There is no such scout as a Webelo. Webelos stands for We’ll Be Loyal Scouts. Without the S the boys are not scouts!
It is pronounced either “Weblos” or “We bah los”. But it’s the spelling which gets people in trouble…
WEBELOS is an acronym, according to the BSA’s public relations and media relations guides, and therefore should appear in ALL CAPS as written above.
The acronym, thought up in the early 40s, does NOT presently stand for “Wolf, Bear, Lion, Scout” as before; it now stands for “WE’ll BE LOyal Scouts!”. The WEBELOS Cub Scout program replaced the Lion Cub Scout program in 1966 and became a part of the Cub Scout Program in 1967.
The plural for WEBELOS is “WEBELOS Cub Scouts” because that is what they are: a part of the Cub Scouting program, not off on their own like Varsity Scouts are now. “WEBELOS SCOUTS” don’t “get it” because they are NOT “Scouts” but rather “Cub Scouts”. A big distinction which has led to some coming modifications to the program.
The WEBELOS Cub Scout program is a two-year transition aimed at gearing members toward doing Boy Scout-type activities and events and to foster their eventual graduation from the Cub Scouting program to the Boy Scout program. It is a successful program with many WEBELOS Cub Scouts retaining interest in Scouting to become First Class Boy Scouts within nine months of their entry into a Boy Scout Troop.
WEBELOS Cub Scouts are still a part of a Cub Scout Pack and may be broken up into separate Dens for each year of the two-year “exposure period”. They currently may also may wear the Boy Scout (khaki-tan) uniform with the WEBELOS Cub Scout neckerchiefs, insignia and blue shoulder loops to distinguish themselves from the rest of the boys in the Pack as well as the boys in the Troop(s) they are working with in accomplishing their successful transition. WEBELOS Dens can currently use the Boy Scout Patrol medallions and call themselves the “Eagle Den”, for instance, instead of “Den 5” or “Den 7”.
WEBELOS Cub Scouts spend the first year working on one or several of 20 activity badges under the leadership of a WEBELOS Den Leader and Assistants, along with a Boy Scout appointed by a Troop to serve as Den Chief. Additionally in Troops that have an ongoing relationship with a WEBELOS Den or with a Pack, an Assistant Scoutmaster or a member of the Troop’s Committee may also work with the Cub Scouting boys while they are transitioning. During the first year, WEBELOS Cub Scouts earn the fourth diamond-shaped rank badge called the “WEBELOS” rank.
During the second year, the WEBELOS Cub Scouts attend more functions with their “host Troop” or with Troops that they wish to join upon graduation and continue to earn activity badges and other awards. They are still under the leadership of the WEBELOS Den Leader and his or her Assistants and may still have a Den Chief assigned from a Troop or Team. The highlight comes when the WEBELOS Cub Scout turns Boy Scouting age or graduates from the Pack to a Troop. This is accomplished with a special ceremony, which folks have been looking onto various websites for new ways to do that ceremony. At that time, the WEBELOS Cub Scout(s) no longer are Cub Scouts, but become Boy Scouts (and we hope that they have earned the Arrow of Light during this second year).
This is the only Cub Scout advancement item which transitions to the Boy Scout, Varsity Scout or Venturing uniform. Adults wear the Arrow of Light square knot emblem which signifies earning this advancement. More on the Arrow of Light. It remains, as was mentioned in an earlier posting, the highest Cub Scout ADVANCEMENT rank and one of the key items which can be transferred from the Cub Scout uniform to the Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturing or (with the proper device, the square knot representing it) adult Scouter field uniforms. The “WEBELOS rank” was introduced in the late 80s as part of the two-year “improved WEBELOS Cub Scout Program”, which also brought new designs for the activity badges and up-to-date requirements on the Arrow of Light, among other things.