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Scouting Forums

Cub Scout Advancement Problem

The reason Scoutbook was designed to work this way is because there are (or were) some chartered organizations who advanced their Cub Scouts based on age – not school grade. For these packs, their Webelos Scouts worked on both Webelos and AOL ranks between their 10th and 11th birthdays. For this reason, Scoutbook does not do a grade check, because it does not apply to all situations.


Sounds like you need three den types

  1. Webelos
  2. AoL
  3. both (today’s setup)- available on charter org request

So it’s not a bug, but It’s certainly not the right decision to enable every 5th grade den in the country to ignore the advancement rules for a subset of units.

You’re quoting rules there’s apparently no intention to care about. Once the guide to advancement stops being the source of truth for how to run the program people will stop looking at it.

@KevinCarlyle - there is only the webelos den type and there has never been an AOL den as long as I have been involved in cub scouts.


I don’t see your point. If you complete an elective that goes towards AOL before you are done with the Webelos rank how is that against the G2A?


@KevinCarlyle - in the end … who the flip cares about the minutia except perhaps you


@KevinCarlyle I appreciate your desire to follow the guide to advancement. I feel it simply left out one sentence the wording at The Advancement Trail | Boy Scouts of America is clearer.



Scoutbook puts the second elective Webelos adventure in the Arrow of Light reqiurements, even if the Scout has not yet earned the Webelos rank, because, absent the AoL Yo-Yo adventure and the AoL Protect Yourself Rules adventure, it would have been possible before the existence of the preview adventures for a fourth grader to earn every elective adventure before completing the Webelos rank, making it impossible for him to earn the Arrow of Light.



In my pack, we do not begin the six-month clock for 10-year-old fourth graders until the Scout has earned the Webelos rank, since the Arrow of Light requirements should be completed by fifth graders or by fourth graders who have already earned the Webelos rank. The only AoL requirement we consider completed prior to earning the Webelos rank is the elective adventure.

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Certainly, a main goal of the Cub Scout program is to get youth into Scouting and recruit them into Scouts BSA. If a youth is 10 1/2 and has earned the Arrow of Light, lets get them over to the Troops without delay. Forcing a scout to stay several months or another year before crossing over only hurts the scout and the Scouting program. Forcing them to delay, could prevent them from being able to participate in the upcoming summer camp.

Cub Scouts is already an incredibly long program, and is parent-intensive. Many parents, youth too, burn out on Scouting in the Cub Scouts program before discovering the great adventure and personal growth opportunities in a Scouts BSA Troop.

I disagree with the characterization of the current advancement parameters as an advancement problem. Rather, it can be argued there is a retention problem, and we should strive to avoid having unnecessary barriers to advancement.

The Webelos program includes working towards the Arrow of Light award, and is the capstone recognition for a Cub Scout, part of which rewards the youth with the opportunity to join a Scouts BSA troop ahead of other kids their age or grade.

In Service,
Roger S.


I’m not sure what your question is but, of course the Cub Scout can work on and earn both Webelos and AOL requirements regardless of 4th or 5th grade. They cannot earn their AOL rank until six months after completing 4th grade. And then they can join Scouts BSA if they have their AOL and are at least 10. Otherwise, they do have until the end of 5th grade to complete any Webelos/AOL requirements in totality.

The separation of AOL from the Webelos badge was to allow for kids just joining in grade 5 to be able to earn the AOL. Not the other way around.


True but not completely correct.

“1. Be an active member of your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.”



A post was split to a new topic: Webelos Protect Yourself Rules Adventure Counted Twice

"Be an active member of your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.”

Because of this age “loophole”, we’ve had issues in the past where some 4th grade Webelos scouts who have early 10th birthdays (September thru December), can earn both Webelos and AOL by the end of 4th grade (June). Usually this is because a parent (who is also a leader and can sign off on requirements) is pushing them along to finish early. Cub scouts is supposed to be a team based program where scouts in a den work together toward their ranks. This “loophole” in my opinion is detrimental to the Webelos scouts where some have an advantage solely based upon their birthday to earn both in one year, even though that’s not the intent of the program.

Scoutbook doesn’t help as it allows Webelos scouts to work on AOL requirements before completing Webelos Rank, that should not be allowed unless they came into Cub Scouts after 4th grade when they can no longer earn Webelos Rank.

Frankly, every other level is based on grade level from Lions (Kindergarten) to Bear (3rd), I think it’s time for BSA to split these two apart make Webelos exclusively 4th and AOL 5th so that this doesn’t happen anymore.

This is not a Scoutbook issue; this is how the rank requirements for Webelos are currently written. Scoutbook will always match the published/approved advancement requirements from the BSA.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with an individual Scout working ahead of the program because they are interested in it. Holding back Scouts that are really excited with the program is a sure-fire way to kill their interest.


Now wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier if we just went back to Webelos being a 1-year program and AOL having the requirement that you earn your Webelos badge…

Again, the point of Webelos and Arrow of Light is to get the Cubs to cross over to a Scouts BSA troop, with the AOL specifically addressing getting to have an initial introduction to the Scouts BSA program.

If all Scouts entering into the Scouts BSA troop from Cub Scouts are to have an equal opportunity to have the full amount of time to work on their Trail to Eagle, it’s necessary to allow any Webelos who is 10 1/2 the the opportunity to have earned their arrow of Light by 10 1/2 so they may cross over and be allowed the full amount of time available to all Scouts who earned their Arrow of Light.

Six months may not seem like a big difference. But it’s the difference of a year for attending a Scouts BSA summer camp.

The requirements and Scoutbook are working as they are intended. If you want to keep your son or daughter in cub scouts for as long as possible, that is the choice you and your child have. I’m in favor of getting cubs crossed over into a Scouts BSA Troop as soon as they are eligible, and beginning their next great chapter in the Scouting program.

In service,
Roger S.

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When was Webelos a one-year program? It’s been a two-year program for decades – at least back to the 80’s when I was a Webelos Scout.

It was a 1 year program in the mid to late 70s when I earned AOL.

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I believe I crossed over in 1986 and it was still a 1-year program at that time. I’m also pretty sure it was for at least another year.


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