Webelos Summer Camp
PAUL SWEENEY (sweeney@SMTPLINK.CTA.COM)
Thu, 26 Aug 1993 14:33:21 EDT
To introduce myself, I am the Webelos Leader from Pack 7 in
Lowell, MA. I have been AWL/WL for the past five years as
well as Asst. Cubmaster for one. In real life ;-) I am a
computre/network/telecommunications specialist for CTA
INCORPORATED, an aerospace defense contractor.
Webelos at Pack 7 had a very unpleasant experience at summer
camp this year. In the past Webelos had a dedicated week at
Camp Wah-Tut-Ka in Northwood, NH (Greater Lowell Council's
summer camp) where only Webelos and staff were present. This
arrangement provided a great camp experience for Webelos and
adult leaders (including myself and my own sons). This year
34 Pack 7 Webelos (approximately 30% of total Webelos
attending summer camp this year representing over $6000 gross
revenue) attended concurrently with Boy Scouts with complete
physical and programmatic segregation and were made to feel
completely inferior. Accompanying these Webelos were four
Pack 7 adults who gave up their vacation time for the boys.
The problems we encountered included
inadequate activity areas especially Waterfront with many
sharp stones/rocks and very rapid dropoff restricting the
swimming area so much that Aquanaut swim tests could not be
administered. Staffing was also inadequate in that only two
staff members were initiailly assigned to the Webelos
program. The attitude of the staff, especially senior staff,
was that "Camp is for Boy Scouts" and that "Webelos must make
do!" The written program schedule was not followed due to
inadequate resources (as told to us by staff).
During the week our committee chairman, who has a son in the
Webelos program that attended camp, made a visit. Upon being
told of the problems, he determined that the
situation required extreme measures (this was later
supported by a unanimous decision of the Pack
Committee). He promptly scheduled an meeting with the Camp
Director and demanded immediate changes under threat of
removing all Pack 7 boys from camp (obviously a very
undesireable alternative!). Changes *were* made immediately.
Waterfront (the *main* one) and other activity areas were
made available to Webelos and resource availability was
improved. This action resolved the immediate problem.
The week following camp, concerned adults and leaders met
with the Council Camping Committee to air our grievances. We
were told the concurrent summer camp was unalterable. We
were told that the reason for this was because National was
mandating it. We also were told that there would be great
improvements over the next ten years (which does nothing to
address the problems of this year). There would be a new
swimming pool constructed as well as new campsites and
ancillary buildings. Other than promises to improve the
quality of the program, no specifics were offered.
I would like to ask: How do other councils run Webelos camp?
Does anyone know if National actually has a policy of
requiring totally separate facilities for Webelos and Boy
Scouts? (I thought Webelos were a transition into Scouts;
doesn't that seem to imply the opposite?) Any other
infromation or suggestions are most welcome and appreciated.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City