scouts-l Mail Archive for November of 1999: CS/BS training and Webelos
Rik Bergethon (rberg@RMI.NET
Thu Nov 25 1999 - 09:08:01 CST
I have been off the list for several days and have just now caught up
with my reading. I have been following this Cub Scout/Boy Scout Leader
training discussion and opinions by several. I have just a few thought
to offer, if I may.
Some blame the Webelos Den Leader for the problem. That leader is the
one most important person in the transition of boys into scouting. If
that leader don't know what's going on, then nothing will happen. While
other leaders have important jobs to do (SM, UC, Den Chief, etc.) the
Webelos Den Leader has the most responsibility. And what have we done
for him/her lately? NOT MUCH! Too many times the WDL is the parent of
one of the boys in the den and has moved up through the ranks with
his/her son from Tiger Cubs, thus took only the basic cub leader
training, three or four years ago. Should we require more, specialized
Webelos leader training? In this Webelos to Scout transition paper I
recently did, some would suggest the WDL should go through the outdoor
portion of, if not the entire training, for Scoutmaster Fundamentals.
I tend to blame the Scoutmaster for most of the transition problems.
At a Roundtable last spring, just when all the Webelos should be either
visiting or moving over to troops, I asked the SM's to give me the name,
address and phone number of three Webelos Den Leaders from packs in
their area. All I got back was blank stares and blank pieces of paper.
To improve this situation, with the DE and Dist. Comm., I planned a
special Webelos-to-Scout transition conclave, with a guest speaker from
another council, special handouts I had assembled (my Web. to Scout
papers) and even FREE FOOD! Only four showed up, two SM's and two
WDL's. Wow! did I have egg on my face. I must say this about the two
SM's that showed up. One was worried he would have to fold his troop for
lack of boys coming in, and the other used to have three feeder packs in
his area. Now he still has three feeder packs, but two new troops in
his area competing for those same boys.
So, I don't think a special Boy Scout "Cross Over" training will help
the situation, if you can't get them to come. Mike Bowman and Mark Arend
did have some good ideas on this, though. I have to wonder: if we offer
more, specialized training to the Webelos Den Leader, and more
specialized training to the Scoutmaster, would we get more people to
turn out to these to give up another saturday or couple of evenings away
from home? I don't think so. Unfortunately, we find some people reach
the training burn-out pretty fast. They have that "Trained" patch, what
more do they need?
The Webelos to Scout transition needs to be done year-round. It needs
to be mentioned at every Round Table. Webelos leaders need to get the
boys used to patrols, outdoors, cooking, etc. Scoutmasters need to send
a Den Chief to the den. They need to make the parents feel welcome in
the troop, and have the new boys in the new scout patrol, with a Troop
Guide and an ASM to guide them for a year. How do we do this? More
So here is my question to all the District Training Chairs, Mike
Bowman, Mike Walton, Alan Houser, Anthony Mako and others: how do we
get the needed training to: 1) Webelos leaders who are getting tired of
all this training; and 2) to Scoutmasters who already know all there is
to know about scouting?
When everybody comes up with the perfect solution, then we will have
100 per cent transition from Cubs to Boy Scouts. I am open to
suggestions, because this is my emphasis and goal for my district next
year: 100 per cent transition!
Rik Bergethon, (soon to be)
Cuerno Verde District Commissioner