Friday, July 26, 2013

Webelos Scouts and Boy Scout Camporees

Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discusses further ideas for effective Cub Scout Pack Planning .  "The June/July 2013 edition of Advancement News offers some great insight into creating additional opportunities for Webelos that also supports quality Webelos to Scout Transition practices.  The below article come directly from page 2 of the Advancement News."  You can download the full edition at:

Webelos Scouts and Boy Scout Camporees  This time of year during annual program planning, Webelos leaders often have questions related to Webelos Scouts attending Boy Scout camporees. Most frequently asked: Can they attend or not? If they can, why should they, and what can they do while there?

Webelos dens might decide it would be a good idea to attend camporees to complete Arrow of Light Requirement 4, "With your Webelos den, visit at least one Boy Scout–oriented outdoor activity," or even Requirement 5, "Participate in a Webelos overnight campout or day hike." From an advancement view, camporee attendance seems to fulfill the "letter of the law" for the former, but probably not for the latter—unless the Webelos Scouts hike through the camporee on the way to their own separate campsite!
  • According to The Cub Scout Leader Book, a well planned Webelos-to-Scout transition program helps Webelos Scouts in many ways:
  • By introducing them to Boy Scouting skills and future advancement opportunities.
  • By giving them the opportunity to see youth leadership at work in the troop and sense their own potential as youth leaders.
  • By allowing them to become confident and enthusiastic about the patrol method.
  • By generating the desire for troop membership as the result of this gradual exposure to troop-oriented activities.
  • By letting them make friends in the troop before becoming Boy Scouts.
There is little doubt these benefits would be experienced at a camporee, but the multi-troop setting may not go far enough in sup-porting them. This is primarily because a Scout troop involved in camporee events may not be focused on the Webelos visitors. Consider a similar scenario: When high school seniors visit a prospective college, the college will probably not want those visits to be during homecoming when students are caught up in their own activities. Instead, the college may plan special visit weekends where the focus can be on the potential freshmen.

A Webelos Scout daytime visit to a camporee is encouraged, as mentioned in the Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines ( However, the boys should not compete in the activities designed for Boy Scouts. To return to our previous analogy, those visiting high school seniors would not be able to take classes for credit during their college visitations. Help in determining whether an activity is oriented to Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts, can be found at Most importantly, though, Webelos Scouts cannot spend the night at a Boy Scout camporee.

So much for "letter of the law." What about intent? As noted above in the Cub Scout Leader Book excerpt, the point of the Boy Scout visit and joint activity is to help with the Webelos transition into a troop. This can best be accomplished at a special troop Webelos Scout welcoming event, rather than at a camporee.

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