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Summer Camp & current 5th graders

What does the option to continue in the current rank until July 31 mean for 5th graders? If they haven’t already crossed over to a troop, do they have the option of remaining cubs until the end of July?
The longer this quarantine stretches out, the harder time I’m having picturing families sending their kids off to summer camp with a troop they’ve only met online. Even picking which troop that would be is hard for kids who hadn’t already made that decision when this started.
If our pack goes to summer camp in July, can former 5th graders come with us?

It is always an option not to go to camp-and the uniqueness of this time makes it truly a difficult decision. Give a troop a try and take part in their activities at this time- and all the online opportunities. If it is not a good fit- go to another troop- it happens and in my troop we always welcome older transfers and celebrate if a scout has found a new scout home for any number of reasons. Hope this eases your mind.

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See https://scouting.org/coronavirus for the most current FAQs, where this question is addressed.

See also:

My opinion

Social gathering is prohibited in California and may continue pass September 1st. Per a recent Governor of California news conference one California plan is now to:

  1. Certify and test a blood test for COVID-19 antibodies. This is to test if a person has had COVID-19 and would not be a carrier. The assumption that recovered COVID-19 patients would not be carriers has not been fully tested yet.
  2. Start up and ramping up of the production of this test so it will be available to all in California is being taken step by step. When this can be completed by is unknown but might be in August or later when going back to work or gathering in a camp setting will be permitted.
  3. At this time I do not know if government ID cards with Covid-19 antibodies tested positive certification on it will be required for all in the future.

It is too early to know if this solution will work and when. However my council, for planning purposes, has asked the districts to move all district person-to-person (social gathering) events to the fall (2020).

2020-04-19: The last I heard is it not yet well known how the disease behaves after one has had it.
a. The experts only know that the antibody test indicated that one has had the disease.
b. The experts do not know yet what percentage of those that has the disease are immune from getting it again. The assumption is that most will not have a bad reaction to the disease if they get it again.
c. They also do not know yet if there is a small percentage are still carriers after the have the disease. The assumption is that most are not carriers.

More research is needed.

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I think this probably falls under “do what’s best for the scout”. There’s a lot to consider there. Most scouts won’t be comfortable or ready to attend summer camp with a brand new troop that they’ve never camped with. But also, scouts who don’t attend summer camp their first year are less likely to make it to their second year. I think it’d be up to your district or council to decide whether to allow 3rd year Webelos to attend Webelos resident camp. Or maybe a troop (or a couple troops) would host a mini-summer camp (essentially a long weekend) for new crossovers?

I realize I’m not much help, but I do agree with your thinking.

Ask your local council, but my understanding is that they are still Cub Scouts until they register with a troop or they are dropped at recharter. So they could attend summer camp as Cub Scouts with your pack in July.

Having said that, I would recommend that they look at joining a troop sooner rather than waiting. As soon as they register with a troop, they can start working on rank advancements and merit badges. Also, as @KarenScheel mentioned, if a Scout finds that the troop they have joined is not a good fit, they can transfer to a different troop. As @jacobfetzer said, do what’s best for the Scout.

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September?? They just, begrudgingly, extended the “PAUSE” to April 29 here in NY. And a few hours before that, our schools sent out a note about plans for IF it got extended past April 15. The possibility that all of summer may be cancelled wasn’t even on my radar.

We only have one 5th grader in our pack this year and I don’t think he’s on track to finish AOL until mid-may or later, so not eligible to join a troop yet anyway.
I wouldn’t discourage him from joining a troop, but want to make sure I know what options he has!

When does he turn 11? He would be eligible to join a troop at age 11 without completing AOL

Good question. Last year’s 5th graders and a lot of our 4th graders are summer birthdays, so that possibility hadn’t occurred to me!

@ChristyDryden - The way I understand the BSA’s special COVID-19 advancement rules, there is no option to continue in the same program level to July 31, if the Cub Scout has already earned his or her rank. If a Wolf’s last day of school is June 12, and the Wolf has earned the Wolf rank, the Scout is a Bear on June 13. If the Wolf has not earned the Wolf rank by June 12, the Wolf is still a Wolf until s/he earns the Wolf rank or August 1, whichever comes first.

The July 31 date is a replacement for the extension procedure described in the Guide to Advancement for Scouts who have not yet earned their rank by the end of the school year.

Once a Scout has either completed fourth grade or is in fourth grade and earned the Webelos rank, the Scout may work on the Arrow of Light. Unlike the other ranks (aside from Bobcat) there is no stated end date after which the Scout may not work on the rank. The Scout simply needs to still be registered as a Cub Scout.

The rechartering instructions state that Scouts should not be listed on a pack recharter, if they are 11 1/2 or older on the recharter date. The date at which the Scout may no longer be listed on his or her pack’s recharter represents the true deadline for earning the Arrow of Light.

A Scout who is duly registered as a Cub Scout remains a Cub Scout until either his or her registration expires or s/he registers with a Scouts BSA troop. Earning the Arrow of Light does not mean one gets kicked out of Cub Scouts. Neither does completing fifth grade. An 11-year-old may join a troop but also may remain registered as a Cub Scout until his or her registration expires. A registered Cub Scout, even one who is a third-year Webelos Scout, is allowed to participate in Cub Scout activities, including day camp and Cub resident camp.]

While involved with both a pack and a troop about 15 years ago, I had two Scouts who wanted to go to Cub World with the pack and resident camp with the troop. They earned the Arrow of Light in May, and we had a crossover ceremony in June. I delayed turning in their transfer applications until we got back from Cub World, so they could both attend as third-year Webelos. They loved the experience, even though there was nothing there for them to earn. They were actually a great help with the younger Scouts.

The two of them also had a great week camping with the troop the following month.

The whole paperwork process and desires of the Scouts was cleared with the council. They were delighted to have the kids each pay for two weeks of camp,

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They aren’t required to finish the current rank to move on before July 31, though, right?
Reading the FAQ, the wording sounds almost like they maybe can’t, though I can’t imagine that’s really the intent. We have some kids who were inactive all fall and only reappeared in January. Luckily they’re Webelos and the line between Webelos and AOL is fuzzy anyway, but if they were younger and the rest of their den was moving on, I’m sure they would want to, too, even if that leaves an empty spot on their uniforms!

@ChristyDryden - I agree with your reading. It says they may continue working on the rank until July 31. If the last day of school is June 12, and it is clear the little Wolf is not going to complete the Wolf rank, the Scout may give up that option and begin working on Bear on June 13.

Honestly, I don’t see camp happening this year. Even if it were to, I don’t think I would feel comfortable attending with my Webelos. At this point, I’m just hoping the deposit is refunded because we’ll probably need it for dues since popcorn sales could possibly be affected. We are working on electives all summer as a family though. If they cross it might be a good time to spend at home getting a jump on next year.

My council has stated if the Council cancels camp, all funds, including deposits will be refunded. If the camps open but families are not comfortable attending, all funds including deposits will be refunded as long as the council is notified at least 7 days before the start of the scheduled week/weekend.


We are fortunate to be in Southern California. Where we live we have 2 Sea Bases that hold Day Camp( in “normal years”). I recommend to parents that they send scouts to Day Camp if they do not feel comfortable with sending their younger scout to Summer Camp. I am familiar with one sea base more than the other. The one I know has a morning program, an afternoon program and a full day program. Scouts can earn 2-4 MB’s depending on the program. As the Advancement Chair and a parent of a scout who attended this program for a a few years, I feel the Sea Bases are a great opportunity for the younger scouts to get in the practice of earning MB’s.

So there’s one thing not in the FAQ that’s a super important detail. Program eligibility.

Until there’s information otherwise, the Scout must be legitimately registered with the BSA for the advancement to be valid. The Eagle extension requires they submit an adult app for the same idea.

This is clearly a special extension to finish a Cub Scout award while in Scouts BSA. The extension won’t change membership rules as they’re officially no longer eligible to be a Cub Scout the day after they complete the 5th grade. If they didn’t/don’t bridge over, they’re done with working on Arrow of Light even with the extension.

A Cub Scout only drops off the roster if they are moved to a troop before recharter. I dropped a Scout who started 6th grade 7 months before, they were completely ineligible to be in the Pack most of the calendar year.

This summer councils likely won’t move over Cub Scouts until you record the Arrow of Light and then ask. So they can stay on the pack roster in summer and you would put Scouts BSA advancement on paper and record later.

I wouldn’t even go to Cub Scout meetings in summer except where multiple Scouts need help, the Troop can fulfill nearly every requirement except the parent needs to do the sign off in Scout book or get the pack to help.

So that Scout in the 5th grade in the original question, they need to go to camp with a Troop. They can’t go to Cub Scout camp because they’re ineligible to be a Cub Scout.

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I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything saying a scout ceases to be a Cub Scout the day they finish 5th grade. I’ve seen something saying NEW scouts can’t join cub scouts once they’ve completed 5th grade or turned 11. But being unable to join does not equate to getting kicked out.

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It took me less than a minute to find the source that’s as final as it gets.

“In context, Scouts BSA is the program for eligible youth who have completed or are too old for the Cub Scout program”

Cub Scout eligibility is they must be in Kindergarten through 5th grade. There’s no further standard allowing otherwise. There’s 4 year olds who can join Cub Scouts and 5 year olds who can’t because they must start Kindergarten to join. We signed up an 11 year old in the 4th grade last fall because working with the council and family we agreed the social maturity made it more appropriate than going by age into Scouts BSA. They were eligible for both programs at the same time.

Look at what 5th grade is on a calendar. This would be a school calendar.

They finish 5th grade around Memorial Day depending on the exact calendar. For our school district last year it was the last Friday in May. This year it’s the Friday before.

Summer school for the next grade can begins the next day. So they were a 6th grader the Saturday after school got out. There’s two year-round elementary schools that begin the next school year the same date summer school begins.

Their registration doesn’t expire, they just need to switch programs. It’s like shifting from a youth to adult, they need to switch to Venturing or become an adult leader, they can’t participate as a youth despite having an unexpired membership. The kid ages out of Cub Scouts in the same way they age out of Scouts BSA

So if they complete Cub Scouts when they finish 5th grade and are automatically only eligibile for Scouts BSA.

In order to take advantage of the extension they must join Scouts BSA. Since apps can be back dated it doesn’t need to be immediately.

“Boys who are older than 10, or who have completed the fifth grade, can no longer join Cub Scouting, but they may be eligible to join the Boy Scouting or Venturing program depending on their age and grade level.”

If your unit recharter is a hypothetical June 1 (this is a date that could be used), they would be dropping members on June 1 who finished the 5th grade. So joining eligibility is general membership eligibility.

I’m still not seeing the obvious connections that you are. As far as I can tell, everything you quoted refers registering/joining. If there’s a page number that I’m missing, that’d help.

I’m also curious, is it your understanding that a scout who turns 11 is also automatically forced to leave cub scouts? In practice, lots of cub scouts turn 11 early in their 5th grade year… or sometimes even before it.

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