2 year WEbelos - (was Re: Following the rules...)
Bob Haar (rhaar@ALBERT.CS.GMR.COM)
Tue, 2 Mar 1993 11:21:26 EST
>>IMHO, the 2 year Webelos program is about 6 months too long. Most of the boys
>>I've seen complete AOL in 18 months or less, are tired of the Cub Program, and
>>want to move on around January of the second year. I'll be a Webelos den
>>next year (with my younger son) and I'm shooting for graduation in 18 months.
> I agree on this point totally. The two year Webelos has seriously hurt
>my troop. We haven't gotten any new scouts from the pack in about three years
>now. All of the Cubs drop out in the year between First and Second Webelos. I
>don't know if this is just the pack, but we had been getting a good number of
>boys until the program was changed.
Several people have recently made comments similar to the
above. I was a Cubmaster when the two year Webelos program was
introduced and felt that it was a mistake at the time. But since
then, I have come around to liking it because it does work. If it
is used properly, it leads to more retention of scouts and a
smoother transition between cubs and scouts.
The "two year Webelos" program is only nominally two years long.
Realy work on the Webelos advancement and the Arrow of Light rarely
starts until September. Most boys can finish the AOL by December
or January of the following school year, That is just in time to
have an impressive bridge crossing ceremony at the Blue&Gold,
or at a March meeting if the B&G agenda is too tight.
In either case, the Webelos should transition into a scout troop
by March. This gives them time to get aclimatized to the troop
before the summer school break. Before the two-year Webelos
program, we were getting new scouts right at the end of school
who had never been to a troop campout and who wanted to
go to summer camp two weeks later. Not only was this often
too late to sign up for summer camp, but many of those that were
able to go did not have a good experience.
But making the Webelos to Scout transition work requires
deliberate cooperation between scout troops and Webelos leaders.
The Webelos should go camping with one or two troops during the
fall of the second year. We have found that the DIstrict Fall
Camporee is a good opportunity for this. Then the Webelos den
should vist a number of troops in the November to January
period. Afyter looking over several toops and experience
scout camping, they Webelos should be ready to intelligently select
a troop before the bridge crossing ceremony. For Webelos who
choose our troop, we encourage them start attending troop meetings
with their parents before the official transition.
If you work with this program, it helps prevent the big dropout
effect that we used to see over the summer between cubs and
scouts. But it does take work.
The only complaint that I have oabout the new Tiger/Cub/Webelos
plan is that BSA still doesn't let the boys camp early enough
or often enough. I hear over and over again from the boys (and
they are the ones who really count) that camping and outdoor
activities in general are what keeps them in scouting.
Chartered Organization Representative, Troop and Pack 188
BSA, Clinton Valley Council, Pontiac, Michigan, USA.
Chippewa Lodge #29, WWW
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City