scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Opinion - CS/BS Program/Training Failure (long)
Judy Yeager (jscout@HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 22 1999 - 00:57:28 CST
Mike Bowman hit the nail squarely on the head. Most Cub Leaders and parents
have a difficult time transitioning into Boy Scouting and a lot of the
"blame" has to be training. The Cub syllabus is set up in such a manner
that there is never even a mention of Boy Scouting and vice versa. This
needs to be changed.
This is a subject that we have batted around a lot in our district over the
past year and a half or so and we have taken some steps to try to correct
this "lapse." Hopefully we have made some inroads, but, as with any change,
it takes time.
Our District does not have a good transition plan in place, although we do
have a new District Committee person who is to concentrate on this. As
usual, though, the professionals don't seem to have a good handle on how to
approach this problem - they are concentrating on writing letters to Webelos
II parents. There is a small group of volunteers who feel that that is too
little, too late.
There are many, many opportunities to get this message out. In the spring
of 1998 at Webelos Woods, we set up orientation sessions for Webelos I
parents to introduce them to the Webelos program and for Webelos II parents
to introduce them to the Boy Scouting program. We caught a lot of flack
from parents who didn't want to be separated from their boys, but at Webelos
Woods 1999, we had parents asking for the orientation sessions.
This past fall, we started tying the whole program together during Cub Scout
Basic. During the Advancement presentation to the entire group, we have
given a brief overview of "life after Cubbing." During the split sessions,
we have emphasized the value of Den Chiefs and tried to show the brand new
Den Leaders how to effectively use a Denner. It's really easy to drive the
point home if you fast forward and ask them if they know the purpose of the
Eagle service project. Most of them know that it is a service to the
community, but few realize the leadership aspect. Once that point is driven
home, you rewind to the Denner position and explain that this is the
beginning of the process. When you go through the parts of a Den Meeting,
point out those things that a Denner, with the help of the Den Chief, can be
responsible for and explain that as the boys progress, the Denner can be
given more and more responsibility. By the time they reach Webelos, the
boys should be given choices about den activities and have "ownership" and
the Denner and Assistant Denner should be pretty well running the meetings,
with the assistance and supervision of the leaders. In this way, they will
be ready to transition.
You can also point out that when they graduate into Boy Scouting and go
camping, they will need to cook if they want to eat, so why not start that
process now? Even wolves can learn to fix their own refreshments sometimes
and the recipes for refreshments can get more complex as they grow in the
We are not trying to make miniature Boy Scouts out of them, but you can
prepare them to be Boy Scouts by choosing age appropriate activities that
they will enjoy.
In the Webelos split, much attention should be given to the transition
Roundtable is another good opportunity to get the message out, although we
have yet to get in gear on this one. Plans are under way to provide Troop
profiles for Webelos Leaders to use. And, the Roundtable program usually
concentrates on activity badge ideas for Webelos leaders, and well it should
for the brand new Webelos leader. However, there should be several months
of transition information provided during the end of the Webelos I year and
for Webelos II leaders.
Pow Wow is another opportunity that should be used.
These are but a few of the ideas that have been developed here. If any of
you have some better or additional ideas, please share.
. . .and a good ole Bobwhite and a BRAND NEW Antelope, too. . .
SFT District Training Chair, HOAC
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