Re: "Ownership" of Scouts
Norman J. MacLeod (gaelwolf@SSNET.COM)
Fri, 29 Mar 1996 16:40:01 -0500
You posted -
> In our district, we request all the troops invite the Webelos from a local
> pack to join them at our Fall Camporee. This is early enough so that the
> Webelos have time to aquaint themselves with the troop and they can also
> visit with the other troops at the camporee. We have had mild success with
> this program. The most difficult part is creating activities that the
> Webelos can participate in as well as the Scouts. OTOH, we have found that
> doing this also provides more dicerse activities at the camporee so that no
> matter what experience each troop has there are activities to occupy them at
> the camporee.
When the BSA Troop I work with goes to Camporee or Klondike Derby, we welcome
any and all Webelos from our "catchment area" in the District who wish to
participate with us. Those that come are integrated into our existing Patrols
and participate as full members of their assigned or chosen Patrol for the
entire weekend - doing the camp duties (paired with one of the Patrol's
Scouts) as well as taking part in the fun things.
They love it.
We also participate in the Cub Fun Day and Webelos overnighter every autumn.
There are usually two or three other Troops from different areas of the
District that do this.
This means that we frequently will have a fair number of the Webelos from a
Pack joining our Troop, which is growing rapidly as a result. The only way we
can manage to continue our growth is to "capture" as many parents as possible
for leadership, Committee, and helper positions. So far so good.
We are, however, encountering some resistance, bordering on near bitterness in
one case, from Troops that are not welcoming Webelos into their activities the
way we do. Being perceived as "poachers" is not pleasant, but we will continue
promoting ourselves in this manner, since it is mostly passive in character,
and we are only advising the Packs that we are available for this type of
"visiting" and promotion of Scouting for their Webelos.
At the same time, we encourage the other Troops to do the same. If they do not
wish to, then I feel that is their own look-out, since we all have the same
opportunities for effective recruiting.
It doesn't hurt, of course, that we can tell Webelos and their parents the
highlights of our programme well into 1998...
> We are still working hard at selling this idea to all the troops in the
> district. Some consider themselves too busy to be hassled with this extra
> work. I try to explain to them that along with recruiting new Scouts for
> the troop, they are also recruiting new Scouters for the troop! That would
> make it easier for them in the future so it is worth the effort now. Even
> if each troop invited the Webelos from a pack to join them, some Webelos
> would still not get an invitation since there are more packs then troops.
If a Troop considers itself to be "too busy" to be at least peripherally
involved in the Cubs' programme through the year, I feel that the Troop in
question ought not be overly resentful when more considerate and helpful
Troops gain that year's linking-up Cubs.
Since we have managed to refine the "trick" of getting parents to help, we
could very well survive in an environment where there are more Packs than
Troops, since we present ourselves as being open to any Webelo whose family
wishes to bring their son to us for his Troop experience.
I believe, though, that the Troops that do not promote themselves need to get
off the stick and set about building their programme into something that the
Cubs will hunger to join. Perhaps some training and more effective leadership
from District would help in some cases?
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