scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: To bridge or not to bridge...
Robert Riley (Robert_Riley@TAX.STATE.NY.US
Wed Nov 24 1999 - 15:27:59 CST
<<" If the requirement for bridging says 6 months after
graduating from 4th grade OR 10 1/2 yrs. old, our "opinion" whether
this is too young to bridge into the Scouting program or not is really
unimportant. This guideline was set by the National BSA Board, so
obviously they feel it is a proper guideline. Certainly this question
has been raised before now and yet that guideline stands.
If the boy is active, has been active and is excited about Scouts,
it sounds like he is ready to bridge. As long as the requirements have
been met what is gained by holding him back?? Will it make him a better
Scout if he waits another 4 months, or will it just dampen his high
First off, those are minimal tenure requirements meant to prevent
some boys, parents and even leaders from pushing a boy thru
the program too fast. You've heard the term Eagle-Mills?
Well, Webelos-Mills would be just as bad.
The Webelos Den Leader and Cubmaster still have some discretion
that they can use. The requirements don't say, "If the boy has met all
of these requirements he must cross over".
Shauna, for most school districts (where the school year ends in June)
this means the cub will be in the pack at least till November. While
he may crossover we have to keep sight of what we're doing here.
This is not a race to get into Boy Scouts but, a program to help each
boy get as much out of Cub Scouting as he can. I can only speak for our
I believe units all over handle this in a variety of ways.
When the Cub Scout has achieved all of his Activity Badges and is
eligible for his Arrow of Light Award he is the cream of the crop in his
At this point, and actually since the last crossover - ours occurs during
our Blue & Gold Dinner in February, these boys are the senior
cubs in the pack. They have the most experience in the pack. Now, hopefully
they have been utilized as examples to the younger boys all along.
With all of their minimum requirements met they could now concentrate
on helping the pack and kicking back some, enjoying the fruits of their
as Cub Scouts.
These almost Boy Scouts could help out in the dens as Den Chiefs.
They could put on more elaborate entertainment at the pack meetings, maybe
showing some of what they learned during their tenure as Webelos.
They could be utilized in many ways to help the pack.
But, this could be a fantastic opportunity to allow them to put some
notches on their belts also. When they join the troop
they will be at the bottom of the totem pole, in a manner of speaking. They
"back in class" learning and sucking in as much as their sponge-like
brains will allow. By staying with the pack for just a few more months they
could be gaining some very valuable experience as leaders, in how to
deal with other boys from a leader perspective and how to work "with"
They could learn some lessons and tools that will come in handy once they
move into a troop.
This isn't all about climbing the ladder of success.
It's like what we say about our motorcycle rides :
"It's not about "where" we're going or "how fast" we get there that
... it's about "how" we get there."
Hope this helps.
Cubmaster and Webelos Den Leader