scouts-l Mail Archive for February of 2000: New Scouts/Bridging et al
Charles Dombek (cdombek@NINENET.COM
Mon Feb 14 2000 - 12:44:38 CST
Various comments about retension as well as the bridging time of year prompt this
post. Having worked on both sides of this issue for many years (5 on Cubs, 4 on
Boy Scouts) I feel qualified to make some suggestions to the list:
1) New Parents Introduction: several people have mentioned this. It is as
critical to successful bridging as having a new parents night for the pack as
soon as possible after school night for scouting. Part of this night involves a
presentation by the SM and CC on expectations (e.g. uniform, attendance,...) as
well as a lengthy talk about the New Scout program. As the ASM-New Scouts I try
to craft a program with the PLC that allows for multiple opportunities for
advancement. For example, tonight's meeting will find 5 stations manned by older
scouts teaching first aid skills (they are all working on First Aid merit badge)
to the new scouts. This is the 3rd time that First Aid is available to them (once
at last years summer camp and once at Fall Camporee). I give each parent 2 copies
of our New Parent Guide as well as my home/work phone numbers and email
addresses. My instructions are that if there are any questions, please call or
email. Consistent issues with new parents: uniform is not optional and mom/dad
cannot sign off book.
2) Bridging Webelos Leaders: I have seen both extremes with Scouters that cross
but in all cases, the sooner you get them to SM Fundamentals training the better.
If they wish to assist the ASM-New Scouts, fine BUT they have to follow the
program that is already in place. I am currently looking at a bridging group of
11 in a few weeks. Their WDL is coming with them and I have already been gently
suggesting he sign up for SMF training in April. I have spoken with him about the
plan in place. I have also introduced him to the 2 Troop Guides I have ready to
take on this new group. The biggest thing for him to remember is that the boys
plan the program with our help.
3) Summer Camp Orientation: Also a critical issue for new scouts and parents.
This is held in April to allow parents to get used to the fact that their son is
leaving for a week in July. The bottom line without exception is that if a scout
has a positive summer camp his first year the odds are he will stay in the
program. If he has a bad summer camp, it becomes difficult. Our program is
crafted to have the new scouts acheive Tenderfoot for our August CoH. Attendance
at Summer Camp is critical to this. Parental involvement and support is a big key
/\__/\ Assistant Scoutmaster-New Scouts Troop 809
( o o ) Assistant Cubmaster Pack 572
\/ New Horizons District Training Staff
I used to be a Fox, and a good ol' Fox too!
Shawnee Lodge 51