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  • Webelos To Troop

    We have a Troop that our Pack feeds into. They have shown no interest in having our Webelos II join in for campouts, troop meetings or anything. They have just now stopped by and said oh yeah by the way you can come to any troop meeting you would like. Another Troop in our town and one an older Scout of one of our Committee Members is involved in has welcomed us warmly. They have planned a Troop campout geared just towards our Webelos, invited us to Troop meetings, etc. Our 8 boy Webelos Den would prefer to all cross over together to this particular troop and not the "feeder" troop. I know we can cross over to any troop we wish to but how do we do it without stepping on anyone toes? My husband is the DL and will be ASM at the new troop and all the boys want to go where he is going.


  • #2
    It may be the eye opener that the troop who normally get your pack Webelos needs. I would certainly call the Scoutmaster and tell him the scouts decision to go to another troop.

    They should not assume your Webelos would want to come if there has been no interaction.

    Good luck.


    • #3

      If you really like that other troop better then just go. Toes or no toes just go.

      I will say that the CO's SM may have taken you for granted. But chances are he is so busy running his troop that recruitment to his feeder pack is down on his list. Too bad but this is a fact of a busy volunteer. Doesn't mean his program is not as good as the other, in fact it may be better as he is focused in his scouts, but he just isn't recruiting.

      The other troop seems to be selling more than recruiting. The awarding a DL a ASM position is somewhat of a ploy. I bet this other troop looks very cub scout friendly. Or pleasing to a Webelos parent. Lots of advancement talk. (sigh!)


      • #4
        Even though the other troop looks great to you, I would still A) visit this troop and any other in the area, and B) let the boys decide. One pack my OA chapter did the AOL/Crossover ceremony for had folks crossing over to 3 different troops: the feeder and two other troops.

        And if the SM of the troop that hasn't been responsive until recently asks, tll them the truth: that the other troop showed more enthusiasm and was more welcoming to the Webs.


        • #5
          No I can assure the awarding of ASM to the den leader is not a "ploy". My husband is VERY involved in Scouting at a pack and district level. The other ASM at this troop is also a leader in our Cub pack who happens to value what my husband does for the boys.

          We have seen the other program in action as the Troop meets the same night as our pack. Total lack of organization, boys running around wild annoying the Cub Scouts, foul language, disrespect for fellow Boy Scouts, bullying...not something most of us want our boys to be a part of.

          We have let the boys make their own decisions. They went on a campout with the other Troop and had a fantastic time....the older Scouts really went out of their way to make the Webelos feel welcome and to teach them Scout skills. There has been no lots of advancement talk...we have just seen first hand that this other troop is way more active and does more of the activities our boys would like to be involved in.


          • #6
            Still would visit the other Troop.

            In the end though, go where the boys want to go and where you think is the best fit for your son. I want to emphasize best fit for YOUR son. While it's nice that all the boys in the den want to stay together, many times folks find out after joining that they may have preferred a different troop rather than the one the group picked.

            Boys are different, troops are different. Some boys thrive in a large troop, some do better in a small troop. Some are well suited for a troop with a backpacking emphasis, others maybe will do better with more car camping. Some (mostly parents, here) are interested in quick advancement, others enjoy the experience along the way.

            In any case, it is not at all stepping on toes. I really dislike the term "feeder pack" as it implies that the Webelos have no choice but to go to the associated troop. Likewise, the troop gets complacent about active recruiting since they think those cubs are theirs.

            Welcome to the forum Mom2Scouts.


            • #7
              I agree with those who say, visit the "usual" troop. For one thing, that might cut down on the resentment if your boys still all decide to go to the "new" troop -- but that's not the real reason to visit the "usual" troop. It really is just a good idea to visit at least two.

              After that, it's up to the boys. And as someone else said, the choice of a troop is not permanent. Our troop probably has an average of one boy switching in and one boy switching out per year, and the "switchers" have ranged in age from 11 to 17. Recently we seem to be attracting a small stream of boys from a town in another county, where these boys probably have to pass about 20 other troops to get to ours. You just never know.


              • #8
                Our troop has the opposite problem. We have a local pack in the same small town and we invite them to everything; troop meetings, camping trips, Webelos open house, Webelos camp out, we even offered a Den Chief. They just don't seem interested since none ever show up! Our troop helped to organize and start this pack, we share the same number, we even gave them money and equipment to start up! The boys from this pack travel 15 miles to another troop when some could walk to our meeting place. Our troop has a great program with a variety of camping trips including backpacking, canoeing (we own our own canoes), bike hikes etc, we camp every month. The troop is what I consider boy led. Recruiting from other packs is not a problem just from the pack in town. I don't understand it.


                • #9
                  Inviting is that by email or phone.

                  How about showing up to a Weeb or Pack meeting?

                  I will bet some big money that the invite goes no further than the DL or CM. You need to get around the road block. Most boys love camping and the outdoors. But remember the age specific guidelines on the outings.

                  We have Weeb leaders that have no interest in camping and the outdoors. We take them, CM and ACM and go with the troop.


                  • #10
                    "Inviting, is that by email or phone?"
                    Invites are by regular mail. I had my SPL and TG write letters which were addressed to each Web. individually then they are sent to each Web. Also flyers for each event are sent by regular mail addressed to each Web. Also leaders get emails.

                    "How about showing up to a Weeb or Pack meeting?"
                    We've offered but we can't just show up without an invite. I could have a Den Chief at every meeting if they would agree.

                    "I will bet some big money that the invite goes no further than the DL or CM. You need to get around the road block. Most boys love camping and the outdoors. But remember the age specific guidelines on the outings."
                    How much big money? ; )

                    I think it's more likely that someone within the pack is pushing them to another troop and discouraging them to even look at us.


                    • #11
                      We are going to visit the Troop in the next couple of weeks. All of our Webelos have been together since Tigers with the exception of one who joined last year. We have had an awesome retention year to year because the boys get along so well and all enjoy the same things. It does help that they all go to the same school and are friends with each other outside of Scouting.
                      Our parents are not interested in quick advancement...we really want the boys to just enjoy their Scouting experience and get to do all the cool stuff! Our boys on the other hand are definitely Super Achievers so they need lots of activities!

                      Thanks for all the advice from everyone and the nice welcome to the forums!


                      • #12
                        Hello and welcome, Mom2Scouts. You've received good advice so far, and it is good to hear you will be visiting both troops. Regarding your last post, it would probably help a lot if you make sure the boys understand that advancement in boy scouting is very different than in cub scouting. I know many webelos/new boy scouts do not grasp this and find it difficult/frustrating/off-putting that advancement in a troop is individually paced and often requires much more personal initiative than was the case in cubs, where opportunities are usually organized for them (by adults). It is one thing for the parents to recognize this - another for the boys to get it.

                        Eagle732- There are three scenarios I can imagine here.
                        1) Somebody in that pack is actively encouraging boys to join a different troop.
                        2) There is something about your program that is off-putting to the families in that pack.
                        3) The pack leaders are overworked, overwhelmed, and/or disorganized, and just don't manage to get the word out to the boys' families.

                        My guess is that it is a combination of the first and third. Having joined other troops in the past, the pack has an established and recent relationship with adults in that other troop now. (So & So joined that troop last year - we know him - we'll join that troop too.) It only takes a couple of years for this to become the "way it has always been" in a cub pack, due to the constant influx of new families and high adult turn-over rate.

                        If you share the same charter org, I think you could utilize that fact to at least have a sit-down with the cub master & committee chair of the pack in question. Ask to meet with them over coffee. Explain that you'd like to help this pack out - not that you expect them to automatically join you, just that you want to be helpful to them - and ask whether the CM & CC are interested in having you provide den chiefs, do a couple joint activities, a joint service project in the name of your shared CO, etc. Once your troop is a more regular presence in the pack's operation recruiting becomes much easier.


                        • #13
                          LisaBob we have tried this second year of Webelos to have the activity pins be something that have parts of them that need to be completed more at home to give them a better idea of how they will need to take initiative later on in Troop.

                          Any other ideas on helping our Webelos be prepared to Cross Over will be greatly appreciated!


                          • #14
                            That's a fine idea. Still, boy scouting is much more scout-driven than that. One idea I know "my" group of webelos found hard to grasp was that, not only will the boys be expected to complete many more things at home, but they will be expected to take the initiative to decide to start on their own. In the first several months as boy scouts, our boys would frequently come to me and say "what are we working on this week?" to which my answer was "I don't know, why don't you see if your patrol leader can offer some input." The boys, more than the adults, simply did not understand that the adults would not be giving them the framework. It is hard to blame them for this, since most of their lives did/do revolve around adults setting things up for them, and then they just have to do what they're told to do (school, cub scouts, probably family life).

                            Webelos activity pins - we DLs often would say something like "Ok, we're working on pin X. Here's what needs to happen at home." The boy then goes home and does what was laid out for him.

                            Boy scout merit badges - totally up to the boy to look at the list of (121 or more) options, explore the requirements on his own to see if he's really interested, get his hands on the merit badge book, go to the Scoutmaster and request contact info for an appropriate counselor (and a blue card, if your troop/district/council uses them), contact that counselor to arrange a time, do some work in advance on their own, attend that meeting, do the follow up, schedule and attend more meetings with the counselor, and turn in the completed blue card.

                            Many boys don't even get past the point of deciding that they want to work on a merit badge. Nobody is going to pressure them to do so, either, since they don't "need" any merit badges for the first three ranks.

                            Rank advancement is the same way - sure the troop is going to teach and model and regularly use various skills (one hopes) but the responsibility lies with the boy to take the initiative to practice many skills on his own, read his handbook, take his book to an appropriate signatory, and to demonstrate that he is proficient in the skill in question. Unlike in most cub settings, nobody is going to say "OK, we have been working on skill X. Pass along your books and we'll sign off on that requirement."

                            You probably know all of this already, Mom2Scouts. The boys MIGHT have heard you say all of it, but I find that with new scouts, this is one of those things they often do not understand, and that leads to a great deal of frustration in the first six months or so - especially among those who were used to being "super achievers" in cub scouts.


                            • #15
                              So basically what we are saying is 4 1/2 years of Cub Scouting may set them up for failure the first 6 mos of Troop and then they drop out...LOL! All that work to get there and then they get we need to stress this more and more about how in Troop it is different!