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AOL and Blue & Gold

This is a little confusing but I will do my best to explain
Den A’s Blue/Gold is Feb 2021
Den B’s Blue/Gold is Feb 2022
A boy from Den B wants to get his AOL early and bridge with Den A’s boys. Den B’s scout won’t be able to complete his AOL till June 2021. He will be in 4th Grade and 10 years 2 months at the time.

My question is is his allowed to do the BG ceremony even though he has not and will not receive his AOL?

It is like having a birthday party early. You can celebrate as early as you like but you cant get a driver’s license until your 16th birthday


When will he be 10 years and 2 months? In June? If so, I don’t see how he’s complete requirement 1.

I’d suggest finding out why this scout wants to cross over early. I’d probably try to talk them out of it. But if they insist on moving up early, I’d have a separate crossover ceremony for him closer to the date he actually earns AOL and could join the troop. If you have a move up ceremony for all of your scouts in May, that might be ideal.

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He was born Dec 2010, so he will be turning 10 on Dec 2020. During our BG he would only be 10 yr and 2 months.
We have tried to ask the Father several times why but no response. No one has had a chance to ask the child yet.

First, Blue & Gold and Crossover are two different celebrations. Blue & Gold celebrates the birth of Cub Scouts. While some units hold their Crossover at Blue & Gold, there is nothing that says they must be done at the same time. When my Webelos den crossed over, we specifically held the Crossover on a different night so that Blue & Gold did not turn in to a celebration of the Webelos crossing over.

I agree you need to find out why this Scout wants to join a troop early. A Crossover ceremony is not required. As soon as he earns AOL, his parents can complete a youth application to move him to a troop.

I would not have him participate in a Crossover ceremony prior to earning AOL or turning 11, when he would be eligible to register with Scouts BSA.


Our Pack has one Blue & Gold event and one Cross Over event. Makes coordination much easier than doing it by den.

I thought the age was to be 10 years and 6 months to be able earn his AOL?

The requirement for AOL is “Be active in your Webelos den for 6 months after turning 10 years of age or completing the 4th grade.” This means a Scout can earn AOL when they turn 10 1/2 or in December of 5th grade (assuming a normal school year that ends in May or June).

I have a different opinion than some others. I don’t believe it is your place to persuade the scout (and parents) about staying in the pack.

As for the decision to recognize the scout - my vote would require more information. If the scout is only short on time for AOL, then I would be inclined to recognize said scout with mention of that in the ceremony.

But as noted, the origin of Blue and Gold is vastly different than often done today. It started as the birthday of Cub Scouting. All the same, the timing is about right for cross overs. (I believe it is very early for other ranks.)

Does he plan on registering for Boy Scouts?
To register for Boy Scouts, a child has to be 11 years old, or a child who has completed 5th grade and finished AOL.
All the cub scouts do the Blue & Gold Ceremony, it’s the annual celebration of the BSA Birthday.
AOL Cross over is sometimes performed at Blue & Gold, because it is the 6 months-ish timeline that is required after finishing 4th grade, or 6 months after turning 10. (10 1/2) to earn AOL.
They have to be active in their den for 6 months to be eliglble for AOL.

Just to clarify: youth can join a troop if they:

  • have completed the fifth grade and are at least 10 years old, OR
  • have earned the Arrow of Light Award and are at least 10 years old, OR
  • are age 11 but have not reached age 18.

Because the Scout in question is currently in the 3rd grade(?), he needs to be in the 4th grade and earn the Webelos rank before he can start working towards the Arrow of Light rank (see here and here).

And the tenure requirement for AOL rank is: 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.

So the earliest this particular Scout could earn AOL rank would be age 10 1/2, which I think would be around October, 2021 (best estimate based on the information given in Margaret’s original post).

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Two parts:

Part 1:

10 1/2 as the youngest for Arrow of Light isn’t true. 10 1/4 around here is, it depends on the school age deadline

The deadline to turn 5 for school is Sep 1 in Kansas. They join Scouts in August of Kindergarten. Remember the program year switches “June 1” with the school year starting over.

Lion: turn 5 a few weeks in
Tiger: turn 6 three months in
Wolf: turn 7 three months in
Bear: turn 8 three months in
Webelos: turn 9 three months in
AoL: turn 10 three months in

So they start their Arrow of of Light at age 9, having completed the 4th grade. They are active all summer and finish badges at camp.
They complete their six months Dec 1 at age 10 1/4 (10 + 3 months). That’s the youngest possible to bridge over in our area. The Missouri side is Aug 1st so it’s 10 and 1/3 is the youngest (10 + 4 months)

On the other end
Lion: turn 6 in August
Tiger: turn 7 in August
Wolf: turn 8 in August
Bear: turn 9 in August
Webelos: turn 10 in August
AoL: turn 11 in August

There’s an interesting loophole. Nothing says you can’t overlap the 3 and 6 months. It’s just since finishing 4th grade or turning 10. You can start counting the 3 months in June and the 6 months at the beginning of August.

That Scout turns 11 before starting 5th grade so they can earn Arrow of Light in February. That’s not the date they can bridge over, though. Keep reading for that

They’re the exact same age as the kid in the first example who turned 10 in the 5th grade and bridged over in February. They actually might be older than a kid in the grade above them at the same point in the year.

That’s why all these cross-grade bridge over questions make sense.

Part 2:
back to the question

With the overlapping Webelos programs this one gets interesting. You can earn Arrow of Light rank badges before finishing the Webelos rank badge.

So in that sense this Scout turns 10 in December 2020. If his birthday is Dec 1 he can bridge over June 1. If it’s Dec 31 he can bridge over June 30. He has to finish his Webelos badge before June since that’s grade based and resets. He can finish his arrow of light the day his six months is up. Every other requirement can be complete.

What you end up with is 5th graders in 2020-21 can join anytime from August of their 5th grade year if they’ve just turned 11, to early December if they are 10 and earn arrow of light super fast all the way through to “June 1” if they finish 5th grade without the arrow of light.

This 4th grader must wait the six months after turning 10.
So he could join a nearly the same time as a 5th grader who doesn’t earn arrow of light.

you can’t necessarily bridge over all the 5th graders at blue and gold, it depends.

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@KevinCarlyle - Great analysis.

One thing that can make the math more of a challenge is a Scout who has skipped a grade. I currently have a Tiger in my pack who skipped kindergarten. In December 2023, six months after she completes the fourth grade, she will still be 9. She won’t be eligible to join a Scouts BSA troop until January 2024, on her 10th birthday, because 10 is the absolute minimum age to join.

Scoutbook will prevent users from using an Arrow of Light date of completion that is earlier than the Webelos rank, because Arrow of Light is the final rank in Cub Scouting.


Yes, but one day later would be allowed

No, I just tested it. One day later still won’t work.

Under 2019 rules in Scoutbook I just signed off a Scout who hasn’t earned Webelos yet for their six months (and undid it, they haven’t been active enough regardless).

Check which year you’re using

“Since earning Webelos” isn’t written in the book as a requirement for the six months. If it blocks anyone Scoutbook is wrong.

My example the Scout is 9 years old and it let me sign them off.

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