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Are Webs mini-Boy Scouts?

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Y'all know that I've had nothing but difference of opinion when it comes to our new (but soon-to-be-former) CC. She's also the Webs leader, half of whom are Webs2's brought from her other Pack, and the other half are new Webs1's.


My son is a Bear, and I have not yet girded my loins for being a Webs1 leader. I ~know~ that it's a whole different animal.


But I do take exception (maybe, depending, since I'm not 100% familiar with the Webs program) to the attitude that the CC takes with these little boys. When my son becomes a Webs1 next season, he'll *barely* be 9 years old.


This gal insists that the point of Webelos is to "teach them to be Boy Scouts". And I'm just not sure that's completely true.


My interpretation is more along the lines of Webelos being the time to learn the stuff that you'll NEED to LEARN to be a Boy Scout, when you get there. Shouldn't Webs be allowed to BE Webs WHILE they're Webs? Especially during Webs1?


I mean, of course they have Readyman, and their Requirements ARE tougher, and that's as it should be. My son learned how to assist in pitching and striking a tent as a Tiger. He can *almost* do his alone, now, except for getting the fly over the top.


Are Webelos 1.5 years of being Senior Cub Scouts, or are they Junior Boy Scouts? This CC seems to want to divorce the Webs from the Pack.


Can't they enjoy being Cub Scouts that 4th grade year? I'm not sure I get the rush.

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Cub Scouts prepare boys to be Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts prepare boys to be men and leaders


While in Cub Scouts, they should have lot's of fun and be boys.

While in Boy Scouts, they should make lot's of mistakes and learn to lead and make things happen.


This is not to say that as Cube they are mini-Boy Scouts -- they are not! They are Cubs! Nor can teenage boys take on the responsibilities of being a man and a leader. But in the game of Scouts, they are learning by doing.

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SMT said, "Cub Scouts prepare boys to be Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts prepare boys to be men and leaders."


That's kind of what I'm feeling. I think Webs should ~prepare~ boys to LEARN to be Boy Scouts. But I don't think Webs should be whip-cracked through their Tenderfoot stuff, which is what this gal is trying to do.


I was in the Scout Hut last week, and I saw her weekly list of BOY Scout stuff she drills them on, and I call No Fun. Again, my Bears will still be *8* when they start Web1. I would like to teach them to be WEBELOS, not Boy Scouts.



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Cub packs actually have three separate programs, each age appropriate.


Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts (Wolf and Bear) and Webelos are the three programs in one Cub Scout Pack.


Webelos programs differ significantly from the Wolf and Bear Program. For example, in the Cub Scout program the parent signs off advancement requirements, while in Webelos the Den Leader does that.


In Cub Scouts, dens are not allowed to go camping as dens, while camping by Webelos dens is encouraged.


Still, Webelos is also distinguished from Boy Scouts. Boy Scout patrols elect their own patrol leaders from among the boys in the den, and vote on which boy will be senior patrol leader. Webelos dens have adults as den and pack leaders which the boys do not elect. In Boy Scouts, boy leaders should be signing off advancement requirements while in Webelos that's done by the adult Den Leader.


So Webelos is different from Cub Scout and from Boy Scouts. I would call Tiger Cubs "little boys" but not Webelos.


Most Webelos Scouts have DONE Cub Scouts and they are ready for new challenges. If they don't get them, they will tend to get bored and leave.


Too old for doing Cub Scouts again! Too young for the demands and challenges of Boy Scouts! In my opinion, a Webelos den leader needs to be able to accurately interpret the challenges Webelos Scouts are ready for and make that his program.


And I'd be looking for opportunities for the Webelos den to go camping with a Boy Scout troop when the trip is suitable for Webelos. For example, 2nd year Webelos Dens are encouraged to participate in our district Klondike Derby (Winter camping trip) and the Webelos Dens compete for awards among those dens.


Also, our district camporee in June invites 1st year Webelos to attend camporee and compete in camporee events, again with webelos dens competing among themselves for awards.


At the same time, there may be pack activities that Webelos Scouts will want to do that they have done several times already. That's fine too.


So it's a balance requiring good judgement by the Webelos Den Leader in my opinion.

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An added factor in our Pack's case is that we seem to get 1st year Cub Scouts AS Web1's; three years in a row, now. So with Web1's with NO Cub Scout experience, they're perfectly happy to come fishing at the kid's pond, or go bowling with the Pack, because they *haven't* done it, already.


My Bear son, on the other hand, has been fishing at the kid's pond like 5 times, now, and is ready for something else. So I do agree it depends on your guys.


Luckily, I do get along very well with the Scoutmaster, and it will be easy to plug my Web1's (next year) into some of the Troop's activities.

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I think Seattle nailed it. Webelos is both and neither. You get to do stuff that the cubs can't do but don't spoil it for them by making 'em into mini-boy scouts.


I think concentrate on giving the best Webe program you can because for some of them this is it. If you do a great job most of them will give Boy Scouts a try.


I always remember a trainer telling me "remember for some of these boys this might be the best moments in a bad life."

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Tampa, thank you. The Web/Cub/Boy Scout thing aside, the idea that you're making ~memories~ for these kids is a great reminder of why we do this.


When one of my little guys wasn't going to come back because the treasurer barked at his mother, I was like, "You know what?" Their family has it hard enough without tactless people chasing them off. I think some of that kid's funnest times are at my house during Den meetings.


Absolutely. It should always be fun, or at least enjoyable on some level, or what's the point? We have to make them WANT to come back!

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Our webelos den is nearly just another Patrol in the troop.


We open with them, close with them, and in between we do our own webelos meeting. The webelos camp a couple time a year with the troop and still participate in the Pack meetings, Blue and Gold, pinewood and such.



But the key to a good cross over is get them active with the troop......

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Webelos is a transition from Cubs to Boy Scouts just as has been described already. While still part of the pack, it gets their feet wet in what Boy Scouting is all about. My son joined as a Webelos 1, Eagled in December 2010 and aged out in February 2011. Joining as a Tiger or a Webelos shouldn't detract from the experience they have as it is experienced at a different level and different age along the way. Our Webelos did a lot more camping and outdoor stuff than the rest of the pack, so they got to have experiences they did not fully have as Cubs.

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I found it helpful to get and read a copy of the boy scout handbook -- especially the Scout and Tenderfoot requirements. They repeat and take further many of the experiences in the outdoorsman, AOL, citizenship Webelos program.


I say give the boys more choice in their den, elect denners, be acitive, use community experts, get outside, get camping, and associate with boy scouts, have fun. Ask the boys what they want to do. Get the parents out of the business of signing books. Have your experienced webs teach your new- scout webs the stuff they need to know. Have fun and use the new maturity of those 4th grade boys.


(Around here Webs do not typically camp winter camping with Boy Scouts -- day visits for the fun stuff -- sure.)


But boys do not have to master the skills as Webs that they again master as scouts.


-- AK

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It's been pretty much hit on the head. Webelos are Cub Scouts that are part of the pack, but they can do some things extra b/c we are preparing them to be Boy Scouts. Advancement and camping differences have already been mentioned.

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I agree, Webelos are not mini-Boy Scouts nor are they Cub Scouts. They definitely need and bring their own set of challenges.


You say that your Bears will be only 8 yo when they are Webelos, I would expect most new Webelos to be 9 or 10 years old, especially in the current red-shirting climate. There is a big difference in maturity for most 9 year olds.

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When I was a Web DL, I used the time to do an orientation to Boy Scouts as an underlying theme to the Cub program. When we went camping we did a mini-camporee where the boys did a learning session on how to build a good fire and burn a string. They did a medical "station", and used their skills learned in the pins to get oriented to the BSA troop ideals. Some of the "camporee" ideas that did not directly translate into the Cub program were the extra special fun challenges like tying knots. Did they compete? No, but they learned how to compete. They learned what to expect once they crossed over. Communications, traveler, etc. pins were treated like mini-merit badges, etc. They contacted one of the other adults connected to the Pack who came in and did the pin like what would happen with a MB. Each activity the boys did was to give them an idea what Boy Scouts was going to be doing.


On the campouts they planned their own meals, as a group went shopping for the best prices, etc. Once they got to the campout they were actively involved with food prep with the adults. Did they do the cooking? Nope, but they had an idea of what to expect.


They pitched tents with the help of the adults until they could do it themselves.


When they did their pins, it was pointed out the T-FC requirement that was similar so that when it came time to advance in Boy Scouts, they were oriented, had an idea of what to expect. Did they master the skill? Nope, not until they were Boy Scouts but they had some idea of what to expect.


When we visited the local BSA troops (a requirement) we learned what they did for flags, and adopted the format for the den opening/closings.


It was kind of selecting the best of both worlds. Learning BSA skills without the demands of advancement pressures. I kept reminding the boys they didn't need to learn this stuff for advancement, so we'll just do it to have some fun.


Once the boys crossed-over, they were semi-proficient and confident enough to attack their advancement right from the get-go.


The boys crossed over in February and by the time summer camp rolled around, they were either FC scouts or really close and chomping at the bit to get to summer camp.



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As a scoutmaster I think of Webelos as Cub Scouts and our new cross overs (New Scout patrol) as Mini Boy Scouts.


We have active 9th-10th-11th graders in our program. A 5th grader and most certainly a 4th grader is not at the same level. The programs are very age specific just follow the program.


She should not elevate the Boy Scout program above what it is. It's sleeping in a tent without mom or dad and learning some cooking and cleaning skills. Besides, we teach these skills. Yea there is canoeing and hiking and bigger and father away camps but these age appropriate too.




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