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Advancement - speed to destination or quality of journey

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5 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Not sure if mom or dad who doesn't have the camping experience. I have had a near equal measure of both.

 

Could be right, but 80% of Bear leaders are moms in either the 2nd or 3rd year of Cub leading.

 

8 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

 

I don't think there's an easy culprit to pin the 49% number on.

We can agree to disagree, I invested a lot of time to find this conclusion. 

Dont ever blame other programs, if a boy enjoys scouts enough, he will find a way. 

Barry

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I think the question parents need to consider is - why are their boys in Scouts at all? If they are in it to build character, become good husbands and fathers, and take active, positive roles in their communities, then advancement will reflect that and the effort, time and personal expenses will all be worth it. But if we don't have a clear vision of the end goals, what good is all the work we put into it?

Considering these things, I don't believe the tired old adage about "the journey mattering more than the destination." Quite the opposite. Sure, you should get the most out of the journey as you can, but what does the journey matter if you don't know where you're going? For example, advancement is a compass that points the boys learning experiences in a productive direction. It allows them to make measurable goals that they can plan, follow through with, and accomplish through hard-work and careful record-keeping, all vital life skills. By using advancement as a way to plot specific goals - destinations, really - you allow the boys to see clearly their own progress and recognize their diligent effort. That's the whole point of the advancement program.  But if you are advancing just to advance and collect badges, what will you get when there is no more rank to achieve? To that end I say the journey won't matter at all if it doesn't lead you someplace better than where you were before.

It's just like in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, when Alice finds herself at a crossroads splitting off into two paths. While she ponders her choices, the Cheshire Cat appears, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?” The Cat replies, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

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6 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Could be right, but 80% of Bear leaders are moms in either the 2nd or 3rd year of Cub leading.

 

We can agree to disagree, I invested a lot of time to find this conclusion. 

Dont ever blame other programs, if a boy enjoys scouts enough, he will find a way. 

Barry I am not sure to what extend your research covers my area, but I can tell you based on my 12+ years locally:

  • Most DLs are male. Most CMs are male. I would wager a good 60-70% of them. My district does an annual survey. I am looking at the last two years of data right now and easily 2/3 of all DLs are male.
     
  • Our unit got together with three other units in our area back in 2010 and put together our own survey to pass around to all Webelos dens. It was online so we got about a 45% response rate which is great. The most popular thing taking kids away from Scouting were 1) select sports, 2) middle school activities (band, choir, orchestra, school sports), 3) school (e.g. need to study more, higher demand), 4) religious or other youth groups.

I can appreciate your research but it is not even close to what my area has experienced. 

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2 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

@Eagledad ,  around here CM's and ACM's are more likely to cross-over into SM and ASM positions than Webelos DL's particularly those on their second tour or more.

CMs and ACMs are generally more passionate about the program and aren’t as affected by burn out. But, those leaders (Wisconsinmomma) only make up about 5% of total leadership. 

Troops suffer from burnout as well, but it’s not as much of a problem because the Scouts take on a lot more responsibility. However, I have seen that Troop Venturing Crews were generally started by burned out troop leaders looking for more adventure to keep them interested. Likely why they rarely last more than 3 years.

I found the best Webelos leaders are Troop leaders that go back to take on a Den. They know how to have fun and ignore the boring stuff. 

Barry

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2 minutes ago, Col. Flagg said:

Barry I am not sure to what extend your research covers my area, but I can tell you based on my 12+ years locally:

  • Most DLs are male. Most CMs are male. I would wager a good 60-70% of them. My district does an annual survey. I am looking at the last two years of data right now and easily 2/3 of all DLs are male.

Well that is not typical of national, or wasn’t. I haven’t been involved for the last 10 years. Is that District or Council wide a far as you know?

I would enjoy coming down to abserve the program in your area. Maybe you guys are doing something right that would benefit the rest of us. 

Barry

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38 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

Well that is not typical of national, or wasn’t. I haven’t been involved for the last 10 years. Is that District or Council wide a far as you know?

I would enjoy coming down to abserve the program in your area. Maybe you guys are doing something right that would benefit the rest of us. 

Barry

It was in our district. Not sure that we are doing anything special. It's not like we are going out and targeting men over women. We'd take anyone with a pulse to train them up. Maybe it is happenstance. Maybe it is because we are in Texas where guys (and gals) are big on the outdoors and just want to get outside.

In Y-Guides I noticed a large number of the dads there who came over to Scouting volunteered in various forms. Most committee positions were held by moms. Of the 8 dens we had while I was in Cubs 5 were men and 3 were women. The CMs were men but the Pack Committee was nearly all women.

The past two years during our Webelos recruitment camp out nearly all dens were run by mal DLs, but I did notice more female CMs than usual.

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2 hours ago, perdidochas said:

I personally think that the Scouts should be working on T-2-1 simultaneously.  Then, after a while, they should concentrate on Tenderfoot to finish, then Second Class, then First Class.  

What you describe is exactly how our New Scout Patrol functions.

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These are interesting demographics! I know that here in Orange County CA, Den Leaders are overwhelmingly female. I do new Den Leader trainings for the council all over the County, and generally there are 25-40 new den leaders at each event, held every quarter or so. And I am usually one of the only men in the room. Looking at my roster from a training I did in October (conveniently at hand right at the moment!), there are 27 names listed, and 23 of them are women. Male Den Leaders here are simply uncommon, though they are certainly sought after. And I being a young single male with no kids of my own, I am regarded as a valued but extraordinarily atypical commodity by my district. :laugh:

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Our Pack had 12 den leaders and only 3 are female.  That said, those three are some of our best leaders.  One of our female den leaders spent a semester in NOLS and spent a semester camping out in Denver area.  She is was teaching several dads techniques to stay warm and dry clothing overnight before Klondike.  She somehow manages our den of 26 Tigers.  She will be our future Cubmaster.  Not sure how common our male/female ratio is in our district....

I agree that keeping den leaders energized is very difficult and a leader that may work out well for Tigers is not the same leader that works for Webelos.  I think re-evaluating den leader decisions each year may be a good practice.

@Eagledad  what was the program changes that you made that helped retention?  Overall ours isn’t bad but I’m always interested in hearing ideas that could improve the experience of leaders and scouts.

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Our Pack is currently :

 AOL - male, 
Webelos - male,
Bear - female,
Wolf - male
Tiger - male
Lions - our female CC leads the Lions

Our CC is a female that is the daughter of a Montana forest ranger, very experienced in the outdoors

Our COR is a non camper mom

Our Assistant CM is a male military recruiter Tiger dad, he will be CM in the 2019 school year and could have been CM this year but was concerned about deployment.  I'm filling in a year while he gets more familiar with Scouting. 

Den leader burnout is a thing.  I honestly think it is a thankless and taken for granted job, and last year I made a point to give PayDay candy bars, service star pins (and flowers to the ladies who are mostly non-uniformed) to all the  den leaders, committee members and volunteers from our Pack at a Pack meeting to show some appreciation.  Hopefully little boosts like that keep people going a bit.  I know I wished for more appreciation when I was a DL and so did my husband.  I was lucky that the parents in my den were very good but sometimes parents can be unhelpful or unappreciative and that's rough on a den leader.   Behavior and absenteeism can also wear down den leaders pretty quick.

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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I did 6 years as a DL, and was burned out. While the first 2 groups were a joy to be with as I had parents interested in helping their kids, so they stayed around and had fun too. Youngest son's Tiger den was a challenge. No one was willing to step up and help out. The parents there stayed glued to their phones. Grandparents there either had health issues, or also stayed glued to their phone.

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On ‎2‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 12:05 AM, The Latin Scot said:

If the Webelos leaders have been doing their job, you can cut another month off of that time frame - the requirements for the Scouting Adventure adventure are almost identical to those for Scout rank, so ideally they should be able to pass off that rank after their first meeting. That's always my goal with my Webelos Scouts; I prep them in the weeks leading up to their advancement to Boy Scouts so that they are prepared to meet with their Scoutmaster and pass things off at that first Patrol gathering. But it does take careful planning on the Webelos leaders' part, and close coordination with the Troop leadership as well. 

Thanks for this.  Having just taken over as Webelos/Arrow of Light Den Leader (we only have one AOL boy and no leader for him, and our regular den leader's son has been in and out of the hospital), things like this are good to know.  I've done my YPT, but haven't looked at the den leader training yet.  For this first couple weeks I've just been duplicating what my older son's den leader did with the boys, and have been focused on making sure the AOL boy can earn his rank before crossing over.

My older son joined the Troop at the end of April last year.  He and the other new boys were all advanced to Scout at the Court of Honor in September, and most (I think all but three) just advanced to Tenderfoot at the beginning of this month.  One of those who didn't was also the only boy who didn't go to camp over the summer.  As someone mentioned above, we're struggling with the physical fitness requirements right now.  He's in between fall and spring sports, and has Health this quarter, rather than Phys Ed.

Our Troop generally does advancements only at three Court of Honors, one fall, one winter and one spring.  There are exceptions, but given that's the way it's usually done, most of our boys will rank up from Tenderfoot to Second Class at the fall COH - roughly 17 months after crossing over/joining.  For those who go to camp, they might make First Class.  Our Troop doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get the boys to Eagle.  We have one 15 year old working on his project now, but most who reach Eagle are doing so at 17.

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On 2/15/2018 at 11:21 PM, David CO said:

We have the same type of discussions in our sports programs. Only 30% of grade school/junior high athletes will continue to play in high school. Should we focus our attention on being a good feeder program for the high school, or should we put more of our efforts on making the games more enjoyable for the 70% of kids who will, in all likelihood, never advance to a high school team?

The same is true of scouting. Boy scouting and cub scouting are two very different activities. Many boys who enjoy cub scouts will not join boy scouts. By making the last two years of cub scouts into a feeder program for the troops, are we doing a disservice to those boys who aren't going to carry over to boy scouts?

 

The difference between the two models (athletics and scouting) is that there isn't a limit to the number of boy scouts we have, nor do we have a minimum skill level in Scouting to participate. There are definite limits to how many kids can be on a high school sports team, as well as a minimum standard to participate.  

Edited by perdidochas
added high school.

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1 hour ago, perdidochas said:

The difference between the two models (athletics and scouting) is that there isn't a limit to the number of boy scouts we have, nor do we have a minimum skill level in Scouting to participate. There are definite limits to how many kids can be on a high school sports team, as well as a minimum standard to participate.  

We have 20 times as many participants in our sports programs than we have in scouting. 

It is true that some of our team sports have a limited roster. Other sports like track and field, tennis, golf, and wrestling are pretty much open to anyone who wishes to participate. 

My point, however, was not about recruitment. I am asking if we should be serving the boys we currently have, or only those boys we anticipate will continue on in the program.

Edited by David CO

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