Monday, May 18, 2009

Webelos Scout to Boy Scout

"The Trainer's Corner" blog has been running a series on getting Webelos Scouts ready and into a troop.

Over the last two years, I've stumbled across a method that is working well.  On paper, it might seem a little drastic.

We are fortunate that our council has a Webelos Crossover weekend in early April.  Webelos Scouts from all over come to shoot a rifle for the first time (as Boy Scouts anyway) and cover virtually all of the Scout badge and Tenderfoot rank requirements.  

A lot of dedicated volunteers come out to help make this happen.  Scouts travel from station to station from breakfast early to a post-campfire crackerbarrel after 9PM.

The transition weekend is a blend of Boy Scout material in a Cub Scout format.  Honestly, that is the only downside of it to me.  With the number of boys to process, that might be the only way to handle it, too.

Our troop though takes a different approach after that weekend:  Wilderness Survival merit badge.

Last year, our program plan called for Wilderness Survival in the early spring--always an unpredicatable time in the mountains of Virginia.

The troop arrived at Camp Rock Enon in nice, cool weather.  There had been rain earlier in the week, and the usual shoe-sucking mudholes were easy to identify.  A number of the Scouts were brand new, and this was their first campout with the troop.

For ease, we used a large cabin with a great woodstove and covered outdoor shelter to teach the basics of Firem'n Chit and the Totin' Chip.  With dinner preparation and getting camp set up, that filled most of Friday night.

Our new SPL called it a night, and everyone hit the sack.

No comments: