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Cub Scout moving up from working on Webelos rank to Arrow of Light - reassign rank

Hi everyone. I have a Cub Scout who has been in pack for a couple years and now in first year Webelos. He is old enough to work on AOL and then move up to the troop in the spring. How do I set AOL as the base rank he is currently working on? Switching him to the AOL den did not automatically do that.

Thanks for the help!

@ChristopherSuess - they are Webelos in a Webelos den for at least 18 months. As cub scouts is grade based I would gather the scout is in 4th grade. I would look again at the troop joining requirements. I am also not certain a fast track is a good plan.

The Guide to Advancement specifies that 4th graders (known colloquially as Webelos I) must complete the Webelos rank before starting on the Arrow of Light (unless the chartering org transitions based on age rather than grade level).


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What grade is the Scout currently in? If he is in the 4th grade, then he should be working on the Webelos rank. Please see:

And also see the Guide to Advancement section that Charley posted above.

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He is in 4th but he is 10 and started school late. He would be 11 and eligible to be a Boy Scout his entire 2nd year of Webelos.

Regardless, he has already been cleared by district and council to move up. I just wanted to know how to reset his base rank advancement tracker.

The BSA Guide to Advancement says:


There are lots of 4th grade Webelos who are 10 years old (or very close to 10). They earn the Webelos rank first, and can immediately move on to the Arrow of Light rank - they do not have to wait until the end of the school year.


I have seen several Webelos Scouts earn both ranks (Webelos and Arrow of Light) within the same school year. It can definitely be done.

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Just for thoroughness, is there anything, anywhere that says, if a boy is already 10, he must earn the Webelos badge first. A plain reading of the requirements seems pretty clear if a boy is 10 and active for 6 months, he can earn the badge, regardless of what other ranks have been earned prior to that point.

I want to be armed with all the information.

To clarify, looking at the guide to advancement, seems somewhat at odds with the specifics articulated in I would just like to see who these are reconciled. The clearance that was given was based on the plain reading

The “or be 10 years old” and “or since becoming 10 years old” parenthetical references in align with the parenthetical reference to “or until their next birthday if their chartered organization transitions by age” in the last paragraph of

Like all BSA documents, I’ve found that G2A has to be read as a whole, rather than as individual sections in isolation, in order to see how it fits together.

If you need an official interpretation of what the intent is, the most authoritative source is the National Advancement Team, reachable at

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@ChristopherSuess, there are some good comments and questions, but I am not sure if they answered your actual question. If I missed it, and they did, my apologies to the respondent.

The Arrow of Light Award is a rank badge, not a type of Den. You will note that the Scout Shop does not sell an AOL Handbook. What you are calling an AOL Den, is actually a 5th grade, or 2nd year, Webelos Den with the same advancement and award opens as the den for 4th grade Webelos. No matter which of the 2 Dens you place the Scout in, the Den Leader can enter all of his Adventure information for the Webelos Badge core adventures, Arrow of Light Award core adventures, and Webelos Elective adventures. So moving the Scout has no affect on what is available to him or her.

From what you have said, the Scout in question has not completed 4th grade, so he/she is at leas 10 years old and has been active in a Webelos Den for at least 3 months so they can start on their 6 months time for Arrow of Light Requirement #1. I am sad he/she is not having fun with the former Denmates and wanting to eave early, but that is the family’s choice. I wish them well.

I appreciate everyone’s responses. It has helped. I did refer the question to the advancement committee for clarification.

As far as the scout having fun or not, I would say he has. There are some complex family issues that are motivating the desire to bridge over as soon as possible. However, everyone wants to stay withing the rules, hence the need for clarification.

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