In 1941, Boy Scouts added the Webelos rank.
It was for a Cub who had completed his Lion badge and had also completed certain requirements for Tenderfoot, the first rank in Boy Scouts.
The Webelos badge at that time looked like the Arrow of Light badge we use today.
Back then, a scout would start earning ranks starting with Bobcat then work their way to Wolf, then Bear and finally Lion.
Ranks were not grade or age specific.
So, many would complete all the ranks before they could meet the age requirements to join Boy Scouts.
The Webelos rank was added to help keep the interest of the older boys until they could join Boy Scouts at age 12.
In 1948, Cubbing became Cub Scouts.
In 1949, the age level was dropped one year for both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.
In the 1950's, the badges were changed from felt to a twill cloth.
In 1954, a Webelos Den was created for boys 10½. The new Webelos Den badge was introduced as a dark blue "W" on a gold or yellow twill background and was worn on the right sleeve in place of the Den Number insignia.
In 1967, the Lion rank was eliminated and was absorbed by the Webelos rank, which retained the "Arrow of Light"-style badge design of the former Webelos Award and consisted of a new set of achievements and experiences to better prepare older boys for Boy Scouting.
The Webelos colors and activity badges were also introduced at this time, originally numbering 15.
Between 1967 and 1972, the Cub Scout uniform only displayed two diamond shaped patches, Wolf and Bear, side by side, with the Webelos rank badge on the pocket flap.
In late 1971 or early 1972, the old Webelos rank badge was slightly altered and was renamed to the Arrow of Light, with a significant change in the requirements.
In 1977, a new diamond-shaped Webelos rank badge was introduced.
When the grade-based rank system was implemented in 1986, 1st graders started as Tiger, 2nd graders as Wolf, 3rd Graders as Bear and 4th and 5th graders were Webelos.
Five new activity badges were added to the Webelos Scout Book in 1987, and the two-year Webelos Scout program became official in 1988.
In 2001, the current oval Webelos rank badge was introduced.
To be worn on the tan uniform like a Boy Scout rank badge.
Today, 4th graders generally earn the Webelos rank, and 5th graders earn the Arrow of Light rank.
A 5th grader must have been active in a Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old before they can join the Arrow of Light Den.
A boy or girl who is 9-10 years old or is in the fourth or fifth grade is a Webelos Scout.
Our Webelos program runs 18 months.
Generally, fourth graders work towards the Webelos rank, and fifth graders work towards the Arrow of Light Rank.
The goal of the Webelos program is to prepare Scouts for their later participation in the great adventure of Boy Scouting.
After your son’s Webelos Scout experience, and after he has completed the fifth grade or is age 11, or has earned the Arrow of Light rank and is at least 10 years old, he’ll be ready for more independence and adventure in a Boy Scout troop.
As a Webelo, your son or daughter will be part of a group of boys or girls of their same sex and age called a Den, which is part of a larger group called a Pack.
Within the Den, they earn recognition for their accomplishments.
All new Cub Scouts (exception Lions), must first earn their Bobcat rank before they can be awarded their Tiger, Wolf, Bear, or Webelos rank.
After completing the requirements for Bobcat, they may go on to complete the requirements and electives that are offered for their rank. The Bobcat requirements serve to orient a new Scout to the ideals and symbols of Scouting.
Each Den meeting and Den activity is led by a team of adult volunteers - the Den Leader and Assistant Den Leader(s).
Dens have six to eight boys or girls and meet two to three times a month.
Dens are seperated by sex.
Rank Advancement and Adventures
The uniform for the Webelos consists of:
- Blue or Tan class “A” shirt - Required
- If starting Cub Scouts as a Webelo, obtain the tan shirt with blue lapels.
- If graduating to Webelos from previous rank, the Blue shirt can still be worn. Especially if you iron on rank patches. Important, Do not iron on any previous rank patches to the tan shirt. The tan shirt is only meant for oval patches. They will be eventually using this shirt as a Boy Scout, which only has oval rank patches. The rank patches prior to Webelos are diamond. The iron marks from the diamond rank patches would not be covered by the oval patches. You can still display previous rank patches on the tan shirt by using the clear patch holder that hangs on the left pocket.
- When Webelos graduate and earn the Webelo rank patch, it is oval and is placed on the tan shirt. The tan shirt is then required for Arrors and beyond.
- Always wash inside-out to avoid fraying patches
- Neckerchief slide (Pack provides the Neckerchief) - Required
- Does not have to be the metal Cub Scout slide. Can be hommade or other
- Patches (Council Strip, World Crest, Den #, Pack # ) - Required
- Webelo Handbook - Required
- Colors and/or hat - Required
- Webelos do not earn belt-loops. They earn pins that can either be displayed on the Webelos hat or colors.
- Cub Scout Belt / Green Belt with Webelos Buckle - Optional
- Webelos can wear any belt since they do not earn belt loops. It is acceptqble for Scouts to wear their previous Cub Scout Belt to display previously earned belt loops. However, they are encouraged to wear the green belt with the Webelos buckle.
- Official uniform pants, shorts, or skorts, and Cub Scout socks - Optional