scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Opinion - CS/BS Program/Training Failure
Daniel D. Hammond, Sr (hammonddL@USWEST.NET
Sun Nov 21 1999 - 19:35:59 CST
Mike Bowman wrote (and fairly accurately I might add):
"Both Mark Wilbur and Gary Rayson wrote about problems with
Troops that are adult run. In Gary's case he was wondering
whether to throw
in the towel because the competition (adult-run) was getting
share of new boys.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult for parents to make a
jump shift from
Cub Scouting to Boy Scouting - the boys are ready and do
well, but the
parents just cannot seem to deal well with the organized
chaos of a
successful boy-lead operation."
"This is often where training fails and even our programs
literature and a lot of trainers for Cub Scouting mandate
and then suddenly at the Boy Scout level you get a lot of
training that says all boy-run and adults all hands-off.
Wow! What a
jump-shift in approach and nothing to help transition the
adults. No wonder
they don't get it.
I think the problem with training as presently delivered is
that Cub Leaders
never hear about how Boy Scouting works and never are in a
position to help
parents learn about it."
"It happens because Cub Scouting and associated training is
towards transition enough to make the change seamless. I
would advocate a
real big change here. I think that in the second year of
Webelos, that the
Dens ought to be less adult-run and more boy run - sort of a
There ought to be emphasis on changing the program here and
to have the Denner planning with the adults and helping
actively to conduct
some activities. During the first few months in a Scout
Troop the new
Scouts patrol ought to be starting at exactly the same place
with a program
to within six months shift over to boy-run entirely. Such a
would be much more smooth and would help people see an
of change instead of being hit in the face with a complete
180 degree change
Mike Bowman, Vice President
U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.
Mike and List,
I agreethat it's hard for many Cub Scouters to make the
jump. But I don't believe it's a flaw in the program or
training that cuases the phenomenon. I believe it usually
comes from a lack of training in what Boy Scouts is about
and how Cub Scouts is designed to lead into Boy Scouts.
Much of this comes from Cub Scouters going to CS Leader
Basic Training and then never attending another training
One of the purposes of Cub Scouting is "Preparing them to be
Boy Scouts." This includes such things as the outdoor
program. Both family camping and Webelos Den overnights
help with this transition. Webelos Leader Outdoor Training
includes a lot of information about how the Webelos program
leads into Boy Scouts. Such discussions as "we stop with
saws for wood tools. Axes are for Boy Scouts." and then
explaining why, goes a long way toward fostering an
understanding of Boy Scouting among Cub Scouters.
As a trainer, I stress the continuum of how Cub Scouting
works. It starts with Tigers, where adult partners are
constantly present for each and every activity. It moves
into Wolves and Bears where adult leadership is reduced from
Tigers, but the program is still pretty much cut and dried
and run entirely by adults. It moves on into Webelos Scouts
where the boys get to pick a den name and should get to
select some of the activity badges they will earn. 2nd year
Webelos dens start more direct work with Boy Scouts and even
go camping with a troop or two. Throughout this process the
skills learned are progressively more complex. Witness the
tools used in Wolf achievements, simple hand tools. In
Bears they earn their Whittlin' Chip so they can use
pocketknives. In Webelos they learn about saws and "saw
yards" and outdoor skills. It all builds on itself.
Of course all through this process there should be Den
Chiefs who show the Cubs through their own example what Boy
If you and I can figure out how to get more leaders to more
training beyond Basic we can fix some of this. BTW, I try
to practice what I preach in this regard. I've attended
many training events beyond CSLBT including CSTWB. I have
completed Scoutmastership Fundamentals, and will be taking
Commissioner Training in February. Even though I'm not a
Commissioner, I want the training so I can do better for the
In closing let me say that I believe the program does as
good a job as possible in developing our Cubs to be Boy
Scouts. The training is there as well. The progression is
part of each course syllabus I use. The failure stems from
the fact that adult leaders stop seeking knowledge and
training once they're handed a "Trained" strip. I'm not
sure how to fix the problem, but usually the first step in
solving a problem is to identify it.
Let me know what you think.
Yours in ScOUTing,
Daniel D. Hammond, Sr.
CM Pack 225 and Black Hills District Committee
I used to be an Owl (W-CS-44) Working my Ticket
"A fisherman does not bait his hook with food he likes.
He uses food the fish likes. So with boys." --Lord Robert