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MattHiggins

Den Names

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I believe the new Webelos/AOL book suggests this process in one of the requirements/electives.

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From the Arrow of Light required adventure, "Scouting Adventure."

 

3. Practice the patrol method in your den for one month by doing the following:

A. Explain the patrol method. Describe the types of patrols that might be part of a Boy Scout troop.

B. Hold an election to choose the patrol leader.

C. Develop a patrol name and emblem (if your den does not already have one), as well as a patrol flag and yell. Explain how a patrol name, emblem, flag, and yell create patrol spirit.

D. As a patrol, make plans with a troop to participate in a Boy Scout troop's campout or other outdoor activity.

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I told both the den leaders and their scouts for our Webelos 1 and Arrow of light dens that they could come up with a den name. We would get them patches etc and it was never pursued by them. My youngest is a Webelos 1 we are planning on taking their den camping towards the end of the school year. I will probably attempt one more time. My older boy was put into a new scout patrol and they really struggled to find a name. I think of the Webelos years as prep for Boy Scouts in every aspect. I would hope that by coming up with a name as a cub it would be easier to come up with a name as a Boy Scout.

 

Jedi Mind Trick I learned from our last SM, who learned it from another SM...:

Never offer the scouts an open choice like that.  If it's time to pick a new troop t-shirt design and you need to pick a color, SM says "alright scouts Red, Green, or Blue."  The scouts settle on a color rather quickly.  Next year change the color choices slightly.  "OK scouts last year's shirt was Red, do you want Gray, Blue or Green."

 

We do patrol names similarly:  when the patrols are reorganized (we always seem to have two) the scoutmaster picks 6 new patrol patches.  Patrol A picks from three choices, Patrol B picks from the other three. 

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Jedi Mind Trick, love it!

@@00Eagle,

familiar with NLP, you are.

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 I had my Bear Den Vote on their Patrol name.  I believe we should be teaching the Patrol Method.  No better way to teach than have the group come together and vote on a name.  We bought them patches from patchtown.com

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The first thing I did when I was brought in to work with our Webelos was to sit the boys down and show them all of the patch options available from scoutstuff and classB. Once they found one they all liked, I had them come up with a name and a yell, and I had them design a flag based on a number of pictures and ideas I pulled from online. Because I want my Webelos den to look forward to the Scouting program at all times, I made sure filling this requirement from the Scouting Adventure list was the first thing we did - and I understand why the Patrol Method in Scouting is so crucial to the program's success.

 

The boys absolutely LOVE their patrol name. They fell in love with a patch that has a Robin Hood-type character on it, and named themselves "The Merry Archers" to go alone with their new mascot. They love their yell (Aim high .... BULL'S EYE!), they love their flag (which they have all helped create), and they love when I bring archery into our meetings, which I have tried to do ever since they chose they name. I talk to them about the Arrows of Scouting, including the Arrow of Light, the Order of the Arrow, etc., I talk to them about making their character like a well-fired arrow, straight and true, and when they went to Day Camp, they were THRILLED to go out and prove that the Merry Archers were the BEST archers in the camp - which by hard work and determination they were! Luckily I have a good eye on the range myself or they were prepared to be mighty disappointed with their Chief Archer, lol.

 

I have found the use of our Den Name and emblems to be one of the key ingredients to my boys' success in the Webelos program. Because they share a strong sense of identity and unity, they all earned the rank of Webelos at the same time, and they are all earning the Arrow of Light together as well, a full 5 months before some of them even turn 11, when Scouts in our unit move on to the Scout program. So we have time to work on all the other fun Cub Scout programs too, which is a huge blessing. If you haven't given your Webelos a chance to come up with a Den Name and all its trimmings yet, DO IT - it has been a tremendous benefit to us, and I know my boys will always think happily of their days in "The Merry Archer Den."

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First of all, welcome to the forum!

 

I did the patrol names for the AOL boys I had this year.  The curriculum alluded to it so we went along with it.  They did form nice patrols and for the time they had together it worked well.  Once they got to Boy Scouts they needed to merge because not all the boys crossed over and some quit the program but they kept a bit of the continuity with the NSP (New Scout Patrol) in my troop.  There are those troops out there that don't use NSP's and so the boys will need to start over again with a new patrol of new people.

 

If the boys don't care, then any troop will do.  If they wish to stay as a group, they need to find a troop that allows that.

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My pack was already doing it when I joined. I ensured it started when I became the Cubmaster. My son started his Webelos rank when I became the CM, so it was easy to just suggest the Den Leader start working with the boys on their patrol name. Now that the Arrow of Light makes it a requirement, it should be easier to have the Webelos decide in 4th grade.

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I think it is a good idea to do this as soon as the boys complete 3rd grade/start 4th grade.  We hear a lot of griping about the Cub Scout program being too long at 5 years (now 6 years with Lion), well... this is a way to set the older Webelos age boys apart.  Let them know that Webelos isn't just another year of Cub Scouts, its a special thing, pre-Boy Scouts really.  Sure, they'll do some things with the Pack, but now they can have a Patrol name, they can go camping as a den (Tiger-Bear can't do that), and they can be more active in planning what they will do as a den/patrol.

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My old pack let the Dens modify the names ('Siberian Tigers', 'Polar Bears', 'Grizzly Bears') instead of Den#1,2, etc. (We usually had 10-13 dens). Some even had their own flags and yells. While this practice rankled on this board some folks the boys liked it and it seemed to increase spirit.

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Thanks for the welcome! I have been asked to train the other Cub leaders in our pack and I LOVE the idea of specifying the names with Grizzly or Polar bears or whatever. Thanks for the great idea!

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