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Webelos Transition to Troops

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1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Because they are not seen or involved in the program, many people will view the uninvolved COR as uninformed and interfering when they finally start doing their job.

There is a big difference between unseen and uninvolved. If the IH and COR are doing their jobs right, most of their work will be unseen by most of the scouters, parents, and scouts.

The SM and CM are the front men of the units. They have the most visible roles of all the scouters, and rightly so. The public should see the SM and CM as the primary leaders of the units.

It is understandable that parents and lower level scouters might feel that way (uninformed and interfering) about the IH and COR, but the SM and CM must never do so. The SM and CM should be among the CO's most loyal supporters. If they're not, it is a big problem.

 

Edited by David CO

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I am friends with our COR and we are both ASM's and go to the CO UMC  church. I think a majority of his time is spent apologizing for inadvertent damage to church property by rambunctious youth. Poor guy. Our CO sees us as part of their youth outreach and is pretty supportive but hands off. We have tried inviting the various pastors to a few events but they are pretty booked. I have encouraged our sometimes shy pastor to occasionally visit a meeting and remind anyone looking for a church that they are welcome there; he seems to feel this is crossing some kind of line. 

I do think that a church committee does review the Scoutmaster candidates, does an additional screen, and --on occasion-- interview them. Not one has been a member of our church but they do insist that they be a practicing believer and that the Troop support a few activities during the year. Other than a over-zealous church committee member pre-maturely tearing down our scout hut (and loosing zoning grandfather status) we have enjoyed a pretty good relationship. 

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4 minutes ago, Tampa Turtle said:

Poor guy.  

There's an idea. Maybe they should change the title from COR to PG.

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I'm not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but I talk with the CC/COR today. For those questioning my level of respect or loyalty- please stop. It's there and he knows that.

Basically, I think he is attached to the very long continuous scouting history of this Troop and does not want to let the charter lapse and start back at zero.  So he is working to covert the many leads he has received from council this year into real scouts, and also get a few of the older scouts to reengage with the Troop and breathe some life into it. He has many experienced scouters to act as leaders should this take off. He realizes it is a long shot, but wants his last six months the council has given him to at least try.

To understand how it got here: 10 years ago there was an upset between him and the CC and CM of this pack I'm in now. They parted ways and that CM/committee took most of the cubs with them to start a new pack. They then continued to recruit the others away and hold preemptive recruiting events for new Tigers each year. It starved the CO programs of new cubs and eventually there were no more Webelos transitioning into the troop. This went on for many years. 

That explains why they only had 5 cubs when I joined. I've built it to 32, so the pack is healthy now.  But this is our first year with Webelos, and they are all first years. No second years for him. The Troop unfortunately could not wait for the feed to begin again. The last boys have Eagled and are leaving for college in the spring. 

I told him that all the pack leaders need to understand his strategy with this troop and how he wants us to support it. He has not explained that to us. We want to support him, but we need him to tell us what we are supporting and how we can help him. And he has to be realistic about how tough it is going to be to sell parents on a start up. He knows. It was a good conversation.

Hope this answers some questions and thank you all again for your guidance.

-B

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4 hours ago, David CO said:

There is a big difference between unseen and uninvolved. If the IH and COR are doing their jobs right, most of their work will be unseen by most of the scouters, parents, and scouts.

The SM and CM are the front men of the units. They have the most visible roles of all the scouters, and rightly so. The public should see the SM and CM as the primary leaders of the units.

It is understandable that parents and lower level scouters might feel that way (uninformed and interfering) about the IH and COR, but the SM and CM must never do so. The SM and CM should be among the CO's most loyal supporters. If they're not, it is a big problem.

 

With all do respect, I disagree. Yes the COR works in the background, But I bet you a Dutch oven pizza that you have been to activities with your units: whether it was Scout Sunday services, Blue and Gold, Court of Honor, and that people at least know your face. IMHO part of being a good COR is checking on your units time to time.

While our CC/COR is very hands off, he still does BORs to keep a pulse on the troop. He attended a Cross Over, and questioned why we were not getting any of those Scouts in our troop (different story for another time, CC/COR was cool with it though).  And he is there for Scout Sunday. The handful of CORS I've seen at least came to functions on occasion.

 

So do you owe me a DO pizza or I owe you? ;)

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14 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

With all do respect, I disagree. Yes the COR works in the background, But I bet you a Dutch oven pizza that you have been to activities with your units: whether it was Scout Sunday services, Blue and Gold, Court of Honor, and that people at least know your face. IMHO part of being a good COR is checking on your units time to time.

So do you owe me a DO pizza or I owe you? ;)

Hey, no fair!  I'm a teacher. The boys see me every day at school.

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35 minutes ago, Cubber said:

I'm not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but I talk with the CC/COR today. For those questioning my level of respect or loyalty- please stop. It's there and he knows that.

Basically, I think he is attached to the very long continuous scouting history of this Troop and does not want to let the charter lapse and start back at zero.  So he is working to covert the many leads he has received from council this year into real scouts, and also get a few of the older scouts to reengage with the Troop and breathe some life into it. He has many experienced scouters to act as leaders should this take off. He realizes it is a long shot, but wants his last six months the council has given him to at least try.

To understand how it got here: 10 years ago there was an upset between him and the CC and CM of this pack I'm in now. They parted ways and that CM/committee took most of the cubs with them to start a new pack. They then continued to recruit the others away and hold preemptive recruiting events for new Tigers each year. It starved the CO programs of new cubs and eventually there were no more Webelos transitioning into the troop. This went on for many years. 

That explains why they only had 5 cubs when I joined. I've built it to 32, so the pack is healthy now.  But this is our first year with Webelos, and they are all first years. No second years for him. The Troop unfortunately could not wait for the feed to begin again. The last boys have Eagled and are leaving for college in the spring. 

I told him that all the pack leaders need to understand his strategy with this troop and how he wants us to support it. He has not explained that to us. We want to support him, but we need him to tell us what we are supporting and how we can help him. And he has to be realistic about how tough it is going to be to sell parents on a start up. He knows. It was a good conversation.

Hope this answers some questions and thank you all again for your guidance.

-B

Sounds like a good start.

Although other disagree, I do not consider it disloyal for you to look out for the best interest of your youth, even when that might be at odds with your CO. It is not disloyal to the CO to make sure your youth have the best Scouting career possible. If it is with the CO awesome, if it is with someone else that is great too.

I would try to get more details about the CO's plans for the troop, the leadership (SM and CC at least) and what steps are being taken to move the troop forward.

Also, Scouters have long memories and more than a few flap their gums. So I would see if the CO will give your the details of the previous dust up with the old CM and CC. The was almost certainly talk about a group leaving one CO and starting a pack elsewhere. It might be helpful for you to understand that situation so you can address it with pack and potential troop parents. Some, maybe all, will not know of the situation. But all it takes is one, that may only know some part of the story, or worse, incorrect rumors, and the job of recruiting to the troop becomes much more difficult.

Good luck!

 

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2 hours ago, Cubber said:

I'm not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but I talk with the CC/COR today. For those questioning my level of respect or loyalty- please stop. It's there and he knows that.

Basically, I think he is attached to the very long continuous scouting history of this Troop and does not want to let the charter lapse and start back at zero.  So he is working to covert the many leads he has received from council this year into real scouts, and also get a few of the older scouts to reengage with the Troop and breathe some life into it. He has many experienced scouters to act as leaders should this take off. He realizes it is a long shot, but wants his last six months the council has given him to at least try.

To understand how it got here: 10 years ago there was an upset between him and the CC and CM of this pack I'm in now. They parted ways and that CM/committee took most of the cubs with them to start a new pack. They then continued to recruit the others away and hold preemptive recruiting events for new Tigers each year. It starved the CO programs of new cubs and eventually there were no more Webelos transitioning into the troop. This went on for many years. 

That explains why they only had 5 cubs when I joined. I've built it to 32, so the pack is healthy now.  But this is our first year with Webelos, and they are all first years. No second years for him. The Troop unfortunately could not wait for the feed to begin again. The last boys have Eagled and are leaving for college in the spring. 

I told him that all the pack leaders need to understand his strategy with this troop and how he wants us to support it. He has not explained that to us. We want to support him, but we need him to tell us what we are supporting and how we can help him. And he has to be realistic about how tough it is going to be to sell parents on a start up. He knows. It was a good conversation.

Hope this answers some questions and thank you all again for your guidance.

-B

And that, as Paul Harvey would say, is the rest of the story. Even though it feels like 6 pages of posts to the payoff is a bit much, it's good that you had a productive conversation. It's easier to understand the COR's position now, but if you had that info to begin with, you probably wouldn't have even needed to ask the question here. I guess the main lesson is: communication is paramount. Even though it isn't the type of troubled troop that people run away from, it's going to be a tough sell to basically spin up operations again. I agree that more details about the previous disagreement should be available. Unfortunately you'll probably only get one side of the story, so no telling if you'll have the full picture. As long as your COR is forthcoming with the families and realistic in his expectations, hopefully nothing like the previous COR/CC/CM falling out will reoccur.  I can see families going either way even with the best of information. Good luck either way.

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Ditto to Communication. I have had a few coffees with my Pastor who never did scouting while growing up and he really had very little idea what it was all about other than 'Flags and Camping'. So he was reacting to things and valuing the Troop as part of the Church completely differently than we thought. 

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17 hours ago, Cubber said:

I'm not sure if anyone is still following this thread, but I talk with the CC/COR today. ..

That explains why they only had 5 cubs when I joined. I've built it to 32, so the pack is healthy now.  But this is our first year with Webelos, and they are all first years. No second years for him. The Troop unfortunately could not wait for the feed to begin again. The last boys have Eagled and are leaving for college in the spring. 

... And he has to be realistic about how tough it is going to be to sell parents on a start up. He knows. It was a good conversation.

...

It's great that you followed up on this.

The thing you need to get a pulse on: how much do these Webelos (and the families in them) love one another and the scouts coming up after them?

I'll repeat. There is something to be said for starting from scratch with a small patrol of cross-overs who are thick as thieves.

All of that bad history? Someone poached. You can poach back. If the COR has a good SM in mind (and maybe you all can provide top-notch ASM's/MC's over time), boldly invite a scout or two from other troops to transfer in as guides for your boys. There's occasionally the good youth leader who is "lost in the crowd." That one nugget might be your gold mine!

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I agree with what everyone else said - CC cannot mandate where Webelos go, that's up to the individual Scouts and their parents.   That being said, there are some advantages to starting a Troop from the ground up in that the boys will have instant leadership opportunities they may not receive in other units.  We started a new Troop with all Webelos and one sibling who was a Tenderfoot, he was our first SPL at age 13.  On the other hand, many boys may prefer more established programs.  Best of luck!

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1 hour ago, BobWhiteVA said:

CC cannot mandate where Webelos go, that's up to the individual Scouts and their parents.

The CC/COR cannot mandate where individual Webelos go, but they can mandate where a Webelos den does or doesn't go. 

Edited by David CO

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21 hours ago, David CO said:

The CC/COR cannot mandate where individual Webelos go, but they can mandate where a Webelos den does or doesn't go. 

It would be even better if people can communicate, cooperate and compromise in a reasonable manner rather than having edicts handed down from on high.

I am wondering about this scenario, which is hypothetical but still related to Cubber's situation:  Webelos 2's (or I guess they call them Arrow of Lights (Arrows of Light?) now) are about to cross over and are all deciding which troop to join.  One choice is the troop at the same CO (Troop 1), which has lost all its boys, and the crossovers from this pack will be the only boys in the troop.  (Which as we have recently learned is not necessarily Cubber's exact situation since the CC/CR is trying to get some older boys into the troop.)  Troop 2 is also nearby, has 50 kids with a good mix of Scouts all up and down the age/rank range and a full staff of leaders, uses the patrol method, no merit badge classes, everything by the book.  The hypothetical "perfect troop."   Now, Mr. Smith is the den leader of the "graduating" den and his older son is also in that den.  He plans to remain in the pack, switching to DL of his younger son's den, who are Tigers-going-on-Wolves (or whatever.)  Mr. Smith does NOT take his crossing-over den to visit Troop 2 because the CC/CR does not want him to.  But he and his son do visit Troop 2 on their own, and they also "visit" Troop 1 (in quote because the only people to visit in Troop 1 now are adults.)  Mr. Smith and son decide on Troop 2, in fact he is so impressed with Troop 2 that he is going to become an Assistant Scoutmaster there upon his son's arrival in the troop.  And let's also add that all the other kids in Mr. Smith's Webelos den were wavering between Troop 1 and Troop 2 (which they also all visited on their own), but now that their good friend Bobby Smith is joining Troop 2, they all decide to do so as well, and Troop 1 either lapses or continues to limp along on paper but with no actual Scouts.

Is Mr. Smith being disloyal to the pack's (and Troop 1's) CO?  Should he be "fired" as a DL for his younger son's den?

Edited by NJCubScouter
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36 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

Is Mr. Smith being disloyal to the pack's (and Troop 1's) CO?  Should he be "fired" as a DL for his younger son's den?

No he not. He is looking out for the best interest of his Scout. I would argue CM he has that obligation for all of “his” Scouts.

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This sense that certain kids "belong" to a given unit has been around "forever," and is unseemly and bogus.

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