[RE] Webelos transition to Boy Scouts (long)
John Economides (JohnEcon@AOL.COM)
Tue, 1 Oct 1996 11:41:27 -0400
Rick - it so happens that I put together a handout to be
distributed at Roundtable on this subject. I am including
the text of this - you'll have to reformat it to make it pretty.
Some of this is Council & District specific, but your group
should have some corresponding events. Feel free to use
it or ignore it!!
Scoutmaster, Troop 55
Downers Grove, IL
"I used to be a Bear ..."
Webelos to Boy Scout Planning Suggestions
This idea list is designed for Webelos den leaders (both years)
to use in planning for preparing their boys to be able to enter
Boy Scouting. These ideas are gleaned from being both a
Webelos leader and a Scout leader, as well as many
conversations with Webelos and Scout leaders about the
difficulty of bringing Webelos from Cub Scouting into
Boy Scouting. Since the statistics show that only about 50%
of Webelos make it into Boy Scouting, making the transition
work can take a lot of effort.
The most important thing to keep in mind is VISION.
The boys and the parents must BOTH know what lies
ahead in Boy Scouting. Unfortunately for you, the Webelos
leader, you probably do not have first hand experience in
the Boy Scout program (unless you were a Boy Scout).
The best way for you and your boys and parents to learn
about Boy Scouting is to spend time with Boy Scouts
(and their leaders). So without any further explanation,
here are some ideas: (use them as you see fit)
Joint Campouts and activities:
Spend as much time camping with Boy Scouts as possible.
The District Rendezvous is the perfect opportunity to camp
with a Troop - make plans NOW! Also, each Troop should
have a published calendar of upcoming campouts - ask
your favorite Troop (or three) for a copy, and ask if you can
tag along on a campout or two. If your Pack does a
Pack-O-Ree day event or campout, ask a Troop to help
you run it, or to put on a special Boy Scout type activity
at your Pack-O-Ree. Ask a Troop to help you run a special
Pack meeting (Pinewood derby, Space Derby, etc.).
Start early! Visit at least 2 or 3 Troops, and your favorite
Troops more than once. Here are some ideas on what to
look for: Is the Troop run by boys? (or adults) - a good
Troop should be boy run (it may be a little rough around the
edges, but that s how they learn; Do they have monthly
campouts or activities? - year round; Do they have good
attendance at Summer camp? ; Do they have a High-Adventure
program? (activities for older scouts) ; Are the youth leaders
trained on a regular basis? ; Do the boys plan and run
the program? ; Are the Scouts respectful and disciplined? ;
Are Scouts advancing regularly? ; Are there many Scouts
in the higher ranks? ; Does the Troop have many Scouts
drop out each year? ; Is the Troop growing, and are the
Scouts excited? ; Are the adults involved and well trained? ;
you can begin to get the idea! Attend a Court of Honor
(awards ceremony) or two - and bring the parents of your
Webelos with you (bring them to Troop meetings as well).
Ask for a Troop newsletter (get on the mailing list), if the
Troop has one, and pass them on to parents.
Other Troop interaction:
Ask for and use Den Chiefs (Boy Scouts who help run
Den meetings). Get to know Troop leaders by visiting with
them at Roundtables. Ask questions about the Troop program.
Find out about Summer Camp, tell your boys about it, and
make sure the parents know about it.
Attend Boy Scout Basic Leader Training as early as you can.
This will fill you in on the basics of Boy Scouting, and enable
you to start training your Den to start functioning like a Patrol.
When you learn about the Patrol Method , and learn about
how Boy Scouts are to lead amongst themselves, you will be
able to steer your Webeloes in that direction. At the very least,
buy and read the Scoutmasters Handbook - this will answer
many of your questions! Attend Roundtables and spend more
time with the Boy Scout leaders as your Webelos get closer
This is a fairly new concept (National recommends it),
and our Troop has had EXCELLENT results. Plan to finish
your Webelos program (Arrow of Light award) by your Blue & Gold
dinner (in February). This is a great time to have a Boy Scout
crossover ceremony. The new Boy Scouts will have 3 or 4
months functioning in a Troop environment before going to
Summer Camp. This is important, because going to camp
really cements a boy into Scouting like nothing else will.
Some Troops don t take new Scouts to camp the first summer
because they think that they are not ready yet - however, if they
join a Troop early, they will be ready! Another reason to transition
early is that it is not a natural time for a break. Most Packs
go to a minimal program, or stop entirely for the summer.
We lost several Scouts over a summer when they came into
the Troop late, stopped for the summer, and never started again.
I can practically guarantee that Scout leaders are willing to talk
almost forever about Boy Scouting. So, if you have questions,
feel free to call me, or contact any other Boy Scout leader that
you know. Feel free also to call the Council office and seek
input there as well (that s why they re there!).
Yours in Scouting, John Economides - Troop 55
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City