Webelos experience ends only at Boy Scout camp

One of Scouting’s greatest challenges is to make the next level of Scouting readily available for a boy, and to get him interested in ‘moving up.’

The Webelos experience truly does not end until the boy attends Boy Scout summer camp as a new Boy Scout

It should be the goal of every Cubmaster, Webelos den leader, Unit Commissioner, and Boy Scout Troop to graduate 100% of Webelos into a strong and viable troop.

The Webelos experience truly does not end when the boy earns the Arrow of Light or crosses-over into a troop.The experience is only complete when

that former Webelos attends Boy Scout summer camp as a new Boy Scout. Summer camp is the experience that cements their decision to join the troop,and keeps them involved the rest of the year.

Boys may not be sure whether Boy Scouts is for them, but after the exciting adventure of Boy Scout Summer Camp, they will have all the tools (and a great camp memories) to help them a good decision. Statistics show that if when a boy attends summer camp he is more likely to continue in the program.

Each Pack should have a troop that they forge a relationship towards better Scouting. This does not mean that every boy from that pack only can move into that troop, but thatt there is a formal relationship and cooperation between pack and troop leaders towards a mutual benefit of their boys continuing in Scouting for a richer learning experience as they enter adolescence. Parent and Scouting leaders should ask themselveslf a few key questions:

Cub Parents:

  1. Do you know who the Scoutmaster is in the troop that supports your pack?
  2. Does your Den have a Boy Scout Den Chief?
  3. Has your pack leaders had the opportunities to learn about Boy Scouting led by a Troop Leader?
  4. When is the Webelos Experience Complete?

Boy Scout Leaders:

  1. Who are the Webelos Leaders in the pack you recruit from?
  2. Do you have Den Chiefs in those dens?
  3. Have you set up a time to orient parents as to what they can expect in Boy Scouting?
  4. How many joint Pack/Troop activities do you do together in a year.
  5. When is the Webelos Experience Complete

If your answer to any of these questions is “I don’t know,” finding the answer can be key to successfully keeping boys in Scouting. Further, inquire with your district membership chairman and your unit commissioner to develop and or review a plan to ensure that every Webelos crosses over into Boy Scouting.

Remember, the Webelos Experience only truly ends with Boy Scout summer camp. Without summer camp as a new Boy Scout, the boy may have a very short Boy Scouting experience indeed.

By Todd McDonald, Cascade Pacific Council staff

Todd McDonald, a Senior District Executive serving Wapiti District, has been a professional Scouter for 13 years. He has served on camp staff 17 years, eight of those years as camp director.  [ Editor: Todd currently serves as the council program director ]

[ Originally published in the summer 2007 edition of CPC Times. ]

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