Keeping kids excited about scouts (was Re: Weblos--2 years?)
Barry C Runnels (Barry_C_Runnels@MMACMAIL.JCCBI.GOV)
Fri, 16 May 1997 10:21:17 CST
>I'm sensing that our critical year for retention is in the Bear year.
>Its really important to get these 3rd graders out and about with
>compelling activities that they can brag about for their age group. Does
>anyone else see this retention challenge for Bears to Webelos?
If the pack has a generally good program, the retention for Bears can be
difficult because they are tired of the Wolf/Bear type of program and want
something more. If the Webelos program does not appear different for the
Bear, he will want out.
One way we solved this problem was making our Webelos the Cub Masters
helpers. Our Webelos lead the Wolf/Bear Dens during all the Flag
Ceremonies. We have two 2nd year Webelos lead the Flag Ceremony with two
1st year Webelos stand behind and to the side of the leaders. The idea is
the 1st year guys are learning from the 2nd year guys by standing with them
Also the Webelos help out with the award ceremonies by dressing up a
American Indians or what ever the CM needs. The 2nd year Webelos are ask to
provide at least one skit if not two at every meeting. They get very good
at skits and songs by their second year. I have 16 Webelos who fight to be
in the next skit.
Our Webelos are set apart from the Wolves/Bears as the leaders of the Pack.
They dress sharp, act sharp and are expected to be role models. The Webelos
are required to wear a full uniform during the meetings because they are
the CMs helpers. Without having to ask the other Scouts to wear full
uniforms, we usually have 95% of the Pack in uniform because they want to
be cool like the Webs.
This year our Webelos voted on a new Den hat. A white and gray booney hat.
Now all the Bears and Wolves want to be a Webelos so they can get a really
cool hat. (by the way these booney hats are great, very durable, keeps the
rain and sun off the boys and they and hard to loose)
Concerning whether to crossover in February or go a full two years, watch
the Scouts. Their attitudes during Pack Meetings will tell you when they
are ready because eventually they start to feel the program is lame. It's
not a bad thing, they just out grew the Cub program and are ready to move
As a CM, I always got very close to my Cub Masters helpers. Last year at
our annual May campfire, I passed the CM hat to the next "Mighty" CM.
Afterwards many of the Webelos came up to me in tears asking me to stay as
CM until they crossed over. Even now at District Boy Scout events, past
Webelos come running to say hello.
I love this Scouting Stuff.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City