Category Archives: Webelos
About 10 years ago a change was made in our OA Chapter that had our OA Crossover teams going to each Pack and conducting individual crossovers at the Blue & Gold Banquets. For the Arrowmen in our Chapter that meant that we had to visit 10-15 Blue & Gold Banquets and spend lots of time away from our personal lives.
Last year we made the decision to move to a single, district-wide crossover ceremony that would include all of the Packs and Troops in the district. Last weekend our Order of the Arrow Chapter Hosted our first District-wide crossover. We held it at our local Scout camp at the Council Ring and held a short reception after the crossover was complete for the new Boy Scouts and their families.
Overall, I think things went very well. We had 19 Webelos Scouts registered and 15 attended crossing over to 4 different Troops. We had close to 100 people in attendance. The whole thing would not have been possible without the efforts of a lot of people. In particular the Arrowmen of the Kittakima Chapter. Thanks to everyone that played a part in making it a great success. I can’t wait to see this event grow next year!
Webelos Woods has come and gone and I am quite sure that no one that was involved will forget it anytime soon. This year my wife, Suzette, served as the chairman for our district Webelos Woods. This was her first time to chair a district event and she did a great job. One of her main focuses was to turn the program back over to the Boy Scouts and let them plan and run the event. She succeeded in doing just that.
The first thing you have to understand about Oklahoma is that some of the weathermen in will do and say anything for ratings. No matter what the forecast they ALWAYS have an angle for death the destruction. If the temp is supposed to be 82° and sunny they will manage to find some way to relate it to disaster. With that said we watched the forecast all week long and made plans according to what we saw.
On Friday afternoon the weathermen started talking doom and gloom and our local Armageddon specialist, Mike Morgan and his bedazzled tie (he only wears it during bad weather), was really amped up. Being in charge of numerous lives it was decided to turn the weekend camping event into a Saturday day only and overnighter event. Even though our council recently installed 51 storm shelters across our council camps we felt inclined to error on the side of safety and stay home for the evening. Well they were right and a tornado hit the Norman area not long after the Friday night campout was canceled.
Saturday came and most of the people showed up and had a great time. We shortened the program on Saturday and left the camping option up to each unit. We had callout for the Order of the Arrow that afternoon and ended with a campfire. I am sure that most of the kids will not remember the events of the weekend but as adults it will stick around a while.
Last Saturday I spent my last evening as Cubmaster of Pack 163. I have been the CM since 2005 and have loved almost every minute of it. But following many great years my youngest son crossed over to Troop 168 and I passed off the reins.
Not only did my time as Cubmaster come to an end but so did my wife’s time as a Den Leader. She has been the Den Leader for Cameron’s Den since they were Tigers. At one point, her Den swelled to 22 Scouts but she finished with eleven and ten crossed over to the Troop. She has poured many hours of sweat and love into providing the best program she could for her boys. She is a great Mom, wife and Den Leader and they could not have asked for better!
It was a great night for our family. Our youngest, Cameron, left Cub Scouts and started his trail towards Eagle. My oldest son played a vital part in that event. Drew is the Chapter Chief of our Order of the Arrow Chapter and has been a part of the ceremony team since completing his Ordeal. Drew played the role of “the Mighty Chief” in the crossover ceremony. It was a very special night for us to watch our oldest son welcome our youngest son and the rest of his Den into Boy Scouts.
When my oldest son was a Webelos II and about to cross over to Boy Scouts, I wanted to do something special for him and his Den. They had earned their Arrow of Light award so we decided to make career arrows and plaques for each Scout that earned it.
When my youngest son and his Den earned their Arrow of Light we repeated the process. Here is how we did it:
To paint the career arrows we used the following color scheme:
- Bobcat = Blue
- Tiger = Orange
- Wolf = Red
- Gold Arrow Points = Gold
- Silver Arrow Points = Silver (one stripe for each earned)
- Bear = Light Blue
- Gold Arrow Points = Gold
- Silver Arrow Points = Silver (one stripe for each earned)
- Webelos = Navy Blue
- Activity Pins = White (one stripe for each earned)
- Religious Emblem = Purple
- Arrow of Light = Yellow
Beginning at the fletching (feathers) we left a small space and started with the Bobcat badge. Each rank was 1/2″ wide and arrow points and activity pins were 1/4″ wide. Between each I used a 1/8″ wide craft tape my son found at a local hobby store. I taped the whole thing and then painted it. I painted each rank and arrow point or activity award as he earned it. At the end closest to the arrowhead we filled the remaining space with yellow for the AoL. Each parent or guardian painted their own Scout’s arrow.
I also made plaques out of oak for each Scout to hang their arrows on. Another Dad from the Den and my wife, Suzette, were a big help with these.
The boys loved them and I had a blast making them.
About a month ago I came up with the idea of taking my son’s Arrow of Light Webelos Den camping in December. My hope was if we did then they would have the opportunity to earn a Polar Bear badge. This would also be the last time they would get to camp together as a Den before crossing over to the Boy Scout Troop.
So after getting the ok from the Den Leader (my wife) I emailed the idea to the Den. The Den has 20 registered Scouts but only 10-12 are curently active. Of those, we had five Scouts and four parents attend.
Going in we were not real sure if they would actually earn the Polar Bear badge since the weather looked like it was going to be warmer than normal but Mother Nature finally helped out. It got down to 26° and felt really cold since the weather had been so warm.
The Scouts did a great job of setting up and tearing down their own tents and helping setup and breakdown camp. They helped cook the breakfast which consisted of breakfast burritos and assembled a lasagna for lunch (which was really good). They went off on a hike by themselves and all five made it back to camp.
Most importantly, they got to bond as a group one last time. They will all be crossing to the same Troop but there will be more new Scouts than just them so this was their last hoorah!
So my family’s final campout with Pack 163 is part of history. We have been is Pack 163 since my oldest son joined Scouting as a Wolf in 2002. We had just moved to a new home and a new school system and he bugged his Mom to join Scouts until she caved. I was working evenings at the time so my involvement was very little. That changed in 2005 after I accepted the position of Pack Committee Chairman.
When I accepted the position there were still a couple of folks in the Pack the were accustomed to doing things the way that had always been done. One of those was at some point in time we were setup as a feeder to one Troop and only one Troop. We also never camped as a Pack as it was “too much of a pain and work”.
The following year I became the Cubmaster and I immediately changed both of those things. My attitude has always been that the Scout should go where he fits and where HE chooses. I was told that our Scouts always went to 123 Troop and the will always go to 123 Troop. Not on my watch! The year I took over the first Scout in years rebelled and joined the Troop we are now in today. The following year my son’s Webelos Den crossed 8 boys over to four different Troops.
That year I became Cubmaster I also offered the first Pack Campout in the spring. All of the old guard was gone and I finally had no resistance to it. I put together a flyer and a cheap price and sent it out to the Pack. The response was great.
That first year I began the tradition of performing the rank advancement ceremonies at the campfire on Saturday night. A lot of the Packs around us use Blue & Gold to do this but I have never been a real fan of it. The kids love getting them in front of the fire and the parents and Scouts have great memories.
A couple of years ago we added a campout for fall. I also started the tradition of running our Raingutter Regatta at the fall campout to promote attendance.
I can honestly say I am going to miss it. There is nothing like seeing the faces of the Tigers shine on their first campout. There is also nothing like seeing the Webelos that you have watched since they were Tigers put up their own tent and show a younger Scout how to do it as well.
So for the final time we have hauled out the chuck box and all the gear necessary to feed an entire Pack. I watched one of my son’s participate in a Raingutter Regatta race for the last time. For the last time I have participated in a campout with all of the Scouts of Pack 163.
Recently, my older son’s Troop took my younger son’s 5th grade Webelos Den camping. This was the third time we have taken these Webelos camping with us. The first two times we hosted them at Webelos Woods in the spring of 2010. They were bears at the time and about to become Webelos.
The weather on Friday night was great. The wind was howling like it typically does in Oklahoma so everyone was ready for it. And since the Troop was camping it was an absolute given that it was going to rain. The summer of 2011 was the hottest and driest on record here and by the end of the weekend the place we were camping at received 2” of rain and at home we received 4+.
The boys spent the weekend fishing. They caught several fish and earned the Fishing Belt Loop in the process. After lunch they spent the afternoon shooting water rockets made from soda bottles. They used all sizes and had a great time. Typically, you use a bicycle air pump to provide the power to shoot them. At some one of our Scouts produced an electric pump which took the event to a whole new level.
Finally, the rain arrived and due to the road conditions to the camp we were forced to bail early. The road at this camp has a tendency to turn to soup and digging two Troop trailers out of the mud just didn’t seem appealing.
Overall, the Webelos and the Boy Scouts had a great time. Hopefully we have convinced them that Troop 168 is the place to be.