Re: Cub to Boy Scouts
Jim Sleezer (JHS8@OSUVM1.BITNET)
Tue, 6 Jul 1993 09:37:27 CST
John (and others)<
Transition from Cub to Scout is one (of many) of my favorite topics.
As a boy, I always knew which troop I would join (it was a family tradition
--my dad had been SM for many years before I was born and a few after. Mom
had been a den mother *correct title then* for several years before I arrived
and until I graduated from Cub Scouts). It worked well for me and I had
a great time as a Cub and as a Scout. Eventually, when the SM resigned one
spring day and the troop committee decided to not find a replacement until
fall, I couldn't stand a summer without Scouts so went to another troop.
That worked well too.
Anyway, as a cub leader, I always encouraged the Webelos den to visit more
than one troop and more than once at a unit. When my younger son was going
to graduate, his Webelos leader announced that he thought the boys would
join Troop A. My older boy was in Troop B (and was a den chief along with
another Scout from Troop A). They weren't even going to visit Troop B--
they had gone to the camporee with Troop A and they were great! I suggested
that the decision should not be made for the boys, but that they should make
visits to both, and even to Troops C and D. Well, they did visit both Troop
A and Troop B. Surprise, the boys chose Troop B. To top the story off, my
sons decided that they really liked Troop A better and the older boy asked to
transfer to Troop A. For them, Troop A turned out to be a real winner.
The cub logic in choosing Troop B was that they played more games and had
more fun--the one night they visited the troop played two fun games (and
none related to Scouting). Troop A was doing a special project and so did
not play any games the night the boys visited. (It was a very poor night
to visit but no one coordinated schedules!!)
I found out that the reason my son wanted to transfer was that he had entered
a special program at school and many of his friends in that program were in
Troop A (and he fit with that group).
I suggest that cubs should not routinely join any troop. Further, they
should not necessarily all join the same troop. Each should make his own
decision based on his needs, not the "need" to keep the group together.
I had one Webelos den which split between two troops. Both groups flourished
but the boys who visited only one of the units were not active a year later.
Boys who visited both and made a choice remained active longer.
BTW, be sure the troop knows you plan to visit (plan a few weeks in advance)
so that you won't visit for those *occasional* dull, boring meetings.
Troops need to be prepared for Webelos visits. As a minimum, the visitors
need to be recognized and introduced. Hopefully, they can be included in
the meeting's activities. I was extremely impressed when (as a cub dad) we
visited a troop (without notice--the Webelos leader didn't realize that it
was important to tell the troop we were coming) and although there were
five adults there working with the unit, within a few minutes (as the result
of the SM's phone call) six more appeared to discuss the unit with the
parents and help make the new scouts feel welcome. The Webelos were warmly
welcomed (with fresh cookies and punch at closing) and left the meeting with
a really good feeling about joining the troop. This unit regularly got a
nice crop of new Scouts each year (16 from 5 different packs the year my
All in all, let the boy match himself to the troop for best success.
Friends need to be with friends, units have different personalities and
boys need to fit them. --Maybe this would have helped alleviate the
problem of the troublesome scout we have been discussing the last week
My next horse is the transition ceremony . . . . . (another day)
Roundtable Commissioner, Pawnee Bill District, Will Rogers Council
JHS8 at OSUVM1.BITNET JHS8 at VM1.UCC.OKSTATE.EDU (Internet)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City