scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: When should Webelos get their cross over ceremony?
Fri Mar 03 2000 - 11:37:56 CST
>The webelos scout benefits enormously by having a few months in his cub
>pack as the "top dog". It allows the webelos to begin to spend time in a
>leadership position, which helps prepare him for the boy scouts, where,
>obviously, leadership is stressed.
Great post. My experience as a CM and SM is almost the same. I suggest everyone
read Pete's post again. Seem like these days each Scout is an individual caught
in a program where we adults try to pull them through in groups. That's why boy
run is so hard, it's designed to work with the Scout individually. I find the
more the unit is driven torward the group, the less boy run it is.
As for Pete's reference to allowing the Webelos to be top dogs for experiencing
leadership, I personally believe this is the best way to prepare Webelos for
Troops. Our Pack made some changes for several reasons with our Webelos program
and the results are dramatic. We started requiring all the Webelos to show up at
a Pack meeting at least 45 minutes early to help the CM set up chairs and props.
The 2nd year Webs lead all Opening and Closing ceremonies and practiced and
presented at least one skit, usually three. Each month a different Den would
come in 30 minutes early to have the Webelos teach them how to do the Flag
ceremony. The 2nd year Webs would teach them how to hold the flag, where they
would walk and stand, and the commands they would hear from the Webelos during
the ceremony. The 1st year Webs stand to the side observing because they, after
all, were taking over soon. Our Pack held two outdoor campfires a year and the
Webs set up and started the fire. They were expected to have a fun ceremony to
start it. It's fair to say, some of those ceremonies are better than our Troop
ceremonies. Our Webelos were expected to wear full uniform to participate. If
they didn't, they were left out. That example help the other Scouts feel good
about full uniform. As the CM, I never asked any Scout except the Webelos to
wear their uniform, and we had at least 95% of our Scouts show up in full
uniform. Our Pack started a tradition of the Webelos wearing boonie hats. These
are the wide brim floppy hats the military wears in the jungle. While we did
this because they are very durable and keep the rain and sun off the scouts, it
started a tradition that the Pack has even now. When you become a Webelos, you
get to wear the cool hats.
We had other aspects of the Webelos program that we changed, but I think these
few changes made huge are the main reason why 90% of those Scouts are still in
Troops. While I know that a lot folks feel that Scout skills and camping is
important to retain Webelos into Troops, I have not really seen this. I found
that camping and Scout Skills just added more fun for the Scouts. However, I do
believe Webelos should have a least one campout without sleeping in the same
tent with their parents. That is the most difficult situation I have with first
time campers. It's not to say that skills and camping experience doesn't' help,
but even in the Troop environment, there is nothing like leadership and
responsibility to build self-confidence, self-initive and self-respect.
I also agree with Pete that Webelos Leader burnout is part of the problem. While
I was never able to solve the problem to my satisfaction, I found focusing on
Arrow of Light instead of all 20 activity badges helped a lot. We still had a
lot of Scouts get 20 badges, but like the Eagle, we left that up to the Scout.
That allowed the leader to plan fun meetings that were so driven to getting
Great post, Pete. I am still looking for an excuse to travel to east coast and
see your Troop.