Re: Troop Problem with Webe
Peter Van Houten (peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM)
Tue, 7 Mar 1995 10:18:32 -0800
Bob -- In response to one of your statements:
>> It sounds like there are too few leaders for too many boys.
Note -- the 30+ boys I'm referring too from my pack do not come from one den. T
hey are from 4 dens, my specific den is the largest, but I have 3.5 active assi
stants and a den chief. The other dens have at one den leader & two assistants
each. Interestingly in our pack availability of leadership is not the problem
Also, I expect each of these leaders who are involved now to be very involved at
the troop level. A majority of them want me to start a new Troop because of t
he attitudes they are getting from the Scout Masters.... now if they have the e
nergy and desire to do this wouldn't you think an established troop would want
to have them as ASM's. But no...they say go start your own troop. As a Scoutm
aster you realize that starting a troop from Scratch with brand new Webelos wou
ld become a 'Adult Led' troop, rather than a Boy Led, as there are no experienc
ed older boys. If I had the time and the desire I'd love to start a troop...bu
t can you imagine what other Scoutmasters would say when I (AND I WOULD) recrui
t their VERY BEST older boys to join our troop. I can think of at least 5 Eagl
es and 10 Life Scouts from several troops, whom I've known since they were youn
g boys who if I asked would seriously consider joining up with me. And believe
me this is not my ego speaking. How would you react as a SM if you lost
your SPL and ASPL and a couple of your Eagle JASM's to a startup troop? I would
expect you to be spitting nails.
So ... I come back to my original point. The separation between Cub Scouts and
Boy Scouts should not be a 'Us' and 'Them'. Troops should be encouraging Web
elos to see them in action. I realize in a perfect world you'd have an Adult (
ASM) whose only responsibility would be the Webelos transition, but it doesn't
always happen. And it's a wonder we lose so many boys after Webelos.
Another point regarding waiting until Dec/Jan/Feb to start interacting with troo
ps. Our second year Webelos (18 of them) have been trying to organize visits a
nd outdoor activities with troops since Jan, because noone wanted to talk to th
em earlier. Some troops respond with...You can only visit with x-weeks notice
, or this isn't a good meeting to come with because we're planning our next cam
ping trip, or call us in Feb when you've made the decision to join our troop.
(This one really got me...assumption that they'll join before they get a chance
Becasue of the limited time span to participate in a Troop activity I have a boy
whose parents called me last night and stated: The troop cancelled their outi
ng and my son needs a Boy Scout Outdoor Activity to complete his AOL. Our AOL
ceremony and bridge crossing is in 3 weeks. So now I'm calling SM's to see whe
re I can get him included. Here is an example of a boy who needs Boy Scouting
more than anyone else. He needs to be taught leadership and responsibility, be
cause he "Ain't" going to get it at home.
Seeing how I'm on such a Soap Box I have one more topic to address. Last week a
Webelos den leader told me that they visited a troop meeting where they were s
hocked at the level of swearing going on in the meeting by both the boys and th
e adults. In his description the swearing was more representative of (using a
cliche/stereotype) a US Marine Boot Camp. When they questioned it to the ASM,
his response was 'oh don't worry about it. It's harmless fun'. Needless to say
this is being brought to the attention of the DE. I would be interested in ho
w anyone else would have handled the situation or responded to this ASM.
In Scouting . . .
Peter Van Houten / E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City