Re: Webelos to Boy Scout transition
(no name) ((no email))
Fri, 30 Oct 1992 15:51:18 CST
That "once a year" graduation makes for great memories and for great copy
for the papers, BUT......you're robbing that WEBELOS's opportunity to move
upward and onward into Scouting.
In MY opinion, that's what wrong with our transition program! We rely on
this "graduate them all at the same time" deal and expect ALL of the WEBELOS
to have the same enthusiam that they did when they were ready, two, three,
in some cases, seven months ago.
When a Cub Scout was ready for his movement into a Troop, both Troop and Pack
worked together to make that transition happen. We did it WITHOUT "WEBELOS
Resource Person"s, without a standardized transition plan. WE as Scouters
*knew* which boys were ready for the move and which could benefit from waiting
a month or two for the transition to take place.
This transition ALSO involved the parents of the potential new Scout. THEY
had to do the "shopping around" for the new unit...NOT the PACK NOR TROOP.
In this manner, the parents got to decide (along with the new Scout!) which
program was best for his interests and which Troop to belong to. You knew
as a Scoutmaster that you're not doing a good program when the "well started
to dry up" and WEBELOS stop coming to your Troop. As a Commissioner, I would
tell Scoutmasters of those units to try another approach and to come to
Roundtables to see what it is that is attracting those "experienced members
of our program" to the other Troops.
Today, we urge each Troop (despite the new program and the "new positions")
to "strike out on their own" and not to care about the WEBELOS coming into
the Troop. They don't come anyway, so it kinda makes sence to go out there
and build your Troop on new members that WILL come to your Troop.
The once a year ceremony (usually done at a camporee or Scout show) to
move the old WEBELOS into the Troops is silly at best....like I said in my
introductory paragraph, it *does* make for a beautiful ceremony and great
copy for the papers. It fails to do what the intent of the graduation ceremoney
is intended to do: to recognize the achievements of ONE or TWO (usually no
more than two on a given month!) and to say "good bye" to them FROM THE PACK
(not the district or the Council) to Troops that want and welcome them WHILE
PART OF A COMMUNITY PACK MEETING.
That is like waiting for spring to present ALL of the Eagle Scout Badges at
the District Camporee, even though Scouts may have earned them in the fall!!!
*How many* Eagle Scouts would hang around until then to be "publically
recognized"?? More importantly, and what we are talking about here, how many
Eagle Scouts would be willing to continue their service to Scouting AFTER this
I realize that a lot of people have attempted to "patch this problem" in many
ways; but, the waiting is what is tearing up the continuity of the program.
We should always treat our WEBELOS Cub Scouts like we do their Scouting
counterparts in the Pack and the Troop....we recognize as soon as possible and
we make it meaningful AND INSPIRINIG as to retain their interest in the
program AND THE UNIT!
(yeah yeah...its friday...)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City