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PattiBear

I'm a new Webelos leader...

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I recently became the Webelos Den Leader. Our old leader left the week of Blue and Gold (last week). Next week will be my first time as Den Leader.

 

My boys have only been in Scouts since this past September, so I am new to Scouts. I have twins in the Webelos Den.

 

This den is a 1st year Webelos Den. How do I step in and getting them moving on the AOL trail? The past leader was busy most of this past year, so not much time was spent working on Badges. The boys barely finished the Webelos rank requirements before B&G. Some sadly...didn't finish, and still received rank. I know for a fact, only my twins knew any of the Boy Scout stuff (oath, slogan, law etc.) This den is really rowdy, and in the past few weeks, have gotten worse. It's not just talking...they hit, run around, and more. It is really disturbing for the others who want to learn, so I realize they need to be given some rules to follow to start.

I want to get them on the right track to cross over to BS's next year. Having never done this before though...I am a little scared.

Their schedule has Engineer badge next (from the old leader and the assistant leader). So, I put some things together to get that started (trips, projects, speakers etc.) The den has not had any outings aside from one trip to a radio station, so I want to get them out, and into learning.

 

What should I get to start off? I go to training in March, and a week later, to Pow Wow.

I bought a shirt and the Webelos Den Leader book. Do I also need the Cub Scout Leader book? Our Cubmaster is also the ASM for our local troop...so he has been too busy to help me get started much, aside from giving me the registration and training forms.

 

So any tips and ideas would be helpful!

 

Thanks

Patti

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PattiBear, You are off to a strong start. You have the right leader book and you obviously have the willingness to do things right. I suggest you get your own Webelos Scout Handbook.Next find another parent to help you. Get togetyher over a soda and open the Webelos Leader handbook and the Webelos SAcout Handbook. Select three themes tis month next month and the month after. Your Cubmaster can let you know the natioinal themes (hopefully the pack is following the national calendar). the Webelos Leader handbook outlines 4 den meetings for each theme. Unitl you find your own pace, use these outlines as written. They will guide you through a successful meeting. Gather your props for your themes at least 30 days in advance. Try projects first so that you know how they work (and can make sure they really do work). Remember to keep everything hands on and don't stay on one thing too long. Boys this age still have limited attention spans. Keep parents informed of what the den is working on and let them know if any projects need to be finished at home and returned to the den meeting. Be positive in your comments, have fun. Visit you district roundtable for additional project ideas and places to go in the community for program enhancement. Lastly start getting the boys outdoors they will be lusting for campouts, but you need to keep it limited. They do not yet have the skills or knowledge for quality camping, and a bad experience could steer them away from scouting. Day events outdaoors and an overnighter with a scout troop would be great.

 

Hope this helps,

Bob

 

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PattiBear, You are off to a strong start. You have the right leader book and you obviously have the willingness to do things right. I suggest you get your own Webelos Scout Handbook.Next find another parent to help you. Get togetyher over a soda and open the Webelos Leader handbook and the Webelos SAcout Handbook. Select three themes tis month next month and the month after. Your Cubmaster can let you know the natioinal themes (hopefully the pack is following the national calendar). the Webelos Leader handbook outlines 4 den meetings for each theme. Unitl you find your own pace, use these outlines as written. They will guide you through a successful meeting. Gather your props for your themes at least 30 days in advance. Try projects first so that you know how they work (and can make sure they really do work). Remember to keep everything hands on and don't stay on one thing too long. Boys this age still have limited attention spans. Keep parents informed of what the den is working on and let them know if any projects need to be finished at home and returned to the den meeting. Be positive in your comments, have fun. Visit you district roundtable for additional project ideas and places to go in the community for program enhancement. Lastly start getting the boys outdoors they will be lusting for campouts, but you need to keep it limited. They do not yet have the skills or knowledge for quality camping, and a bad experience could steer them away from scouting. Day events outdaoors and an overnighter with a scout troop would be great.

 

Hope this helps,

Bob

 

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I wouldn't sweat the details as much right away, give yourself some time to get into the swing of things. A few meetings will go very well, while a few others will bomb completely. The key is to make it fun for the boys, and "sneak in" advancement while they are having fun.

 

Don't lecture, but get them to participate as much as possible.

 

The actual work for rank doesn't need to take that long, and they don't have to get all the badges, so you have plenty of time to work with all you can.

 

The toughest thing is that you will lose some boys, and likely get a few new ones later on.

 

One thing I would do differently is to have the boys more active in preparing and presenting the program. That is what they are headed for in Boy Scouts, so get them started doing it as soon as you can.

 

You can and will make it!

 

Brad

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I became a Webelos Den Leader in October of the first year of Webelos for my son. I had all my son, his best friend (a challenge scout) and 3 brand new to Cub Scouting. Also, very little help from other parents. Main thing is keep them busy!

 

For Engineering badge let me suggest the following. Give each boy 3 pieces of insulated wire with the ends already stripped, 1 flashlight bulb, 1 battery, 2 metal paper clips, and a piece of cardboard. Make sure the batteries are the right size for the bulb. The CAN NOT electrocute themselves with this. Have one or two adults in charge of the electric tape. If you give the tape to the boys, they will do nothing but play with tape. Have them work alone or in teams to build a circuit, securing it to the cardboard. For incentive, tell them once ALL the lights are working, you will turn off the lights briefly to see how bright these little bulbs are.

I told my boys they were not allowed to ask any adult for help (I had parents who would not really help but actually do for the boys). They first had to work together. Those who finish first have to help the others.

 

You will probably have a few like I did that said "oh, I know how to do THIS, I did it in schoo." In a few minutes there was not much talking and a lot of puzzled faces as they tried to figure it out. Make a sample in advance so you know how it works and to show them what you are doing.

 

Warnings--- They will use as much tape as possible, NEVER let them touch the role of tape. They will want MORE batteries to string to together if you have extras. At least ONE will insist he doesn't have enough wire. They WILL have fun! The parents who were not there said the boys came running in the house saying "look, look" and played with it for a week or so.

 

Right now, breath deep, take it one week at a time. Keep them busy. Look at what badges have been earned. I tried to make sure we did one badge from each of the 5 groups. Do the ones that are FUN. Worry about Readyman and Citizen for next fall -- those are tough for 4th graders. Focus on scientist, engineer, the outdoors type, art, physical fitness type, communication, craftsman -- all the FUN ones.

 

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Patti

It sounds like you will be an excellent Webelos Leader. I'm in my second year as a Webelos Leader. Training, Training and Training!! Make sure you take Webelos Outdoor Training this will help you greatly. I made the decision during my first year to not attempt to earn each of the activity badges but to earn at least the minimum number for AOL. This allowed me to spend time working on Scouting Skills all of my Scouts are proficient in knots, have experience in firebuilding and cooking. I have a Patrol of 12 boys, first year and second year Webelos combined. I divide each meeting into three areas and divide the boys into groups of four and rotate them through each area. This keeps them focused and less likely to "push and shove". This also helped me to get the parents involved since I require two adults for each area. To give you an idea of a sample meeting we might have the following activities: knot tying, first aid work and dutch oven cooking. The last part of my meeting we will play a game of some sort and finsh with a snack that the boys prepared. I agree with Bob White it is important to get the Scouts outdoors. We try to take three to four Webelos campouts (car camping) per year. We've also attended two Orienteering Meets.

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Also, go ahead and get in touch with some Boy Scout troops. They can help your Webelos with camping this spring and in the fall. You might even be able to get a Den Chief from a troop to help with your meetings.

 

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For Readyman, get the Red Cross or the local Boy Scout troop to come in and put on the course.

 

For Citizen, it is always neat to go to the county courthouse or the 911 response center.

 

I forget which pin it was for, but a trip to the waste water treatment plant was the highlight of Webelos for my den.

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It sounds like you're on the right track. Don't miss that training! You will feel a lot better after that. Don't worry too much about the boys being rowdy! That's what boys do, after all. They should settle down once they realize you are there to help them learn AND have fun.

 

Keep them busy, try not to "baby" them and the idea of trips ia terrific. They love to go places!

 

Good Luck and let us know how you're doing.

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You're doing great! Just be prepared for your meetings is a must. I was a Webelos leader for several years and now that I'm Cubmaster, I just assist for our Webleos. Thank goodness the leader is a teacher who has lots of resources. At the end of each meeting we discuss what we'll be doing at the next meeting so we're prepared. If the boys are rowdy, we discuss how it's not fair for the boys who really want to be there, learn, and move up in rank. This usually gets them to settle down, guilt factor it hink...lol Most of the times our boys are great, we make it fun. We've made games to help learn the requirements for Boy Scouts and usualy do it in a competition sort of way. Several badges are hard to get the boys to do right out of the book, so we've typed them up and given them as "homework" to complete as they are able. Scholar being one of them, which is good to cover about the time report cards come out. Our Pack holds our own "Webelos Woods" (we have 3 dens) and we cover Outdoorsman, Forester, and Readyman. We have them do a lot of the requirements beforehand. Scientist is a fun one and this time of year most boys are doing projects in school. We had each boy demonstrate or show a science project or trick. There's so much to do to keep things interesting. Just remember you do not have to follow the monthly themes, it's just a giude. Go with what's best for your climate and area in planning outdoor stuff. Best of luck to you, they boys will do great and so will you!

T~

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Patti,

I just thought of something else. We ran into this problem is why I'm mentioning it. For Sportsmans, try to throw in an activity such as bowling or skating as a day out. The boys will earn their loop and requirement for the individual sport as well. The team sport is pretty easy if you have a group that does community sports like little league and basketball but there are some boys that don't. We recently helped 2 of our boys officially earn a team sport loop during one of our outings with Boys Scouts. We had a picnic after an eagle tour and played a game of softball. We went over rules and safety. Played a full 9 innings and they wanted more. Got all the scouts and family involved. These two boys had never really played the game besides recess at school. They did great, (nailed the balls to center field) but most of all had fun. They're already talking about the next softball game being parents vs. scouts. Anyway, finally got their requirements, they had fun, learned and it was a relief. this waas one badge we took for granted that it would be easy for all to earn. some boys just need a little extra push and help. take care...

T~

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