Webelos Patrol Leaders
Barry C Runnels (Barry_C_Runnels@MMACMAIL.JCCBI.GOV)
Mon, 3 Nov 1997 12:31:36 CDT
>If we use up Boy Scout type fun and excitement before the boys become Boy
>Scouts, then we can't deliver Boy Scout level citizenship, character and
I agree with Neil. Five years ago I didn't but I've seen several Webelos
Dens crossover who were actually better Boy Scouts than the experienced
Troop Scouts. The Troop leadership had to work hard to keep those boys
interested because they were bored to death. Scout skills and camping is
what keeps the Scouts interested long enough to learn the leadership part
of the program that many want to give at the Webelos age.
Instead of giving them leadership of a Patrol, give them more
responsibility of the Den. The objective is to build confidence to join a
troop without the "Been there done that feeling". Give leadership in small
doses. When you walk in a meeting, ask your Denner to get a couple of
Scouts to arrange a Den Opening on time. Tell them about the Patrol leaders
job that they will get when they go to the Troop. Give them enough Boys
Scouts knowledge to get excited but let them look forward to the rest.
Camp a few times, let the boys run around and enjoy the fun of camping.
Introduce them to cooking, KP and a few knots. But don't make them into
experience Boy Scouts. Don't veer to far from the Webelos program because
it is pretty good. I like to camp enough to get the boys used to sleeping
in tents without their parents.
This year we meet at the same time with our Troop, but I only expose them
to enough of the Troop meeting to get them excited. I let them stand with
the Troop during the Troop Opening so they see why they need to learn the
oath and law. But then I separate them from the Troop to work on our
program. If the Troop is doing something fun and interesting like repelling
training, I let them watch.
As I said, I use to push the Patrol Method in Webelos but learned that it
is not needed and many times hurts the initial Troop experience. It is a
lot easier for Troop junior leaders to teach confident excited Scouts
hungry to learn than Scouts who think they know it all.
This is not just a Webelos problem. I see the problem when Pack leaders
treat Tigers like Wolves and Bears. By the time they start the Bear
Program, the boys have had two years of the Bear/Wolf type of program and
want something new.
Webelos Den 67 Big Dogs
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City