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Beavah

Improving Webelos Programming

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In da parent thread, RememberSchiff writes:

 

Fifty some years, A scout worked on his Bear rank in 4th grade. Webelos was a much shorter program (months) at the second half of fifth grade (Lion rank) and focused on becoming Boy Scouts (no distracting activity badges). There was no Webelos badge, a scout worked as a Webelos for a few months on his AOL. Cub Scouts was a 3 year program (oh for the good old days!).

 

Yeah Webelos is broken, just look at how many scouts drop-out during the Web years. The excitement is elsewhere.

 

Some of my random thoughts

- Web I requirements are BORING. The Citizen and Faith requirements should wait another year. Focus on exercise, games, outdoors, cooking, knife safety, first-aid. OUTDOORS, did I say OUTDOORS. Rework FITNESS. Break off food pyramid into a new COOKING badge. Every Web should be a SWIMMER. Whatever happened to swim lessons at scout camps. I have been to 3 different Cub Scout camps and the waterfront is Camp Splash! Think about what skills scouts should have as Web 1 (4th grade) and Web 2 (5th grade) and rewrite the requirements. Don't worry if they will repeat skills as Boy Scouts as they will go in greater detail.

 

- if a scout joins in 5th grade as Web 2, no way can he earn AOL. Fix that.

 

- the handbook is awful, no, it is GAWD AWFUL. If nothing else, get the information presented to be consistent with the Boy Scout handbook, e.g. what to do if lost S.T.O.P. Rewrite.

 

- the program can't make up it's mind if we should make one more trip to the Cub Scout badges candy store or get ready for Boy Scouts. Drop the Compass patch. Overhaul, focus on becoming a Boy Scout but make it FUN.

 

- the program does not formally draw in parents as "activity badge" counselors and hence as future merit badge counselors. So if no parents sign up as Craftsman counselor then no Craftsman badge for Pack XXX.

 

- Get Webs outdoors with troops. Not just once for AOL. Currently, it is just too informal, make it a requirement for Troop recharter or Quality Unit. Start at Web I, don't wait until Web 2.

 

- get the Web 2's crossed-over in Feb (Scout week) so they are present for summer camp presentations and can make an early deposit. Some Web 2's don't join their new troops until April and the summer camp full payment is due in a month. This is often insufficient notice to parents.

 

Sorry for the grumpy mood.

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I for one have never really understand the need for 2 years of Webelos scouting.

 

I like the possibility of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Lion and Webelos as the 5 years of Cubbing. If all the requirements for AOL can be done in a year, why are they allowing for two?

 

Unfortunately with the cycle of Scoutnight and Crossover, somewhere along the way there's a loss of 1/2 a year. I found that when I taught Webelos, it took a full year to fulfill the requirements.

 

That means I picked up the boys in September when the full year and then basically wasted time until BlueGold the second Webelos year.

 

We repeated some of the more fun things, but it was pretty much spinning the wheels. The parents then didn't want to cross over the Webelos 2's because they had been in the program for only 6 months at the second Blue Gold. They wanted to have their boys finished out the school year from Feb to June and so there was even more wheel spinning. They got in the spring Derby and that was pretty much the only effective activity of that time period. Crossing over was "done" at Blue Gold and yet they didn't really cross over until after school was out. The boys left Webelos with no fanfare and straight to summer camp.

 

The only other alternative is to take the full two years, and then wait from September until Blue Gold and cross them over in the middle of the third year.

 

My solution to the problem was: I took the Webelos I for a full year, Sept - Sept, I held them in Webelos II for half a year, crossed them over at BlueGold in Feb and told the parents the boys could join up anytime they wanted but the Webelos II program would not introduce anything new except for any boy that wanted to continue working on pins, or make up past requirements they may have missed. (One boy did earn his AOL after the Blue Gold because he filled the requirements.) The boys filtered in one at a time into the troop as their parents made the decision. Some boys moved over right away and missed out on the spring Derby, another bunch came in after Derby and the rest straggled in after school was out.

 

However, during that Blue Gold until end of school year, I took the next batch of Webelos (those that had fulfilled a half year from Sept to Feb Blue Gold) and started them on the 1 year progam. These boys where then ready for their AOL at the next Blue Gold. That in effect makes Webelos I's only a half year program.

 

Stosh

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I'd like to see them get rid of the whole "Cross Over" as a gaggle thing and go back to the strict age of 11 for joining Boy Scouts.

 

Sure some kids might miss out on Summer camp but what are they missing except for the chance to do some watered down merit badges and getting rushed through requirements for First Class.

 

On or after your 11th birthday, the Scoutmaster could come to your pack meeting and call you out of the meeting and intone, "You're eleven now. Your time with Cub Scouts has ended. Are you ready to take on the challenge of being a Boy Scout?"

 

If a Scout turns 11 during the Summer, he could wait until the first pack meeting for his call out or it could happen at the Pack Summer picnic or even another pack summer outing. How cool would it be to be plucked from the crowd at the zoo!

 

Or he might just want to put it all behind him and run off to Boy Scouts.

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Gold WIng,

I'm wioith you. I don't remember any cross over in the late 60's when I turned 11. I remember Webelos being no more then 1 year..

If we need to have cross-over, do it at the first meeting in September.

The new Tigers will go WOW, look at those Cubs. They are becoming Boy Scouts.

Maybe we won't lose over half the Scouts that we do at spring cross-over, because we freeze them out of Scouting on their first Boy Scout camp-out in Feb. or March. At least with a September cross-over, they'll be prepared for winter camping, and have a year to prepare for summer camp. Why rush them?

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I was a 16 or 17 y/o Bicentennial Eagle in the good old days when Scouting was Scouting. My oldest was a deathbed Eagle right at 17 and 364 days. Almost all of the Eagles in our Troop get Eagle at 17.

Now if they had a strong Venturing program, or started a Rover program, then maybe 14 wouldn't be so bad.

I'm more concerned with keeping the boys involved. And freezing their @#$ends off on their first camp-out I'm sure has driven many a youth away. In my days, if you turned 11 in Aug. or September, to bad. That's when you moved to the Troop.

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B,

 

I like everything you say. Cub Scout Division and Boy Scout Division really need to work together to make Web better.

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>>Yeah Webelos is broken, just look at how many scouts drop-out during the Web years. The excitement is elsewhere.

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Beav, Webelos hasnt changed in the last 10 years, so why dont you look at what has?

 

Yah, just to be clear, I haven't posted anything on this thread yet, eh? :) The original post was written by RememberSchiff.

 

B

 

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Wow...what a post! Now I'm gonna just make everyone mad :) This post will aim at responses to the initial post. I am not attacking anyone, just presenting my view.

 

"Cub Scouts was a 3 year program (oh for the good old days!)"

- I disagree that shorted is better. True, Cub Scouts was concieved as a way of dealing with the younger boy problem, but it has over time developed into a program that they can truely learn life leasons from. Remember the old....very old...phrase "raise them up in the way they should go and they will not depart from it"? This day more than ever, our young boys need this. My son couldn't wait to start Cubs... He is the ultimate Scout, loves everything about it.

 

"Yeah Webelos is broken, just look at how many scouts drop-out during the Web years. The excitement is elsewhere."

Yeah, the excitement is sports. Organized sports is more popular than it once was. Shortening the Scouting program isn't going to alter this competition. Quality of YOUR program does. Nearly every starting Web we have moves on into Boy Scouts.

 

"The Citizen and Faith requirements should wait another year. Focus on exercise, games, outdoors, cooking, knife safety, first-aid. OUTDOORS, did I say OUTDOORS."

Citizenship and Faith should be core throughout their lives...including the Cub years. Integrate it with outdoors though!

 

"Whatever happened to swim lessons at scout camps. I have been to 3 different Cub Scout camps and the waterfront is Camp Splash!"

That is too bad...but it sounds like an issue in your council. Our summer camps offer swim leasons to any Cub that doesn't pass the advanced swim test.

 

"- if a scout joins in 5th grade as Web 2, no way can he earn AOL. Fix that."

Why? AOL is the Cub Scout equivelant of Eagle. Making it earnable in less than a year without extreme work I think cheapens it.

 

"- the program can't make up it's mind if we should make one more trip to the Cub Scout badges candy store or get ready for Boy Scouts."

At this age it still needs to be both. You start working without the fun and reward side, you'll lose more than you do now.

 

"- the program does not formally draw in parents as "activity badge" counselors and hence as future merit badge counselors. So if no parents sign up as Craftsman counselor then no Craftsman badge for Pack XXX."

I actually like that idea ;) Surprised? LOL

 

"- Get Webs outdoors with troops. Not just once for AOL. Currently, it is just too informal, make it a requirement for Troop recharter or Quality Unit. Start at Web I, don't wait until Web 2. "

Our pack gets out with the Troop at one camp-out a year now. Web 2 have at least 2-3 additional campouts with the troop their last year. We have also begun to make sure that our Webelos program is a Boy Scout prep program. You can do this in additional to the Activity badges. Think outside the box. Nowhere does any of the Cub program say you must camp...but most of us make sure there is an active camping program. Do the same with Webs! Just because it doesn't SAY prepare for Boys Scouts, doesn't mean you can't.

 

"- get the Web 2's crossed-over in Feb (Scout week) so they are present for summer camp presentations and can make an early deposit. Some Web 2's don't join their new troops until April and the summer camp full payment is due in a month."

Ours cross in the begining of March. This is actually by the request of the Troop. When they cross they will cross with their funds raised from Popcorn sales (they get 25% of total). They also cross having done two Webelo winter campouts held by us and at least 4 campouts with the Troop. You just need to expand the concepts :)

 

Here are our numbers. 2/3 of Tigers continue on into the other levels of Cub Scouting. Far more than I think we would touch otherwise. The longer you wait, the more of them go to sports. About 80% of the Wolves end-up going though to Webelos. Of our Webelos usually 90% cross over. Nearly every Webelos that is in our program as a Web 1 attains his AOL.

 

The key is to make your program exciting a make it work. Outdoors IS key. You have that right. But it can easily be worked into the program. Most of our boys have completed 1/3 to 1/2 of their book requirements by the time Summer and early fall programs are over. They do this OUTSIDE! :)

 

Hmm...I guess I am agreeing that the Book needs to be rewritten, but it is a good program in general.

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The problem I find with the Webelos Program is that most Webelos Den Leaders are not delivering it effectively. The purpose of the Webelos Program is to transition the boy from Cub Scouts an adult leader run, meet indoors, all work on the same thing every meeting, artsy craftsy, let someone entertain me program to a boy planned, boy led, work at your pace, take responsibility for yourself Boy Scout program. Boys leave between Bear and Webelos because they are burnt out on Cub Scouts not Scouting.

Webelos Leaders need to be properly trained in April to begin the program in June and not September. As Bears the Webelos program should be explained to the boys (preferably by Den Chiefs) and to the Parents (preferably by a trained Webelos Leader with experience AND by an ASM familiar with the Pack). The difference between the Cub Scout programs in Tigers, Wolves and Bears and the Webelos program needs to be made clear. The first summer the boy should be ready to work on Traveler, Family Member, and Fitness these involve working with an adult family member and are easily done over the Summer break from school. The boys need to understand that they will be working independently when it come to advancement even though the Webelos Den will focus on certain activity pins over the 20 month program. Instead of trying to fit in all 20 pins a Webelos Leader should use the Pack/Den resource sheet to find parents suited to be activity pin counselors. For Citizen, Outdoorsman and Readyman, local Boy Scout Troops are great resources for these badges. In September of the Webelos I year Citizen should be the focus along with planning the activity badges that will be addressed. The boys should pick the badges that the den will focus on and depending on the number of times a den meets a month these may take more than one month to complete. The emphasis should be on skill acquisition and not pin acquisition. No group sign offs. Each boy meets with den leaders individually to have requirements reviewed and signed off. Just being there does not get you a pin. A suitable adult other than the den leader should be used as a pin counselor and as many of the pins as possible should be done some place other than the regular meeting place. The Webelos Den should begin camping ASAP as a den and then with as many different Troops as is feasible.

 

Webelos is not supposed to be another program centered on getting awards. Webelos is not supposed to teach a boy about camping skills he will need as a boy scout.

Webelos is not supposed to be junior Boy Scouts. Webelos is not supposed to be just an extension of Tiger, Wolf and Bear. Webelos was introduced as a transition program. Transition is the movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Think about that change from adolescence to adulthood it did not happen over night. The Transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts via the Webelos program does not happen in the last few months, it is a 20 month process. The boys need to be given increasing levels of responsibility for their own advancement and for den participation and Pack Meeting participation.

LongHaul

 

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