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getting WEBELOS to complete activities

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A W1 leader in our pack has had problems getting the scouts to complete activity badge items (or other requirements) at home what advice would you offer to her?


Some of the things I can do as a tiger leader, and things that have worked well for me, may not apply to the older scouts.


Thanks in advance


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As a Weeb leader I would do most of the items for an activity pin at the meeting. The I'd send them home with a little independent stuff to do.


Some boys come from families with problems. One problem is no matter the socio-economic group some families don't give a carp about their kids. so I'd always try to help those kids but make the boys do some on their own. You get to see what their made of that way.






For second year Weebs it is really time to take the pacifier away. You aren't helping by making it easy for them.






Once the kids see their peers get awards that they had the same opportunity to get sudden stuff starts getting done. All boys want the bling bling make them earn it.



Cut the apron strings.


10 year old American boys used to milk cows, split wood, haul coal, even work in factories and get their fingers chopped off, run gun powder from deck to deck etc.


It's time to accept SOME responsibility. We aren't being mean, we are building them.

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The Tiger program is different from that of Wolf & Bear, and the Webelos program is completely different from any of the other Cub Scout programs.


In Webelos the parents are no longer able to sign off on all of their son's work. There are some limited exceptions, but for 99% of Webelos activities, it is the Webelos DEN LEADER who is responsible for approving their activities.


As our former owl friend states, most of the Webelos Activity Pin requirements should be done at den meetings/outings. However, if the Webelos leader sends homework home with the boys & they are not completing it then that is their choice. What she can do is give them clear deadlines & remind them when stuff is due. She can give them time during den meetings to present what they have done to the rest of the den so that she can sign off on it. She can provide the boys with multiple opportunities to finish activities with the den. In the end, if they do not finish the work, they do not receive the Activity Pin. Usually, when the Pack meeting comes around & they do not receive the award, & others do, they will get the message.


A good thing the den leader can do is to send home den newsletters (or e-mails) to the parents, personalized for each Webelos with any homework that is still needed. Good communication with both the Webelos & his family will help a LOT.


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Yes Webelos should do most requirements in den. However there are specific ones that HAVE to be done at home.


For the Citizen pin, boys are required to earn the Citizen belt loop... it requires the boys to chart chores for a week.


For the Fitness pin, boys are required to either plan a week's worth of meals with their family or record their meals for a week.


Anything that has to be done at home (especially something over a week) will end up with stragglers. I send home den notes and email reminders to the parents. I have even at the end of den meetings conferenced with the boy and parent regarding what the scout needs to finish.


It is difficult. You can't make them do it. I have four boys that have everything done for their Webelos Badge .... except the religious requirement #8. I will not do that for them. Either they do it at home or no badge.

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Its doubley hard when the boy wants to complete his pin but his parental unit can't be bothered to help him with the home requirements. WDL Mom's examples of religion, Citizen and Fitness are perfect examples of boys needing their parents to give them 20 minutes of their time to help with this.


Sending notes home helps some, but it isn't a perfect answer.


For the pins that are required and require stuff to be done at home, be prepared to keep after the parents to get it back. For non-required pins, I still send the notes home, but don't harp quite as much about it.





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If the parential unit is disfunctional, you may want to/ need to look past the parents.

Do any of these boys have older sib.'s or relatives at the Boy Scout level that may be able to step in for the lacking parent.

Another Web. parent whose Web. is the boys friend, that can get the boys together after school a few times during the weekto help keep him on track.

Grandparents. Not all apples fall close to the tree. I've seen grandparents step up and take due to the parents lack of interest in the kids. Somtime it's a surprise to find that the Grandparent was a Scout or better yet , a few generations back, actually a leader. I found out at Crossover last month that a grandfather to one of the Webelos, a gent that I ran on the Fire and Rescue with for over 10-15 years, had at one time been a Scout in our Troop and was actually the SM for a while. Small world.

I know it's hard, especially when you have a totally worthless parent for what ever reason, but unless they are vengeful and controlling, there is usually a way to work around them and help the boy.



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Generally speaking I'd agree with what's been posted so far about working with (and around) parents. But let me ask this: Is the problem really that the WDL has tried to get the boys to do things they are not interested in doing? For example we had several boys who just did NOT want to do the artist pin. Their loss in my opinion, but ok, their choice too. We arranged opportunities for those who were interested but many DLs seem to think that all the boys should earn all the pins when in fact the program doesn't require this. If we push too hard with some of these it becomes another thing, like school, that the boys "must" do because some adult said so rather than something they "want" to do because it might be interesting.


From your original post it isn't possible to tell what sorts of activities we're talking about or what the dynamic is. So it is impossible to know with any certainty which direction to go in search of solutions. The above might NOT be what's going on, but it is a possibility.



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Lisabob - you may be on to something there. i know one of her scouts has a brother in our den. he always tells her how he wants to be with the tigers because they always do cool and fun stuff. though i smile when i hear this (.. the MIF part of the KISMIF equation) i also realize that theres other challenges to her group than mine. i know that we work hard to provide a great program for our scouts.


or, like you said, maybe it isnt that she is trying to make them do somehting theyre not interested in - maybe its the way it is presented. though i have not seen a den meeting of theirs - it could be that the material is presented in a way that is not interesting to the kids. i know i need to change my style when i am trying to teach an SAP topic to someone at work from when i am talking to the scouts. again, i need to be very different.


all this makes me realize how important the leader is to a group - and uninterested scouts are what we do NOT want. keep the advice flowing - maybe others can get help also.

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Presentation style could be part of the issue for sure. The material in a couple of those required activity pins is prone to being a bit dry if we aren't careful about presentation. (Example: citizenship pin comes to mind - and hey, I teach this stuff for a living but it can be done well or it can be done poorly)


If she's having a hard time with some of those requirements, maybe she needs to use her resources and find others with different styles to help her out. For example, some of the citizenship requirements can be turned into a game (jeopardy style or something more active). She could invite an older boy scout to help teach flag etiquette (#s 3& 4). She could combine a visit to a community leader of some stature (someone interesting like a judge or sheriff or mayor) with #7 and at least part of #2. She could make #6 into something like a Den Leader's minute at the end of a meeting. If there is a military reserve unit or Nat'l Guard post in your area, maybe she can get one of their outreach people to stop in to a meeting and cover a little of this material. Boys are "wowed" by that.


Or maybe she's feeling a little burned out (if she has been a DL for a long time, hey it happens to the best of us at some points) and needs to more actively recruit the parents and others in her den to help her plan these things?

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