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  • Combining packs/dens different ways of doing things

    We had our initial meeting tonight for our pack merger. (This is lds scouts.) The other pack does 1 pack meeting, 1 pack activity, and 2-3 den meetings per month, depending on how the weeks fall in the month. It sounds good, until they say their pack activity is usually some kind of party. I am so not into parties. It also sounds like their budget is bigger than ours and we're now supposed to be splitting the cost, except that we give 5.5 boys (one moves to boy scouts in 2 months) and they have 15. It would seem more reasonable for them to pay 2/3 and we pay 1/3. The money comes from the church and is based on various factors, including how many kids are participating.

    I talked to my new webelos co-leader. Their boys can earn webelos, but aren't awarded it until they earn arrow of light, which is usually right at their birthday. Their arrow of light ceremonies are big, huge deals, where the entire pack meeting is focused on the one boy and is even whatever theme the boy wants to do and they have many boys earning arrow of lights (having birthdays) every month or two, which translates into having most pack meetings arrow of light ceremonies. My 2 webelos have earned arrow of light. One moves on soon, but the other has another 6 months in webelos. They have one boy who needs to go visit a boy scout meeting with his den this month, which means we have to go do that too. They just did showman, so they don't want to do it again. My younger boy hasn't. I'm a little bummed out.

    Anyway, it's hard for me to let go, but I guess I have to. Is that weird that the boys aren't awarded webelos until they earn arrow of light?

  • #2
    It is sad that they do not get the Rank of Webelos badge until they get the AOL. That's not part of the program.
    Also, it's highly odd about the finances.

    As to the Activity Pins: The work that is done for them can happen inside Scouting or outside. I know that there are a lot of shows put on at the Stake/Ward level. If your son is part of that, that would count in my book. (Former Cubmaster here!)


    • #3
      I'm reading a lot of us and them; that's in the past. The question is what will this new combined pack/den do? Everyone needs to sit down and talk this through, examining what will work best going forward.


      • christineka
        christineka commented
        Editing a comment
        We did sit down and discuss. So far, it's mostly we do what they do. I would like for us all to sit down and read the manual/handbook and then do what it actually says. I think some disagreements would be solved by us just doing what we're supposed to, instead of each of us having our own way of doing things.
        Last edited by christineka; 12-30-2013, 12:23 PM.

    • #4
      I would suggest talking to the leaders, and focus on all the positive things. You're excited to be in a more Active Pack. You are happy to be a part of the new team, etc.

      I would focus on the non-standard issue that bugs you, awarding of the Webelos Badge. I believe that LDS Packs use the old-school Webelos Square badge on the blue uniform for Webelos, right? In that scenario, I would ask that they are awarded their Square Webelos Badge when earned, so they can wear it as a Cub Scout. Then they can switch to a Tan Uniform, wear their Arrow of Light, and be presented their Scout Rank Badge.

      That seems like a minor change to their program, that would make it slightly more BSA-standard, and more friendly. We had hiccups in our program last year, Rank Advancement happened in May. We didn't encourage the Webelos to switch Uniforms at that time, because we wanted them to wear their Bear Badge for a few months this year. Since Tiger displaced Webelos on the Blue Uniform (for non-LDS Units), there isn't really room for the square Webelos badge anymore.

      So my suggestion would be to ask if they are okay with this:

      Webelos Rank Badge - When Earned
      Arrow of Light - at Birthday
      Scout Rank Badge - As earned

      I'm 99% sure that they earn the Scout Rank Badge as part of Webelos Arrow of Light. I think that they want Webelos to be a full year program celebrated with Arrow of Light. I think that they haven't thought through the fact that they'll never wear their Webelos Rank.

      It would seem that:
      Webelos Rank as Earned
      Arrow of Light + Scout Rank Badge to go on their new Tan Uniform

      Would do what they intend to do, a full year Webelos Program with Rank at the end. The difference is, the rank at the end isn't Webelos, it's Scout.

      We aim to Rank Advance @ Blue and Gold now. That means Webelos 1: Webelos, Webelos 2: Arrow of Light. I'm not sure if we'll cross over @ Blue and Gold (no Webelos 2 this year). We may do it then, or a month or two later. Our Webelos Den if they stick around will double the size of the Troop. I think we want to hold them into the Pack until it is time to cross them over and ship them off to camp.


      • #5
        Hmmm... I'm kinda old school. Webelos gets awarded when it has been earned. Arrow of Light gets awarded when earned, go into Boy Scouts when they are AOL or 5th grade/11 years old, or when they want to.

        Packs that make up rules as they go along really cause me concern because I often wonder if it's just the tip of an even bigger iceberg of made-up rules.

        Now, recognition for receiving these awards can be at any time, but the rank is earned, end of discussion. If a boy wants to come back from Boy Scouts to receive his AOL, fine, it's his choice, otherwise just send him his awards.

        All my boys had AOL at the end of Web I year.... because they earned it. Web II was fun and worked on Tenderfoot requirements. They came into the BSA program as TF scouts. SM was concerned that these boys had been over exposed to BSA before they got there and would find it boring. As it turned out, they all Eagled and stayed with the troop until 18/HS graduation which ever came first.



        • #6
          Jblake, my boys can't because they will not be over 10 (well one will) or out of the 4th grade. How do you manage that... is it a different type of year or different age groups in different areas of the country?


          • jblake47
            jblake47 commented
            Editing a comment
            Once the boy enrolls in Webelos and earns an award, the age is of no importance. However, once he turns the right age he can decide whether he wants to stay with Cubs or go on to Scouts. The award has nothing to do with it other than open up Scout enrollment before 11 years of age/5th grade and AOL.

            We faced the same thing when Cubs all earned AOL and had to wait until Blue/Gold to get the award even though some of them were over 11 years of age at that time.

            These additional requirements are not part of the BSA program, never have been and Packs/Troops that circumvent them are not following the program properly.


          • Baseballfan
            Baseballfan commented
            Editing a comment
            maybe I'm misunderstanding. What I meant was where you said all your boys earned AoL at the end of Web I year... mine will not be eligible to have the age/grade required. They will still be 9 years old (one 10) and in 4th grade.

        • #7
          I think that the over-exposure fear is a myth. The concern isn't over-exposure to BSA, it's that the program shifts so dramatically from Cubs to the Troop. Webelos is a pretty weak transition program. However, jblake47's approach of using Webelos II to get the boys ready for Scouts makes more sense. No reason to not do Webelos + AoL in one year, the LDS units do it. I think the push for 20 pins is a mistake, it makes Webelos more cub-like (Tiger/Wolf "do it all"), instead of the Boy Scout "merit badge" system it's designed to emulate.

          I also think it's a poor transition program. The Troop program is supposed to be: work on scout skills to First Class, then branch into merit badges. To have boys working on mini-merit badges in preparation for the Troop is a mistake, since their first 1 to 3 years are supposed to be skills.

          Merit Badges, the mini-vocational program for older Scouts, is dominating the middle school years, which is making the troop more cub-like...


          • #8
            But either way, christineka, your time as a Cub Leader is coming to an end (well, at least your emotional investment is). If your boys want to hit all 20, run your own sessions for other pins. Focus on making sure they are enjoying Scouting and getting ready to join the Troop. They only have a few months left in Webelos.

            Alternatively, pre-merger, call a Pack Meeting and Award Webelos for anyone that earned it, then it's a moot point.

            Send in the paper Advancement report to Council reporting their Webelos badge in December (when it was earned) and move on.


            • #9
              I guess things aren't as bad as they seemed The other pack only has two webelos- or had two. One had his birthday already and didn't complete aol. (Not sure if he'll be awarded webelos, since I assume he already earned it, but wasn't awarded it because he hadn't earned aol yet.) The other boy's birthday is in February and he's almost done. Then we'll have one boy move up in February. Hopefully, we can try to work together. I like to make plans and schedules for the boys to earn their rank/aol when they move into webelos, rather than get to 2 months before the birthday to then think about it and give parent a huge list of things that need to be completed.

              Good point about the wearing of the webelos' badge. That will be my argument for the next kid, who earns webelos. Our boys do wear blue because parents tend to buy the blue shirt sufficiently large enough to get kid through age 10, so the tan shirt can last a bit longer. I know my son enjoys wearing everything he's earned. (Which reminds me that I have to get my son to sew his aol patch onto his shirt.)

              I do not have any aspirations for any other boy to earn all 20 activity badges- just my son, because I know he can do it. He is a go-getter type, goal setter, and brilliant. (This is really not just the mom part of me talking. My older son is a prodigy.)

              I do have a goal for the boys to earn their religious knot. I will propose this to my new co-leader.


              • #10
                Apparently, we are just combining our efforts, not actually combining packs. We are still our own units.

                My new partner and I had to plan January meetings. She wanted to go to the newspaper and do communicator. She even asked me what other achievements I'd like to do. I looked them over and told her what I thought the boys would enjoy. She responded that she wanted to do other achievements and she already has planned what to do. Oh, well. I guess I'm just an accessory now. I'll just show up so she's got her 2-deep leadership and do whatever she asks me to do. I'm not going to fight this. (Even though I think the boys would really enjoy writing messages to each other in secret code.)


                • dedkad
                  dedkad commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Because Webelos is supposed to be the transition from adult-led Cubs to boy-led Scouts, the two of you should really be sitting down with the boys asking them which badges they want to work on, and then the two of you work together to facilitate that. In several instances, what I thought the boys would want to do was not what they chose.