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Webelo program tips wanted

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I've mentioned in other posts that I am the committee chair of a cub scout pack that is 3 years old. During my time, I've never really understood what makes a great Webelo program and it has been much too long since I was a Webelo myself. I've also read from others that significant differences exist between the operation of a Webelo den than a tiger/wolf/bear den. Anyway, my own son will be advancing from Bear scouts to Webelo scouts in about another month. What advice and tips and experience can any of you share that I can pass on to my up and coming Webelo den leader to help him run the best program possible.


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A few ideas:


1. Get them outdoors: Hikes, Webelos den camping; small conservation projects. If you're not affiliated with a troop, find a neighboring one with a good outdoor program and get the boys camping with them.


2. Enlist the help of parents, friends, etc. with particular knowledge to help the boys with the various activity pins. Don't do them all yourself. For example, we had a local state rep. work with them on citizen, engineer for engineer (duh), paramedic for readyman, art professor for artist, etc.


3. Let them have some control. Pull out the list of activity pins and ask them what they want to work on. Bring a list of local trails and help them plan a hike.


4. Start doing the Boy Scout oath and laws right away, so it is second nature by the time they are ready for AOL.

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Oh, what he said. The WebeloS Scout is almost thru with Cubbing. They've been "following Akela" for the past years. Time to see if they can stand on their on, with dad and mom nearby , just in case. Encourage them to work as a TEAM (Patrol, yes?) , planning their activities, where and how and what. Tug 'o war stuff, really PULLING together, working together on a given project, for your CO, or some other worthy. A Webelos Den of my ken helped lead the Pack in building bird houses and neatening up a school courtyard to hang them in. They were allowed to put a plaque up attesting to "Landscaping by Cub Scout Pack xyz of Littletown"

Let them become the "big brothers" of the Pack, demonstrating flag courtesy, cheers, helping to build stuff with the younger boys. At least until the "graduate/bridge over". Let them take pride in their new skills and be able to show them to others.


Thanks for all you do. Now, let THEM do.

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Another thing is to look up the "Webelos-to-Scout" transition plan.


I have a copy that is used int he Outdoor Webelos Leader Skills course I present to council. PM me if you want m to email it.


There is likely a Boy Scout unit in your Council working with a Pack or two to help groom the Webelos along. Get to or ask during council training and you might find them.


The Troop I serve, has a Pack in the same CO, where we are fortunate to have a working relationship.


The Troop runs a Webelos Outdoor Weekend, where we have a Boy-Scout styled weekend with 3-4 experienced Boy Scouts that manage the activities for the pack Webelos. There's always a couple Webelos from other packs that won't likely join our Troop because of distance but are welcome where adults know the SM/ASM from council training courses.


The most common thing we hear is the Webelos Scouts are not used to being led by a youth (at lest the ones that don't have a functioning Den chief). The SM/ASM's are in the background on this weekend usually with the Webelos leaders. Sometimes they have the hardest time not helping the Webelos with tents, cooking, etc...(This message has been edited by dg98adams)

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Take the BSA online Webelos Leader Specific training.


Read your son's Webelos Handbook.


Purchase, and read, the Cub Scout Webelos Leader Guide.


Encourage your son's Webelos den leader to utilize community resources along with den parent resources. Many places have in place, or will put together for you if you give them the requirements, Webelos Activity Badge workshops. People/places to consider - Fire Dept EMT's, State/County/Local parks/nature centers, quarries, Community Colleges, museums, YMCA.

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Check with your districts Advancement Chairman and get a list of the Merit Badge counselors. See if they would be interested in also helping as a Webelos Activity badge counselor. May make you life a little easier. There may be some areas that you are not familiar with.

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Check with your District & Council to see if any local museums or attractions have Activity Badge programs.


We are lucky here to have programs at our Natural History Museum.


Write up a description of each badge and have the parents of the new webelos take a look. One of them may be an expert or know an expert on one of them.


Webelos is fun. The boys have learned lots and are really growing up.

Enjoy it!

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get the old copy of the webelos leader book with 4 weeks of meeting ideas for each badge.

get the new 2010 webelos book

use the 2 of them together to work out a reasonable plan of action, the first has a bit too much details that may not adjust to your pack's scheduled events, the 2010 program doesn't have enough details to actually finish all the activity pins(most people call them webelos badges,not to be confused with the Webelos Rank Badge) The 2010 plan completely skips a bunch of them, or details 2 projects for craftsman when you need way more projects than that.


plan out about 1 badge per month, with some overlap of some activity badges we do start one month and finish later.


We tend to do the most of the "artsy/crafty" badges first when the boys will be more apt to want to do those, and do the more outdoorsy stuff later, although that is not a hard and fast rule.


We usually have newbies so we have to do bobcat and do some team building with communicator (messages back and forth) in August/sept and maybe a game for sportsman.


do fitness partly in a meeting or 2 and send it home for some one on one with their family.


spread out citizen with outdoor flag ceremony practiced with each boy leading, a visit to a state capitol building and some patriotic (by veteran's day)


outdoorsman at the same time as the above, 1 thing per meeting, to keep it from being boring--to prep for a campout and/or hike in both sept and october- this keeps us busy til almost December.


then we do part of artist making a christmas gift, have parents do the faith requirement. might do a craftsman project that could be a gift too, while focusing heavy on the oath, law, outdoor code stuff once everyone has that bobcat badge.


in january each boy does their own derby car with hand tools start to finish and a display stand. this MIGHT finish craftsman, but usually not. we'll pick it up later on with some leather working, each project usually getting a little bit more difficult.


finish artist and webelos badge by February.


then we'll hit on handyman and bike repair/auto, naturalist on a spring campout/hikes, usually throw in showman, and something else toward sportsman.


by May we'll usually have 8 badges and partial on craftsman and sportsman.


over the summer we'll suggest boys work on traveler and family member--most of them start it, but don't complete it.


we do aquanaut and one of the technology badges(engineer or scientist) at day camp plus a meeting to fill in the holes-there are always holes a week long (or long weekend) campout in the summer will give us forester and geologist, finish naturalist or outdoorsman if anyone didn't finish those, maybe something else toward craftsman and another sport for sportsman.


that gives us a total of 13 plus partial craftsman, sportsman, family member, traveler but there may be holes in those badges which will be worked on if needed in the fall/spring.


when we come around to august and roundup of new scouts again the den as a whole has to make the decision if we can handle new boys in the den who just joined and get them thru those initial badges all over again.


we usually take them so we have to touch on fitness, citizen and outdoorsman again, but that's ok those things are good to review. of course, we only do a little bit of them in the meetings again, along with finishing sportsman badge.


while doing citizen review in sept, we cover scholar(good citizen of school). that's 14

then we do readyman in october (and touch on parts of fitness-health and safety) that's 15,

family member usually the meal planning for the oct campout with the outdoorsman stuff

and maybe a trip to the laundromat, the rest at of family member at home. that's 16


then we finish up craftsman by christmas with a harder/cooler project that the older boys now can handle. that's 17


We start really pushing the arrow of light requirements/joining boy scouts stuff at this point--note we do oath and law at each meeting, one beginning one at end of each meeting except when we run out of time. so they know it by now, they need to know what it means.


boys choose if they will make a derby car or help run the derby if they are tired of it in January. January engineer or scientist whichever wasn't done at camp that's 18


February traveler with the map and compass stuff that's 19 and start on the last badge Athlete to do the 30 days of physical fitness stuff--right before they cross over. tell them to talk to their troop and do it again for tenderfoot right away. this also helps them get ready for any backpacking or longer camps as a boy scout they'll be more physically fit.


that's all 20 badges have been touched on.



I have a couple of other hints in a minute but this is WAY long. not really sure why I typed it all out except to hear myself think.



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other suggestions:

have the boys start leading their own stuff if they don't have a scout as a den chief--gathering activities, focus on outdoor skills if possible. have a list of things they should do. involve the boys in the set up and take down of their meetings, doing their opening flag ceremony. Have the denner take the role closer to den chief (or maybe as patrol leader) and lead and plan as much as he is able to. note many of these boys are not mature enough to really choose their own activities, but they can be lead into choosing from two things, or looking up info on one thing they want to do. but 4th graders are still really really young (9 in most places) and how much they can truly do for themselves will vary widely. step back as much as possible and don't do anything for the boy, instead teach the boy to do it for himself.


the parents either are helping with an activity pin(webelos badge) or they are not hanging in the back of the room talkig. put the parents to work. get each parent to "teach" one of the badges, you fill in the ones that you know, and coordinate finding someone to do the others. check with the local boy scout troops to see if a boy or adult will help with any of the projects.


get a joint troop/webelo outing at least once a year as a webelo den. Have your boys starting acting as a patrol, planning their meals for campouts with help, setting up their own tents, tenting together as much as possible, and cooking most of their own food.


parents will want you to cover everything in the meetings. it's the heart of the 2010 program, boys are too busy involved in scouting, soccer, football, karate and more. tell them up front that there is no way you can do it all in the meetins, but you do want the boys to get used to working with an adult that is not their parent on a small group basic in something that is NOT school.


I will add that if you use the worksheets at merit badge.org, you use them to organize YOUR thoughts, don't turn the activity badges into HOMEWORK PACKETS for the boys to do.


parents don't sign stuff in their son's book. they can mark it with a sticky note if they know their kid did something. get the boy to bring their book to an approved adult(it does not have to be the den leader) for signature. download something like cub trax, but only use the main page to look at the den as a whole. it takes too much time to fill in a spreadsheet for each boy and it gets too important to fill in all the holes, rather than making sure the boys know the stuff.


try to get thru to everyone that webelos is still cub scouts "do your best" but that just half heartedly trying something isn't gonna cut it. you want to see them try. if the achievement says tie a 2 half hitches, it seems that over 18+ months of the webelos plan, they should be able to actually tie that knot, not just play at it.


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What Blancmange said.


And check with nature centers, etc. in your area to see if they offer programs for the four nature-related Webelos pins at a low cost. Your local EMT's may be able to handle Readyman for you.


Get 'em outside as much as possible.

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I respectfully disagree on keeping the webelos 20 months. They will burn out and leave just that simple.....they are ready for the troop by 1l, well most of them. Besides, I have never met a webelos who mentions the super achiever award, it is usually over bearing parents.


Keep the den meetings fun.


Most of my first year webelos bridge.... It is simple if they go to resident camp and a webelos advancement weekend the can earn their AOL by april easy.


Make sure they camp with the troop and are active with the troop......Make sure they hike with the troop......


I view my primary job as to easing the boys into the troop. We have a very close relationship with the troop.....Only lost had one decide not transition....it was mom's choice not his.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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eh you can do 20 months pretty easily in webelos,

we cross em to webelos by June 1st (right after Bears).

and the troops won't take them until about March around here and would prefer April or May.


that's actually more than 20 months. Not really sure what we are supposed to do with them if you say don't keep them 20 months, but we end up with 20 months or more to keep them interested in scouting.



we spread out the 20 badges.

don't FORCE any of them to be completed.


we do hold their hands to make sure they all get fitness and citizen and one other to get their webelos badge.

then we make it very easy to get outdoorsman and readyman

and then we rotate thru doing a badge in each content area,

then do a badge in each content area again. by the time you do one in each content area twice you'll find that most of the boys will have the badges they need for AOL. especially when you tell them they have to complete one in each area.


let the boys determine how much of each of the

remaining badges they want to do. pick the most fun/active parts of the badges to work on. don't turn it into school and print out the worksheets.


It's nice to focus a bit on how some of those badges and requirements line up very closely with what is in the trail to first class. of course for a few boys that's gonna make them think, so I have to do all this stuff over again?


we usually end up with 2-3 in each den who do indeed finish all 20 badges. and others that get as close as they want, and decide to finish the badges that really interest them(like you'd do merit badges that interest you after doing the required ones).


the last few months, you are focusing on them leading their own meetings as much as possible, really learning their scout joining requirements, a few extra hikes and campouts, and some joint troop meetings. if you don't have something active going on right up to the bitter end, they will get bored in the meetings and not want to stick it out til you reach the end of cubs and can join a troop.


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We graduate boys to the troop at least twice a year. at the blue and gold and in the fall.


Once they earn the Arrow of Light we send them to the troop. Which means we cross boys over somewhere between 10 1/2 and 11. most boys are webelos with us for about 9 or 10 months. No boredom in our group.

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Basement dweller, do you do an LDS 1 year webelo program?

9-10 months in Webelos is so short, there is so much more to learn and more fun to have in cub scouts IMHO in an almost 2 year webelos plan. it's all how you look at it.


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