scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: Re: Weblos to Boy Scout retention
Wed Mar 15 2000 - 08:51:35 CST
The retention rate depends on how "successful" the Webelos program was at
culling the ranks...
Face it, there are a number of boys out there who just aren't into Scouting
(three-quarters "outing", yada, yada, yada). They enjoy artsy-craftsy
things, indoor games, snack time, but they don't have the disposition to
actually enjoy themselves while they're striking camp in a downpour and
hiking out 5 miles.
If the Webelos program de-emphasized the ars and crafts, and got the boys
outdoors for hikes and an overnight or two and stuff like that, you will
have a reasonable retention rate at cross-over; of course, the den that is
crossing-over will be quite a bit smaller than they were two years ago when
they were all Bears. However, if the Webelos program was run more-or-less
the same way that the Wolves and Bears were run, then you will not have
good retention, because the non-"gung-ho" types will still be in the den
enjoying the arts and crafts.
Not to put all of the "blame" on the boys, there is usually a strong
parental influence, too. Many parents are afraid of Boy Scouts, due to the
boy-run nature of the program and their perception that "little Johnny", at
11, is too young to take care of himself. Here, you have to actively work
on the parent, to get them to "loosen up" and allow little Johnny to at
least give the program a try before they decide that he's not yet ready to
I've got 14 Sr. Webelos crossing over this Friday (down from 25 who
finished the Bear program two years ago), and expect to see 8 or 10 of them
at the troop meeting the next week. 10 out of 14 is pretty good; 10 out of
25 is fair-to-middlin'. But, all we can do is put the program out there,
and hope that we do a good enough job.
John A. Pershing Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ACM Pack 36 / ASM Troop 36, Westchester-Putnam (NY) Council