In June the Bears will crossover into the Webelos I Den and start off on a completely new adventure.
When I was a Wolf Cub in 1976, these Webelos were cool. Their neckerchiefs were plaid and also had a three colored braided thing on their sleeve.
Fast forward to when I was a Tiger Den Leader I saw them and was transported back…Webelos. They are COOL! My desire was to be the Webelos Den Leader and help the boys earn and learn all the cool stuff. For the past few years I have been learning more and more about Cubscouts, Scouting and Webelos. Reliving my past? Maybe.
But, as I have learned I have found out several things that are needed to be passed on to those who are going to be the Webelos Den Leaders and Parents as well. Many people that I follow talk about the Webelos to Scout transition. It’s something that needs a voice. However, there is the Bears to Webelos transition as well. If done correctly, the Webelos III and Heliocopter syndrome can be less painful.
Much of what I first learned and read about the Cub Scout program came from the website “The Boy Scout Trail.” It is an excellent resource. It’s one of the go to spots for Scout info. The next place that I go for info as a Cubmaster and a Webelos Den Leader is on the Scouting.org site. Within the Webelos and Arrow of Light Den Meeting guide sections, I can figure out what to do when certain pins and activities. The BSA National Office really did a great job on the 2010 Den/Pack Meeting guides. If your a seasoned Den Leader, these might not be for you. However, its a great resource to get new ideas from. If your fresh into Scouting and you do not know what to do, these are perfect. One great thing is that if your son missed a meeting a parent can be given this and followed to completion. That is a win-win for the Parent and Webelos.
The other site that I use for Webelos (along with all other Cubscouts) is the Academic & Sport Beltloops and Pins section on Scouting.org. To me, this site is invaluable. In the spring the boys are generally wrapping up their ranks and still need to be challenged. These beltloops & pins are perfect. The one thing that I tell the boys and parents is that if your playing sports, you can earn one of these. If your into math, science, space, geology or things like that, there is a beltloop for you. I did a whole pack meeting last year about this very subject.
However, within the Webelos 20 or so month program, the boys are earning Webelos Pins for the Rank and Arrow of Light. I have begun to urge the boys to re-earn these beltloops to help them earn a Pin. For example. The Sportsman Pin.
- Show the signals used by officials in one of these sports: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, or hockey.
- Explain what good sportsmanship means.
- While you are a Webelos Scout, earn Cub Scout Sports belt loops for two individual sports ( badminton, bicycling, bowling, fishing, golf, gymnastics, ice skating, marbles, physical fitness, roller skating, snow ski and board sports, swimming, table tennis, or tennis).
- While you are a Webelos Scout, earn Cub Scout Sports belt loops for two team sports ( baseball, basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, flag football, or ultimate).
While this Pin is not required for Rank, it’s a good one to earn. Even if the Webelos is not the worlds greatest at sports, they might enjoy bowling and bicycling. You can even get one for Ulitmate (Disc Golf) & Flag Football (or as one Webelos this last year used La Crosse for it)
Point being, if your Scouts are involved in sports, this pin is an easy one to earn. It might take a whole school year, but so might the Sports Merit Badge in Scouts.
My point is this, within the first full year of Webelos I, there is a lot going on. It can be daunting if planning is not worked out.
What has helped me greatly is the Packmaster Software. There are several great software packages out there. Even ones with MS Excel spreadsheets, for all programs as well. I am going to focus upon Packmaster since it’s what I know and use.
There are basically ten things that a Webelos has to do to earn the Webelos Rank. One is time based, which is just like the Arrow of Light Badge, but only twice as long. However, within these basic ten, there are multiple requirements to earn them.
Within the Activity Badges, our Pack has historically done the Traveler Pin in November to a Hockey Game with the Portland Winterhawks. Troop 41 has also done the Aquanaut in October with the Webelos I & II as well. So, working with the Troop and going to a sports event with the whole Pack the Webelos can knock out all their pins in pretty quick order.
In my next Blog about Webelos, I will dive into more Activity Badges , Beltloops & Pins as well as using Packmaster to keep track of everything.