Webelos to Boy Scouts
William N. Dilla (sdilla@UMSLVMA.UMSL.EDU)
Mon, 27 Oct 1997 11:24:29 -0500
This follows on Kim's, Charlie's, and Dan's comments about easing the
Webelos to Scout transition. Getting both the boys and the parents familiar
with the program is important. Having the boys do a couple of campouts on
their own, then along with the Boy Scout troop is a great selling tool. I'd
caution against too much of a good thing, however. My 1st son's Web. den
was camping out as often as the Boy Scout troop, and I think we may have
burnt out a few kids and parents in the process. Remember that while you
want to sell the Webs. on Boy Scouts, they still need to concentrate on
their Cub Scout program.
A recent experience showed me the importance of communication to parents.
If you're a leader with one boy in Cubs and the other in Scouts, don't
assume that the Cub parents will learn everything about Boy Scouts by
osmosis from you. I realized it this yr. when our other Web. den leader
handed me a schedule in Sept. that: 1) was missing the District 2nd yr.
Webelos Camporee with the Scouts and 2) had the boys still in Cub Scouts up
till the end of May! Fortunately, we were able to rectify the situation,
and the Webs. attended the Camporee with the Boy Scouts and had a great
time. The parents now also know that their sons WILL be Boy Scouts, come
May. BUT, we are still going to have a Troop meeting in Nov. where we
invite the boys in, then take the parents off to a separate room where we
explain dates and times of meetings, how often outings occur, the
advancement system, how the troop is run, etc., etc.
At the same meeting, we are going to give parents advance notice of key
dates, like the boys' 1st outing as Scouts, their 1st Court of Honor,
summer camp, and so forth. It was bad enough that last yr. was a bad
recruiting year for us, because of being in the midst of a leadership
change. But what was just as bad was that the few new Scouts who did join
got off to a slow start, because key Scouting dates were not in their
parents' calendars. So, we're learning already that if you want the Cubs to
continue as Boy Scouts, both boys and parents need to know well in advance
what to expect.
Scoutmaster, Troop 310
Treasurer, Webelos Den Leader, Pack 310
New Horizons District--Greater St. Louis Area Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City