Webelos program changes

webelos_200In our continuing series on changes coming this year to the Cub Scout program, this month I’ll preview the Webelos changes along with some pointers on how to do some advance preparation for some of the Adventures.

As always, be sure to consult the BSA’s Program Updates website for the official word on the changes to the program. Note that the recently-held webcasts on the Cub changes have been posted for viewing at any time.

While seven Adventures are required as with the lower ranks, the new Webelos requirements allow for two electives instead of just one, and Arrow of Light allows the Scout to choose three. The five core adventures required for Webelos are:

  • Cast Iron Chef (Cooking)
  • Faith in Action/Duty to God and You (Faith)
  • First Responder (First Aid)
  • Stronger, Faster, Higher (Fitness)
  • Webelos Walkabout (Hiking/Outdoors)

As you can see, these Adventures somewhat parallel the Activity Badge offerings, as do the elective Adventures – but with several additions such as Moviemaking, Game Design, Heritages and Disabilities Awareness which leverage some of the newer and more popular Boy Scout merit badge subjects. Each Webelos Scout can choose any two to round out his seven Adventures.

Webelos Required Adventures that require special planning

 Cast Iron Chef

  • #1. Demonstrate how to build a fire… Do this in the summer or fall when the weather is good in your area or when local fire danger restrictions permit it.
  • #2. Prepare a balanced meal for your den or family, utilizing one of the methods below… Camp stove, Dutch oven, box oven, solar oven, open campfire or charcoal. This can be done on a den or pack campout. You could check with one of the Boy Scout troops in your area to see if you can borrow outdoor cooking gear, even if just for a den meeting.One of their Scouts could give you a demonstration.

Faith in Action/Duty to God and You

  • #2a. Help plan and participate in an interfaith worship service with your den leader… A brief service should cap off any den or pack campout. This is optional; option 2 requires 3 of the 4 requirements

First Responder

  • #8. Visit with a first responder. You could plan an outing to the fire station or police department, or a public event where police and fire are exhibiting.

Stronger, Faster, Higher

  • #5. With adult guidance, lead younger Scouts in a fitness game or games as a gathering activity for a pack or den meeting. Plan with your Cubmaster to do this at a pack meeting, and work on running the game during your den meetings.

Webelos Walkabout

  • #4. Before a hike, plan and prepare a nutritious lunch. Enjoy it on your hike, and clean up afterward. Plan a weekend hike and remind everyone to bring a good lunch with them.
  • #5. Recite the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principle for Kids FROM MEMORY (emphasis added). A Boy Scout troop can be helpful in teaching the Outdoor Code, since nearly all troops recite the Code at their troop meetings along with the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
  • #6. With your Webelos den or with a family member, hike three miles (in the country if possible). #7. Complete a service project on or near the hike location. This can be done on a den campout or when visiting a Boy Scout troop. Arrange a service project in advance. If hiking at a Scout camp, check with the ranger to find out things you can do.
  • #8. Perform one of the following leadership roles during your hike: trail leader, first aid leader, lunch leader, or service project leader. Leadership can be shared on different parts of the hike. The den leader should make a duty roster and discuss it with the Scouts beforehand.

There are thirteen elective Adventures. Two are required for the Webelos rank, and three more are required for the Arrow of Light. As far as I can tell, it’s not necessary to wait until the Webelos rank is earned to begin working on the Arrow of Light requirements, and of course there’s no limit on the number of elective Adventures a Scout can complete. I’ll discuss the electives in the next article in this series.

Previous articles in this series:

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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2 Replies to “Webelos program changes”

  1. A hard requirement to build a fire is going to be a serious problem in California. In a good year, we have fire restrictions from June to October. While we are in a drought, good luck passing that one while you are still a Webelos.

    I was so happy when Second Class finally dropped the requirement to cook over a fire on an outing. That commonly stalled advancement for months.

    I have nothing against wood fires. I’m teaching that segment in IOLS this month.

    Asst. Scoutmaster & District Advancement Committee

    1. I suppose the escape clause is the wording in the requirement “at an approved time” and “unless prohibited by local restrictions.” Many areas in the west (and even east of the Rockies) are likely to be under fire danger restrictions at one time or another, so den leaders should plan judiciously. I think it’s important to at least try to fulfill the requirement, since fire safety is an important skill to have even if local restrictions prevail much of the time. If restrictions make it impossible to actually light the fire, a Scout could still lay the fire, explain how to light it and demonstrate how to put it out.

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