A good discussion of most common questions about Webelos to Scouts transition at Ask Andy:
The Webelos bridge crossing ceremony is to publicly show the transition, or crossing over, from a Cub Scout pack to a Boy Scout troop. At one side of the bridge is the pack he’s leaving. On the other side are the representatives of the troop he’s chosen to join (always the Scoutmaster and most often the troop’s Senior Patrol Leader—the highest-ranking youth leader of the troop—too). They usually present the new Boy Scout with his new troop’s neckerchief and slide, and often his BOY SCOUT HANDBOOK, too. The paperwork’s already been done, and the new bond is sealed with the Boy Scout handshake.
Then, at his very first troop meeting, this new Boy Scout (and, hopefully, his entire den of friends as well) are recognized in an investiture ceremony and shake hands with every Scout in their new troop. A new adventure has begun!
A couple of my own thoughts and hints on the logistics of a Bridge Crossing Ceremony;
- There is no official ceremony that must be used- the content of the ceremony is at the discretion of the pack.
- A real bridge is nice, but not terribly important – any representation of a bridge is just fine.
- The ceremony should be meaningful but not excessive (general notes on this here and )
- Don’t leave the arrangements till the last minute – make sure that the Troop participating understands their part and the Webelos understand theirs.
- Remember the Webelos leader. A token of recognition from the Webelos before they cross over is a nice touch.
- If the Cubmaster has not contacted you about the particulars of the ceremony contact them. Some Packs need a little help bringing this together.
- In my mind the Scoutmaster, SPL and the new Scout’s Patrol Leader should be there at a minimum. I have had six or seven Assistant Scoutmasters and youth leaders present before.
- Prepare and distribute a flier to the parents explaining specifically ‘what happens next’ from their perspective and to the new Scouts from their perspective. As soon as the meeting ends meet with the parents and have your youth leadership meet with the new Scouts.
- Remind new parents to review and discuss the youth protection section of the Scout Handbook with their sons before the next Troop meeting so they can complete the Scout Badge requirements.
- We present our new Scouts with a Troop neckerchief, Scout Handbook, Red Shoulder Loops and Troop number patch at the ceremony. This assures that every new Scout has all he needs to transition his uniform simply. He will also be ready to get his Scout Badge of Rank at the next Troop meeting.