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Eagle92

What advice would you give to new Webelos and their parents?

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Ok, my Bears are moving to Webelos, so what advice would you give them and their parents?

 

Going to create a hand out for them, and want folks input.

 

Thanks,

E92

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I would tell them to read their son's Webelos Handbook.

 

Most of the information they need can be found there. I find the parent sections at the beginning of the handbooks are rather good.

 

I would also give them an "area of interest" parent survey to find Activity Badge Counselors.

 

Anything else is just den specific stuff.

 

Things like when/where/how often you will meet. What you expect from the Webelos and their parents. What activities you are planning. What gear they might need, and how much to spend on it. Webelos den dues. Etc.

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I might spend a little time discussing how Webelos is different from the previous ranks..more personal responsibility to the Den Leader, and how this rank will expand the Scout experiences to aid in the Transition process to become Boy Scouts.

 

Not all Webelos go on to Boy Scouting, but they all deserve the opportunity get exposure to it.

 

 

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Since Webelos can wear either khaki or blue uniforms, I'd share that info along with a uniform guide, depending on your pack culture. I'd also indicate which activity badges you will be working on in den meetings so that scouts don't duplicate them at home. It's okay to go through the requirements for an activity badge twice, of course, but my scouts find it more interesting to do different ones and depending on the scout, the repetition could equal behavior problems in meetings.

 

It's also a good time to review birthdays in anticipation of crossing over to Boy Scouts. Do you have any scouts that you think will want to crossover but are unlikely to earn AOL? Will they be old enough to transition with the other den members? I think it is important to set clear expectations with parents around this.

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Advice, not much, but we do go over how the program is different from Cubs and a bridge between Cubs and Boy Scouts. So that means no more parents signing off on books, etc. It means we will be doing even more camping, more stuff away from the pack, and more stuff with our sister scout troop.

 

Step 2, we say there are only a few activity badges we "need" as a Den for advancement--Citizen, Fitness, and Outdoorsman. What do you, as Scouts, want to do, and what can you, as parents, help with? Because the nice thing about Webelos is that the badges are very distinct.

 

I have prepared various handouts that I give parents, including an interest/activity signup form, Webelos program overview, and a Webelos handout for new scouts, since we do tend to pick up new scouts as boys spread the word about the program. If you send me a PM with your email I can send them to you if you are interested.

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Webelos is a time when the young scouts out grow uniforms and I would encourage parents to buy uniforms a couple size larger because the next couple of years see growth spurts in these young growing soon to be men.

 

I would encourage buying simple camping gear items to help with their transition to Boy Scouts like: compass, flashlight, fire starter flint, camping kit (camp dishes), outdoor sleeping bag, and ground pad. Too many come with cotton sleeping bags that are so uncomfortable in cold temperatures. Also having these basic tools makes the cost of transition less of a hardship for the financially strapped parent who comes over having multiple camping trip and the summer camp fee on top of it all. If you do popcorn sales that go into a scout account, encourage parents to build those accounts up for the transition so their scout has money as many Webelos decrease in their popcorn sales thinking they are moving out of the Pack and not needing it when the reality is it transfers to the Troop where expenses are greater than in the Pack on outings.

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parent interest/job survey is very helpful. We started the summer after bears and went through to cross-over spring of 5th grade and the boys that attended often and went to summer camp were able to get all 20 pins.

 

I checked out local parks and rec, County and state programs and such to help with a couple of the pins. Had parents help with a couple of other pins. Had an art teacher help with one... the rest I was able to teach the boys.

 

big thing is anything you can do outside do outside - even our art one we did outside.

 

 

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As far as gear goes:

 

Yes, start creating a list of basic gear to transition them to the troop. The spongebob sleeping bag just ain't gonna cut it any more!

Maybe an inexpensive day pack to carry their gear in and start getting used to carrying a pack, instead of throwing everything in a duffle bag, or in YOUR pack :)

 

Include Scoutdirect.com, Campmor.com, and TheClymb.com for good deals and emphasize this is 18-24 mos before they cross over, they don't have to have everything immediately, build up slowly. Use your knowledge of how "Thrifty" really works, you certainly have the experience of that.

 

As far as program goes:

 

This is not a sprint anymore. The Tiger, Wolf, and Bear years were about creating the tenets of Scouting, but it was also a race to get achievements completed and to get their rank badges completed. This is a marathon, we are now preparing them for Boy Scouts, that is our purpose.

 

Set the standard now, only the DL or the Den Chief (if you give him the authority) can sign off requirements. Make them accountable for their actions. If Parent Akela wants to sign off requirements(with the exception of Family Member), then they fill out a form and put the uniform on.

 

The best info I was given came from our Troop website:

 

"A key difference between Boy Scouting and Cub Scouting/Webelos is leadership. Look for the word leader in a job title, and you will begin to appreciate the difference. The responsible person for a Cub/Webelos den is the Den Leaderan adult. The responsible person for a Boy Scout patrol is the Patrol Leadera boy."

 

Have the boys start taking ownership of what they want to learn, ask them what activity pins they want to work on? (Think of them as a PLC , and your the Committee- How do we make this happen for them?)

 

Energize their spirit and exercise their mind, give them that something that will make them want to join a troop in a couple of years. Use your love of Scouting to that advantage. The rest of the time we're just like Ducks. Calm on the outside, but a frenzy underneath.

 

 

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I would inform parents about the required/optional belt loops for some of the activity pins. If the belt loops were earned previously, they need to be earned again during the Webelos years. For example, I postponed some organized group sports until 4th grade (flag football and basketball) so my son could earn those belt loops for his Sportsman pin.

 

Also, our Council offers the Webelos Super Achiever award for those that earn all 20 pins. Some of your scouts may be interested in this award.

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A little different slant on the subject. :)

 

In Cub Scouts, the parents do all the heavy lifting in the program. They guide and mentor their child through the activities and the program basically gives direction towards an outdoors emphasis.

 

The Webelos section of Cub Scouts begins the process of parents pulling back and let the program and the leaders (be one if you wish, not a problem unless one is not trained) start carrying the process of growth. Yes, be there for him, but your main emphasis is not helping him with the program, instead teaching him to help himself in the program. When he gets to Scouts, the program is designed to carry him on his own skills and talents and help him develop for himself certain skills, interests and opportunities for leadership and group management development. Of course one can participate along with your son as a leader with program training and emphasis on having one's son exposed to his own development.

 

Instead of showing him how to do the activities as one does in Wolf and Bear levels of scouting, the conversation transitions more into "show me what you learned" kind of attitude. Yes, there will be times when he struggles too much and a little helping hand is necessary, but he should be taking on more and more responsibility for himself, so that the day will come when he heads off to high adventure he won't need mom/dad there with him in order for him to be successful. It's kind of like telling your boy, here's the open door you need to pass through to become self-sufficient and self-successful. While in Webelos, always make sure he knows the door will never shut behind him in case he needs to retreat for a bit. But eventually it is hoped that he won't need to keep coming back and will strike out on a life of his own.

 

This is difficult for parents to do and having gone through it, it's as tough on the parents as it is on the kids. However, this is an important part of the child's life moving on with his own life. The alternative is to have your kids living in the spare bedroom until they are 40 years old and mom and dad are too old to help them anymore.

 

Webelos is an excellent time in a child's life to start the adventure of being a readyman, a naturalist, a traveler, etc. and learn that everyone if given the opportunity to pass through this rather stressful time can emerge on the other side, confident and successful.

 

Webelos is the tip of the iceberg of this development and starting out right can make a world of difference for your child.

 

What color uniform should he wear? Doesn't make a whole lot of difference. If he's active and excited, taking on challenges he's going to wear them out on a regular basis. I would think that if he didn't wear them out there's a problem. :) He'll have a ton of patches marking the milestones of his success and you'll go nuts sewing them on unless you teach him to do it himself, just like everything else in the program. It's his program, let him figure it out, don't do it for him. The buddy system will teach him to be a good husband, the patrol-method will teach him to be a good father, and the boy-led part will teach him to be a good citizen.

 

Remember that while your boy is having the time of his life, you will most assuredly feel the pain of watching your little boy grow up right before your eyes (and I know how tough that is). It begins, gingerly and carefully in Webelos and picks up speed as he grows in the program. You see your little Webelos boy standing in front of you today, and with the help of the program and encouragement of the family, will see him standing in front of you, a well developed young man getting his Star, Life or even Eagle award. That's the potential of the Scouting program.

 

Stosh

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Stosh,

 

Very well said. Thank You. I might have to print that out and either tell my soon to be webelos parents this or print it out for them.

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I run workshops for Cub Scouts on behalf of a local business. I probably see about 60 kids per month.

 

There are an inordinate number of parents out there who insist on taking over. A boy will ask me a question: "Why do you put it on that side?" and I usually ask him the same question. "Well, I don't know. Why you suppose it goes on that side? Does it matter?" You wouldn't BELIEVE the number of parents who won't let the kid work this out on his own. It's like you asked *them* the question. "Of course it matters," they pipe up proudly. "It's on that side because otherwise...."

 

I want to tape these folks' mouths shut.

 

The other parents I encounter are the ones who literally do the badge work for the kid. I've had moms and dad sitting on the floor, hammering together a bird house while the kid is off and running. Gee, don't you think little Billy should be doing that? "Oh, he didn't want to." I have no idea why the Den Leaders allow this. I even had one kid who wanted to put pockets on his duct tape wallet. "You'll need to do that at home," I told him, "Because you won't have time to finish the rest of the projects otherwise." He roped his mom into doing for him, and then had the gall to swagger up later and wave it around in my face and say, "See?? You said I couldn't finish it in time!"

 

I want to tape these folks to the wall.

 

When parents are having a hard time keeping their hands to themselves during woodworking projects, I have found it helpful to lean over and quietly say something I once read on this forum: "The boy doesn't shape the wood. It's the other way around. The wood shapes the boy, no matter what he does to it. This is good for him." This seems to make a lot of them instantly relax about a few bent nails and crooked corners.

 

They also need to realize that all these badges can't be completed in a single, handy, two-hour meeting. They're meant to be harder. They're need to be Webelos-worthy. They take more time than they're used to. They take more effort. Some parents don't like that.

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IMO belt loops, Family Member pin, Fitness pin, and all Character Connection requirements can still be completed and signed off on by (helicopter) parents.

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If they are not already doing it, have them help their parents set up/take down at family camps. When I was a DL, I saw too many cubs just playing around during those times. Their parents either didn't want them to help (the meticulous ones) or didn't think about asking their boys for help. My boys did what they could from Tiger Cub on. Sometimes their "help" made a task take a lot longer than I could have by myself, but it's paying off now.

 

On uniforms, if the blue shirt still fits, don't get a khaki one. Wait as long as possible to get the khaki shirt, as this is an age of a lot of physical growth.

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