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Lame Duck Webelos

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By the way, what's the plural of Webelos?

Webeloses? Webelos'? Webelos Scouts? Ooops, off topic.

 

So when a Web "ages out" at the ripe old age of 5th grade or 10 and 1/2, should he be "crossed over" immediately? What's left? What other Cub worlds are there for him to conquer? Should the Pack just wave g'bye and g'luck?

 

I would like to suggest that the wise Cub Master will see his Senior Webs as the older brothers of the Pack and put them to work as mentors (not DCs) and examples for emulation. Proper flag ceremonies, good uniforming, the very best skits, help with belt loop projects, and not just sign them off as lost to the world of Cub Scouting.

Yes they have other apples to pick, they've seen the world of Boy Scouting and isn't that what the man said, that Cub Scouting was to prepare the boy for the real thing, Boy Scouting? But is the purpose of Cub Scouting merely to get the boy into BScouting ASAP just 'cause you can?

 

What do you see from your side of the elephant?

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I have a group of 5th grade Webelos. They are already lame ducks. I find it difficult to get them to come to pack events, campouts, etc. They are more than willing to turn out for den outings and campouts, but are looking to ditch their kid brothers as much as possible.

 

As a cubmaster, I wish they'd have more ownership in the pack. As a den leader, I think the separation is a good thing. If they are looking back towards the pack, rather than ahead towards Boy Scout troops, we aren't doing our job.

 

I think "good bye and good luck" (good riddance?) is exactly what we should do with boys when they complete the Arrow of Light. Give them a year or two to develop as Boy Scouts. Then bring them back in as Den Chiefs if they want. I don't think having "Super-Webelos" hanging around the pack is a healthy situation.

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I'm guessing that's a leadership and program problem. They don't see the fun or their parents don't see the purpose in having them at the events.

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At a training event, an experienced old guy told us "of course, the plural of Webelos is Webelii" (but he was kidding).

 

My opinion is that as soon as Webelos have the Arrow of Light (and are at least 10-1/2 years old) they should be with a Scout troop. They have pretty much gained everything from Cub Scouts that they were meant to gain.

 

If they don't have the AoL yet, and have turned 11, or have finished 5th grade, there again I think they should be in a Scout troop, unless they have a strong desire to finish AoL (some advance planning might have prevented that circumstance, though).

 

I can say from personal experience, that I've handled it wrong once and I am planning better for Cub #2. Cub #1 turned 11 in October of his Webelos 2 year. He finished AoL by April, and was quite anxious to move on to Scouts (had I known better, he could have finished AoL months earlier, which I think he would have liked to do).

 

Cub #2 turned 10 in early September, and has started his Webelos 1 year. By March, he's planning on finishing everything for AoL, so he can be done with Cubs. He doesn't really enjoy the pack meetings at all, or any of the large events we've been to (Webelos Woods, Webelos Arrow of Light Weekend). He's not even sure he wants to be a scout, I think he just wants to be done.

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Part of the problem Ive seen is when the Pack wants to have a big sendoff and AoL recognition / graduation with all kinds of nostalgia, slide shows, etc from the past 5 years and doesnt plan any of those until Jan, Feb or even Mar. That can easily mean 2 to 6 months of down time since wrapping up the AoL requirements. So while we can have them come to our troop meetings, I really cant have them 'officially' get anything started until they are officially in the Troop. Looks great to the Pack Committee when they are planning things in the fall, but works out terribly for trying to retain the Webs right into the Troop on the crest of the excitement wave.

Each year I try and find a way around this. Sometimes the DL are very ready, too, but the Pack Committee won't let it go ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, they start finding other interests with their time and going in different directions. Frustrating on our side as well. I am amazed how often I hear 'we just thought the AoL was the end of Scouts.'

 

Jack

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As a DL (twice) I timed their activities to finish the AOL in January so it would be presented at the B&G in February. Our scouts then routinely crossed over at the pack meeting in March. We used the last month to finish up miscellaneous stuff for the boys who had a goal of earning all 20 pins and to catch up any boy who had not quite finished the AOL with the others.

 

At about a pin a month, the Webelos program works fairly well. For the boys who had already earned a pin that rest of the group was working on, I would have him either help lead the activites or I made sure to pick different optional requirements so that he was still doing something new.

 

This did not seem to bother my more aggressive advancers. One of my dens had a new to scouts boy sign up in September of fifth grade. The more advanced kids were great in helping him catch up so he could earn his AOL with the rest of them.

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As long as a boy is eligible to remain in the pack he should have the option to remain until his eligibility ends or he chooses to leave the pack.

 

If a Cub is eligible to transfer to a Scout troop then he should be given the option and the opportunity to transfer.

 

If he is eligible to stay in cubbing and you have accepted his membership then you have a responsibility and an obligation to provide a meaningful program to him don't you?

 

 

 

 

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From the cheap seats in the Boy Scout side of the program...

 

While a Crossover situation where several Webelos come over together is what seems to work the best, there isn't any reason a Troop shouldn't accept a Webelos who has completed his AoL or aged out what ever time of the year he does so.

 

However, I do see your thinking of keeping them as positive examples..., and wish that some Eagle Scouts who finish up with some time left before turning 18 would also stay around and mentor the younger Scouts. But, that's also only in some situations. In some cases they need to go form Venturing crews to keep the pipeline open for the Scouts in the Troop to continue to grow and not get hemmed in by the older Scouts taking up leadership positions.

 

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" I find it difficult to get them to come to pack events, campouts, etc. They are more than willing to turn out for den outings and campouts, but are looking to ditch their kid brothers as much as possible."

 

Also from the cheap seats:

 

"If you give them great program, they will come." H Roe Bartle, late Scout Executive of the Kansas City Area Council, Mayor of Kansas City, and founder of Humanics

 

Sounds to me like all the advancement got done before these boys were qualified to move up. Did you reserve some program for them until it was time to go? Boys can be astute: If you're selling eyewash as program, they'll know.

 

To me, timing the AOL to 1-2 months before you push them out the nest is just about right...

 

 

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This is the time they should be using to shop the prospective troops they may join. All troops are slightly different and multiple visits and even a camping trip help the prospect get to know the rest of the troop. I would forgive the poor pack event attendance if they were exploring the next step.

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Our Web 2 boys will be crossing over in Early February, but will be participating in a pack camp-in at the zoo and the pinewood derby (but not, techincally, as cub scouts, more in a sibling capacity)shortly after they officially cross over.

We are also going to use the last few months of Webelos to finish up a few 20-ers and to go on a slew of troop visits and campouts.

 

The boys and parents WILL get burnt out if you continue weekly meetings, though... we will keep ours to 2 a month-ish, plus a pack meeting, plus troop visits 1x a month. And we were thinking of making one of the den meetings optional, and tell the parents/ boys who needs to come to finish what.

Honestly, we've run out of stuff to do with them! A sit-in-the-school meeting every week would send 'em all running for the hills at this point, now is when we can have fun without worriing about what requirement we HAVE to do, what they NEED to complete, ect.

 

FWIW, all 6 of our Web 2's are still gung-ho about showing up!

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This is the time they should be using to shop the prospective troops they may join. All troops are slightly different and multiple visits and even a camping trip help the prospect get to know the rest of the troop. I would forgive the poor pack event attendance if they were exploring the next step.

 

 

Thank you, scotteng!!

 

This is EXACTLY the situation I am in. When the Webelos boys have their own den campout coming up, and are getting invites to troop campouts as well, I can understand the limited interest in coming out to a pack family campout that will have lots of parents and even more 1st and 2nd graders. When they've just visited 2 troops, getting to talk with an active duty serviceman at one and seeing a cool camp cooking demo at another, showing up to a pack meeting with a bunch of younger kids becomes pretty "dorky" in their eyes.

 

 

 

I'm guessing that's a leadership and program problem. They don't see the fun or their parents don't see the purpose in having them at the events.

 

Sounds to me like all the advancement got done before these boys were qualified to move up. Did you reserve some program for them until it was time to go? Boys can be astute: If you're selling eyewash as program, they'll know.

 

I'm not sure why I deserved these snarky comments. I'm not having a problem getting the boys to turn out for den events, and we still have plenty of things to do, both advancement work and "just for fun" things. Last time I checked, pack meetings were not hotbeds for Webelos badge work. In fact, that's probably one reason their parents don't make it a priority to show up.

 

Putting together a pack meeting that is interesting and fun for all the kids from ages 6 to 11 has always been a challenge.

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