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Oh Shoot, Worksheets in Cubs

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I learned that my son's den leader (Webelos) has decided to have the boys do worksheets this year (apparently they are online?) My son came home with a binder with some worksheets for personal fitness and stomped into the house and threw it down.  Note that he gets overwhelmed when he's asked to do too many activities and he saw the work of logging fitness as a big drain on his time.

But at our committee meeting the den leader said, I found these worksheets and I think the boys are old enough to do them.

So now, I fear -- let's not have classroom style den meetings.

This is the den with rowdy kids and some parents who just. sit. there.  

In other news, we have a kid who was rough at camp last year.  The kid got sent home after he had ben in poison oak.  Think of kid not behaving, running off into the weeds, and later feeling itchy.  The night before he had a very hard time sleeping and being away from home. The parents have said they are not going to camp. (Mom posted on FB she was upset that their night with kid away was spoiled last year when it happened.)

Can we um, insist that a parent comes with the kid?  He is actually a nice, decent kid when things are going well, but when he gets upset and out of control, its rough.  Think of kid picking up and hurling logs around when he was frustrated.  We had to make sure that no one got hurt and also that no other parent would rough up the kid in an attempt to gain control (a parent told me he was tempted to grab and discipline this kiddo, but thankfully he didn't, and that's not how things work).

Thanks for any help!  

Edited by WisconsinMomma
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The Webelos requirements do include tracking some fitness items. A single worksheet can be a good tool to help them organize their notes and see progress. But a binder with multiple worksheets? Ugh, no way.

You absolutely can require that the parent attend with their Cub. A direct, straightforward, non-accusatory conversation with the parent will help. “Hey, on the last overnight, Johnny had some moments where he was frustrated. That resulted in him throwing pieces of wood around, which could have hurt another Cub. We are going to need you to attend the next campout with him to keep an eye and make sure this was a one-time thing. For our future reference, there any techniques that you use at home that can help redirect frustrations into constructive behavior?”

The age guidelines actually say: “Webelos Scout may participate in overnight den camping. In most cases, the Webelos Scout will be under the supervision of their parent or guardian. It is essential that each Webelos Scout be under the supervision of a parent-approved adult.”


(sorry about formatting on the copy/paste job)

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Re news 1) Is it the filling out the work sheet or that it's a bunch of things to check off? If the former, start off by just doing it for him. Oh, and add a fun sticker. In fact take him to the sticker store and have him pick the stickers. If you can get him to the point where he just gets the stickers on and you fill in the rest then you're good. Tell him when he does fill in the rest you'll give him a second sticker, from the super cool sticker set, to put anywhere he wants (forehead, mirror, door, ...) And if he only does the whole line some of the time then so what.

Re news 2) I was under the impression that for webelos a parent had to be there anyway. When the G2SS says "in most cases" this is one of them. Or is this in scouts? This scout just needs to hang in there until he matures. Developing a relationship with him when he's in a good mood will likely shorten the times when he's frustrated.

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If you’re tracking bike riding or pushups, or daily the,peratures, some form of worksheet makes sense. 

If you’re asking questions about the town council meeting, TALK WITH THE KID


Scouting. Isn’t. School. 

Moderator note...

moved to cub scouting forum. 

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It also depends on the worksheet and the goal. Part of webelos is transitioning from the cub program to the scout program. That means that the scout should start getting used to the idea of tracking his advancement (ie getting sign offs in his book/worksheet) and working somewhat independently. To the extent that the worksheets help with that, good. To the extent that instead of reciting the outdoor code from memory the den leader is requiring the scouts to write it out and write a paragraph on applying it to a hike, that's bad. (Obviously if a scout for whatever reason was more comfortable writing rather than speaking it would be an ok accommodation).

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A chart for tracking exercise seems reasonable.  The other parts should be done as part of activities and the Cubs can accomplish FUN things and not know they are doing it.

When working with Scouts on Camping Merit Badge we get to requirement 9b and some Scouts are not sure about this one


1. Hike up a mountain where, at some point, you are at least 1,000 feet higher in elevation from where you started.
2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
4. Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.
Then as I talk with them and we talk about the various outings the troop does they realize they completed these when we did backpacking, our bike outing, or the kayaking trip and did not even realize it.  
Edited by Jameson76
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Webelos are getting to the age where they should and need to be able to plan, write, and do some simple documenting. It's preparing them for Scouts, middle school level work, and life in general. If a kids bucks at doing this type of stuff, it says more about him than a DL using this to keep a handle on things. 

To be honest, it's just a larger format of what's in the book. I'd rather use these than haul the book everywhere. I do these kind of sheets with ours as a review, they can fill in the answers as they discuss as a group. It helps to have this stuff on hand as we sign off in the book later.

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

I'm never a fan of worksheets. It robs scouts of any age of a piece of creativity.

Writing one's requirement on a page of a field notebook by oneself is empowering.

Great response. I couldn't have said it better. Adults are good at coming up with pragmatic reasons for taking the fun out of scouting. 


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In 5th and 6th grade, we were taught how to outline. I remember Mr. Prentice talking about BIG things and littler things. I guess we made up our own "work sheets"  for assignments. book reports, experiments, etc.   Merit Badges, exercise records where the idea is gradually be able to do MORE chin ups, push ups, run a mile faster, etc. and be proud of seeing the improved record on paper !  Work sheets, per se, are not a bad thing, but if they take away the Scout's ability to "do for myself" then , yeah, bad thing.   And it can take away somewhat, the ability of the MBCouselor/Den Leader to communicate with the Scout.... 

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