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  • Webelos "Choose to Refuse" pamphlet

    Thanks for reading this post.

    I am a Bear Den Leader, but have been doing some planning for our tenure as Webelos. I picked up the "Choose To Refuse" anti-drug pamphlet the webelos are to use for one of their Fitness Activity Badge requirements. Holy cow, is it grown up! It states in the leader guide that it is written for middle schoolers and they're right. Why would BSA have 4th graders use something that's written for kids 3 grades above them?

    I'm wondering if anyone has found an alternative. If it comes down to it, I'll pick and choose what to talk about, but I'm not going to send the pamplet home with these kids.

    And, hey, I know we need to address this stuff, but let's not feed their young minds any more than they're ready for. The time will come when they're for these details, but not now!

    Thanks for your time.


    Maryanne W

  • #2
    Looking at the web description of this new pamphlet, I see that it replaces the "Take a Stand Against Drugs" pamphlet that used to be in place. I also see that this new pamphlet is designed to be used with kids in grades 1-12 (seems like a stretch to me!).

    Here's a link to the description, for those who may be interested:

    Without having seen the "guts" of the new pamphlet I won't comment on whether I think it is, or is not, age appropriate for 4th graders. I will say that when I was a Webelos DL, I asked the parents to cover the material in the old pamphlet at home with their children. And then I asked the boys to let me know when they and their parents had completed that requirement so I could sign their books. Perhaps you can do something similar with this new book - let each parent make their own choice about what they think is appropriate for their child, in their home.


    • #3
      Our 4th grade Webelos den used this program with no problems. The Scouts reacted well to the material, as did the parents. From what I remember this is very similar to other drug avoidance materials. It is a long time since my kids went through D.A.R.E., but the content is quite similar.

      I don't think you have to worry that this is too "advanced" for them. They know a lot more of this than you think they do.


      • #4

        I used the pamphlet this year with my Web. I den. I did pick and choose what we discussed in den. We used the center poster, that described the effect of drugs. Had the guys find the grossiest effect
        of drugs on the body... they liked doing that.

        The boys also discussed the possible drugs that they may be offered.
        I did cover medicine and how it needs to be taken correctly and with adult supervision. We also did role plays using the NICE strategy to get out of situations where drugs are offered.

        I did not go into a lot of detail about different categories of drugs, or specific effects. It is unlikely they would remember
        all of the information anyway.

        The boys did pretty well with what we did. I did send it home to finish reading with their parents (if they so chose). No major issues with it from either the kids or parents.

        Good Luck.