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Ranman328

Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

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On ‎6‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 7:44 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

Hi Everybody,

I will just share my experience and perspective from when I was a Cub scout den leader.   We did the requirements in the book to the best of our ability, but since I had no experience with the Boy Scout program, I was not aware of any expectations that the Webelos journey was all about prep for Boy Scouts.  We did the things in the book, which included some things related to Boy Scouts, but that was about it.

Regarding the young man who will be coming into your troop,  take him where he is when he comes in, just as you would take in any other boy with an interest in Scouting.  We need to welcome anybody and everybody to Scouts, and just as you would welcome a man with no Scouting experience, you will meet this Scout where he is. 

11 year olds are young!!  Obviously they are still only just beginning to learn.  The real formation happens in Boy Scouts.

Doesn't your District provide training to your Leaders?  Did your pack provide Leaders with Leader guides?  There are plenty of resources out there to provide additional ideas and activities to the boys other than what is just in the book.  Attaching the Pack to a Troop is also a good idea as you can invite the Troop to participate in events to help the Cubs see older boys in he uniform and help mentor them. 

I never said I would not welcome the new scout in my Troop.  His twin brothers are already in my Troop.  My concern is that the Pack he is coming from is not preparing these scouts and not giving them the Program they deserve.  I find it interesting that a Scout can join Cub Scouts in October 2017 and earn his Bobcat, Webelos and AoL in less than a Year.  This Pack also takes off the entire summer off (June, July, August) which makes it even more difficult as those are the best dates to do outdoor activities.  Here in Virginia, the weather can play havoc with outdoor activities in the spring and fall so summertime is a great time to get the boys out.

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I don't know. All those new parents that are just trying to do a good job for their kids likely don't know what they don't know. Especially in cub scouts. Who is telling them what is expected? In my case the cub master and CC were in the same boat I was, they didn't have the experience of boy scouts to know where cubs was going. I'm not surprised that parents don't take the training. They're busy. They learn from what they see in their pack. So if the whole pack is doing something wrong then nobody knows. We did have a commissioner and she was really enthusiastic but she couldn't convey that any change was needed.

After having been a SM I have an idea of what they should be working on. To be honest, patrol flag and yell is the easiest part of what they need. One of the bigger shocks is that the parents have stepped way back and scouts will need to start dealing with their own issues. I'm not sure how to teach this in a pack. A troop guide would probably be the best thing I can think of. I had always wanted to try to get a webelos den to visit a troop once a month and be more integrated but that never happened. Again, not enough time.

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55 minutes ago, MattR said:

One of the bigger shocks is that the parents have stepped way back and scouts will need to start dealing with their own issues. I'm not sure how to teach this in a pack

Dont think there is an easy solution

we spend years encouraging families to help their cubs

encouraging parent sibling participation

then do a turnaround and head in a different direction

i think scouts should be exposed to more independence earlier on

allow parent/sibling participation but dont encourage it

Explain to the parents from the statt the purpose of cub scouting is to get them ready for boy scouts  and explain the gradual transition to more independent scouting

with every year in cub scouts have less and less parent direct involvement in individual activities

 

have many parents who understand the concept but once they see their kids lagging behind the other kids are jumping in and finishing the activity for them

 

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On 6/10/2018 at 10:01 AM, Ranman328 said:

Doesn't your District provide training to your Leaders?  Did your pack provide Leaders with Leader guides?  There are plenty of resources out there to provide additional ideas and activities to the boys other than what is just in the book.  Attaching the Pack to a Troop is also a good idea as you can invite the Troop to participate in events to help the Cubs see older boys in he uniform and help mentor them. 

I never said I would not welcome the new scout in my Troop.  His twin brothers are already in my Troop.  My concern is that the Pack he is coming from is not preparing these scouts and not giving them the Program they deserve.  I find it interesting that a Scout can join Cub Scouts in October 2017 and earn his Bobcat, Webelos and AoL in less than a Year.  This Pack also takes off the entire summer off (June, July, August) which makes it even more difficult as those are the best dates to do outdoor activities.  Here in Virginia, the weather can play havoc with outdoor activities in the spring and fall so summertime is a great time to get the boys out.

I have to say, it sounds as if you want to go volunteer and help a Pack with their Webelos program.  :)   

If you're not interested / able to go volunteer or partner with the Pack, then I suggest -- stop looking over your shoulder.  Instead, focus your energy on making your Troop program the best it can possibly be.  

I have a hard time hearing a troop complain about new scouts, when -- new scouts are new scouts.  The troop has them for as many as 7 years -- ages 11 to 18 to help the boys learn and grow from young tweens to adult men.  

The best thing I did as a Webelos/Arrow of Light den leader,  was to encourage and excite the boys about Boy Scouting.   I viewed my job as a sales job, and I told those boys how awesome Boy Scouting is.  (Note that, I had no Boy Scouting experience, and I was going totally on faith that the Troops will deliver.)   I was extremely pleased when all six boys in my den chose to cross over into local Troops.  Were they great outdoorsmen -- no!  But they had an interest in continuing their Scouting journey and I think that was job #1.  And they all earned Arrow of Light, which is a big accomplishment for them and their families. 

Cub Scout packs are not perfect, just as troops are not perfect --- they're not!   We're all run by humans who are just trying to do the best they can, sometimes they have more success than others.   I appreciate the feedback about preparing boys for Boy Scouting and will take it back to our Pack for the coming year.  My youngest is a new Webelos and I can share with his den leader and help the Webelos and AOL think about Boy Scouting and the patrol method sooner.  

We have many troops in our area, and the boys can choose to go to any of them.  I expect that all troops in our area will be cordial with our Pack.  Honestly if some troop came to us with complaints about our program, it would be strange.  All the troops we've worked with are delighted to welcome any new boys that are coming out of our Pack, and it's not because of their training, it's because they are delighted to help young men continue their Scouting journey.

Also note that not all Cub Scouts and their families choose to move into Boy Scouting.  For a few,  Cub Scouts is it.  It is a sales job to encourage boys to continue.

It is possible that the Pack you are working with has a light program, but, what are you going to do about it?    I think it's easier to work on that in your Troop and especially work on your  new scout retention --- our Troop loses a lot of scouts in the first year or two.  I don't know if it's preventable, but it is important to engage the young guys and bring them in and form a strong connection in their first year. 

Good luck with it! 

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:50 AM, WisconsinMomma said:

I have to say, it sounds as if you want to go volunteer and help a Pack with their Webelos program.  :)   

If you're not interested / able to go volunteer or partner with the Pack, then I suggest -- stop looking over your shoulder.  Instead, focus your energy on making your Troop program the best it can possibly be.  

I have a hard time hearing a troop complain about new scouts, when -- new scouts are new scouts.  The troop has them for as many as 7 years -- ages 11 to 18 to help the boys learn and grow from young tweens to adult men.  

The best thing I did as a Webelos/Arrow of Light den leader,  was to encourage and excite the boys about Boy Scouting.   I viewed my job as a sales job, and I told those boys how awesome Boy Scouting is.  (Note that, I had no Boy Scouting experience, and I was going totally on faith that the Troops will deliver.)   I was extremely pleased when all six boys in my den chose to cross over into local Troops.  Were they great outdoorsmen -- no!  But they had an interest in continuing their Scouting journey and I think that was job #1.  And they all earned Arrow of Light, which is a big accomplishment for them and their families. 

Cub Scout packs are not perfect, just as troops are not perfect --- they're not!   We're all run by humans who are just trying to do the best they can, sometimes they have more success than others.   I appreciate the feedback about preparing boys for Boy Scouting and will take it back to our Pack for the coming year.  My youngest is a new Webelos and I can share with his den leader and help the Webelos and AOL think about Boy Scouting and the patrol method sooner.  

We have many troops in our area, and the boys can choose to go to any of them.  I expect that all troops in our area will be cordial with our Pack.  Honestly if some troop came to us with complaints about our program, it would be strange.  All the troops we've worked with are delighted to welcome any new boys that are coming out of our Pack, and it's not because of their training, it's because they are delighted to help young men continue their Scouting journey.

Also note that not all Cub Scouts and their families choose to move into Boy Scouting.  For a few,  Cub Scouts is it.  It is a sales job to encourage boys to continue.

It is possible that the Pack you are working with has a light program, but, what are you going to do about it?    I think it's easier to work on that in your Troop and especially work on your  new scout retention --- our Troop loses a lot of scouts in the first year or two.  I don't know if it's preventable, but it is important to engage the young guys and bring them in and form a strong connection in their first year. 

Good luck with it! 

You know, I started this thread asking a simple question because I was concerned that an AoL Scout might cross over early and think he earned the AoL when he did not.  No, I don't have any additional time to give.  I already work more hours in Scouting per week than I do my full time paid job.  I have run very successful Cub Scout Programs and now run a very successful Boy Scout Troop.  I am also a Merit Badge Counselor for Multiple Troops for 27 different Merit Badges and serve as a Unit Commissioner for 6 Cub Scout Packs.  I would like to see leaders become better trained instead of saying "I didn't know"  Your statements are a common response I get from Packs.  Always remember "Scouts deserve a TRAINED LEADER"  Take the time to get trained.  If a Scout crosses over to my Troop after earning the AoL, YES, I expect that a leader like you would have taught him the BASICS.  If you as the leader signed off on his requirements, then you as the leader are saying you are acknowledging he has proved to you he has accomplished them.  All the things you are saying the Boy Scouts should teach like the Patrol Method, YOU should have already started teaching in first year Webelos.  I have never heard any Den Leader refer to their job as a sales job. That is very disturbing.  My Troop has not had any first year losses.  I suspect if your Troop is losing a lot of scouts as you say, it comes down to the scouts not being prepared and having culture shock when they are being led by all boys and go on their campouts with mom and dad.  Again, It all comes down to preparing the boys in the Webelos Program and not selling something to them.  My two cents.

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I must confess, I find the comparing the job of a Webelos leader to a sales job equally unsettling. As a Webelos leader, I have NEVER looked at my boys in that light, nor my duties in that way. 

I am not a salesman. I am a teacher, a mentor, and a guardian to these boys. My job is to help them become better people, and I need to do it with my example, my encouragement, and my training. And I have to love them enough to accept the fact that not everything we do may be fun, but it all matters - and I have to let them know that. I have to be 100% transparent with them; my job is to prepare them for Scouting by teaching them how to develop essential skills and supplying them with the important knowledge they will need to succeed. Getting a boy to join a Troop right after Cub Scouts is no issue. But getting them to STAY, that's where many founder. Boys don't remain with anything they aren't succeeding in, and if a Webelos leader hasn't prepared his boys sufficiently, their first few weeks will not be worth their time.

HOWEVER, if they have been well prepared, trained for what's coming, so that they know how to start earning merit badges, are prepared to recite the oath, law and outdoor code - if they know how patrols function, and are ready to follow their youth leaders because they were taught how by adult Cub leaders - those first few weeks will be a resounding success, and the boy will stay, not because he has been convinced to stay in Scouting, but because he has been PREPARED for it. And THAT is what gets boys excited! When they realize that they will soon be part of a new patrol, and that they will go in with a HUGE head start, knowing the program, the duties, the knots, the badges, the requirements - the more they know, the more excited they are to get started!

A Webelos leader gives boys that first taste of what Scouting entails by teaching what Scouting is, showing them how it works (first by observation then by practice), and by simply talking with them about what is coming. My boys have heard all about my Scouting experiences - what I wish I had done better, what my patrols did well, what they didn't do well - everything. My Den Chief is always talking to them about how Boy Scouts is different than what they are currently doing, and what he is doing with his patrol and troop every month. And every half year, we switch from my leadership to that of the boys for a month as they practice the patrol method.

I also prepare the parents, not by selling them on Boy Scouting, but by helping prepare them with what to expect. I invite and accompany them to their first committee meetings with the troop. I introduce them to the boys' future leaders and fellow Scouts. I guess I simply treat every family as though all of my boys will of course go straight from my den to a new patrol, and that their parents will be prepared to get involved. And of course, I expect them to walk into their first meeting ready to earn their Scout rank right then and there. If they can't do that, what have I been doing with my time? 

The first job of a Webelos leader is to prepare his boys for Scouting by inspiring them to want to learn more, do more, and be more. It's not about sales; it's about learning.

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On 6/14/2018 at 7:34 PM, Ranman328 said:

If you as the leader signed off on his requirements, then you as the leader are saying you are acknowledging he has proved to you he has accomplished them

The Arrow of Light is still a Cub Scout award.  The Scout does not need to "prove he has accomplished" anything.  The Cub Scout merely has to "Do His Best".

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On 6/20/2018 at 4:07 PM, Fehler said:

The Arrow of Light is still a Cub Scout award.  The Scout does not need to "prove he has accomplished" anything.  The Cub Scout merely has to "Do His Best".

While technically true, people need to actually understand what Do Your Best means.  It is not a license to simply pass a kid along.  It does not mean a kid gets to check a box because he tried and didn't succeed the first time.  It actually means do your best.  Showing up and being present on the day a topic is reviewed is not doing one's best is 99.9% of cases.  A kid must make a real effort.

And I'll turn it back on the leaders - did the leaders do their best in helping a kid grasp the material?

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 9:13 PM, The Latin Scot said:

I must confess, I find the comparing the job of a Webelos leader to a sales job equally unsettling. As a Webelos leader, I have NEVER looked at my boys in that light, nor my duties in that way. 

I am not a salesman. I am a teacher, a mentor, and a guardian to these boys. My job is to help them become better people, and I need to do it with my example, my encouragement, and my training. And I have to love them enough to accept the fact that not everything we do may be fun, but it all matters - and I have to let them know that. I have to be 100% transparent with them; my job is to prepare them for Scouting by teaching them how to develop essential skills and supplying them with the important knowledge they will need to succeed. Getting a boy to join a Troop right after Cub Scouts is no issue. But getting them to STAY, that's where many founder. Boys don't remain with anything they aren't succeeding in, and if a Webelos leader hasn't prepared his boys sufficiently, their first few weeks will not be worth their time.

HOWEVER, if they have been well prepared, trained for what's coming, so that they know how to start earning merit badges, are prepared to recite the oath, law and outdoor code - if they know how patrols function, and are ready to follow their youth leaders because they were taught how by adult Cub leaders - those first few weeks will be a resounding success, and the boy will stay, not because he has been convinced to stay in Scouting, but because he has been PREPARED for it. And THAT is what gets boys excited! When they realize that they will soon be part of a new patrol, and that they will go in with a HUGE head start, knowing the program, the duties, the knots, the badges, the requirements - the more they know, the more excited they are to get started!

A Webelos leader gives boys that first taste of what Scouting entails by teaching what Scouting is, showing them how it works (first by observation then by practice), and by simply talking with them about what is coming. My boys have heard all about my Scouting experiences - what I wish I had done better, what my patrols did well, what they didn't do well - everything. My Den Chief is always talking to them about how Boy Scouts is different than what they are currently doing, and what he is doing with his patrol and troop every month. And every half year, we switch from my leadership to that of the boys for a month as they practice the patrol method.

I also prepare the parents, not by selling them on Boy Scouting, but by helping prepare them with what to expect. I invite and accompany them to their first committee meetings with the troop. I introduce them to the boys' future leaders and fellow Scouts. I guess I simply treat every family as though all of my boys will of course go straight from my den to a new patrol, and that their parents will be prepared to get involved. And of course, I expect them to walk into their first meeting ready to earn their Scout rank right then and there. If they can't do that, what have I been doing with my time? 

The first job of a Webelos leader is to prepare his boys for Scouting by inspiring them to want to learn more, do more, and be more. It's not about sales; it's about learning.

@The Latin Scot, I could not have said it better.  I do wish the new program made a requirement to better prepare the boys for Boy Scouting.  I wonder if some leaders are getting burned out especially if they have been in the program from the Tigers on and they just want to be done.  I have been asking around about the Pack with the Scout I am asking about and have found out that this might be the case.  They just want to be done which is sad because in my opinion the last two years of Cub Scouts are the most important when it comes to preparing the boys for Boys Scouts. 

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