For the oldest Cub Scouts, the Arrow of Light (AOL) program offers 5th graders the opportunity to earn a patch that transfers to their Boy Scout uniform. By earning this recognition, a scout demonstrates he is ready for the next step on the boy scout trail.
During their last year in a Pack, AOL Scouts get a larger say in which adventures their den will do, and in leading their fellow scouts, both skills that will come in handy in Boy Scouts.
A boy that is new to Scouting in 5th grade does not need to earn any previous ranks. He can earn the Bobcat badge and then the Arrow of Light along with his den, even if he does not have the Webelos badge yet. If it’s important to him, he can put in more effort and fulfill the Webelos requirements during 5th grade also, without missing out on the adventures his den is doing for Arrow of Light.
He needs a Webelos handbook, Webelos neckerchief, and Webelos neckerchief slide. He will also need a blue Cub Scout Uniform or brown Boy Scout uniform.
Arrow of Light Advancement
AOL Scouts do adventures described in their Webelos handbook that advance them towards their Webelos rank. By completing seven adventures, the Webelos rank is earned.
Arrow of Light Requirements:
Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since
completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10
years old. (Being active means having good attendance, paying your den
dues, and working on den projects.)
Complete each of the following Arrow of Light required adventures with your den or family:
Building a Better World
Duty to God in Action
Complete three Webelos elective adventures of your den or family’s choosing from this list
Adventures in Science
Aware and Care
Build My Own Hero
Into the Wild
Into the Woods
Looking Back, Looking Forward
With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide and earn the Cyber Chip award for your age.*
* If your family does not have Internet access at home AND you do not have ready Internet access at school or another public place or via a mobile device, the Cyber Chip portion of this requirement may be waived by your parent or guardian.
There are a few major changes between the lower ranks of Cub Scouts and the Webelos and AOL ranks.
Advancement Sign Off – each Webelos scout is supposed to take his handbook to the den leader or assistant den leader for sign off when a requirement is completed. This is a change from having a parent sign off every activity. This change prepares the scout to have a Scoutmaster sign off each advancement requirement in Boy Scouts. There is more responsibility put on the scout to remember and bring his handbook to meetings and get it signed. His den leader will also enter his advancement information into our Pack’s advancement tracking software, known as Packmaster.
Webelos Adventure Pins – Tiger, Bear and Wolf scouts earned belt loops. Webelos earn pins which can be displayed on the Webelos Colors device. The Webelos Color device will be given to them when they earn their first pin. This moves closer to the Boy Scout merit badge system where recognition items are displayed on a sash.
More Electives – Webelos have two elective adventures and Arrow of Light has three electives. Individual scouts may complete different adventures at different times. This change gives the scout more control over his advancement and lets him choose areas he enjoys more.
Camping – Webelos and AOL dens Camp! Cub Scouts can camp as a pack, but Webelos and AOLs should go out as a den as much as possible to give the scouts opportunities to learn and use their new skills. Each Webelos and AOL scout needs to have an adult responsible for him on each camping trip.
Patrols – a patrol is just another name for the den but it does have some significance. Boy Scouts are organized into Patrols, each with their own name, flag, yell, leader, and emblem. As Webelos or AOLs, a den can begin to operate as a patrol and select an emblem for their uniform, make up a yell, name, and flag. This can really get the scouts to become a team. Taking their flag along on a campout or hike and announcing themselves with their yell is pretty fun.