RE: Webelos Badge -- what does it mean?
(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 16 Oct 1992 10:37:02 CDT
This is not about the WEBELOS BADGE...it is in reply to Jim Sleezer's
question about the best time for Webelos Cub Scouts to become Scouts.
Any time a Webelos Cub Scout becomes eligible to become a Boy Scout, there
should be a ceremony to celebrate that fact and he should be a Scout that
evening! We shouldn't wait for the Webelos to "gain ripeness" and sit
around until spring just to please some that don't want the newbies around
for "significant events".
We have to remember that Scouting is *not* a sport. It is a program of
leadership and personal growth and Scouts like all of us, grow at different
rates and different levels. By refusing new Scouts (and that's what ALL
new Scouts, even those from WEBELOS Dens are...*new scouts*) until some
"safe time" keeps them from "jumping into the program and loving it!"
I personally feel that is why we lose 300-1000 WEBELOS Cubs per District
each year....not because they "don't want to become Scouts"; they DO or
they wouldn't become WEBELOS...we lose them because some wiseperson
decided that we "would graduate them all into the troops at the same time
so that we would all have a equal footing".
We need to get those engertic Webelos Scouts into our Troops RIGHT AWAY!
As a former Scoutmaster, I used that rule of thumb in getting new WEBELOS to
join our Troop. Never mind that "he's too inexperienced to go to Summer
Camp". He *would be* if he was a newbie...never been in Scouting before!
So, what's the difference?? I look at it as getting someone that knows the
Scouting program...someone that even knows where the local Council camp is
(because of the Day camp and the WEBELOS Camp there)..someone that has been
in a "group setting"; as opposed to a brand-new Scout that could not even
tell you what color the Scout uniform is. I spent more time with the
"Newbies" and less time with the "transferees" because of that factor.
I feel, Jim, that there are several at your Roundtable that are scared of the
influx of "new kids". I betcha that they only have "round-up" or "recruiting
nights" once a year too......that is a terrible attitude to take as far as
Scouting is concerned. Scouting is not like school, whereby you get a group
at the start of the year and work with them intensively throughout the year and
then take them for the their "finals" at summer camp. Scouting is supposed
to be flexible for you to start out with the fourteen new scouts and get more
throughout the year and those that you started out with train and get the
new ones up to speed before Summer camp starts.
I would take a new Scout two days before summer camp starts. There's lots of
things even the brand-new Scout can enjoy during camp and makes him feel that
this is "not really hard to do...a new set of clothes, some rules, and some
classes on how to fish or swim. I love it!"
I knew of a Scoutmaster many years ago in my old hometown of Fort Knox, that
did that exact same thing. He started off his year with the Scouts that he
recruited during School night for Scouting. He added two or three more.
Those were the ones that he worked with throughout the year as he took them
to the fall camporee, the spring camporee and a winter campout.
By the time he got ready to take them to summer camp, only four or five
really wanted to go...the others "got bored of seeing the same guys all of the
time...it was nothing after a while" and in one kid's case " after everyone
finished being all of the leaders, you really don't want to boss each other
around...you get to know everyone but you don't get to do the (fun) stuff
like telling new Scouts to make the fire or singing songs or all of that (good)
Get those Webelos Scouts in the Troops as soon as THEY are ready, not when
the adults say they are ready!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City