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Secrets of Successful Webelos Leaders

Purpose of Webelos

Webelos Scouts begin to learn about camping, learn outdoor and other skills, and learn about Boy Scout troops. A key goal is to graduate Webelos Scouts into a Boy Scout troop, yet over half of all Webelos never go on into Boy Scouting. But your den can beat this average (and have fun doing it)!

Seven Steps to Success with First Year Webelos (4th Grade; starting in June the instant school is out)

  1. Take Webelos Leader Outdoor Training right away (and take Cub Scout Leader Training if you haven't already).
  2. Make sure your Webelos attend one of the Webelos weekend camps run by our district their first summer as Webelos (they've been to Cub Scout day camp a couple times, now it's time to start real camping). And be sure to take your guys to one of the 3-day Webelos Mountain Camps at Ben Delatour Scout Ranch during the summer after 4th Grade. This will help get them ready for a week of Boy Scout summer camp after 5th Grade.
  3. Use parents to teach the activity badges. The more you use your parents, the easier your job becomes.
  4. Plan some outdoor day outings in the fall and winter, and at least one overnight campout in the spring (the easy way is to link up with one or more Scout troops and go along on some of their activities).
  5. Contact two or three Scout troops, get a copy of their annual calendar, and ask the Scoutmaster what activities would be suitable for first-year Webelos.
  6. Visit a troop meeting for at least three different troops during the winter and spring.
  7. By late spring, let your Webelos pick a patrol name. Give your boys the patrol medallion to wear on their uniform in place of the den numeral. Start referring to your group as the "Cobra Patrol" instead of "Webelos Den 6". The Boy Scout Handbook (your den should buy one) has pictures of all patrol medallions.

Seven Steps to Success with Second Year Webelos (5th Grade; starting in June, ending in February)

  1. Take Boy Scout Leader Basic Training.
  2. Plan at least one fall overnight campout with a good troop.
  3. Visit a couple more meetings of the one or two troops you liked best last spring. It would be good also to visit one or two new troops. If there is time, you should visit your one or two favorite troops several times, including meetings and outings, to help your Webelos make a wise choice and help them get comfortable with Scouts and the outdoors.
  4. By November, choose a troop to join. Help any undecided Webelos make a choice. Some Webelos dens will choose a single troop and enter as a patrol. In other cases, your Webelos may split among several troops. Either way is fine.
  5. Finish all Arrow of Light requirements by early January (before Christmas would be better). This is just about the only Cub Scout badge a boy can wear on his Boy Scout uniform (he can also wear the square knot for any God & Country or Heroism award earned in Cub Scouts).
  6. The pack's Webelos graduation should occur no later than the February pack meeting. This gives your Webelos a few months to be part of a troop before summer camp (and they should plan on summer camp their first year in Scouting!).
  7. Tell your Webelos and parents what troop you are joining, and that you are signing up as a leader of that troop. (If you have involved your parents, some of them may become leaders too, and you shouldn't be suffering from the dreaded Cub leader "burn-out". Remember, Boy Scouting is where the fun really begins for parents as well as boys.)

Have a fun time the last year-and-a-half of Cub Scouts, and look forward to the excitement of joining Boy Scouts.


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