Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Why join now?
Why join now?
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 22:12:10 -0700
Bascially, we bridge them early and get them involved right away, before
they have time to get "too busy."
In our district, the sequence of events goes like this:
October: Webelos Woods, to get the Webelos fired up about becoming Boy
Scouts and introduce them to local troops
November-December: Many troops invite specific Webelos dens they're
courting to join them for activities. For example, we're having an
all-night lock-in at the bowling alley, to which we'll invite
second-year Webelos from our "brother" pack (sponsored by the same
church) and also from another pack in the neighborhhod that isn't
associated with any particular troop (I want their Cubmaster as an ASM
in a couple of years!)
In the same time frame, we invite packs to attend selected troop
meetings. Courts of Honor are especially good if well-run.
We also push Webelos-to-Scout transition heavily at Roundtable.
January: District Winter Camp is a joint Scout-Webelos event that gives
Scouts and Webelos (and their leaders) another chance to get to know one
another in an informal setting.
January-February: Most Webelos leaders try to get their boys to finish
Arrow of Light around this time.
February-March: Our Council has done a good job of convincing packs to
bridge in this time frame. I've been told this is a National recommended
practice. I don't know numbers on this, but my observation is that
nearly all Webelos around here at least go through the motions of
March: Our troop holds an orientation meeting and a car-camp outing to
get Webelos up to speed with the troop. BTW we use new boy patrols.
April: Camporee. First year Webelos compete in their own set of events,
but second-year Webelos (who are supposed to have bridged by now) are
barred from competing as Cubs. If they want to go to camporee, they need
to be in a troop. New boy patrols compete in their own bracket, against
other new boy patrols. In our troop, Camporee is a required event.
We find it's absolutely necessary for new boy patrols to hold patrol
meetings outside the troop meeting, as much to get them to develop a
sense of patrol identity as for advancement. In my experience, new boy
patrols that meet regularly will retain most of their members over the
first year; the ones that don't have much higher dropout rate.
By the time we're through with Camporee, our new scouts have been to two
and sometimes three campouts with us, have bonded with their patrol
mates and are signed up for summer camp. We run an active program over
the summer, so while we have some drop off in fall, it's nothing like
the problems you describe. We're just now transferring our new boys into
regular patrols, just in time for next week's troop elections.
Hope this offers some ideas you can apply to your situation.
SM, Troop 761
Thousand Oaks, CA