Kirk Barley (kbarley@EROLS.COM)
Sun, 2 Feb 1997 12:42:03 -0500
Sounds like a great program, I wish that I could have done so well as a
Cub leader :-O!!!!!!
I'm not current enough with the Cub guidelines to critize your program,
EMPHATICALLY I'm not! I'm just addressing your example with a caution
for the list. Please keep up the good work!
I don't know whether this applies to your program, but as a general
I remember research from National that seemed to show that a too
aggressive Cub program, especially the outdoor aspects, resulted in
fewer boys completing Boy Scouts. By accelerating the development
(appreciation & experience) of boys, they felt that there was nothing
for Boy Scouts to offer and they dropped out after their first year,
missing all of the positives of moral and leadership development. I
don't know if I'm accurate on my paraphrase of this topic, whether it's
just that the Cubs are presenting such a superior program and that the
BS haven't caught up or that my recollection is wrong. But we must look
at the whole program and set Eagle as our endstate. Having boys do
beyond their developmental state may feel like the greatest Bear,
Webelos or Star program the world has ever seen, but could result in a
program failure eventhough the leader feels wounderfully successful.
If you are doing your program within the guidelines of the ages of your
youth and you are safe, you are setting new levels of achievment for a
Cub program. But please review to ensure that you are not achieving
more because you are doing things too early. It is easy to run an
aggressive Webelos program since it is run by adults and the boys are
happy to do anything. When they transition to having to run things by
themselves, have conflicts with each other and their academic and sports
agendas and have to make a transition from being the oldest to the
youngest they become easily discouraged. To them it looks like the
Troop is not run well, they're frustrated that things aren't done for
them anymore, can't understand why tasks are undone or not considered
and don't like being given the menial tasks, they're AOL after all. And
yet, the Troop is being run as Baden Powell designed it, for boys to
fail, learn, fail, learn and succeed. To succeed though, they must stay
around long enough to fail a couple of times, and statistics seem to
show that the boys (general, not the anecdotal 12 year old Eagle) who
had the most aggressive Tiger, Cub and Webelos programs drop out.
Hoep this is helpful.
MCB Quantico VA
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City