Active Dens, etc.
Deirdre LaRock (butterbuns@EARTHLINK.COM)
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 01:48:08 -0500
Your ideas sound GREAT! You are on the right track! Keep your boys busy.
If you have an advancement chair, perhaps this person can speak to the CM
about getting the boys their ranks on time.
No boy should have to wait for a specified time to get their rank. (This
has been discussed on the list before.) While it may seem to be good to
keep them all together to some, what happens to boys like yours (or mine)
who put in the work and then wouldn't get their badge when earned? They
would get bored and they would quit! We don't want that.
Advancement ceremonies can be as long or short as you want. As simple, or
as elaborate. When I was a CM, I tried to make sure that all the tigers got
their paw prints at the pack meetings. (Before Tigers were even officially
part of the pack.) All the wolves & bears got their beads at the pack
meetings. All the webelos got their pins at the pack meetings. I would
make mention of what the boy had done during the past month, etc. When
giving out ranks, I would list some of the requirements, and how hard he
(and his parents) had to work. Extra time is usually allowed for
presentation of rank, this after all is supposed to be the highlight of the
scouting year for him.
As for when should boys advance, there are a LOT of different theories on
this. But, for Tigers, most would agree that getting them their bobcat at
the graduation ceremony is a great way to get them to stick around to
Wolves. I like to give them their Wolf Book at this time. We have always
had a summer activity program. If the boy goes to summer camp, he can
usually get a LOT of badge work done over the summer.
Wolves & Bears should try to get their rank for February. This isn't going
to always work. There are always going to be some boys who don't get it
done until May. But, if you set February as a goal, that still gives you
plenty of time for fun stuff, arrow points, belt loops, etc.
Webelos...well many will say it is best to crossover second year Webelos in
February. This gives you a few months to let the boys acclimate to Boy
Scouting. It gives them a chance to earn money for summer camp. And,
generally gives the troop a better chance of retaining the new member.
Ideally, the boy will have already gone on one or two campouts with the
troop and have some idea of what is expected of him.
Always, always, always try to give the boy the recognition he deserves at
the next pack meeting. And, don't forget that leaders need recognition.
So, do parents who help out. If a boy has earned any kind of award, he
should get more than just his name called out. His parents should be up
there with him. Scouting is a family thing...and they need to know that
they count. Even if he doesn't have the most supportive parents, they
should be up there. Let them know how much you appreciate and respect their
son. It does wonders.
In September, I give out awards too, usually a lot of them. I give out
bobcats to new scouts. I give out summertime activity pins. I give out
awards earned at camp. I give out as much as I possibly can. I want the
scouts to be fully charged for a new year. I want new scouts to be
impressed. I want parents to volunteer. But, I don't want anyone thinking
I waited all summer for this, when I should have gotten it in May.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City