This spring Webelos from Cub Scout Pack 55 and around the country will cross over to Boy Scouts. To be sure, Boy Scout Troops are very different from each other, and picking the right one isn’t easy. To assist with the process I have found great resources on BoyScoutTrail.com and USScouts.org, but there’s more out there.
My favorite question is “What’s the one thing that most sets your Troop apart?” That said, the following are some of the questions I plan to ask when it’s time for our boys to cross over:
What is the general personality of your Troop?
How many Scouts are in the Troop?
How many new Scouts have you had each year over the last couple of years?
What is the age distribution of the boys in your troop?
Are your boys primarily from one school or from a number of schools?
How much diversity is there in the Troop?
How many adult leaders assist with Troop meetings?
What happens at most Troop meetings?
Can you tell me about the Scouter training the Troop’s leaders have taken? Are any of your Scouters Wood Badge trained?
How often does the Troop meet, and on what nights to they meet? Do they meet in the summer?
How big are your patrols?
Campouts and Camp
How many campoouts are conducted each month?
Where are monthly campouts taken?
What are your recurring/yearly trips?
How many Scouts on average attend weekend campouts?
How many adults on average attend weekend campouts?
What summer camp does the Troop go to? Does the Troop go to winter camp?
Does your Troop to any service projects? What are some examples?
Leadership and Advancement Style
Is the Troop Scout- or adult-led?
Is there a dedicated track to assist younger Scouts advance in their first years with the Troop, like a “Trail to First Class” program? Can you describe it?
How do the Scouts proceed through the process of selecting, conducting, and having work approved for Merit Badges?
How many Scouts have earned Eagle in the past 3 years?
High Adventure Bases and Jamboree
Logistics and More
When the Troop camps, do boys use the Troop’s tents or their own?
What supplies can/does the Troop provide or have available?
Besides a uniform, what supplies will I need?
Is there an opportunity and support to pursue religious awards, patches, and medals?
How much parent involvement is expected?
Does the Troop do any fund raising? What is expected from each boy?
Of course, each of these questions will be more important to some parents and boys than others, but I’m confident my boys and l want to know the answers to each of them.
Other Webelos Crossover Resources
The best resources I have found on the Crossover process include:
Webelos to Scout Transition: A Parent’s Guide, prepared by the Potawatomi Area Council, and edited for the Longs Peak Council.
Boy Scout Trail’s Troop Questions
Franklin, Tennessee Troop 135’s How Do I Select a Boy Scout Troop?
US Scouting Service Project’s What to Look for in a Good Troop
Scoutmaster CG’s Podcast on Webelos to Scouts
Scoutmaster CG’s Webelos to Scouts
Boy Scout Trail’s Hints for Webelos Leaders
Naturally, if you find additional questions or resources our Webelos and their parents/guardians can use, please let us know. And use these questions as your boys cross over — you’ll be glad you did.