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evmori

Webelos Woods

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Do any of your councils/districts have the Webelos Woods program? If so, how do you feel about it?

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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Our council has a couple of different Webelos camporees. I went to one as a Webelos leader. The Boy Scouts ran the events. The Webelos got a chance to build a fire, tie knots, do a stretcher relay, do a compass course, etc. They really enjoyed it. So did the parents.

 

Our district has a fall and a spring campout of troops and Webelos. I hear these are good for the second year Webelos.

 

I think they are good for the younger boys to see that Scouting is not just about the crafts they do as Cubs. Also, my son came up to me and said "That older boy talked to me and he was nice!" Helped him realize there was no need to be afraid of the older kids (at least for the most part). By the time the boys are in the fifth grade, they are tired of hanging out with those "childish" 1st and 2nd graders. These campouts gave them a chance to spread their wings a little.

 

The one improvement I would like to see is that the Webelos leaders are told more information beforehand of what to expect. We didn't know about building camp gadgets, didn't stress the importance of the boys cooking together, etc.

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I guess I better explain.

 

My district runs a program Webelos Woods. This is an all day event that culminates with the 2nd year Webelos crossing over to their new Troops. This is for all Cubs & their families.

 

It is also my understanding that National has stated that Webelos are not allowed to participate in Boy Scout camporees. At least that is the way my district has interpreted it.

 

Ed Mori

Scoutmaster

Troop 1

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My council has a program called Webelos Woods, but I believe it is a weekend rather than a one-day event, and it is held in September, so it is not held in conjunction with crossover. It is open to second-year (fifth-grade) Webelos. I am not that familiar with the details, though my son will be eligible to attend Webelos Woods this fall and we are planning to go. (Actually he doesn't know about it yet, but he likes the camping we do with the pack so I'm sure he won't mind.)

 

Out of curiosity I just did a Yahoo search on "Webelos Woods" and got a bunch of pages from different councils. Flipping through the first few, it seems as if councils use this term to describe a variety of different camping activities at different times of the year. Some of them appear to be half-week Webelos resident summer camps (which my council has, but they don't call that Webelos Woods.) Despite the differing methods, I am sure that all these programs are designed to orient second-year Webelos into Boy Scout activities and to encourage them to cross over.

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We have Webelos Woods and we just finished crossing the Webelos over at out Spring Camp-o-Ree. If National is saying no then our council has not heard. The Camp-o-Ree was a sucess. We've been doing this for a number of years.

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The Cub Scout Leader Book (2001 edition) says the following (not in bold, I did that to set it off):

 

Webelos overnight camping at Boy Scout camporees and/or events is not a BSA-approved activity. (P. 21-9)

 

That statement is highlighted in the book by making it a "bullet point" on a light blue background.

 

The book does, however, encourage Webelos dens to go on one-night camping trips with Boy Scout troops. (Page 22-3) Further clarification is found in the Webelos Leader Book (2001 edition) which states the following:

 

Dens of Webelos Scouts with their parents are encouraged to participate in several joint den-troop campouts, particularly during the fifth-grade year. These campouts, conducted with an individual troop for the purpose of strengthening ties between the pack and the troop, are to be held separate from any district or council Boy Scout activities. (Page 21.)

 

Then, going back to the CSLB, there is a list of approved Joint Webelos Scout and Boy Scout Activities. These include, overnight campouts (under the guidelines in the book), evening campfires, day hikes, and attendance by the den at a troop "skill-o-ree." (Page 22-3)

 

I would interpret all of the above to mean that a Webelos den could attend a district or council camporee to witness displays or contests of Scout skills, but should not stay overnight. Recently the second-year Webelos from my pack attended the district Klondike Derby as the guests of one of the troops -- but this event was not an overnighter where you pushed the sled from campsite to campsite, as it was when I was a boy. It was a one-day event where all the sleds were on a huge open field. In other words, no camping was involved (although at one "town" the boys did have to set up and take down a tent.) So I think it was ok for the troop to invite the Webelos den.

 

Now if you want to get really technical: If a Webelos Scout arrives at a Camporee on Saturday and crosses over to a troop that day, can he camp with the troop that night? He is no longer a Cub Scout; he is now a Boy Scout and a member of the troop, right? Or does the actual "membership" in the troop have to await processing of the boy's Application to Join a Boy Scout troop by the council?

 

The answer is important not just because of what I have quoted above, but because of the differing leadership requirements for Webelos and Boy Scout camping. If the boy is still considered a Webelos, there must be an adult specifically responsible for him -- not true if he is a Boy Scout.

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