Re: Cub Scout peer pressure
Kem White (dkw@APLCOMM.JHUAPL.EDU)
Mon, 19 Aug 1996 13:31:24 -0400
At 10:46 AM 8/19/96 -0400, Kevin Woods wrote:
Wow, Kevin, there's a lot that could be said here.
> We have been experiencing a significant drop out rate between the
>4th and 5th grades.
My pack has not been experiencing this problem with Webelos. I've not heard
it mentioned at committee meetings in the 3 years I've been there.
We do lose boys after the first year of Cubs but not after the first year
of Webelos. My son has never mentioned peer pressure as an issue either in
school or on his sports teams when I've asked. Time-wise, one sport and Cub
Scouting is about the limit for a boy. Our pack does lose a lot of boys
going from Tigers to Cubs mainly because our Pack's Tiger program has not
always been well-organized. The Tigers and parents then think our Pack's
Cub/Webelos program is the same way when in fact the exact opposite is true.
> As far as the "bored" goes, I wonder if bringing boys in at the
>first grade level as tigers has contributed to this?
This may not be the root cause of your problem. The Tigers/Cubs/Webelos
programs are distinctly different even though they are under the
broad "Cub Scouting" umbrella. Perhaps a more fundamental problem might
be your Webelos program. You don't want your Webelos program to be just
more Cub Scouting. If it is, then the boys will get bored. It's amazing...
I noticed a huge jump in the capability of my den once they entered the
4th grade. Webelos can and ought to do much more.
I think your Webelos program must have a big outdoor emphasis
if you're going to keep 4th/5th grade boys interested. (Last
year, my 1st-year Webes went on two over-nights, the Klondike Derby,
a day-hike, and an all-day conservation service project. The first
overnighter was two weeks after we started meeting in September.) Our
pack also has at least one family camping weekend each year so that
even the Cubs can get a taste of the outdoors.
>I hope to be able to motivate the den leaders into doing
>a fall event and perhaps a sleep over type of thing during the winter.
Please do so and your ideas are a great place to start. A Webelos
leader should be getting his den outside much earlier than spring
of the first year. If your Webelos leaders haven't been to Outdoor
Webelos Leader Training then by all means send them. (Our pack pays the
registration fee.) They will learn how to ease their den into camping.
I don't think a lot of Den Leaders appreciate how *much* different
the Webelos Program is from the Cub Program. Furthermore, I don't
think a lot of DLs appreciate how markedly the responsibilities
of the leader change at the Webelos level. This is largely the fault of
Pack leaders and district training staffs who don't get the message
and expectations across until after DLs have agreed to be WLs when it's
too late. Den leaders who've never camped are then hesitant to start
once they become Webelos leaders. I think new DLs need to understand
early that if they go with their boys into Webelos, the program changes
and they will have to adapt their program accordingly. Packs may need to
encourage den leader/Webelos leader "combos" to maintain enthusiastic
and energetic leaders for the four years the den is together.
>Tigers is terrific for the 1st graders,
>but does anyone have thoughts (or specific figures) on how it affects
>then at the other end of cub scouting?
At last year's BAC PowWow, I attended the session on Tigers. I asked
the instructors (one of whom is on the National Cub Scout committee)
what percentage of boys who join as Tigers bridge to Scouts. They
said there was no firm data on this but they thought about
35 percent made it.
Kem White, Webelos Leader, Flaming Arrows Den, Pack 692
National Pike District Cub Scout Training Staff
Baltimore Area Council
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