Jump to content

Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, ParkMan said:

When I moved over to the troop, it was a very different world.  Our recruiting focused so much more on simply providing a good program.  It was like the line from the movie Field of Dreams - "build it and they will come."  But, in neither case did we ever assume that "Scouts were ours".  In fact, we always saw other troops recruiting into the packs that feed us as encouragement.  If a troop comes in and starts recruiting better than us, or makes their program sound stronger, then it's a sign to us that we need to work a bit harder.

I mean this in the nicest way @Eagle94-A1, but if a DL decides to take his boys to a different troop - then shame on my troop. It would be unfair of my troop to blame the DL.

 

Agree 100% Especially since every troop is different. One troop might not suit what a Scout is looking for. I know the troop I first joined has some issues. I eventually left and moved to the troop I aged out of and volunteered first with until I left for my first post-college job. I've found most Scouters are willing to help a Scout pick the right troop. Heck one troop we planned to visit said they were full and pointed to the troop we are joining to visit. But there are Scouters out there who are possessive, and view any outside recruiting of "their pack" as poaching and unScoutlike. The Scouters and I in the troop I am currently with have been accused of being poachers. 

I talked about working with Webelos with the SM for several reasons. One was the high attrition rate. The Webelos that join are not staying. Last year, only 33% of those crossing over are here today. Year before that is a little better, 55%, but that is the group with parents wanting their sons to earn Eagle and have a continuation of Cub Scouts. No matter how many times you talk to them, no matter what training they have taken, they are doing their own thing.  In the pack I am a DL for, I've found the Webelos  are still being treated like Cub Scouts, and then the Scouts and parents move up and are totally unprepared for the changes.I wanted to begin the transition process NOW in an attempt to lower attrition. Another reason was that I wanted to train these Webelos so that they would be able to jump right in and do anything needed within their patrols. Folks here know I am not a fan of NSPs as I had issues with them over the years. Only once did I see a possibility of a Webelos den crossing over intact as a NSP and being able to meet the challenges. Sadly, that patrol split and joined 2 different troops. Those Scouts, and their parents, are causing no problems with either troop. I was hoping to recreate that den.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I talked about working with Webelos with the SM for several reasons. One was the high attrition rate. The Webelos that join are not staying. Last year, only 33% of those crossing over are here today. Year before that is a little better, 55%, but that is the group with parents wanting their sons to earn Eagle and have a continuation of Cub Scouts. No matter how many times you talk to them, no matter what training they have taken, they are doing their own thing.  In the pack I am a DL for, I've found the Webelos  are still being treated like Cub Scouts, and then the Scouts and parents move up and are totally unprepared for the changes.I wanted to begin the transition process NOW in an attempt to lower attrition. Another reason was that I wanted to train these Webelos so that they would be able to jump right in and do anything needed within their patrols. Folks here know I am not a fan of NSPs as I had issues with them over the years. Only once did I see a possibility of a Webelos den crossing over intact as a NSP and being able to meet the challenges. Sadly, that patrol split and joined 2 different troops. Those Scouts, and their parents, are causing no problems with either troop. I was hoping to recreate that den.

I've seen similar things happen with Webelos scouts that graduates Scouts into our troop.  Some dens are great and have good retention, others do not.  

My sense is that much of it is about how the Webelos den and pack operates.  I'm not sure if it's because some dens are better are preparing Scouts or because some dens do a better job of retaining those Scouts who are likely to be active Boy Scouts.  Probably a little of both.

I wonder if a well organized Webelos Den Leader training taught be former Webelos Den Leaders who have successfully made the troop transition would help.  Get the Webelos den leaders thinking a different way than Cub Scouts.  Also, get them thinking about the important things to start doing that are likely to get the Scouts successfully started in a troop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BSA's highest dropout rate is with first year Troop scouts. And from my studies, those actually are in the first six months. In other words, if the new scouts are around after six months (after summer camp) they will likely stay with the troop several years.

We found the number driver one of dropouts is the sudden jump from an adult culture to a self-independence patrol method culture. The drop out rate isn't something new, I found it a problem as far back as I could find records, 1960s. The problem is boys lack of maturity for the confidence of making a lot of decisions about their environment. They are simply scared of the dark.

We helped our situation by assigning a new scout ASM with the new scouts. Since new scouts aren't used to boys nearly their age taking care of the their basic needs like food, sleep, and PROTECTION, they find themselves terrified of the troop program. The ASM is an adult who eases them into the boy run culture. When the new scout wants to ask an adult a question because they don't trust the boy leaders, they ASM helps them (and their parents) by taking them to the boy leaders and letting them answer the questions. As the new scouts grow to trust the boy leaders won't let them die from bear attacks at night, the new scouts get more comfortable with the program. They start making decisions like how to pack for campouts and how to wear the uniform. Small stuff in the big picture, but big decisions for new scouts.

Summer camp is important for new scouts because the week long outdoor program is where they develop the routine of boy scouting and patrol method. It's also where new scouts can learn to enjoy their independence by going about their day without being told by adults what to do. New scouts should have almost NO guidance or help from adults by they time they get to summer camp. If new scouts leave camp feeling comfortable about camping outdoors and the general order of patrol method, they usually stick around. Parents often tell us their son came back from camp a much more mature person than the one that left. Boys like activities that makes them feel good about themselves and that is what drives them to stay in scouts.

We found the key to fewer dropouts is access to an ASM (adult) until the scouts get used to boys running the program safely. About six months.

Barry

 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

We found the key to fewer dropouts is access to an ASM (adult) until the scouts get used to boys running the program safely. About six months.

Is it helpful to have an ASM that is different than their DL? We tried this with a former DL of the same scouts and it became Webelos 3, the ASM also became a MBC for each feature we had for each month and began to teach them in classes outside of the troop meetings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, TMSM said:

Is it helpful to have an ASM that is different than their DL? We tried this with a former DL of the same scouts and it became Webelos 3, the ASM also became a MBC for each feature we had for each month and began to teach them in classes outside of the troop meetings.

Yes it is.  We have a new scout program, ASM for that has not been involved in Cubs for many years. 

Our goal is to get the new Scouts to the NS campout, then the May event, then summer camp.  After that we feel that gives them a good view of the troop, how it may be different from Cubs, etc.  After the summer we roll them into existing patrols and off they go with the patrol ASM's working with them within the patrol framework.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Is it helpful to have an ASM that is different than their DL? We tried this with a former DL of the same scouts and it became Webelos 3, the ASM also became a MBC for each feature we had for each month and began to teach them in classes outside of the troop meetings.

Unless the DL was already an ASM, they wouldn't know how. The ASM needs the skills to guide the parents as well as the new scout in the troop culture and patrol dynamics. The ASM and new scout guide  work as a team with the objective that the guide will answer most of the new scout's and his parents questions. In our troop, the SM in training is the New Scout ASM. It's just how we do it. We also don't let any new adults in as leaders for at least six months so that they learn how the program works. 

I also learned that the new scout guides (or troop guides) needed the maturity of a 15 year old to be effective. In my experience, we never had a good TG 13 or younger, and never had one 15 or older who didn't knock my socks off. 

Barry 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that one of the troops our pack feeds to has an explicit rule that any parent who was in leadership in cub scouts has to take a year off of leadership before they can assist the troop. Again, good to help transition away from the cub scout model.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks - sorry didnt mean to steal th thread. 

There is no shame in changing troops and when I have a really hard time with parents I have no problems telling them that.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few comments. 1) had an 1:30 chat with the SM over lunch. It went well, all things considered. He understands why we are leaving, and doesn't have a problem with it. He is also going to sit down and have a chat with the core leadership group before having a "come to Jesus Meeting" with some families.

 

2) Please keep up the conversation on Webelos to Scout Transition, and if this needs it's own thread, I am OK with it. Part of our conversation was this exact topic: Webelos to Scout Transition and Parents. The pack is not doing a good job, one of the reasons I went back to DL, and we talked about ways to improve the situation. Both are concerned about the Webelos crossing over this year as they have done NOTHING with the troop: have not visited yet, have not camped with us, not a thing. Worried how they will transition. And now he needs to help find a DL for the Webelos 1s. Good thing is their Bear DL is a camping fiend. :)  Lots of expereince in the Patrol method, and cannot wait for his son to be a scout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, malraux said:

I know that one of the troops our pack feeds to has an explicit rule that any parent who was in leadership in cub scouts has to take a year off of leadership before they can assist the troop. Again, good to help transition away from the cub scout model.

Great idea, although I might amend that.  I would say that the former cub leaders should be committee members, but shouldn't be working with the boys as ASMs or SMs. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

A few comments. 1) had an 1:30 chat with the SM over lunch. It went well, all things considered. He understands why we are leaving, and doesn't have a problem with it. He is also going to sit down and have a chat with the core leadership group before having a "come to Jesus Meeting" with some families.

Your leaving might be the best thing for not just you and your boys, but for that troop as well. It might just be the catalyst for them improving.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, DuctTape said:

Your leaving might be the best thing for not just you and your boys, but for that troop as well. It might just be the catalyst for them improving.

Yes I think I may be the catalyst. SM is not happy I am leaving, as well as 2 ASMs. Once our fundraiser is done, there will be a maor talk witrh the adults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well tonight is the last meeting with the old troop. I am going through a bunch of emotions. I know it's best for my sons,  but I still feel bad as I feel I am abandoning my Scouts and friends. I talking to some about why I am leaving, I get the feeling there is a lot of unrest beneath the surface. I had a feeling about 1/3 would eventually transfer, but I have a feeling it may be higher if things do not change ASAP. I am told my leaving is causing the core leadership to reevaluate the entire situation, and I hope change does happen. I do not wan to see the troop die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

Well tonight is the last meeting with the old troop. I am going through a bunch of emotions. I know it's best for my sons,  but I still feel bad as I feel I am abandoning my Scouts and friends. I talking to some about why I am leaving, I get the feeling there is a lot of unrest beneath the surface. I had a feeling about 1/3 would eventually transfer, but I have a feeling it may be higher if things do not change ASAP. I am told my leaving is causing the core leadership to reevaluate the entire situation, and I hope change does happen. I do not wan to see the troop die.

I have been very impressed with the courteous and respectful manner in how you've handled the situation from the beginning. If nothing else, they are loosing the role model of an Eagle Scout. 

Barry

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/1/2018 at 10:03 AM, ParkMan said:

I've seen similar things happen with Webelos scouts that graduates Scouts into our troop.  Some dens are great and have good retention, others do not.  

My sense is that much of it is about how the Webelos den and pack operates.  I'm not sure if it's because some dens are better are preparing Scouts or because some dens do a better job of retaining those Scouts who are likely to be active Boy Scouts.  Probably a little of both.

I wonder if a well organized Webelos Den Leader training taught be former Webelos Den Leaders who have successfully made the troop transition would help.  Get the Webelos den leaders thinking a different way than Cub Scouts.  Also, get them thinking about the important things to start doing that are likely to get the Scouts successfully started in a troop.

I'm not sure that anything can really be done about that at the Cub Scout level. At least locally, that's a time of change for the boys.  As AOL Webelos, they are the top of the Pack.  As 5th grade students, they are in the last year of elementary school.  A lot of parents see that as a good time to stop, and so they don't encourage the boys. That, and being a Boy Scout is a lot more work than Webelos, at least with most parents. My observation is that boys who during Cub Scout Family camps were forced to help their parents set up a camp do better in that transition.  My sons always helped out with setting up camp--even when they were Tigers/Wolves.  Most of the other boys played while their parents set up camp.  Yes, it probably would have been easier for me to set up camp without their "help" but I wasn't doing it for ease, I was doing it for them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×