Here's a summary of how the Webelos program works:
- The Webelos Program is a two year program for fourth and fifth grade boys.
- As with all Cub Scout ranks, if the Bobcat Badge has not previously been earned, it must be earned first.
- In both years, Webelos Cub Scouts work toward earning Webelos Activity Pins in twenty different areas, arranged in five groups.
- The Webelos Den Leader now signs off on activities (note that parents do not sign off on activities as they did for Wolf and Bear).
- Fourth graders work toward the Webelos Badge.
- Fifth graders work toward the Arrow of Light (for which the Webelos Badge is a prerequisite).
- In addition, after earning the Webelos Badge, boys work toward the Compass Point Emblem and Compass Points as they earn additional Activity Pins.
Here's a recommended agenda for the first four months of Webelos meetings (assuming two meetings per month), based on the experiences of the Webelos dens which have "graduated" starting with the 1999-2000 program year:
Meetings for Webelos "patrol"
- Explain the differences between Webelos and Cub Scouting (one main difference: den leaders -- not parents -- do badge sign-offs)
- Offer option to change to khaki and green uniform. (Note that this is an option, not a requirement. If the blue uniform still fits, save your money! Also, don't switch to the khaki and green until AFTER earning the Webelos Badge.)
- Choose "Patrol" Name, "Patrol" Emblem, "Patrol" Flag, "Patrol" Cheer. (Note that, per the Cub Scout Leader book, p. 16-3, Webelos dens may have a name and wear the appropriate "patrol" emblem instead of a den numeral, but they are still a den.)
- Choose "Patrol" Leader and Assistant "Patrol" Leader (This can be rotated periodically, with Assistant automatically becoming the next "Patrol" Leader). Use Denner and Ass't Denner cords to signify each.
- Explain to parents what their increased responsibilities will be. Get commitments from each to handle an activity badge or two.
- Fitness Activity Badge.
- Citizen Activity Badge.
- One Activity Badge from either the Mental Skills group, the Technology group, or the Outdoor group.
- Readyman Activity Badge (to be completed start to finish at the Red Cross on a Saturday).
During each of these meetings, also cover the other requirements for the Webelos Badge. The goal is to get all of the boys advanced to Webelos rank by January. By completing Fitness, Citizen and Readyman early, you will have completed all three *required* badges and thus relieve a lot of pressure for later.
Beyond this, there isn't a "Pack 505 standard curriculum" (to facilitate coordination among multiple 1st-year Webelos dens), but it's a good idea for all 1st-year Webelos dens to be following a similar program (e.g. to facilitate joint activities among multiple Webelos dens).
Note that Fitness is a two-meeting badge and Citizen is a three-meeting badge (depending on the size of the den), and Readyman is a one-Saturday-at-the-Red-Cross badge (or, equivalently, 3-4 den meetings). From past experience, the Scientist, Craftsman, and Outdoorsman badges each tend to be at-least-three-meeting badges. Outdoorsman might be a good one to work on beginning in January (because of the upcoming spring camporee to which the boys will be invited).
Here's an initial stab at how much time to allocate to each activity badge, again based on how many weeks were spent on these badges in the past. Ideally, by the end of a year and a half, each boy will have been exposed to all 20 activity badges. Whether or not each boy actually earns each badge is of course up to him.
Aquanaut: one meeting
Athlete: two meetings
Sportsman: This badge doesn't lend itself to actually being worked on during den meetings, but at least bring it to everyone's attention!
Artist: two meetings
Scholar: one meeting
Showman: one meeting (paricularly if you choose the Music option!)
Traveler: one meeting
Communicator: one meeting
Family Member: one meeting
Craftsman: three meetings (and a large den still won't finish everything)
Engineer: Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS)
Handyman: one, maybe two meetings
Scientist: HMNS, or 2-3 den meetings)
Forester: HMNS or Bellaire Nature Center
Naturalist: HMNS or Bellaire Nature Center
Outdoorsman: three meetings. Spend at least one just on the knots!
Your last two Webelos meetings (in January of your fifth grade year) will be spent decorating the ceremonial arrows to be used at the crossover ceremony!
As Webelos, you will also be visiting at least one Boy Scout troop meeting (click here for an interactive map of troops in the Golden Arrow District) and one Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity (e.g. as guests of a single troop at one of its regular monthly campouts, or multiple troops at GAD's Webelos Woods in October).
The online Pack 505 Library contains links to the Bobcat requirements and a set of Webelos helps, as well as an extensive set of Leader Resource links. The Webelos Helps page, in turn, contains links to the Webelos Activity Pin requirements, as well as a growing set of links organized by activity pin. By all means, if you come across any links you find helpful, please contact the webmaster to have them added to the list!
If you have any questions, either now or during the program year, please don't hesitate to contact the webmaster (or any of the other den leaders who have gone before you)!