Jump to content

What To Do With Webelos!

Recommended Posts

Often I see this punctuated as a question--- What to Do With Webelos?




This month my district Cub Scout Roundtable will be having one of our most talented Cubmasters give a presentation:


"What to do with Webelos!



By the time a Cub Scout hits Webelos age, they've probably done most of the annual Pack activities a couple times, and are looking for new adventures. They'll also be eyeing the Boy Scout program, but may have questions or concerns. We'll give you some great ideas to spice up your Webelos program and avoid the "been there done that" syndrome. We'll also provide good suggestions on learning more about Boy Scouts and getting your Scouts excited about crossing over."



At our district meeting last night, our Outdoor Activity Chair announced the camporee for June 3-5th. Bear Cubs officially become Webelos on June 1st, so I'm aiming part of our program at getting Bear/Webelos dens to partner with a Scout Troop and attend the Camporee as their first Webelos activity.


Scout troops may wish to invite Bear dens to one or more of their troop meetings to prepare for the Camporee.



The past two years there have been NO Webelos dens at Camporee, despite the fact they have been welcome to attend. My theory is that these den leaders need some help to participate in that activity and our kickoff to provide that support will be at our Roundtable January 13th.


We'll see if this kind of effort gets some Webelos Dens to the Camporee. If it does, I will count this effort a success.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your district is now inviting both the Webelos AND Bears to your Camporee?


Our district went the opposite direction and stopped inviting Webelos. They can come and watch, but not participate. Troops stopped coming because camporess turned from competition to scout skills demonstrates for recruitment. We already have a Webelos Woods, so it made no sense to the PLCs. Now more troops are starting to come back.


Im all for trying new ideas, but adding bears into the problem seems risky.


You know I write a lot about the losses at the Webelos age, but I'm talking about the failing 50 percent. If you want to know "what to do with the Webelos", then ask the successful 50 percent.



Link to post
Share on other sites

The idea is that as of June 1st, Scouts who are Bears right now become Webelos.


Webelos will be doing the same comptitions as Boy Scouts, but they will be competing among themselves for awards.


When I was leading Camporee competitions, I looked for ways to make them a good experience for Webelos Dens.


If the event were lashing together a flagpole, I might demonstrate the lashings and make the competition about raising the flagpole, setting the stakes to hold it up and leading a flag salute.



It may be that Webelos will be a little overwhelmed by Camporee, but I think that's true for 1st time Scouts, too.


This has been done succesfully in the past, just not recently.


Does that sound reasonable?






Link to post
Share on other sites

No, our district doesn't have a Webelos Woods.


Last July a Troop put on a Webelos overnight, but not the same thing.


One district in our council has a "Cubolooza" which is a camporee for Cub Scouts through Tiger Cubs.


I don't organize Camporee and no, I'm not familiar with Guide to Safe Scout rules regarding Webelos at Camporee.



Link to post
Share on other sites

When I've done Webelos and Cub programs in the past, it's always been a challenge to (a) make it exciting and fun and different from the stuff they did as Tigers, Wolves and Bears, but (b) not be overwhelming and © keep it age-appropriate.


There's a reason for the split between Webelos and Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts can do some things Webelos can't, and IMO, Webelos shouldn't be doing the same competitions and events that Boy Scouts do. Webelos aren't just smaller Boy Scouts.


These new first-year Webelos that move up during the summer aren't going to be able to join Boy Scouts for two more years. That's an awful long time to wait, and if they've already gone to Boy Scout camporees and done the exact same competitions as Boy Scouts do, it begs the question "Why do I want to join Boy Scouts when I've already done all this stuff?"


Striking that balance and whetting their appetites just enough is a very fine line to walk. Stick to material in the Webelos handbook and the program will be fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The BIG difference between the lower ranks of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts is the ability to camp as Dens, rather then camping with the entire pack.. And ("Correct me if I am wrong").. The ability to go without every scout having their parent in tow..


Now this difference depends completely on the Den Leaders comfort. If your counsil does not have a Webelos Woods (Don't know if ours does, It's a good question to ask).. I would suggest trying to find your webelos that will, and see if they would be willing to do a campout with a den leader more skittish, so the two packs have sort of a smaller more personal friendly get together, and the skittish DL gets some good advice..


Also nice to encourage the Webelos leaders to get to their OWL training! (Hopefully soon to be combined with the IOLS, Don't know if this is good or bad from the participant aspect, but definatly easier for the District trainer..)


Also the DL should be encouraged not to insist that the parents be in tow at all the Den meetings and day events.. This loosening of the apron strings should give the Webloes some feelings of the program being "different" as well as giving them the needed feeling of independance that is good training for the next step into Boy Scouts..


I haven't been in Cub scouts for a while. But, I was surprised by the comment that Webeloes could not camp over at the Camporee.. I know we have discussed in other threads about Boy Scouts camping with Webeloes.. Strange they can camp together on other events, but not at camporees. But, it just might be the thing of "leaving them wanting more"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to violate one of my personal rules here (must avoid G2SS rules analysis), because the Camp O Ree rule is one that is more than necessary to offer the protection intended.


Yeah, as moosetracker correctly notes, it is strange Cubs can camp together with Troops on other events, but not at camporees. In fact, from a safety and learning standpoint, there is probably greater safety (ability of other units to advise, consult and/or pitch in during an emergency) if a Cub Pack and/or Webelos Den is camping with a number of other Troops (i.e., a Camp O Ree).

-- if they are "on their own", yes, they'll be fine, because they'll be trained, prepared and all.

-- but where there are more eyes working together, there should be greater safety.


And there are few Cub Leader / Webelos Leader types who cannot, when visiting other campsites (say if they are camping near other Troops at, say, a Camp O Ree), pick up some beneficial learning from others playing the game. Or share their own ideas. Or get a better introduction into the bigger world of this game.


Plus, it is not unusual for Cub Packs / Webelos Dens to go camping near other Troops at, say, a Council Camp (with or without Troops doing a Camp O Ree), and that proximity doesn't taint the Cubs or Webelos as the actually camp out among Troops.


Now, as far as I can tell, the safety reason for the "visit only" rule for Webelos at Camp O Ree (why Tigers, Wolves and Bears cannot visit/watch is beyond me from a safety point) is that Boy Scouts doing things at a Camp O Ree may be doing things that are beyond Webelos skills, like ax work, building pioneering towers, and other cool stuff that kudu and Green Bar Bill would like.

-- I get that.

-- And I get that some Camp O Rees are probably not good Cub events, like the recent Siege of Mafeking "after dark" Camp O Ree I advised a couple of months ago. For that one, though I'm friends with/trainer of all the Packs here, I said: uh, no, this one is gonna be a tough event, and we gotta draw the line.


But I don't get a prohibition of attendance / camping at any and all camping events that are, for the Boy Scout Troops, a "Camp O Ree".


For "transition" and other purposes, I'm leaning towards one "Camp O Ree" a year in my District having a parallel Cub Pack Camping event alongside it, ideally at a Council Camp during a weekend that has a Council "Cub Adventure Day", so that during the Day the Cubs can go do the Cub Adventure stuff (or have their own Cub-level activities), but they can camp alongside their Troops, and/or Troops they never knew, and learn about the game while leaders come and share a cup of coffee and enjoy a selection of cakes, cobblers, pies (sweet and pizza) plus artisanal cheeses at cracker barrel with other adult leaders and SPLs.

-- Ideally, the cubs will come back from the adventure day and see the pioneering tower and monkey bridge done by the Boy Scouts during the day and say "whoa". Cool.

-- I'm sure that we can share campfire together, cooking contests and other fellowship in a safe manner!


I'm leaning towards this because in our neck of the woods we gotta let more of our Units see how other Units "play the game", so that more of our Units get "in the game".

-- If we can provide this sort of opportunity, more units will play.


So, might that mean that Cub Packs and/or Webelos Dens are camping in the proximity of a Camp O Ree? Yes. But I don't think it violates a safety concern.


My $0.02. YMMV.


Bert Bender

Pack and District Trainer

South Fulton District, Atlanta Area Council


Link to post
Share on other sites

The explaination I've heard is the prohibition on Webelos at Boy Scout camporees is that the camporees should be geared to Boy Scout activities which may be inappropriate for Webelos -- rifle and shotgun shooting, sailing, motorboating, water skiing, orienteering, rappelling, etc.


After pulling your Webelos away from several of these activities where the Boy Scouts are clearly having the time of their lives, the temeptation to bend the rules just a bit can become very strong.


You could design a camporee to accommodate the Webelos, but risk significantly undershooting the Boy Scout's activities, which is probably what Barry's district experienced. Or you could run parallel activies for both the Webelos and Boy Scouts, but then what's the point?


Conversely, when we invite the Webelos II dens from our brother pack for a campout with the troop, the program is specifically designed for the Webelos and our focus for the weekend is on the Webelos.


And besides, 'dems da rules!

Link to post
Share on other sites

TwoCubDad, your explanation sounds reasonable. I guess from what I was reading was they were invited to the daytime activities, but could not stay overnight.


Seeing that the cubs could camp with troops at others times, the no overnight made no sense..


If it is they should not be there for the activities & campover that makes more sense, because the activities will be things they can not do, or the activites will be lowered to accomidate them.


As bbender states having the different activities is a choice.. But, yes you have to really be coordinated to do that.. With our district, each unit takes a turn hosting the camporees / klondikes & Hikeathons.. Or the OA will run some of them.. The event is a big undertaking for a unit as is, without asking them to plan seprate events for BS & for Webeloes..

Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to the OP, Our Council camp does something awesome during resident camp:


The Tigers through Bears have their activities all lined up.They are all camped at Camp McNeill( Cub scout camp)


The Webelos csamp at McNeill, but walk over to Camp Bowers( abutted Boy Scout camp) for Webelos activities and dining. Incidentally, the food for the cub camp is cooked at the Boy camp and trucked over to the "warmer kitchen" at the Cub camp dining hall.


After the day activities are done, the Webelos walk back over to the Cub Camop and participate/watch/ experience the campfire program, trading post, ceremonies, etc..


The Webelos then camp at the Cub camp.


So what does this do beside create a bunch of walking?


It creates a cool environment for the Webelos who don't want to do "baby" activities with the other Cub Scouts. They are not actually doing any Boy Scout level activities, but feel more special because they are doimng Webelos activities at a Bot Scout camp.


Kinda like a big ole placebo, but with a bunch of walking! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The event is a big undertaking for a unit as is, without asking them to plan seprate events for BS & for Webelos" ====> True!


That's why I've asked our District to set in stone that the Fall Camp O Ree will be the same weekend as a Council Cub Adventure Day, and that we'll be at the same camp (but on the other side of the lake, about a mile's hike).


So, in the morning, off you go Cubbie Dads and Lads, Mas and Pas, Family Campers! Have a nice time at the Cub Event!!


Then the Boy Scouts can do the rifle and shotgun shooting, sailing, motorboating, water skiing, orienteering, rappelling, paintball (oops, not that), lazer tag (not that either), homemade alchol fueled backpacking stoves (mmm, no more), and tomahawk throwing (OK . . . for now!), and just tell the story about it when the Cubbies come walking back at the end of the day.


Though in my example of pioneering towers and monkey bridges, the Cubbies could see what the older guys did . . .

Link to post
Share on other sites

I e-mailed our Camporee chair to ask him if he wanted to include 1st year Webelos that had just finished as Bears. He decided against that, but said 2nd year Webelos would be eligible to compete with other Webelos Dens for awards.


Perhaps he will modify some activities to make them Webelos friendly.


In any case, that's the official deal.


I might add that I just got an e-mail from the Committee Chair of a pack for which I'm Commissioner ----they are sending two Webelos Dens to Klondike. And what's Klondike Derby except a winter Camporee?


When I was at Klondike a few years ago, some events were modified for Webelos. Boys Scouts building a fire did their own axe work, while Webelos dens had an adult leader do the axe work.




(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...