Differentiate Webelos ranks

Oh Great and Mighty programmers –

Can we get a new Cub Scout pack rank called “Webelos-AoL?” (Webelos Arrow of Light) - right now there is no way to differentiate between 1st year Webelos and 2nd year Webelos.

As specified… here…


Many thanks in advance


PS - Anyone know what the plural of Webelos is?


Just kidding.

@melissa will you please look into adding this. Thank you.

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I think it is like Moose. Singular and Plural are the same… That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.:slight_smile:

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I actually know this.

WE BE LOyal Scouts is Webelos. The abbreviation is already plural. It is the Scout and Scouts plural indication.


Originally it Was Wolf Bear Lion Scout. Lions went away - now are back.


I still like Webeli.

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Hello @njmike

This is definitely something we may look into doing. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Is it complicated?

I almost don’t care what the rank is called, but it’s important for us to easily see which dens will be aging out this year. Every year.

Without it, we can only rely on a mental note of “which Webelos dens will disappear this March” - and that is taxing.


The way we have all the achievements/awards in our system could make this a bit tricky. I could create a new “level” for AOL, which isn’t hard, but all the awards/achievements are set to be for the level Webelos. So for any scout with the level AOL, no awards/achievements will show up to add for them. I would either have to spend many many hours/days adding everything for AOL to achieve or code would have to be written to allow both Webelos and AOL to earn the awards currently in the system (and I know nothing about coding so a developer would have to do this). Another concern is how these changes would effect all the scouts in the system with the Webelos level. I talked to Dave the CEO about this and he is definitely interested in taking a look at the side effects and how he can add the level in our system. Something you could do is separate the AOL boys into their own “den” in TroopTrack for tracking purposes. I hope all this makes sense and I hope I am understanding what you are exactly asking for :slight_smile:

The AOL boys are already in their own Den.

But when looking at a Den or list of Dens, there is no indication what rank it is. At our pack, and apparently at many others, each Den is formed for incoming boys, and ranks up with them as they age up and out of the system.

This means that every year, I have to edit the rank of every Den. And without a new rank for these “level 2 Webelos” kids, I’d have to do something else, like change the names of every Den to also include their rank.

I’m sorry the Boy Scouts created a change that causes pain for the programmers. But as I noted earlier, they are “Great and Mighty” and I bet they might have some ideas on how to improve Trooptrack so the next time BSA makes a change like this it’s easier to implement…? :wink:

Thanks for your time, @melissa, it is appreciated.

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

As a work around - you can add a “AOL” to the Den name for those Webelos Dens. Den 5 - AOL, Den 6, Den 7 AOL

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I would prefer that the new rank simply be Arrow of Light to match the official BSA rank, not Webelos Arrow of Light. It’s still fresh in our minds, but in a few years no one is going to remember that Webelos used to have two ranks and its just going to be confusing.

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This exact question had been addressed in the 2015-2016 Cub Scout Program FAQs (see the second Q&A at the top of page 6):

Q: Are boys in the fifth grade referred to as Arrow of Light Scouts?
A: Boys who are earning the Webelos and the Arrow of Light ranks are Webelos Scouts and are members of Webelos dens.

We understand how it works now. This topic is to request that the Arrow of Light rank be added following the actual BSA ranks.

@LeeMcAdory, @njmike, @melissa:
It appears that two separate topics are being interwoven in this thread.

The first is the idea proposed by @njmike (and paraphrased by @melissa) to “. . . create a new [den] ‘level’ for AOL. . . .”

The second is from a follow-up post by @LeeMcAdory requesting the following: [quote=“LeeMcAdory, post:12, topic:2251”]
I would prefer that the new rank simply be Arrow of Light to match the official BSA rank, not Webelos Arrow of Light.

In regards to the first point, Scouts working on the ranks of Webelos or Arrow of Light are both members of Webelos dens (See my post above for a link to my referenced source). It would be in direct conflict with National’s guidance about the new Cub Scout program for TT to “split” the existing Webelos den level into separate Webelos and Arrow of Light den.

However, I’m unclear why the solution given by @MatthewPodraza of simply adding whatever additional info you may need to the den name would not work? And, as a related question, how was this similar issue addressed prior to the 2015 changes? FYI, I still refer to my Webelos dens as “Webelos I” and “Webelos II” and include it in each den name.

The other thing I’m unclear about is @LeeMcAdory’s comment: [quote=“LeeMcAdory, post:12, topic:2251”]
It’s still fresh in our minds, but in a few years no one is going to remember that Webelos used to have two ranks and its just going to be confusing.
How would this be confusing? Scouts working on Webelos or Arrow of Light use the same book (both in the “old” program and, now, in the “new” one); Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks share a common set of elective adventures; and, as I stated above, Scouts working on either rank are still members of Webelos dens.

@LeeMcAdory, from your dismissive “We understand how it works now” comment above, I gather you didn’t read the FAQs that I hyperlinked? I recommend that you do. They are very informative.

What is the point of having den ranks, if I then also have to modify den names to include ranks?

What’s the point of having an “Arrow of Light” classification if the boys are still Webelos?

If it was important for the BSA to note a difference, then why the resistance here?

Bob, I am trying my best to be professional here. Just because you are ok with using the old den rank names (Webelos I and Webelos II) doesn’t make it 1) right, or 2) what everyone else wants.

As of the new 2015 program the BSA has specifically broken out Webelos into two distinct ranks, Webelos and Arrow of Light. While they share the same book and adventures, the requirements are different and they are distinguished by different rank names. No longer do boys joining in 5th grade have to complete the Webelos I requirements before getting their arrow of light in Webelos II.

As I read the original request, njmike is requesting a new den level of “Webelos Arrow of Light.” My addition to the request was to simply use “Arrow of Light,” removing the “Webelos” from njmike’ request. I used Rank in place of den level, but they mean the same thing.

The solutions provided by others do get the job done (I use a similar myself), but they are a bandaid and don’t address the actual request or issue that we are facing.

Simply put, when we go to select a rank or den level, we would like to see some form of Arrow of Light added to the existing list of Cub Scout ranks: Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear and Webelos.

Like Thumper, if you have nothing constructive to add to this discussion, please keep it to yourself.

Hi Everybody,
First a reminder: be nice. This conversation is getting close to the edge of what I am comfortable allowing on our forums. Remember what a boy scout is.

Second: TroopTrack already supports the AOL “Rank”. What this conversation is referring to is not “rank” at all. It is the level (or type) of the den. To avoid confusion, please refer to it as level rather than rank.

Third, I will explain my objections to this idea. I am going to highlight key points.

In the BSA there are specific den types (i.e. Bear Dens, Wolf Dens, Webelos Dens, etc.). Membership in these dens indicates the types of awards a boy can work on. According to BSA, a boy who is in a Webelos den can work on the Webelos Rank and the AOL Rank. This is currently supported by TroopTrack.

When you change the level of a den, you aren’t changing its “rank”. You are specifying what type of den it is. For many levels, this maps directly to a single specific rank (Bear Den -> Bear Rank). For Webelos, this maps to two ranks: Webelos and AOL.

There is no such thing as an AOL den. I totally understand that many packs separate their webelos into two dens based on the fact that some of them are working on the Webelos Rank and some of them are working on the AOL Rank. Not everyone does this, and that’s an important thing to remember. Many packs leave their webelos together regardless of what they are working on.

As Melissa mentioned, the awards that are available to be worked on are set by the type of den you are in. Every award is assigned to a level, and it’s important to note that TT currently only supports assigning an award to a single level.

Let’s just say that I decided to implement this idea. Based on the important points I’ve highlighted above, I would have to do the following:

  1. Modify awards to support assignment to multiple levels
  2. Add a Webelos (AOL Only) level and associate all AOL awards to it.
  3. Add a Webelos (Webelos Only) level and associate all Webelos non-AOL awards to it.

Item #3 is necessary because many packs don’t separate their boys this way and will want to be able to continue having the boys mixed in the same den.

I estimate this change will cost me about $5000 to implement, and I expect it will increase the likelihood of a new customer becoming confused and possibly losing interest in purchasing TT. Anytime someone is asking for a change with that kind of financial impact, we push back a little bit, just to see how important the change really is.

~ Dave, TroopTrack CEO


Incidentally, I am considering adding a cost estimate to every feature request we get. I think that would help everyone understand our decision making process better.

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also… do you have a running list of ideas? I know we can search the forums, but it would be much easier of there was a sticky-post we could peruse to vote on, especially for new people that sign-up and don’t have time to read all the individual threads. (I know this is an extra administrative burden, but I’m guessing you already do something like this, so hopefully… not much extra work… I know you’re busy!)