Re: Webelos Woods
Stan Pope (StanDCmr@AOL.COM)
Sat, 7 Dec 1996 14:26:28 -0500
Good questions! In fact, those are the kinds of questions that the
new District Membership Chairman should ask! Congratulations?
In W.D. Boyce Council (Peoria, IL) Webelos Woods (BSA
Publication # LM33838) is a "Membership" function, not a
"Program" function. (This is probably not the case in all councils,
but it does make sense.) Further, responsibility for conducting
WW is assigned to the District... So, here in W.D. Boyce, the
District Membership Chairman takes the lead. To do this, either he
mobilizes his team of 30 or so membership committee members to
organize the event, or he calls on other branches of the district
operation, e.g. Program and Unit Service! But Membership is still
"in charge" and accountable for success.
WW can be an effective introduction into the parent's side of Boy
Scouting... if the program is organized that way. Parents probably
won't "get the message" if they just wander around and watch the
events. But if you have "training sessions" for them concurrent
with WW to explain what the boys are doing and why it is
structured the way it is and how Troops are supposed to function,
etc. perhaps they will get it. And, of course, you will have to
promote the training, or the parents will just wander around!
The WW as described in the BSA publication is pretty good. It
allows the organizer to assure that the role models are presenting
the best "boy led" impression possible. If the WW experience
were coupled with, say, a camporee, there are many different
impressions that they might get, and not all are consistent with the
message you need to get outl Also, the Webelos can "get lost in
the shuffle" if they are just part of the larger event.
We changed over from a "spring" transition/recognition program to
WW in the fall. This has had some growing pains, mainly in the
area of mobilizing the necessary Pack Leadership. Weather
induces WW to be early (September or October) in the program
year, so much of the communication and promotion needs to take
place during the prior program year, e.g. around April / May!
Fall Camporee might compete with WW for Webelos participation.
These should be spaced out a bit, too! Both are useful, but if they
happen on successive weekends, the parent may "force a choice!"
WW is one of the techniques available for improving retention thru
the Webelos to Scout transition.
Another retention technique is "tracking", in which every 5th grade
Webelos is accounted for. Don't let anyone fall through the cracks.
Assure that every one of those Webelos that didn't end up on a
Troop roster made a conscious decision that "I don't want to be a
Stan Pope (Lilchpin Elangomat)
A volunteer Scouter for W.D. Boyce Council, BSA, Peoria, IL
http://members.aol.com/StanDCmr/ with original material on
Pinewood Derby Design, Conducting Races, US Flag Retirement,
Pop Bottle Rocket Launcher, and Cub RT Rejuvination.
<<Date: Fri, 6 Dec 1996 09:50:05 -0600
From: Greg Plate 5 <olecgwp@LAFAYETTE.UNOCAL.COM>
Subject: Webelos Woods
<<I am interested in the experience of this group in conducting
a Webelos Woods program. Who takes the lead in making this
activity happen in your council or district? Does it make a
positive difference in making the transition from Webelos-to-
Scout better (ie more numbers, better prepared, etc)? If you
were to introduce a program into a council/district what are the
pitfalls? Comments or suggestions?
PS One more feature of I need feedback on - Is the Webelos
Woods effective in showing the prospective >parents< their role in
the Boy Scout program.>>
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City