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Webelos to Scout Transition – Part 4 January 16, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

In this installment of Webelos to Scout Transition, I want to talk flagabout progressive Webelos camping. One thing that I’ve done with my two Webelos dens is introduce the boys to camping with Boy Scouts gradually. Thankfully, my council and district have given opportunities for this. The goal is that by the time they cross over into Boy Scouts, they will understand the patrol method of Scouting. Along with this, hopefully the first few campouts with the troop won’t be a scary thing. Here are the steps that I’ve used.

Den Campout – As soon as we became Webelos, we went camping to a local Scout camp. There, we worked on our Outdoorsman activity pin (I won’t work on the Outdoorsman pin in a den meeting – that’s just something I can’t do). Webelos is the first time you are allowed to take your Scouts out camping away from the pack (as a reminder, a parent needs to attend a Webelos den campout). This was also the first introduction to the patrol method while at a campout, as I had the boys develop their own meal plan and duty roster (the parents ate separately). This campout was the boys first camping away from younger Scouts. It was the first time they began to establish an identity apart from the pack.

Webelos Woods – Our council offers a Webelos Woods campout in the fall, and we went the fall of our Webelos 1 year. I’m not sure how other council does this, but our Webelos Woods is basically a show put on by Boy Scouts, with the Boy Scouts providing different activity and skills areas for the Webelos to visit. The Webelos do not camp in the same sites as Boy Scouts. The only interaction is going to the stations that the Boy Scouts are running, and this was my boys first introduction to Boy Scouting. We used the patrol method of camping at this campout, and again the boys ate and cleaned up separately from their parents. The skills they learned at our first den campout were refined here.

Camporee – our district holds their Camporee in spring, and thankfully invites Webelos to attend (from what I hear, not all Camporees allow Webelos). For a Webelos to go to Camporee, they need to be sponsored by a troop, and come as their guest. We camped in the same campsite as our sponsor troop, but we were separated (we grouped our own tents together and we ate as a den, not with the troop). We were not integrated with the troop at this campout, but we got close to the troop to observe how they camped. We also got to go to a troop meeting before this campout to plan, and this was our first visit to a troop meeting.

Troop Campouts – By the fall of your Webelos 2 year, you should be spending time camping with troops and attending troop meetings. In the fall of our Webelos 2 year, we were invited to two different troop campouts. At these campouts, the Webelos are fully integrated into the troops. They are mixed in with the patrols, and their tents are mixed in with the Boy Scouts (though the Webelos shared a tent with another Webelos, not a Boy Scout). The parents were in an adult patrol. By this time, the Webelos knew enough about the patrol method of camping that they could easily work along side of the Boy Scouts in meal preparation and clean up, without interaction by Webelos den leaders or parents.

The First Boy Scout Campout Weekend – Hopefully, by the time that my boys bridge into Boy Scouts and go on their first weekend campout, the boys from my den will be ready to go and have fun. By this campout, they should have learned enough of the patrol method and basic outdoor skills to be a good contributor to their assigned patrol. And hopefully by this time it won’t be a nervous experience. It worked with my last den and I hope it will work again with my current den.

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Every council and district is different, so you won’t be able to replicate this fully with your den. But the idea is that you find a path of gradual introduction. Webelos is all about transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, and one wants to progressively get the boys to operate apart from their parents and more towards a patrol.

I hope these help you, especially if you are a Webelos 1 or Bear den leader. If you have any methods you’ve used to help introduce Webelos to the Boy Scout outdoor experience, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

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This is the fourth in a series I’ve written on Webelos to Scout Transition. Here are the first three entries:

Post #3 -Introducing the Patrol Method to Webelos

https://thetrainerscorner.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/webelos-to-scout-transition-part-3/

Post #2 – The Webelos Den Leader as a Recruiter for Boy Scouts

https://thetrainerscorner.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/webelos-to-scout-transition-part-2/

Post #1 – Making the Transition from a Cub Scout Den Format

https://thetrainerscorner.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/webelos-to-scout-transition/

In Scouting,

-Scouter Jeff <><

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