Webelos is a 20 month program for 4th (Webelo I) and 5th (Webelo II) grade boys to prepare to join a Boy Scout troop while learning outdoors skills and participating in among 27 different adventures. A well-run group of Webelos is a gradual change from being an ‘adult-run’ den to being a ‘boy-run’ patrol ready to fit right into an adventurous scouting troop. This migration requires the parents and den leaders to give the scouts more and more control, decision-making power, and responsibility as they progress in skills, abilities, and maturity. A good program also provides the scouts with many opportunities to grow in the Webelos Virtues.
It is also a good point to start promoting the fact that each scout is responsible for his own advancement and there will be few ‘den-wide’ completions of activity badges – each boy will complete on his own schedule. We concentrate on having more patrol games, contests, and skill-building rather than activities directly related to an activity badge at our den meetings – this causes each scout to perform more of the activity badge requirements on his own and then contact the den leader for sign off. Again, this is a gradual change over a few months and we still do activity badge projects and tasks at the meetings, but not all of them.
The Webelos program has two major milestones – the Webelos rank badge to be earned during 4th grade and the Arrow of Light to be earned around February of 5th grade. The final part of Webelos is bridging over into a Boy Scout troop selected individually by the scout.