RE: Webelos - Scout transition
Sleezer, Jim (rhaar@ALBERT.CS.GMR.COM)
Wed, 14 Oct 1992 10:27:35 EDT
"Sleezer, Jim" <JHS8%OSUVM1.BITNET@ricevm1.rice.edu> said:
> This reminds me of another question. At a recent roundtable, there was
> discussion about the transition from Webelos to Scout. Several leaders
> suggested that boys should not move so early (i.e., in the spring) and should
> not go to camp the first summer. I had always seen spring as the *best* time
> to move to Scouts. I'm sure this will be a topic for further discussion;
> do any of you have comments to share?
We have tried it both ways, and bringing the Webelos into the
troop in the early spring works best by far.
The transition between Cubs and Scouts is a place where
we lose many boys. Even among those that sign up for a troop,
many an inactive and drop out in the first year. At our
last Roundtable, I heard the statistics that we have 2,000
cubs in our district, but only 700 scouts. And we have always
picked up a number of boys in the 11-12 age group that came to
scouts from the YMCA Indian GUides program. Clearly, we are
losing boys in this transition period.
Summer camp is a great place to build enthusiasm for scouting
and get the younger boys started on advancement. If they wait
a year before going to summer camp, it might be too late.
We have tried taking brand new scouts to summer camp and
have run into significant problems - mainly with integrating
the new boys into the social structure of the patrol/troop.
Taking in a few transfers who already have scouting experience
is not a problem, but 10 brand new scouts is. Because of this
experience, we no longer will let a a new scout go to summer
camp unless he has been active in the troop for two or three
In the last couple of years, we (at the troop level) have been
actively seeking out associations with a couple of Cub Packs
that are nearby. We visit meetings back and forth. We take
the Webelos den camping with us once or twice. Then we take part
in the bridge crossing for the Webelos that chose to join
our troop and bring them into the troop right away. The bridge
crossing is typically done at the Blue-and-Gold dinner in
February. The new scouts are then encouraged to attend the
campouts and other troop activities right away. This has worked
quite well to get them involved and interested.
By the way, we have five troops in our immediate community -
all good troops, but with different styles and programs. I always
encourage the Webelos dens to visit at least three of the
troops in order to pick the one that is right for them.
Chartered Organization Representative, Troop and Pack 188
BSA, Clinton Valley Council, Pontiac, Michigan, USA.
Ordeal member, Chippewa Lodge #29, WWW
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City