Wed, 28 Aug 1996 12:25:54 -0500
Ellen reminded us of one of the frequently "misused" words in American
Scouting: She wrote:
>There is no such scout as a Webelo. Webelos stands for We Be Loyal
>Scouts. Without the S the boys are not scouts!
WEBELOS is an acroynm, according to the BSA's public relations and
media relations guides, and therefore should appear in ALL CAPS as
written above. The plural for WEBELOS is "WEBELOS Cub Scouts"
because that is what they are: a part of the Cub Scouting program, not
off on their own like Varsity Scouts are now. "WEBELOS SCOUTS"
don't "get it" because they are NOT "Scouts" but rather "Cub Scouts".
WEBELOS Cub Scouts are in a transition program aimed at gearing them
toward doing Boy Scout-type activities and events and to foster their
eventual graduation from the Cub Scouting program to the Boy Scout
program. It is a highly successful program with many WEBELOS Cub
Scouts retaining interest in Scouting to become First Class Boy Scouts within
22 months of their entry into a Boy Scout Troop. WEBELOS Cub Scouts
are still a part of the Cub Scout Pack and may be broken up into separate
Dens for each year of the two-year "exposure period" and also may wear
the Boy Scout uniform with WEBELOS Cub Scout neckerchiefs, insignia
and blue shoulder loops to distinguish themselves from the rest of the boys
in the Pack as well as the boys in the Troop(s) they work with in accomphishing
their requirements. In some locations, the word "patrol" can be used instead
of "den" and in all locations WEBELOS Dens can use the Boy Scout Patrol
medallions and call themselves the "Eagle Den" instead of "Den 5" or "Den 7".
WEBELOS Cub Scouts spend the first year working on one or several of 20
activity badges under the leadership of a WEBELOS Den Leader and Assistants,
along with a Boy Scout appointed by a Troop to serve as Den Chief. Additionally
in Troops that have an ongoing relationship with a WEBELOS Den or with a
Pack, an Assistant Scoutmaster or a member of the Troop's Committee may also
work with the Cub Scouting boys while they are transitioning. During the first
year, WEBELOS Cub Scouts earn the fourth diamond-shaped rank badge called
the "WEBELOS" rank.
During the second year, the WEBELOS Cub Scouts attend more functions with their
"host Troop" or with Troops that they wish to join upon graduation and continue
to earn activity badges and other awards. The highlight comes when the WEBELOS
Cub Scout turns Boy Scouting age or graduates from the Pack to a Troop. This is
accomphished with a special ceremony, which folks have been looking here for
new ways to do that ceremony. At that time, the WEBELOS Cub Scout(s) no longer
are Cub Scouts, but become Boy Scouts (and we hope that they have earned the
Arrow of Light during this second year).
The "WEBELOS Badge" most of us remember was changed to it's present
name, the "Arrow of Light" at the same time. It remains, as was mentioned
in an earlier posting, the highest Cub Scout ADVANCEMENT rank and one
of the key items which can be transferred from the Cub Scout uniform to the
Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Explorer or (with the proper device, the square knot
representing it) adult Scouter field uniforms. The "WEBELOS rank" was
in the late 80s as part of the two-year "improved WEBELOS Cub Scout Program",
which also brought new designs for the activity badges and up-to-date
on the Arrow of Light, among other things.
The acroynm, thought up in the early 40s, does NOT presently stand
for "Wolf, Bear, Lion, Scout" as before; it stands for "WE'll BE LOyal
Scouts!". The WEBELOS program replaced the Lion Cub Scout program
in 1966 and became a part of the Cub Scout Program in 1967.
Hope this helps, and thanks, Ellen, for the reminder!!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 21st Theater Army Area Command
Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
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