Peter Van Houten (peterva@SOLAR.WV.TEK.COM)
Tue, 17 Oct 1995 08:09:27 PDT
To all webelos leaders . . .
I just posted a note regarding Webelos Woods for the benefit of Peter
F. In composing that note I expressed a thought I'd like to expand
on. That is checking out troops.
I'm sure that their may be some or many that disagree with me, but
just because your pack may be a so-called 'feeder pack' to a specific
troop, doesn't mean that that troop is the RIGHT troop for your boy.
In our final months as a Webelos leaders I've researched out aprx. a
dozen troops in and around our area. From that dozen I've narrowed
it down to 6 troops with different focal points, leadership styles,
and activities to introduce my boys to.
I met with the parents of my den and explained to them that we will
visit one or more troop meetings of each troop, and at least one
outdoor activity with each troop. I encourage them not to push their
boys into anyone specific troop, but to look at them all and then
let their boys decide which is best for them (the boys that is).
We have looked at troops that:
a. primarily tailgate campout, once a month.
b. hike alot, at least once a month, but do campouts once a quarter.
c. have a balance of tailgate and backpack campouts.
d. primarily backpack campout, once a month, with two family campouts
We have seen troops that:
a. are unorganized and need to have boys attend JLT & Polaris. (x1)
b. so-so organized and trained, but still have too much adult
c. very well trained and organized, adults doing what their
suppose to do. (x2)
d. a military type troop, where boy leaders screamed in other
boys faces about not having gotten permission to speak, and
where the Scoutmaster states that if a boy screws up he's not
allowed to go on the next campout, because scouts don't screw
We have seen troops with sizes from 14 boys to 124 boys.
We look at ratio of rank and ages...is there a spread of boys that
will be available for training and leadership over the next two
How many Adult leaders are involved and to what extent. Last night
we visited a troop that had 12 Assistant Scoutmasters, each with
very specific duties, none of which interfer with the boy running
of the troop.
Anyway, my point being is that boy interest vary, and that not all
troops are alike. If you remember your training, Policies are firm,
the Program is flexible. Let your boys experience multiple troops
so they can see and make an decision based on experience not
because dad or a friend joins that troop.
Oh, one final thought. After each visitation/campout we meet as
a den and evaluate the pros and cons of the troop. This is the
boys feedback, not mine, not the parents. I am compiling a
spreadsheet with this information so come January, the boys can
sit down with their parents and make the right decision for them.
Peter Van Houten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Technical Support Group
Video and Networking Division
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City