scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: Re: Opinion - CS/BS Program/Training Failure
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Mon Nov 22 1999 - 16:32:03 CST
<Mike Bowman wrote>
The goals of both programs are the same - character, citizenship, and
fitness. Both currently have similar stated methods of meeting the goals.
The difference is in the literature and training.
<Linda Bates wrote>
Mike..thanks again for sharing your wisdom & experience with the group. Now
a question for all of ya'll...is there a clear and concise description out
there somewhere about how Cubbing differs from Boy Scouting that I can give
to my Webelos parents to help them understand this??? Maybe including a
brief outline of how the patrol method works and how it benefits boys would
be useful too.
As I see it, the problem is how training is used in the field. The program,
as it's written in the handbooks, provides a very steady progression from
Tiger to Eagle and beyond. There does not have to be a distinct cutoff
between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. There are important differences, but they
Linda asked if there is a clear and concise description of the differences
between Cubbing and Boy Scouting. Yes there is, it's in the handbooks but
you have to dig for it. I'm going to attempt to translate it for everyone
who wants to know. If I get anything wrong, I feel confident someone on the
list will give me the opportunity to learn from my mistake. So, here goes:
We start with Tiger Cubs. Tiger Cubbing is the 1st Grade program. It pretty
much involves both parent and child in small groups. All activities and
meetings are geared toward both the child and a parent participating.
Activities are geared toward "normal" 7 year olds.
Once the child reaches the 2nd grade (age 8) he moves into the Wolf Cub den
where parental involvement is still important, but most meetings and
activities involve groups of boys. This is the Cub's first step toward
independence. Wolf activities are pretty basic and don't require a lot of
skill to master.
After Wolf, we move into the Bear Den (age 9) where parental involvement is
still important, most activities still involve groups of boys, but they
involve more skill or thought. At this point the Cub has gotten used to
being in a group, working with adults, and knows he doesn't have to keep
looking over his shoulder to see if his parents are still there. First, he
has a pretty good idea they're somewhere nearby, and second, he doesn't
really need them to be right behind him.
The Webelos program is where the differences between Cub Scouting and Boy
Scouting begin to fade. Up to Webelos, Cub Scouting is planned and conducted
mostly by adults. Adult leaders plan the activities and meetings, run the
activities and meetings, and most of the other work as well. When a Cub
becomes a Webelos he starts to get the chance to make decisions for himself.
The Webelos leaders are still adults, but the boys in the den make many
decisions they never made before (like their den name and totem for one). If
the Webelos program is properly run, the Den Chief has a lot more
responsibility than in other dens, and the Denner also has more
When the Cub reaches the Webelos II program, the focus changes to "what's
next?" Here the den concentrates more one Scoutcraft skills and there are
more decisions for the members to make. There should be a lot of interaction
between the Webelos den and one or more local troops. In effect, Webelos are
pretty much Boy Scouts stuck in a Cub Scout pack. Parental involvement is
minimal (for Cub Scouting anyway), and the adult leadership is intended more
to guide them than make all decisions for them.
Editorial: We've reached the point of Graduation from the Cub Scout Pack to
the Boy Scout Troop. This is where the difference between the two seems the
biggest, but in fact that is not the case. If the Webelos leaders simply
continue doing things the same way they did when the boys were Wolf or Bear
there will be little preparation for what lies ahead and the change could be
too much to handle.
Now that the boys have graduated into a Boy Scout troop, some troop leaders
would have us believe that there is such a big difference between the
programs that a special patrol needs to be formed to train Webelos to be Boy
Scouts. Those leaders have missed the point of not only the New Scout
Patrol, but also the Webelos program. The New Scout Patrol in a troop is
simply the next step. We don't have to teach them a whole new way of doing
things, we just have to guide them through the next stage.
In Webelos the boys started to learn to make decisions for themselves. They
also got their first real taste of being taught (or lead) by another Scout
(Den Chiefs are very important in the Webelos program). Still, the adults
were clearly in charge. In the New Scout Patrol we take that to the next
logical step. We move the adult to the background, give the older Scout the
job of providing guidance, and let the members of the patrol pick their own
leaders and plan their own activities. Parents aren't completely removed
from the program, and neither are adults. They've just taken a back seat.
The focus of the New Scout Patrol is to teach its members the skills they
need to participate in the troop or patrol activities. In the process, the
members also learn some very basic leadership skills, teamwork skills, and
that they are masters of their own destiny. Once they learn that, they
"graduate" into the troop and take an active part in designing and running
As each year passes, the Scout will get more and more practice leading a
group and developing its program. He'll learn to take on more and more
responsibility, and have the opportunity to teach younger Scouts what he's
learned. He may be asked to be a Den Chief, or Troop Guide and provide an
example to Cubs and Scouts. He may be called upon to take charge of the
entire troop as Senior Patrol Leader. Mostly he will be called upon to make
decisions about his own life, what he wants to do. He'll learn to think
about how his decisions impact other people, how to make a decision that
gets everyone some of what they want.
The real difference between Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting is the age of
their members. Cub Scouting, being designed for younger boys, requires a
great deal of adult leadership and influence. It moves the boy toward
independence in such a way that he will benefit from the lessons he learns
even if he doesn't become a Boy Scout. He learns confidence in himself by
trying many different things progressively so that failures are easy to
overcome, victories are celebrated with vigor.
Boy Scouting takes the maturing boy (Cub Scout or not) and provides a safe,
structured arena for him to try out the muscles he's starting to develop. It
gives him a chance to progress from child to man with confidence. While his
parents aren't constantly underfoot, he knows they're close by if he needs
Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting work hand in hand to develop character,
citizenship, and fitness in boys aged 7 to 18. The real beauty is that they
work just as well exclusively. A Cub Scout who does not become a Boy Scout
is still profoundly affected by Scouting's values. Likewise, it is possible
to be a Boy Scout without being a Cub Scout and still be influenced by
A. J. Mako, email@example.com, SM Troop 381 http://www.Scouts381.org/
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council, BSA
Home of the Win95 & Win98 Boy Scout Desktop Themes
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