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Where did they go?????

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Ditto what LisaBob said,


it always bothers me when someone on these boards says the goal of cubs is to prepare the boys for boy scouts. What Parent enters a program in 1rst grade whose goal is to prepare them for 6th?


IMHO Web to Scout transition won't improve until the boy scout program reaches back and serves the cub scout program. How about some service advancement requirements that mandate that? How about some district / council joint activities?


I've been asking for a den chief for my Webelos for 3 months. Still nothing.

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I try to pitch it (the Boy Scout Program) as very different (so as to avoid the "leader burnout" concern of "oh dear G*d I don't want to continue as a Den Leader for this kid until he Eagles out") and, because the kids are different at those ages, it is better for them than continuing a cub scout style adult run program.


I probably fall victim to saying it's better, but I say it as this is where the real magic of challenge and leadership development occur.

-- And I can probably get away with it, since I'm still the Pack Trainer and own (and operate) my own "Cheer Box"! ;^)


So, both programs are good . . . for their ages.


Of course, Webelos is a transition time, and especially in Web II it's good to have a foot in each program. (Psst: nobody said you could only do ONE troop visit and ONE troop outing during your run-up to AoL . . . we actually had a very late Web II signup last year who wanted to get the 6 months for his AoL and also go to summer camp, so he did repeated visits with the Troop to stay with the rest of his former Den who had crossed over in February).


And to help leaders with the burnout fear and to show them how Troops are different, I always like to tell them my experience at one of my first Troop Meetings with my now crossed-over son. I came up to the Scoutmaster to say hello; he was about to have a Scoutmaster's conference with a former Webelos Scout from my Pack.


SM (to the Scout): "What does the Scoutmaster say?"


Scout: "You always say 'ask your patrol leader!' "


SM (to the Scout): "What does the Scoutmaster do?"


Scout: You just sit there like this [he sat down in the next chair, folded his hand over his stomach, and started twiddling his thumbs . . . this is known as the "Scoutmaster's Position" in our Troop].


SM (to the Scout): "So, now, what does the CUBMASTER do?"


Scout: "Oh . . . he does EVERYTHING!"


SM (to me): sly glance, wicked grin.


We just emphasize to the Cub Leaders: hang in there, soon you can assume the Scoutmaster's Position!


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"I've been asking for a den chief for my Webelos for 3 months" ===> sad.


Sad especially because if you have a small troop you're connected with, they probably want new members (and here they are missing a chance to recruit).


And if the Troop is large, they probably have more boys anxious to advance to Eagle, and need more "Positions of Responsibility" for advancement than can be found in Troop Elections (and selections), so Den Chief is made for them.

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>>Girl Scouts handle this with no problem--Daisies are kindergarteners, and Service Unit activities combine all the ages. From what I've seen and been told, the older girls don't really get bothered by events that involve the "little kids" until about 6th grade,

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read my first post.


I did (again), and it doesn't mention Tigers, so I'm not sure what you're referring to, so perhaps you could be more explicit. Unless you are saying to drop the Tiger program altogether as part of shortening the Cub Scout program?


I'm not really gonna argue this any more because it's not germane to what I have to do to run our program. I'm just stating my experience with crestfallen Kindergarteners who pick up a join up flyer at the school presentation and then find out they can't join for another year. So I'm wondering why make it 2, particularly when it's been shown in another scouting program that you can have a successful, and integrated, K program?


Though I will admit that I do not know what the retention rates of GS is at higher grades, and it may very well be much lower than BS. It's not a perfect paralell.

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83 Eagle,



As District Membership Chair, I'm in many schools for fall and spring recruiting.


In the fall, I talk to kindergarteners about Cub Scouts and I promise to be back in the spring to invite them to join Cub Scouts then.


And in the spring we recruit kindergarteners as Tiger Cubs.



There can be some boys who are disappointed with that in the fall, but usually it's not too much of a problem.


That's my experience anyway.

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That the Boy Scouts need to be serving the Cub Scout packs is no more fair to the older guys than it is to assume Cub Scouting is just a run-up to Boy Scouts.


We have a fairly large troop, about 60 Scouts, and supply a fair number of Den Chiefs to our brother pack -- I think we have 6 currently. However the pack is HUGE with 10-12 dens on average. When you subtract the Boy Scouts serving in troop positions, the guys who are red-shirted for a sports season, school or other activity; and relatively large number of guys who simple aren't old or mature enough for the job, there's no way we can supply the numbers they want.


Besides, Den Chief is a HUGE time commitment for a Scout AND his parents. He and they are basically doubling their time commitment to Scouting, if they do the job right. That's a lot to ask of anyone. So every year I end up with three or four den leaders like AKdenleader with their arms folded, lips pursed and foot taping wanting to know why I haven't sent them their den chief yet. (Just kidding AK, I'm sure you're being very patient and polite.)


ON THE OTHER HAND, I do know exactly of the arrogant attitude Lisabob describes. I've seen it first hand among The Chosen Ones in our council. They are BOY SCOUT volunteers here to deliver a BOY SCOUT program. The Cubbies are more than welcome to do their own thing, just don't ask them for anything. This is clearly a local volunteer issue, at least from what I've seen. The solution would be for councils to push to have all council committees reflect the makeup of the membership, in otherwords, roughly 2:1 Cub folks to Boy Scout folks and appropriate numbers from other programs. Of course that would mean committee chairmen would have to work to recruit new blood and The Chosen Ones would have to find somewhere else to eat lunch every Thursday.


Interestingly, the professional staff gets this -- or they at least understand which side of their toast is buttered. Anyone want to take a guess at the source of most new members, popcorn sales, Scout shop revenues and FOS donations?


But frankly I don't see this relating to membership losses significantly. I don't think most folks are aware of the politics. After six years of fairly heavy district involvement with the Cubs, I really didn't see the difference until I moved to the Boy Scout side of the aisle.

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I've seen it first hand among The Chosen Ones in our council. They are BOY SCOUT volunteers here to deliver a BOY SCOUT program. The Cubbies are more than welcome to do their own thing, just don't ask them for anything.


I've experienced this first hand at the Roundtables. Doesn't matter that I have an Eagle knot on my uniform, it's the blue shoulder tabs they focus on.


Locally, I can't get a den chief either (we've never had one in our Dens, period) and although our "feeder troop" professes it wants to "increase interaction" between the CS and BS when I visit the Pack meetings, I never get a call back or follow up.


Time to look at some other troops? Yes. But the larger point is that I agree with the comments about how BS seems to do what it can to dismiss the CS program, when it should be cultivating it.


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We were in three packs during #1 son's Cub years and will be in at least two for #2 son. I've noticed that military heavy packs seem to do better at keeping a program varied since you have such rapid turnover and get fresh blood and ideas at a pretty heavy pace. The packs we were in that had WEB 2 leaders going through the motions were the ones where that poor DL had been there since Tigers. Knowing someone has to leave at a designated time gives everyone a light at the end of a tunnel. You will not count on Mrs. Smith being Den 5's DL from tigers to W2, and Mrs. Smith knows that. You also don't find yourself asking, "Barb/Bob hates the outdoors. How do we take the den away?" If packs would recruit fresh blood for the Web years, I think everyone would be happier.


Now, I'm going to pick a bone.


Tigers and Daisies are not toddlers. They are excited, enthusiastic, non-readers who will go the distance until their little legs fall off. Calling them toddlers shows a complete disrepect for them as children and the future of Scouting. GS has dispensed with Daisy partners. Daisy troops are just like every other troop but with a higher girl:adult ratio than Brownies which has a higher ratio than Juniors, etc. Daisies last two years, K-1. Anyone want to ask parents to sign on for a two year Tiger team event? Even I wouldn't do it.



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Are there not pilot programs to add a kindergarden level to the Packs.. I think I heard they are being called lions.. Don't know if that is good news or bad news, given the feeling DL are feeling burnt out..


I do think our den lucked out with having a switch of DL as it went through. Our Webloes leader still wasn't outdoorsy.. But was new & fresh as our old DL move into the CM spot. But somewhere around wolf we also had our first DL move away.. Therefore we never felt the burnout.


I have heard about recruiting Tiger cubs in spring once before. Our Pack always waited for Fall recruitment. That must be for Packs that go all summer long. Our Pack had a monthly event, one month being the council camp for a week (which Tigers who are migrating from K to 1st can't attend.) So unless you hold den meetings over the summer, it don't see the benifit of recruiting them in the Spring.


We came from a very strong Pack, so I know the cub scout program is a valid program.. As stated alot of boys enjoy their cub scouts, but had no interest for BS.. Some may be from boredom in the final throws of CS, but many just don't get into the camping/hiking thing.. So it is not just a holding program for BS.. Our den was special all boys went from tiger to Eagle from the entire den though when time to pick troops they divided spreading out to 3 different troops based on the interests of the boys.


Den Chiefs are great for the Packs, but I agree.. Regardless of if the Adult leaders of the troop may like to get you some DC for pack/troop relations or not, it was rare to find a boy interested in doing the DC position because many other troop jobs are done during troop meetings or troop events and rotates usually for most troops every 6 months. For the DC position it is a year long committment weekly with other events besides their troop events that they need to commit to. Plus the boys are excited to finally leave CS behind them and get to BS.. Unless the BS had a parent for the DL, we couldn't get many boys interested in doing that position in our troop, especially if there were enough other troop jobs to go around.


Also I remember a CM & Venturing crew advisor both voicing their irritation about the Adult leadership of the troop.. They were in need of leadership. At the time the troop was top heavy with leadership. In their opinion the COR should go into the troop and tell the Adult Leadership that X, Y, Z needed to be leaders in the pack and A, B, C needed to go to the Crew.. Luckily our COR did not follow their dictates.. I was just floored by the assumption. We don't pay our volunteers, therefore volunteers signed up to the programs their children were associated with, for a position they have an intrest in doing.. You can't demand that a volunteer must volunteer their time where you demand they need to be, no more so then the Crew or Pack was successful at demanding the parents of the scouts step up and be volunteers in their own childs unit. They will simply not be a volunteer!

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"I've been asking for a den chief for my Webelos for 3 months. Still nothing. "


Hey AKdenldr are all dens in your pack entitled to a Den Chief? Maybe you could sign up as an Assistant Scoutmaster with the troop that you expect a Den Chief from. Then you could go on all the camping trips, attend the troop meetings, help with the PLCs, etc... It certainly would add a lot of time to your Scouting obligations. This is why it's so tough to get Scouts to take the DC job, it basically doubles a boys Scouting obligations.


Most of the DCs we seem to get are Scouts who take the job with a sibling's den. Makes life a little easier on the parents. Can you imagine the parent with a son in a troop who also DCs for a den and another son in a different den! That makes 12 meetings and 2 nights camping a month, minimum!


That being said as a SM I hold the DC job in very high esteem. A good DC is a tremendous asset to his troop.


Life's a two way street.


And for the record I also serve on our neighboring Pack's committee.

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The premise of the "Where did they go?" is that we care that boys leave Scouting; not just on the personal level (did I do something wrong?) or unit level (what is wrong with out program?), but on the BSA "mission" level. We want a boy to join Scouting in first grade (or kindergarten, in Councils where they are running the Lion pilot program), and stay until he is twenty-one and ages out of Venturing. In that sense Scouting is like a religion -- our mission is to improve human beings, and we can only do that as long as they keep coming. Fundamentally, we agonize over kids who leave and kids who never join because we believe that Scouting programs have something to offer every youth.


(And I think in part we agonize because we aren't living up to our own history -- BSA is only half as big as it was at its peak 40 years ago, while the population of the United States has grown considerably.)


Youth sports leagues, on the other hand, operate on a different principle: they have something to offer every youth _who wants to play that sport_. They aren't trying to change lives, just give kids a fun and worthwhile three month season. On the "mission" level, they don't really care if a kid doesn't come back to play another season -- they exist for the kids who already want to play, not to try to convince kids that they _should_ play. There is no guilt involved on either side.


Scouting doesn't have "seasons" (indeed, we try to promote year-'round programs for Scouting units), but it does have guilt. When a youth joins, we assume a continuing commitment by that youth (and family) until age 21 (or 18, for the Boy Scout-centric). When that doesn't work out, we feel bad. We want to know why the youth isn't coming back (or transitioning). The parents apologize and/or make excuses. We urge them to return. We consider a Webelos den leader who doesn't transition most of the boys to Boy Scouting to have failed or be burned out have a flaw of some kind.


Perhaps there is an incompatability between the notion of youth-long Scouting and a structure that consists of three fundamentally different programs (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing) and that is not only program-centric, but is heavily weighted toward just one of those programs (Boy Scouting). (This Boy Scout centricity can be seen, as pointed out earlier, in the volunteer heirarchy. It is also plainly illustrated in the structure of a Wood Badge training course.) Perhaps there is an incompatibility between the notion of signing up for a life-changing program of 15 years duration and the desire to just have a good, fun Scouting experience _this_ year.




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>>>>>>Are there not pilot programs to add a kindergarden level to the Packs.. I think I heard they are being called lions.. Don't know if that is good news or bad news, given the feeling DL are feeling burnt out..


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