I was looking for a scouting forum so I could talk with other leaders in scouting and look what I found. This looks like a great site. This is my 4th year in scouts as a Den Leader. So here is my weekendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s adventure.
I took 8 of my Webelos on their first Webelos Woods campout. We had been invited by a local Boy Scout Troop to be their guest. The Troop said they were 100% boy led and the leaders only stepped in if it was a safety issue. We went to their Troop meeting so the Webelos could meet the Boy Scouts. I knew it was a little unorganized when it took over 20 minutes to just have the flag ceremony. The Webelos and Scouts met and planned their meals and all seemed to go very well. My leaders and I visited with the Troop Master and were told not to bring tents for the boys or any food. The Scouts would show the Webelos how to set up tents and cook and generally work with them the entire weekend.
So we show up as directed Friday night at 6:30pm at the Scout house and the Scouts and Webelos start loading the trailer. Took about 2 hours. Totally unorganized and the leaders gave no direction or advice or input or anything. We finally get on the road and arrive at the camp around 10:30pm. The Scouts and Webelos start unloading the Troop trailer and then the personal equipment trailer. The Scouts start setting up tents and camp. Again, the scout leaders did nothing. After unloading the trailer my Webelos were not allowed to be involved in the camp setup. About 11:30 several of my Webelos came to me and said the Scouts said there were not enough tents and they did not have a tent to stay in. Other Webelos came up and said the patrol they were assigned to at the Troop meeting is now telling them they are not with them. I let this go on for a while and now my Webelos are getting upset. They are young boys, tired, hungry, and being told they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a tent. At this point 2 of my assistants go to the equipment trailer and find two tents. We start setting the tents up. One is missing parts and the other one just doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to go up. The Troop leader then comes over and calls all adults to the pavilion where he tells us that he knows it is chaotic but this is a boy led troop and they need to do it himself. He and I then had some words. I told him his scouts were ignoring my Webelos, not helping them, telling them they were not in the patrols, and telling them they had no place to sleep. He told us he knew but it would all get worked out. Like I said, he and I had some heated words. Well we backed off and watched the scouts finish setting up camp and start getting ready for bed. Still no tents for my Webelos or interaction from the scouts. My leaders and I went back and set up their tents. It is probably 12:30 at night and several of my Webelos are so tired and hungry they are on the verge of tears. We finally have midnight snack at 12:45 and lights out about 1:30.
Next morning I am thinking that it was a bad start and everything will be better. The camp cooks get up at 5:00 and are as loud as they can be. I am talking obnoxious loud. The troop in the next campsite actually complained. Anyway, I am thinking it will all get better. The boys are on one side of the pavilion and the adults are on the other. They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want the adults to go into the boysÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ area. I respect that but I am checking on my boys who went to bed very upset. I go to check on my boys and make sure they are getting to eat and are ok. The Scouts are supposed to be showing the Webelos how to cook and generally mentoring them for the weekend. NopeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦not happening. The Scouts are cooking and telling the Webelos they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help and go play somewhere. They did cook and feed the Webelos but did not let the Webelos hardly do anything. At one point two of my Webelos came to me and said they thought they were supposed to be helping cook and learning how to do this. I told them that plans had changed and they should just help when they were asked and otherwise play around. After every meal I went and checked on my Webelos and made sure everyone had gotten meal. I had one boy that said he had a hamburger and it was still raw and he did not eat it. I politely walked back to his patrol with him and nicely pointed out to the patrol leader that he still needed to eat and they cooked him another burger.
There was a second Webelos group that was also visiting. During lunch on Saturday I walked up to parents of the other Webelos group and apologized for blowing up at the troop leader the night before. One mom looked at me at said you had every right to blow up and she was glad I did. Then she said she was about to go have a talk with the troop leader because her Webelos were not getting to do anything. The three other dads in the group said donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry about it, something needed to be said. That made me feel better in the sense that it was not just me getting frustrated.
So we went to the other camp activities and the Webelos had a blast. Archery, BB, hatchet throwing, first aide, etcÃ¢â‚¬Â¦We got to visit with several other troops and identified a few we want to go visit. Even got invited to go camping with two other Troops. Came back Saturday night and it was back into the stressful situation. One of my leaders said he felt more unwelcomed than a whore in church on Sunday morning. No one from the Troop that we were guest of ever came to talk to us or try to explain what was going on. One of my assistants said he had never felt so unwanted or unwelcomed. The troop leaderÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s answer to everything was that it was a boy led troop. So Sunday morning came and we got up at 6:00 and broke down camp. My parents and assistants hiked our equipment out and loaded it in two trucks we had. We went back and broke down our two Webelos tents, put them in the Troop trailer, made a sweep of our area and cleaned up everything. We went to flag ceremony and service and then the parents and leaders all agreed it was time to leave. The camp was supposed to be empty by 10:00 and I later learned it was close to 11:00 before the Troop pulled out.
I went expecting it to be a friendly mentoring environment where the Scouts were interacting with the Webelos and the Webelos Leaders would have some interaction with the Troop leaders. There was very little interaction at all. The Webelos parents and leaders were pretty upset and aggravated about the entire trip. We shielded the boys and made sure they had a good time. As I visited the other troop I told them we were not real happy with our hosts. When they found what troop it was out they typically just made a face and said sorry and good luck with that. I later learned that the Troop used ot have a reputation for being too adult led and now it appears they went to the other extreme. Did I go in expecting too much or was it just a bad situation?
Sorry for the long storyÃ¢â‚¬Â¦but it was a frustrating weekend to say the least.