Peter Van Houten (peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM)
Thu, 21 Oct 1993 11:38:07 -0800
Some very interesting points have been brought up regarding the idea I
conveyed to this group. First I would like to make something certain before
I jump into further discussion....This has NOT been implemented, it is only
in discussion as a possible means to retain the interest of 2nd year Webelos
in the Scouting program, specifically in Pack meetings that are dealing
specifically with the Cub Scout program (as they should be).
> A great idea in principle but a terrible idea in practice. Some
> Scouters will perceive this as you "making fun" of the JASM and the
> important role he has in the Troop operation.
Mike -- an interesting thought, one of which you would hope wouldn't happen,
but being human, perception is important and should always be considered.
Later in this message I make the note that maybe the title isn't correct,
maybe it should be named something else.
>I don't particularly like the thought for the following reasons: The Cub
>unit (the den) is not a particularly a boy run unit. It is an adult run
George... I do not disagree with your statements, and did not envision the
JACM as a leader position in which the boy would have any 'authority' over
the program. What I foresee the position as a , one a title which designates
an honor being bestowed on a boy, and two, a place in which the boy is used
as a helper, given specific instructions on what to do and how to do it.
>looking for in my opinion. Even the process of leading cheers, singing
>and assisting with the Cubmasters duties will require leadership training
>which I don't think at this point is appropriate.
I disagree with this statement. If you look at the Basic Leader Training for
Cub Scouts, the last section dealing with the Pack Meeting encourages den
participation. The boys should be up in front doing things (ie. skits,
songs, cheers) as this is the FUN part of Cub Scouting. Boys starting with
Wolf rank are placed as Denners (which is a Leadership position). Possibly
we should look at the position of JACM as Packer in the same light as a
Denner, who shows up early to assist the Den Leader and Den Chief in anything
necessary to put on the Den Meeting. How many boys are extra-proud when
they're the Denner. Sometimes too proud, and get a bit power-hungry. So we
give them directions and guide them in this Leadership position. As a
Packer, the boy is there to assist in the same fashion as a Denner with the
same close adult supervision and guidance.
> My take is that the WEBELOS program is designed to prepare the boys
> for Boys Scouts. This means giving them experience and skills to work with
> other boys in a patrol setting-- not leadership skills. You are skipping a
> step in the process. They will get the leadership skills in Boys Scouts.
Charley -- I have to disagree with your concept. The 2nd year Webelos
program is a time for transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. During this
time they are still working toward functioning as a team, but they're
starting to look at how a patrol works. Often times a Webelos den will
assume a name rather than a number, similar to a patrol. When they
participate a the Camporee, they need to not only work as a team, but
recognize and follow one member as a leader. You referred to 'crawling'
before 'walking', well I believe this is the crawling/standing stage. Too
often I've seen where Webelos are crossed-over into 'New Patrols' in a Troop
(bear in mind this doesn't happen everywhere and is not how the program
should work) and one boy placed as the patrol leader, with no guidance. So
what happens is the boys don't always get the information they need, they're
not as organized as others, and may fail. If this happens you stand to lose
boys who drop out.
Bottom line is that my concept is not attempting to underscore the process of
leadership at the Boy Scout Level, but provide an opportunity for boys, who
by the 2nd year Webelos 'Already have done it all', to be involved and
maintain their interest level. Look at the statistics...how many boys are we
(you, I and the rest of the Boy Scout Program) losing between 2nd year
Webelos and Boy Scouts! Too Many! The philosophy of 'Well, if the Boy Scout
Program is exciting enough the boys will come.' is not enough. Boys are
lost during that transition year, that 2nd year Webelos, before they really
get a taste of Boy Scouts. And No, I'm not advocating earlier transition,
they're too young. Do I have an answer? No, but at least I'm looking at the
alternatives and evaluating what is availble to keep boys interested.
Thanks for sharing your views....
Peter Van Houten
Snail Mail: 7225 SW 160th
Beaverton, OR 97007
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City