Webelos I

posted Sep 7, 2011, 4:33 PM by Bob Tormey   [ updated Sep 8, 2011, 9:10 AM ]
Webelos I begins the multi-year journey toward the Arrow of Light and the Cross-over to Boy Scouts.  The Webelos Badge is the first step toward the completion of Cub Scouts.

1. Looking and Sounding like Boy Scouts
The Boy Scout Class A uniform is available to the Webelos scout, worn with the Webelos neckerchief.  Ideally, the den should attempt to reach consensus on its choice of uniform; a tan Boy Scout shirt may be preferable to the next-sized, blue Cub Scout shirt when the scout outgrows his original Class A uniform.   There are fewer badges to sew-onto the tan shirt, so the insignia/badge sewing effort is far less.  However, the den may believe that waiting for Webelos II may be best.  The main point is to achieve agreement.

Your Webelos I scouts will need to memorize the Scout Oath, learn the Scout Sign, etc.  The boys should start to act like a Patrol, with some parts of the den meeting delegated to the scouts to lead, or asking the scouts to conduct uniform inspections on each other.  While the Activity Pin requirements may be assigned to other parents, the Den Leader / Assistant Den Leader should be prepared to support the boy's progress directly rather than through the intermediarship of the parents.   The parent drop-off is perfectly acceptable at this stage, whereas leadership was more of a shared responsibility among the parents at the younger ranks.

2. The Webelos Badge

The Den & Pack Resource Guide ("The Guide") provides an achievable plan for earning the Webelos rank.  You can jumpstart the year by asking families to complete the Aquanaut pin over the summer EXCEPT for the "BSA Swimmer Test" (Requirement #7).  When the den reconvenes in September, visit Lake Pearl in Wrentham and complete the 100 yard test there.  Prior to doing so,  take the BSA "Safe Swim Defense" online training yourself, and renew your Youth Protection Training.  Let the boys cheer each other as they complete the test one-by-one.  A treat on the way home would be well deserved.

The Guide recommends beginning the year officially with Fitness and Athlete.  Athlete takes a month to complete as the boys embark on a Webelos 30-day physical training program.  Plan for the early Fall weather to support their routines.

Like the previous two, the next two Activity Pins in the sequence, Forester and Naturalist complement each other.  Spend the latter half of a school-half-day in the Fall at Stony Brook Reservation in Norfolk.  Call ahead, and arrange for a guide.  Doing this as a combined Webelos activity will help defray the cost.  You'll have Naturalist completed before you head back to Medfield.

The last Activity Pin prior to Webelos Badge is Citizen.  Complete this prior to the Blue & Gold Banquet if possible.  Requirement #10 is highly encouraged.  Call a local State Representative or Senator, and visit the State House in Boston.  Prior to doing so, inform the Committee Chair, Cubmaster, and Outdoor Event Coordinator to learn about and file a Tour Plan.  If you visit the Superior or District Court in Dedham,  you may be able to schedule a meeting with a Court Officer.  To keep the activity local, you may want to attend a Selectman's Meeting or visit with the Town Administrator.  Ask your Webelos to create posters or otherwise present what they learned and experienced while earning Citizen.

The Webelos Badge also specifies faith-based activities.  While the various Religious Emblem programs qualify completely for the requirement,  they can be demanding; completing them in time for  early February, along with the other Pack 200 & Webelos activities may prove difficult.  Families should start the Religious Emblem program early in the Webelos I year.  The awards are issued by BOTH the religious organization (Religious Medal) and the Boy Scouts of America (Religious Knot), and will be recognized on Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath in February.  If the religious program is not feasible, the alternate faith-based steps suffice for earning rank.
3. Beyond the Badge
The remaining Activity Pins from The Guide - Artist, Geologist, Craftsman, Engineer, Scholar, and Showman round out the year.  You may use these to earn Compass Points, or may encourage them during the year or over the summer for those Scouts who aspire to earn all Webelos Pins, becoming a "Super 20" Scout.  Plan to achieve at least one pin from all five of the skill groups during Webelos I.  Feel free to ask parents to offer these pins, particularly if they have a background in the area.  Also, go off-sequence if you like, and let the den schedule Family Member, Handyman, Communicator, and Scientist as you wish.  However, reserve Outdoorsman, Readyman, and Sportsman for the next year.  The upcoming Webelos II year aims to achieve the Arrow of Light for which Outdoorsman and Readyman are required.  The last months in the Webelos II year will be spent preparing your den for its transition to a Boy Scout troop.  Your leadership during the Webelos I year will set the stage for the Webelos II home stretch.

Have fun!  Thanks for you dedication to "help the Cub Scout grow."
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