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What Has Happened to the Webelos Program and WDL Training?

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This is a problem that has been bugging me since before COVID. WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE WEBELOS PROGRAM AND WDL TRAINING? ( caps for emphasis and extreme frustration)

Webelos is supposed to be the transition period from Cubs to Scouts, not once they get into the troop. BSA in the 1990s realized the 9 to 12 month Webelos program from the 1980s and earlier didn't work, and created am 18 to 24 month program.  When I did the old Cub Scout Leader Basic Training, which was a day long class to train for ALL (emphasis) pack positions, it reiterated the fact that Webelos is different than the other Cub Scout programs, parents are suppose to start letting go and allowing the Webelos to do more. Training had language to that end. Even with the old Cub Leader Specific Training, the WDL training had specific language to mark the differences. When New Scouts had issues with transition, it was usually a result of WDLs not doing the WDL Specific Training.

Lately I see almost NONE of the Webelos being ready for Scouts BSA, unless they have an old School WDL who went thru the older training. I've talked to, and had disccussons with folks on the topic, sometimes heatedly, because most of the stuff I was taught appears to no longer be part of WDL training. When I reviewed the syllabus, whole sections that should have been different, appeared to be cut and pasted from Wolf and Bear training materials to the point that the word "Webelos" was not mentioned in some sections.

I know COVID screwed things up. This problem has been ongoing. Locally I knew what packs emphasized training, and which didn't. And I am seeing even the pro training packs not preparing their Webelos like they used to. We had  Webelos visit this past week, and from what my Scouts are telling me, we may get 1 out of the group because the others appeared to have no idea what Scouting is about, or are interested in Scouting.



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Pretty much the OWL/WDL training is gone and no one knows it. The best advice I had, and I pass it along to anyone who reads this that is a Webelos Den Leader is to go take IOLS, and read the Troop Leader Guides. The 5th grade year I advise you to do Scouting Adventure first with your Den; everyone seems to do it last and it sets the scouts up for failure.

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I was Webelos den leader during COVID years and it messed us up big time. We had no opportunity at all to camp from 2020 into 2021. There are only so many outdoor skills you can teach on a laptop. Then an abbreviated year from 2021-2022 so scouts would be ready to join their troops in the spring before summer camp. I was surprised the lack of skills required in the Webelos/AoL program, like there is no requirement to use a compass. I incorporated compass skills anyway. We did our best!

And no, I recall there was no separate Webelos den leader training. Neither does our Pack have a link to a Troop. Our scouts have to look outside our unit to bridge up. If your Scouts require certain skills, it isn't up to the Cub Scouts to assume what they are and make it happen. Cubs are trying to run a program attractive to elementary school-aged kids.  It is not basic training for Scouts. But they may start to learn skills in Cubs that will carry over... IMO, that is what the spring before summer camp is for, to get new scouts acclimated into the troop.

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