your son's current den leader says your son can't receive the Arrow of Light because of the "active for six months" requirement not being met, then have him/her contact the former den leader to find out that your son was active in the former den.
If it is because your son did not do the Boy Scout activity, or do a den campout or hike, then help the current den leader arrange something now to fulfill that requirement.

Webelos are in DENs which make up Cub Scout PACKs.  Boy scouts are in PATROLS which make up TROOPs.

Jan 18, 2014 - Lisa Thompson
Thanks so much Paul.  Your answers about the 6 month part is what I was hoping (and thought) it would be.  I have an older boy in boy scouts, and didn't realize until after re-reading my answer how many times I mistakenly used the term "troop" instead of "pack."  Thanks again---

Jan 26, 2014 - Concerned parent
My son's den will be going winter camping with a boy scout troop.  I am not sure if my son is really ready.  The den has already said they only work on outdoorsman and readyman badges at camping events and the week long residential camp.  My son is 9 and a half and just not ready yet (or maybe I'm the one not ready to have him not eat for 2 days).  Can the den require camping as part of earning the AOL?  The den is expected to crossover in December like usual.
Jan 26, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Concerned - I wouldn't have my 9 year old go winter camping.  Here, it gets well below zero and I don't feel it's appropriate for boys that young to be camping out.  As the parent, you decide what your son can and can not do.  

There is no requirement to go camping for the Webelos rank, nor the Arrow of Light.  You could talk with the den leader to find out what warmer weather opportunities will be scheduled for scouts to complete the requirements being worked on during this cold weather camping trip.
Jan 27, 2014 - John Cross
@Concerned Parent - your den cannot require camping for the Arrow of Light.  The Outdoorsman Activity Badge, which is required for the Arrow of Light, only stipulates that you do two of the first four requirments and only two of those have an overnight campout aspect.  That being said, allowing your Webelos to camp out as part of the Den during nice weather will be beneficial for him as a Scout.
Feb 02, 2014 - Jill Oseano
Do webelo 2 have to make a certain number of pack meetings? Most of my webelo 2 boys miss @ 80% of pack meetings. Are they entitled to the arrow of light award?
Feb 02, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Jill - There is no attendance percentage requirements for Arrow of Light.  A scout earns the Arrow of Light (or any other award) by completing the specific requirements, nothing more.  
Requirement #1 states the scout needs to "be active" in his den.  In the Webelos handbook, it says "Active means having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects."  But, there is no definition of what "good attendance" means for Cub Scouts.
Section in the Guide to Advancement discusses Active for Boy Scouts.  
Feb 05, 2014 - Chris
Is it fair to let all the scouts who did not earn the Arrow of Light participate in the bridge ceremony? I understood "crossing the bridge" was reserved for scouts that completed Arrow requirements.
Feb 06, 2014 - Tyler Villegas
@Chris - As you stated, the bridge ceremony is reserved for scouts that completed the Arrow requirements and earned their award and priviledge to graduate to Boy Scouts early. The bridge ceremony is a ceremony to represent the crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, so these boys should only be crossing the bridge if and when they have completed their badge.  If they do not graduate early, but move on with age, they can still have a bridge ceremony, but not until they have deserved the right to graduate from Cub Scouts.  Also, he can continue to work on his arrow of light award until he has the proper credentials to pass.  But until then, no, he should not be participating in the Bridge Ceremony.
Feb 06, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Chris - No, even some of the Arrow of Light recipients should not participate in your bridge ceremony.
Earning the Arrow of Light and Crossing Over to a Boy Scout troop are two distinct, separate milestones.  Webelos should be recognized separately for each milestone.  Your Pack should have an Arrow of Light recognition ceremony for scouts that earn it, and a separate Cross-Over ceremony for scouts joining a troop.
Packs often run these at the same time in their Blue Gold banquet, but the participants in each ceremony are not necessarily the same.
Feb 17, 2014 - Chris
For the Arrow of Light requirements can a scout use a single event for 4b & 5 or should they be two seperate events?
Feb 17, 2014 - Matt
Chris, one needs to do two separate events. Seperate from anything counting towards the Outdoorsman badge. Just another opportunity to ease  the jump to Boy Scouts and create another great memory.

Feb 20, 2014 - Lisette Schuntz
My son has completed Webelos and will be crossing over at Blue and Gold Banquet.  He has earned the Arrow of Light and is not sure that he will continue on to a Boy Scout.  We have selected the troop and made our visit, but still not sure.  We were just advised that we need to pay the $24 charter fee, if not paid our son will not be able to get his awards and arrow of light.  I thought he already earned this as a Webelos?  Am I correct?
Feb 20, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Lisette - What you describe does not make sense.  Your son is a current Webelos and has earned an award - he should receive it.  The annual membership fee is for the year ahead, not the year behind.
You should ask your Cubmaster (or whoever advised you) for an explanation.  It sounds like there is just some miscommunication.
I sure hope he decides to join a troop.  Completing Webelos is like getting a cool bow-and-arrow for his birthday.  Not joining Boy Scouts is like never taking it out to shoot it!

Feb 27, 2014 - Scott Kaplan
I just wanted to thank you for all the information on your website.  I've been a Den Leader since Tigers and my Cub Scouts just crossed over to Boy Scouts, all with their Arrow of Light.  I used something from your website for practically every Den meeting that I planned!
Mar 09, 2014 - tia
My son was a second yr webelo until December when he had to stop attending for medical reasons.  He had one requirement left for his AOL.  I got a message from the cub master in December telling me I had to pay rechartering fees or he couldn't finish.  Does this mean without paying these fees he can't get his AOL and go to boy scouts.
Mar 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@tia - Your son needs to be a registered Webelos scout in order to earn his Arrow of Light.  If he has not completed the requirements yet, then he hasn't earned it.  So, it makes sense that he recharters with the Pack to complete his requirements.

To transfer a scout from a Pack to a Troop costs just $1.00 - ask the scoutmaster of the troop your son will join about this.

Any boy meeting the requirements on the BSA Youth Application can join Boy Scouts - he does not need to have earned the Arrow of Light, no ever been in Cub Scouts.
Apr 08, 2014 - amanda terhune
I have a webelo leader telling me that it's required my son take a written test to get his webelo.   I can't find anything that says this anywhere and he has dysgraphia which has been diagnosed and he uses laptop for most of his writing in school per 504 program.   I am a cub master fighting this leader on this.  Am I wrong?
Apr 08, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@amanda - You are most certainly not wrong.  It has nothing to do with any special needs your son may have, the den leader is just plain incorrect.
Look in your son's Webelos handbook, or on this page for the Webelos rank requirements.  Nothing at all about a written test!  Maybe this den leader has been using some worksheets as advancement aids and has mistakenly started requiring them - that's not good.

If this Webelos den leader can explain to you where this requirement exists, I'd love to hear about it.  But, for the good of the scouts, s/he really, really, really needs to get trained and follow the program rather than make up additional requirements.
Apr 09, 2014 - Jeff
@Scouter Paul -- "Completing Webelos is like getting a cool bow-and-arrow for his birthday.  Not joining Boy Scouts is like never taking it out to shoot it!"

I love this quote!!!
Apr 17, 2014 - Laurie
I have a situation regarding Arrow of Light and would like some input on what to do about it.  My son is in 4th grade, 9 years old, Webelos den.  His den leader is trying to 'fast track' the Arrow of Light - he wants all the boys in the den to get their Arrow of Light this month.  So, he is 'waiving' some of the requirements - for example, he is waiving the obvious one about having to complete the 4th grade!  He is not setting up any outdoor activity with Boy Scouts; he says that as long as the boys have gone camping (with Scouts or family) at any time during their Cub Scout career, the outdoor requirement has been met.  He is counting a hike they did last fall for both the Outdoorsman badge and the Arrow of Light, even though the requirements specifically state they have to be different outings.  I think he is making a mockery of the Arrow of Light award.  He has no plans to take the den camping or hiking this summer.  What should I do?
Apr 17, 2014 - HappyHitchhiker
What can one do to help a cub earn his AOL when he seems to be the odd man out?  My son is the youngest in the den and does not WANT to sleep away from yet.  The other kids are a year ahead in school and most are turning 11 this year.  The den is relying on the sleep-away camp to cover the Outdoorsman, Aquanaut, and Readyman activity badges.  The den is also counting the Cub Scout Family campout as the required camping(requirement 5).  We go camping at least twice a month in the back yard as a family and have a campfire, look at the stars, etc.  His den leaders said this will not count as any of the required camping.  They also said that parents cannot teach any of the required skills for the badges.  This seems like punishment for a kid who just isn't ready to sleep away from home yet.  It may not seem like much to ask but not all kids mature at the same pace.  Can the den leaders require summer camp in order to earn the required badges for the AOL?
Apr 17, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Laurie - Any chance of moving your son to a real Webelos den?  This one is a sham.

You already know the scouts are getting short-changed by this person.  He is blatantly throwing the Webelos program out the window and doing his own thing.  He should be replaced with someone that wants to actually deliver the program, since it isn't just a matter of not being trained and aware of what is being done incorrectly.

You could explain to the den leader that you'd like your son to experience the program following the requirements as written in the Webelos handbook.  Maybe he really hasn't read and understood the requirements.
If that fails, meet with the Cubmaster and committee chair to explain what is going on.  Pointing out a problem with no ideas for a solution is a lot like whining, though.  So, you'd best be prepared to volunteer to take on the den yourself.
Finding out what other den parents feel about this would be a good idea, without gossiping about the den leader.

Apr 17, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Happy - Does your pack not have separate dens for 4th grade and for 5th grade Webelos?

To answer your question - No, there is no required camping for Webelos.  A good Webelos den will be getting outside often, taking hikes around the community, and having fun exploring.  There will be more than one opportunity to fulfill these AoL outdoor requirements.

If I were the den leader, I would count your backyard camping for the Outdoorsman badge #2 if he planned a night activity, and #3 if he helped set up the tent.

Parents can absolutely teach skills - that's your job.  The scout needs to demonstrate them to the den leader to have them signed off as complete.
Apr 17, 2014 - HappyHitchhiker
@Scouter Paul
No, our pack does not have separate dens for Webelos.  In September we will have 2 dens because our den will crossover in December.  So from December to September there is really only 1 Webelos den.  All of the boys expect for 2 are in 5th grade this year, and all but 1 are already 10.  It is frustrating because the only "family" camping the leaders will accept is the Cub Scout Family Campout that takes place twice a year.  The den does not leave the meeting room except to work on outside activities like sports.  They do nothing within the community.  
Apr 23, 2014 - Laurie
Just wanted to give you some follow-up to my situation posted on April 17:
Both Webelos leaders (4th and 5th grade) wanted to go with the 'modified' requirements.  Our CubMaster said he wanted to stay out of it; it was the Webelos' leaders decision.  So I called in a former Den Leader from our pack, who is a leader with the local Boy Scout Troop, to give us his opinion.  he basically agreed that the boys were being shortchanged.  The Webelos leaders didn't back down, so they are proceeding with awarding 2 of the boys the Arrow of Light under the 'modified' rules.  The balance of the 8 boys will be splitting off into their own den and we'll be completing the AOL requirements as stated in the handbook.   I offered to lead the new den, and 2 other parents stepped up as well, so I think we wll be OK.  The only worry I have is that the Den Leader who proposed the modifications is going to be the Cub Master next year ....  Thanks for your input!
Apr 24, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Laurie - Good for you!  You are taking on one of the most important adult roles in Cub Scouts - Webelos den leader.  Preparing the Webelos for moving on to Boy Scouts in a fun, interesting, active manner is what it's all about.

Your Pack should have a Unit Commissioner in the district.  That person's job is to support your Pack and help explain how BSA programs, guidelines, rules, ... are supposed to be done.  Your unit commissioner really should be made aware of what is going on.  Maybe a request for some interactive Den Leader Training so everyone can ask questions would help - or at least get things out in the open.
Apr 27, 2014 - Regina
I have a question I have asked others and got different answers so wanting to know if anyone knows for sure.  My son will be 10 in july and will be completed 4th grade.  He has 19 pins with no interest in the rest and has earned all the AOL requirements but the age.  I have heard he can move to boy scouts as soon as he is 10 with scoutmaster approval.  The cub scout pack he is in has no other kids his age and he no longer wants to go his older brother is already a boy scout and the younger already does more with the boy scouts then the cub scouts.  so the question is can he move up sooner then 10 1/2 with approval or does he have to wait?
Apr 27, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Regina - Short answer is: No.
You should review the BSA Youth Application.  It states the requirements to join a Boy Scout Troop - and a scoutmaster does not get to override those requirements.  He needs to be at least 10 years old AND earn the Arrow of Light.  Your son can not earn the Arrow of Light until 6 months after completing 4th grade, based on his age.  So, the earliest he can earn the Arrow of Light and then join a troop is December if he finishes 4th grade in June.

A boy your son's age should not be doing activities with a Boy Scout troop.  The BSA program has age-appropriate activity guidelines that really should be followed.  
Apr 28, 2014 - Regina
thanks scouter Paul I didn't think that was right but just wanted to make sure.  
Apr 28, 2014 - misty
I am a webelos leader. there is only boy in the 2nd yr webelos. he earned his AOL in march and he found a troop he loves. I asked the cubmaster if we hold the graduation early so he can be recongize for earning his AOL. she said since its just him getting an award, nobody would show up since their kids are not getting an award. so the graduation or the recongition isn't til may. i have been letting him.go to boy scout mtgs and last night he got crossover into his new boy scout troop. in a couple of weeks he will earn his boy scout badge before being recongize by the pack for earning his AOL. Did i do wrong by not waiting til may?
Apr 29, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Misty - If he met the joining requirements for Boy Scouts, then allowing him to move ahead towards more adventure doesn't sound like the wrong thing to do to me.

A special meeting just for one scout to receive his Arrow of Light would probably be poorly attended.  He should have been given his award as soon as he earned it, and then been recognized publicly as soon as possible.  But, too late for that.

Now, there's a great opportunity for this Boy Scout to speak in front of the entire Pack about all the great things waiting for them in Boy Scouts.  I would encourage him to have a few words ready, and make sure the Cubmaster has time for that on the agenda.
May 27, 2014 - Scouter S
I have a scout who has completed his bear badge and is ready to move on to Webelos I. He will turn 9 in Nov '14. However he is being considered for retention in the third grade (he is on the younger side for his grade). Will he still be able to go on to Webelos I if he repeats third grade? Will he be able to receive his AOL with the rest of his den in Apr '16 (he would not have completed 4th grade but he would be 10.5 years old then)

Would really like to have him stay on the program track to keep his confidence!

Appreciate your feedback
May 31, 2014 - Back
Have been the den leader of 16 boys since tiger cubs. Since Sept. was webelos year, I had to step down as den leader due to personal reasons. Asked other parents to step up, none would. Only 4 of the original 16 joined as webelos. The 5th grade webelos den leader somewhat got them through until his den's bridging ceremony. My 4 boys were losing interest so I rallied the other 3 parents to each help out to keep the boys doing requirements. I am now able to take back over as den leader for remainder of this year and for their 5th grade year. The 4 boys have told the other boys at school and now most of those who quit want to rejoin next year for 5th grade. The 4 who stuck with it through all this will be receiving their webelos patch next week & working towards their AOL for 5th grade. My question is, if the boys who all left do come back for 5th grade, do they join back with my den and have to catch up on their own or do they join as their own webelos 1 den?
May 31, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Scouter S - You should check the official BSA youth application form for specific age requirements.  It says a boy must have completed 3rd grade to be a Webelos.  If his parents want him to continue on with his current den, it sounds like he has completed 3rd grade even though he'll be doing it again.
For the AOL, if he's been active in the Webelos den for 6 months and is 10.5 years old then he's met requirement #1.

@Back - There can be multiple Webelos dens in a Pack.  The other boys can create their own den or join yours.  If you treat them as "catching up on their own" then it sounds like they would be better off as a separate den.  Really, the only extra work would be the 3 activity badges for Webelos rank, and 1 of those could be new for the experienced 4 Webelos.  All other Webelos requirements take little effort and can be a review for the 4 experienced Webelos.
Jun 08, 2014 - Mary
I was just asked to make a plan for the new Webelos den my son is in for the next 2 years for them to earn their Webelos badge and Arrow of light.  There is so much information and I just want to be sure I do it right.   They will have the opportunity to do a weekend camp and will be able to earn the Citizen, Outdoorsman and Readyman pins.  I want to double check that they can earn the Outdoorsman and Readyman prior to earning the Webelos badge and still have it count towards Arrow of Light.

Thanks so much for this great site - it has helped me so much in my planning!
Jun 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Mary - Yes, that is fine.
Jun 15, 2014 - joe
Can my son join boy scouts at 10 1/2 without the arrow of light?
Jun 15, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@jOE - Your son can be a Boy Scout if he has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old, or is age 11, or has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old.
Jul 01, 2014 - Jaime
My son is a Weblos 2 and needs to participate in an overnight or hike.  He is working towards his AOL and is on track to receive it in '15 when he is done with 5th grade.  There are Weblos 1's that are participating in the overnighters with the 2's and the cub master is saying this counts for their AOL, is this true?  Those boys are only going into the 4th grade and 9 years old.  
Jul 01, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Jamie - Completion of the requirements for the Webelos rank and the Arrow of Light can occur at the same time.  There is no prescribed order for most of them (except AoL #1 and #6).  A Webelos that does an overnight with his den has completed AoL #5.
Sep 08, 2014 - Douglas Yee
Does a over night Indoor rock climbing outing with a boy scout troop count for AOL. My son had previously done this and was awarded AOL. I have been recently told that this should not count as it is not technically outdoors even though the nature of the practice is an outdoor activity. I see this as a safer and effective way to be introduced into an outdoor activity and it was with a troop. What is the BSA stance on this.
Sep 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Douglas - The AOL requirement #4 specifically says "outdoor activity".  Indoor and outdoor seem to me to be obviously not the same.
Stretching that "safer and effective" reasoning, then cooking in a kitchen, building a fire in a fireplace, walking around an indoor track, and so on could be acceptable.  I think none of those, including climbing inside, fulfill the requirement.
Sep 20, 2014 - Jennifer
I have a son who is now in his first year of Boy Scouts. He wasn't able to finish his second year of Webelos due to moving in the middle of the school year,  his dad is in the Military.  Can he still earn his Arrow of Light badge?
Sep 20, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Jennifer - If he earned the Arrow of Light, then he can display the patch for that award on his Boy Scout uniform.
Sep 21, 2014 - HappyHitchhiker
Can leaders say that two requirements for AOL ( readyman & outdoorsman) will only be offered through summer camp and not allow scouts to complete it any other time?   I have asked the council and they say it is up to the leaders.  This doesn't seem right to me.
Sep 21, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Happy - For Readyman someone needs to be knowledgeable in first aid in order to complete the requirements, so maybe the den leader does not have those skills?
For Outdoorsman many of the requirements specifically say "with your Webelos den" and den leader, so s/he should be involved with that one.
You could ask the den leader what is needed in order for a scout to complete these badges and then offer to get that set up.  Contacting the scoutmaster of the troop your son plans to join might be helpful.  There may be some Boy Scouts that would be able to help the Webelos complete both these badges.

Sep 25, 2014 - Stephanie
I am curious as a mom of a child who has learning disabilities if earning his AOL is possible? He is in the 5th grade but at a 2nd grade learning level. There seems to be a lot of memorizing that has to be done. I fear he could never memorize all that it says he has to however he would be able to understand what it all means. How or could I even go about this? He was a Tiger Cub but due to bad situations with his den we removed him. The problems are no longer involved so since he has wanted back in forever we made the decision to put him back in. Will this learning disability prevent him from earning this award and other awards as he goes along?
Sep 25, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Stephanie - In Cub Scouts, the motto and guiding principle is "Do Your Best". Requirements can be modified in cooperation with the scout's den leader.  

In Boy Scouts, advancement requirements are more stringent, but alternative requirements are possible.  
See Section 10 of the BSA Guide to Advancement.
Sep 30, 2014 - Del
Does the Packmaster have to attend the Troop meeting with the Webelos II's? How many Troops should Web II's visit? Our Packmaster is affiliated with a Troop and thinks this is the only Troop our Web II's should visit or do anything with. We would like our boys to make their OWN informed choice as to the Troop they decide to Crossover to.
Our Packmaster is making it difficult for the Den Leader to do what is in the best interest of the boys at this point. We only have Readyman and the Troop visit left to complete our AOL. We are on track but the Packmaster shoots down every idea the Den leader comes up with. Is this normal and how can we work around this in the best interest of the boys with minimal friction. An Ideas?
Sep 30, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Del - I think you are talking about the Pack's "Cubmaster", the person that runs the Pack meetings not individual den meetings.

It is absolutely in the best interest of the scouts to check out multiple troops.  It should be easy to do the troop visit - the den leader calls the troop's scoutmaster and finds out when the troop would like the Webelos to visit.  Then the den leader tells the den when they're going - pretty simple.  No Cubmaster involvement, input, or roadblocks needed.  See Webelos den leader duties and Cubmaster duties.  
Sep 30, 2014 - GT
The only two people who can tell a den leader they are "not allowed" to do something are the chartered organization rep, or the pack committee.
So, you can be direct or polite.
Direct way - have an "informed parent" tell the "problemmaster" that their son WILL visit another troop is a good way to call your pack "leader's" (using quotes on purpose) bluff or force a show down.
Polite way - Call your Unit commissioner and discuss things with them.
Oct 01, 2014 - JJ
I have an 11 year old who wants to join my troop.  he has not turned in his paperwork yet. he is meeting with my 11 year old scouts.  can he still earn his arrow of light?  the only requirement he had according to his den leader was memorizing and explaining the oath and the law.  wich he now has down pat?
Oct 02, 2014 - LD
My son is in 5th grade, and he is 11. He also completed his requirements for AOL this month. There are other boys from his den that also have completed their AOL requirements and are 10 1/2. The parents from this den wanted these boys to get their AOL and to bridge to a local BSA troop this month. The tradition in the past has been that the boys receive the AOL in February at the Blue and Gold and bridge to the BSA troop then. These boys would like to get their AOL now and also join the BSA troop now. Many of the Webelos have older brothers in this troop. The cubmaster is not recognizing their AOL achievement now. He thinks it should be at the B&G, and that they should complete 5th grade before they join a BSA troop. On the other side, the BSA troop is not used to bringing in new scouts in the fall. They are saying the boys would be better off to wait until the spring. I am perplexed. Can the cubmaster withhold the AOL and can the troop say that these boys cannot join until March?
Oct 02, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@JJ - The Arrow of Light can only be earned by a Webelos scout currently registered in a Webelos den.  If the boy is in a Boy Scout troop, he can not earn the Arrow of Light.
Oct 02, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@LD - A troop does not need to accept any particular person into its ranks.  So, yes, the troop can not allow these boys to join until March - but that seems like a poor decision to me.

A scout should be recognized for achievements as soon as possible.  Not presenting an award to a scout for 5 months after he earned it is silly.  The cubmaster probably sees it as a big deal for the B&G party and there's a big ceremony planned.  The award can be presented to the scout at your next den meeting, or pack meeting, and then still have the ceremony at the B&G.
Oct 02, 2014 - LD
Thank you for the response. I had done some research, and that is what I had found out also, but I was curious as to others opinions or interpretations. The issue comes down to discussions on age versus grade in relation to maturity. Quite frankly, neither determine maturity independently, and I would not nor would the other parents want to put their children into a situation that they were not mature enough for. The other problem relates to changes in past traditions and readiness of the troop. But we all know that in life that things cannot always go as planned, so we need to be flexible and adaptable to new situations. As leaders, we need to teach the boys and the troop how to effectively handle those type of situations. All of the boys that will eventually bridge have active parents that volunteer. We have great leaders in the troop too. I know we will all work together to resolve properly. FWIW, your first statement, though, makes me sad versus the purpose and themes of scouting.
Oct 02, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@LD - Some troops have set a maximum size and will not take on more scouts than that.  Others require members be of a specific religious denomination.  I expect there are other troop-specific membership requirements put in place for volunteers to better serve a particular demographic.

Setting troop membership requirements doesn't go against the BSA mission, vision, or aims - but it does certainly set a further restriction on what youth can be served.  The troops I've worked for have always just used the BSA membership requirements, as do most troops.

Oct 03, 2014 - John
We are getting ready to make the ceremonial arrows for the Arrow of Light...when researching I have found lots of variation to the colors used for to represent different awards/ranks as well as whether to put Bobcat before Tiger and then the ranks in order beginning at tip and ending at Knock and vice versa...any help is appreciated
Oct 03, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@John - What help would you like?  There is no 'official' colors, patterns, or order so you can make those arrows absolutely any way you'd like.  That's why you found so many variations out there.
Oct 04, 2014 - John
cool, that's what I needed to hear!!
Oct 06, 2014 - Baxter
My son is a webello2 and went to summer camp. Does he have to camp again to get his AOL?
He is on the Spectrum and has trouble in large groups.
Heard that a family camp out could count.
He is active in the pack since 2d grade.
Oct 06, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Baxter - Your son needs to complete all the Arrow of Light requirements to earn the award.  There is no requirement that he must camp - he could go on a hike with his den.
If he went to Scout camp with his den then it sounds like he completed requirement #5, unless that activity was already used for Outdoorsman.
Going on a family campout should not be counted.
Oct 07, 2014 - Scout mom
My son just started his second year of Webelos.  He has completed all requirements except for the scout activity, which is den is camping this weekend with them.  He was 11 on 8/27 and is in the 5th grade.  They are telling me that he can not get is AOL and crossover until after the first of the year.  They said that all the paperwork needs to be submitted for his AOL and that would take awhile.  Do you know if this is accurate?  Does paperwork really take that long?  He will be 11,5 in feb, so won't he age out and have to go Boy Scouts?
Oct 26, 2014 - Angie S-Kevin's mom
Participate in a Webelos overnight campout or day hike.
(If you have already done this when you earned your Outdoorsman activity badge, you may not use it to fulfill requirements for your Arrow of Light Award requirements.)

QUESTION-If our pack has a campout weekend does that count or does it have to be Boy Scout troop campout geared towards Webelos.  Requirement seems vague to me and I have parents asking me so I don't want to assume.
Oct 27, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Angie - Requirement #5 doesn't mention anything about a Boy Scout troop.  If the Webelos den attends your Pack campout, I can't think of any reason why the den leader would not count that.
Oct 28, 2014 - Monique
My son is in 4th grade and 9.5 years old (10 in March).  He is a Webelos 1 and working hard on completing most requirements for AOL.  Our den leader told us Sunday that if we worked hard as a den, our boys could attend the AOL ceremony in February.  I know my son wouldn't be eligible for Boy Scouts yet, but I also don't see how he could even do the AOL in Feb. if not 10 until March.  We just completed Webelos Woods and he has completed most of the needed activity badges.  Please clarify for me - my son has his hopes up now to join big brother's Troop sooner than he thought.
Oct 28, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Monique - Your son will not fulfill the first Arrow of Light requirement until next August at the earliest since he is currently in 4th grade and is turning 10 this coming March.  That is also the earliest he could possibly join a Boy Scout troop.
Nov 06, 2014 - Heidi Stevens
I heard from some other Webelo den leaders that they need to complete all 20 requirements in the book in order to cross over to Boy Scouts.  Is that correct?  
Nov 06, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Heidi - Seriously?  Sometimes I wonder how people come up with this stuff. :-)
Any boy can join a Boy Scout troop when he's old enough - there is absolutely no requirement to have ever been in Cub Scouts, let alone complete any particular Cub Scout requirements.

The best thing you can do for the scouts in your area is to encourage the adults in your Pack to get trained - they appear to be woefully misinformed about the basics of the Scouting program.

By the way, it is always "Webelos", never "Webelo" without the 's' on the end.
Nov 18, 2014 - Christine
I have recently realized that I robbed my own son of receiving his Arrow of Light while he was a Webelos.  My husband is the cubmaster and we were being overly cautious as well as not fully understanding the program so we didn't give him his arrow of light thinking that he hadn't done everything.  I now realize that he should have been awarded this award.  He is now 12 and a star scout.  I feel terrible because he could have put the AOL emblem on his uniform.  Could he still be given the emblem for his uniform or is it just too late.  Thanks for any input.  
Nov 18, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Christine - I take it that you were his Webelos den leader?  The den leader is the one to sign off on advancement requirements for Webelos.
The Arrow of Light patch is restricted and needs to have paperwork completed in order to purchase the patch.  Since he didn't earn the award as a Webelos, there is no way to go back and earn it now.
You could contact your district advancement chair and ask what s/he thinks you should do.  Depending on how loosely your council plays, they might grant the award to your son if he can supply proof that he completed the requirements - I've never heard of that happening.  I doubt that a parent saying, "he did the work", would be enough, but maybe records that were submitted for advancement when he was a Webelos would help.  Requirement #2 would be a sticky one.
Nov 19, 2014 - Scout Dad Doug
Can a cubscout attend and participate in an outdoor Eagle service project to fulfill his AoL requirement?
Nov 19, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Doug - I would think his Webelos den leader is having the den participate in that eagle project for a specific purpose.  If it is to fulfill this particular requirement, then it sounds like it is being counted.
The purpose of these visits is for the Webelos to look ahead with anticipation to their future as Boy Scouts and observe troops they might join.
Working on an eagle project doesn't sound like it would give the Webelos much insight into what it would be like being a member of that troop, but as long as he is doing it "with his Webelos den" and not alone, then it could count.
Nov 19, 2014 - ScoutingMom
I am the Webelo II den leader and at this time we are unable to schedule a den visit to a troop meeting due to schedules and the fact that a few already know where they will be attending.

I was going to make the troop visit an individual you see a problem with it still counting for AOL?
Nov 19, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@ScoutingMom - Requirement #6 has the Webelos visit a troop he's interested in joining with his parent.  If you tell them to go do requirement #4 on their own, then that makes two requirements very much the same.
As a Webelos den leader, you have a responsibility to work with a troop and arrange a time for your den to visit.  Telling each Webelos parent to do it on their own makes more work for the troop's adult volunteers, its scout leaders, and your Webelos parents.
A troop should not be expected to welcome individual Webelos to many of their meetings since they are conducting their own business.  If they know a den is coming to visit, they can prepare their meeting agenda for that visit.
Nov 26, 2014 - Karla
My son has done all the requirements for the AOL we have stayed active in our den meetings. If we have not been able to attended pack meetings n pack events will he still be eligible to receive his AOL?
Nov 26, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Karla - You said it yourself.  If he's done all the requirements, then he's eligible for the recognition.  There is no Arrow of Light requirement of attending any certain number of Pack meetings.
Dec 10, 2014 - Seeker
I have a scout who is earning his Arrow of Light award. One of the requirements is to visit a Boy Scouts and participate in an outdoor activity. The others in our den went to an all day event. He did not, as he was sick. The following week we visited a Troop meeting. On that night they went outdoors and played a game of tag. The parent feels this should count for that other requirement since it was an outdoor activity. What do you think?
Dec 10, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Seeker - The goal of that outdoor Boy Scout visit is to see how scouts do things outdoors, not to play a game of tag.  The scout visited a troop meeting, not an outdoor activity.  Things like camping, hiking, conservation project, or other outing with some planned agenda is what I would look for - not a game of tag.
Dec 12, 2014 - Webelos Mom
My son is a Webelos II (fifth grader) and has completed the AOL requirements.  Our pack does our crossover in March, but my son will "officially" be 11.5 in February as he turned 11 in August.  Will he still be able to participate as a Webelos, earn his AOL and cross over with the rest of his friends in March even though he will be 11 and 7 months?
Dec 12, 2014 - John
@Webelos Mom, to answer your question yes he still can. Also he could cross over to Boy Scouts whenever he wanted if he's getting bored with Cub Scouts. It wouldn't matter if he hasn't been awarded his AOL as long has he's earned it.
Dec 27, 2014 - Nicci
I am less than pleased with the organization/execution of my sons Arrow of Light ceremony with his current den.  We have attended new troop meeting and plan to attend campout with them in Jan. AOL is scheduled for 2/28 and all other requirements have been fulfilled.  My question is, can I hold my own ceremony with my friends and family or does he have to formally participate in den's crossing over ceremony?
Dec 29, 2014 - Joseph Torres
Can I award my boys the Arrow of Light before the CrossOver Cerimony or is it suppose to be at Crossover?
Dec 29, 2014 - Karen Himes
My council contacted us and said that any boy who turned 11 before January 1, 2015 would NOT be eligible to earn their arrow of light unless it was recorded by December 31st.  Their birthdays were October and December.  I am getting mixed information about 11.5 age and 11 age.  These boys have earned it, but I'm being told I have to have a "form" to the council before midnight in 2 days.  I can't find the form and I don't know if I actually need to if they have till 11.5.  Please advise ASAP :-)
Dec 29, 2014 - Karen Himes
PS... AOL has not been reported to the council yet...
Jan 05, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Nicci - A "crossing over" ceremony is different than an "arrow of light" ceremony.  Some Webelos may earn the AoL and not cross over to a troop.  But, to your question - he's your son so have any sort of party, celebration, ceremony, ... you want with your family and friends.
A scout doesn't need to participate in ceremonies.  Ceremonies are just recognition of something already earned.  My Eagle son didn't have an Eagle Court because he doesn't care for all the hoopla.

@Joseph - Cross-over and Arrow of Light are two separate things.  There is no required manner in which to present the Arrow of Light recognition.

@Karen - I'm curious what has happened.  If the scouts have completed all the requirements for the award, then they should receive the recognition items.  I have no idea what "form" you mention in your comment.  Since you asked no question, I can't give much advice except contact your district advancement chair to get a valid response.
Jan 08, 2015 - Chief MM
Need some clarification. I have 2 boys, one is Webs 2 and the other is a Webs1. Both my sons will completing their AOL in a few months together. My son who is a Webs 1 will be 10 years old 1 month after he completes the AOL requirements. Can he transfer to Boy Scouts then even though he is a Webs 1? I am trying to keep my boys together. Thanks!
Jan 09, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Chief - If your younger son has been in Cub Scouts and is now in his first year of Webelos, he should be in the 4th grade.  If that is the case, then he has not completed the Arrow of Light requirement #1.  The only reason I can think of for him to be in his first year of Webelos and be in 5th grade is because he just started scouting this year as a Webelos.  Maybe there are some other valid scenarios.

Assuming all his AoL requirements are met, then you can see the requirements for joining a Boy Scout troop on the BSA youth application.  That form says your son can be a Scout if:
1. he has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old.
2. or, is age 11.
3. or, has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old.

So, a 10 year and 1 month old boy that has earned the Arrow of Light can join a troop.

Jan 12, 2015 - Suanne
Our Webelos 2 group is having a hard time completing the Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity.  They were supposed to go to a camp out this weekend but it got cancelled.  This is the 2nd time it has happened.  Some of our scouts went to a Webelos over-night camp and there was a Boy Scout led trail hike.  Would that be approved as the outdoor activity? Thanks!
Jan 13, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Suanne - I wouldn't count a Webelos outing as a Boy Scout outing.  The goal of that outdoor Boy Scout visit is to see how the troop does things outdoors, not to have a couple scout help at a Cub Scout event.  But, it's up to the Webelos den leader to decide what is accepted.
Jan 18, 2015 - ScoutParent
My son's den leader had a boy scout pitch a tent indoors prior to a boy scout meeting and is counting that as achieving requirement #4.  I did not have my son attend the tent pitching, as this was clearly not a boy-scout orientated outdoor activity, and I voiced my concern about it. I did bring my son to the the boy scout meeting, which began after the tent pitching. I am having my son attend a different troop's outdoor activity, and I shared this information with the den leader and he in turn shared it with the den, however, it appears that only my son will be attending. I feel like I'm doing a service to my son by having him attend a true outdoor activity with boy scouts, but at the same time I'm not following the requirement either because it states "with your den."  The rest of the parents are fine with counting indoor tent pitching as an outdoor activity.  Any way I look at this, my son isn't properly meeting the requirement.  What should I do?
Jan 18, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@ScoutParent - I'm continually amazed at the stories like these that come forward where people don't follow the program.
I think you should continue to support your son in his scouting experience and help him follow the requirements as best you can.  I don't see there's anything you can do about other parents (or den leader) cutting corners, but you can guide your son to do what is right.  
After your son attends the Boy Scout outing, he can take his Webelos handbook to his den leader to have requirement #4 signed, knowing he fulfilled it as best as possible.
Jan 22, 2015 - Weebee Jen
Scouter Paul - I am a Webelos(1) den leader, have been with these boys since Tigers.  Two of the boys are 5th graders, the rest in fourth. All have earned Webelos badge. Thanks to your thorough responses on this list, I've come to realize a few things: 1) I don't have to "kick out" the older boys on their 11th birthday; they can remain thru 11.5 or end of 5th grade year. This would allow both the boys to earn AOL by June. 2) The younger boys are all working towards the AOL requirements, plus activity badges, plus troop visits; but they will not have fulfilled requirement #1 until 6 months after finishing 4th grade or turning 10 at the earliest. So, none of the rest would "get" their AOL until the time is right.
My question is this -- with the whole cub program changing June 1, 2015... shall we just be grandfathered in with the "old" requirements, or somehow attempt to throw in the new requirements also? There seems to be a shortage of direction for those of us in the middle of Webelos!
Jan 22, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Jen - A scout that has earned his Webelos rank prior to June 1, 2015 can earn his Arrow of Light using either the old requirements or the new requirements.  See this PDF
Feb 02, 2015 - Kasey Byers
My son is currently in his 2nd year of webelos and has an autism disorder. Are there modifications to the arrow of light requirements in such cases?  would the modifications be left up to the den leader?
Feb 05, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Kasey - In Cub Scouts, the motto and guiding principle is "Do Your Best". Requirements can be modified in cooperation with the scout's den leader.  

In Boy Scouts, advancement requirements are more stringent, but alternative requirements are possible.  
See Section 10 of the BSA Guide to Advancement.
Feb 07, 2015 - JT
Do you have any ideas about what to do for Webelos who are moving on at the end of the month but have not completed the Arrow of Light?  Our Pack has several boys who do not wish to compete the requirements since they will not be moving on to Boy Scouts.  There are mixed feelings among the leaders.  Some feel that we should just give them the Arrow of Light because they have been here since Tigers, others feel this lessons the meaning of the award.  Thank you for your help.
Feb 07, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@JT - It's pretty easy.
A scout completes the requirements, he receives the recognition.
A scout does not complete the requirements, he does not receive the recognition.

Feb 10, 2015 - Mary
Does a Webelo have to pick a scouting troop before he crosses over?  We visited several troops, but my son cannot decide which one he wants to join, and our crossing over/Arrow of Light ceremony is in two weeks.  
Feb 10, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Mary - Arrow of Light and Crossing Over should be two separate ceremonies since some scouts will earn the AoL and not join a troop while others will not earn the AoL but still join a troop.
It doesn't make sense to me to participate in a ceremony recognizing a scout's transfer from his old Pack to his new Troop when he doesn't have a new troop yet.
Feb 10, 2015 - Cheryli
@Scouter Paul,
My Webelos son wants to earn all 20 Webelos activity pins.  He is doing a great job, and we a hike away from him earning his AOL (#5).  He completed his Outdoorsman last fall by going on an overnighter with a Scout troop, and went with his dad.  I was wondering if he did another day hike, is there a certain duration requirement?  He is on a quick break and he and we are wanting to do a day hike somewhere, maybe around 2-3 miles. Will that meet the requirement for the AOL?
Feb 10, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Cheryli - There is no specified length for the day hike requirement. Read this page for one definition of a day hike.
I believe the requirement says the campout or hike should be with his Webelos den, not simply a walk with his parent.  Check with his den leader about what is expected since the den leader is the one to sign off on requirement completion.
Mar 05, 2015 - Bird
I have been the Cub Master for our Pack for 3 years now.  Last week we had our B&G with AOL and crossover ceremonies for the Web 2's combined. I am having mixed feelings with my decision of not awarding an AOL because the 10th boy did not do the requirement of participating in an activity with a Scout Troop.  It broke my heart to see him in tears while the rest got their AOL's. The Troop we feed into was very gracious in giving our Web 2 Den two separate opportunities to do an event (an overnight and hike) with them.  I even had the Web 2 Den Leader tell the mother how important it was for him to attend because it was REQUIRED for the AOL.  At the B&G, she said that she didn't realize it was THAT important.  Was I wrong?  
Mar 05, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Bird - No scout should be surprised at not receiving recognition.  He should know what the requirements are, and if he completed those requirements or not.
If this scout thought he had done everything and was upset because he did not receive recognition he thought he had earned, then I'd be concerned.
If he's crying because he's disappointed in having not completed the requirements, then I wouldn't be concerned at all.  He's learning from the experience and giving him something he knew he did not earn would be much worse.

One other point - it's not the Cubmaster's role to decide who gets an award or not.  You may be presenting the recognition in a ceremony, but the den leader is responsible for guiding the scouts through the requirements and determining which ones complete them.  See this page
Mar 10, 2015 - Bonnie
I am the Cubmaster for a LDS Pack and we have a boy who was involved in the local community Pack (which didn't do much towards advancement) and decided to join our Pack late last year.  He was very active in our Pack from October and has since aged up to 11 year old scouts (which is something unique to LDS Packs/Troops). His mom wants him to be able to receive his AOL and he has done all the requirements, just not before his 11th birthday (he finished last week).  Is this going to prohibit him from receiving his Arrow of Light?
Mar 11, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Bonnie - A boy is supposed to be registered in a Pack in order to earn the Arrow of Light.  If his registration was transferred to a Troop, then he should have stopped Cub Scout advancement and started Boy Scout advancement.  But, maybe you should discuss this with the EYO scout leader to see if LDS has some other guidelines.
Mar 24, 2015 - Greg
I have a question regarding Webelos II AoL awards and Boy Scout cross-over.  Our Blue & Gold ceremony is tonight and we have 2 Webelos II who are close but have not completed all requirements for AoL yet.  The plan is that they will not participate in the AoL awards ceremony, since they have not earned it yet, but my question is regarding cross-over to Boy Scouts.  I assume they can still participate in the cross-over ceremony (since that is just symbolic) but if they still want to earn their AoL prior to joining Boy Scouts then they will need to hold off on registering with a Troop until they have met all of the AoL requirements.  Once they have completed all AoL requirements, they can move directly into a Boy Scout Troop. Is this correct?
Mar 24, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Greg - That is exactly how I would handle it.  They do need to have a Den Leader through their completion of their Webelos activities.

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