Re: Weblos--2 years?
Bob Taschler (bob_taschler@PUBLICITAS-USA.COM)
Tue, 13 May 1997 13:53:36 -0500
James Lade expressed surprise that the Webelos Program can be stretched
out to 2 years. This seems to be a constant point of discussion amongst
scouters in my district too and I find that surprising. Regardless of
what we call the program, the boys don't join a troop until they have
reached 11 or graduated 5th grade. (Please don't flame me with all of
the special circumstances under which boys have joined troops. I'm
talking about the majority of cases.) Until that point, we have to keep
them busy with neat fun stuff to do. Call them Tigers, Wolves, Bears,
Lions, Webelos or Elephants if you care to. It doesn't really matter.
The Webelos program is what you, the leaders, make of it. Fortunately,
the Pack that my son was in has run a very successful 2 year program.
There are 21 activity awards that can fill the compass, dozens of belt
loops and plenty of fun outdoor experiences. Just because the Arrow of
Light only takes 8 activity awards doesn't mean a boy has to stop there.
That is like the Eagle with only 21 Merit Badges. Nothing really wrong
with that, but they miss out on a whole lot of great experiences.
If you have a well trained Webelos Leaders Group who are dedicated to
providing the boys with the best possible program instead of a few
parents "taking their turn" for a year, a Pack can consistently deliver
a 2 year Webelos program that'll knock the socks off of even the most
jaded boy or parent. On top of the activity pins and belt loop awards
you have Cubmobiles, basic day hikes, simple cooking over an open fire,
winter sledding, summer swimming, family camping, Weboree, nursing home
visits, science museum trips, zoo trips, use of a local YMCA, water
balloon races, picnics with all of the expected races, bicycle roundups,
bike hikes, space derby, rain gutter regatta, and even the dreaded
pinewood derby ... need I go on? I can't figure how to get all of this
in under 2 years.
The only thing that can make all this dull and boring are the adults.
Witness what happens at many a pinewood derby. The adults take over and
make it about winning. Some boys don't even get to touch the car much
less build or race them. The Tigers and Wolves have more fun just
flinging the cars across the floor of our meeting hall crashing into
walls and people. It's simple and fun.
Sit down with a few Wolf & Bear parents and the Webelos Leaders and lay
out a solid 24 month plan for their sons. Use the resources from
National such as past issues of Scouting Magazine, Fun Book and planning
materials. Once the program is in place, the Pack can repeat the program
every two years since boys are out of the Pack in that time.
IMHO, we loose a lot of boys between Webelos and Scouts because they
become bored with a lackluster Webelos program and think that Scouting
will be the same. In my experience, the boys, and their parents, who
move up to Scouts in our Troop are surprised to find that the Scouting
program is very different, especially in the area of "boy run" vs.
"adult run" decision making. Make sure you have a good relationship with
your local troop (who can even run a few meetings/events), your local
district and your local council. And get trained!!!!
But then again, I might be wrong about all of this.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City