- Out district has not attempted Webelos Leader Outdoor Training for several years. We have relied on the council run training which is offered once a year. However, with 47 packs in the district it seems likely that we could offer a successful course and should attempt to do so. Our Boy Scout trainers are offering IOLS next fall, and have offered to share facilities with us.
I attended this couse once (about 8 years ago). I served on staff once (about 7 years ago). I need the wisdom of the group please. What experiences have you had with WLOT? Do you offer/prefer the 1 day format or the overnight format? Why? Typical budget & registration fees. How big a staff? What are the pitfalls to look for? How have you been successful at promoting the course? Any other tips/hints to offer?
Thanks much for any assistance.
Blaine/Coon Rapids, MN
Cub Scout Training Chair
3 Rivers District
- I am on too many Scouting lists so I don't remember where I got this
information. I read that a couple of councils ran their WLOT, or OWL as we
call it here, with a new syllabus. It was a one day format. Anybody else
remember reading this?
Now on to Jamie's questions:
We run this course yearly in our council. Our turnout is small (15-18) but
within our whole council there are only 38 packs. We usually run it as an
overnight, but I would prefer to use the one day schedule. We tried that
schedule one time and received complaints that the participants wanted to
sleep-over. We charge $15-. I only have to pay for food and handouts out
of that money. We eat very well and they are given a 100 page packet of
materials that I have gleaned from a multitude of sources, plus a notebook
to keep it in. I am one of the lucky few who is allowed to over-budget. I
know some of you must bring in a profit.
When it comes to staff, I try to get as many "experts" as I can for the
round robins. They are not needed all day, just during the time of their
session. Boy Scout leaders make good staff for the RR (older Boy Scouts do
Council Training Chairman
Blue Water Council - Port Huron, Michigan
- Jamie, our district ran its first WLOT (we slither the acronym into OWLS) on
May 4th. Here are my thoughts as course director, plus some summary of our
participant evaluations. Vulcan District has 25 packs, at least 2 of which
are new and do not yet have Webelos and possibly not even Bears.
We had offered the Friday night + Saturday format in the past and cancelled
more than once for low registration (<5). In fact, no one could remember the
last time the course had actually been taught - although one person
confessed to taking it 10 YEARS ago. I took it on with the guarantee that
no one would cancel the course on me despite low numbers. Given the history
we decided to try to try the one-day. We had 18 in attendance, 16 from our
district. We were very pleased with that response.
We held the session concurrently with the weekend-long BS-level Outdoor
Leader Skills training. There was room at the camp for us to have our own
pavilion, and the trainers for many of the events were already in place for
OLS. Virtually all of our trainers were BS rather than CS. (I had 3
cub-only staffers.) The positives - they had some well-developed sites and
training methods for some stuff like Rope & Knots, Woods Tools, etc. I could
NEVER have pulled this staff together just for Web training. The Web
leaders got to see the OLS patrols. They were a bit bemused, and the OLS
staff were equally as puzzled by the Web leaders. I warned the OLS staff
that "Wear your uniform" to a bunch of Cubbers in our district would pull
out some amazing clothing but they did not believe it in advance. It was a
good learning experience on both sides. The negatives -- Boy Scouters just
are not as familiar with the Cub Scout program, and despite reminders in
advance kept suggesting things that Webelos just can't do as a den - like
canoing. It really grated on Web Leaders who WANT to do those things and
feel constrained by those particular rules. The solution next year will be
to add more Cub trainers and use OLS trainers in skills areas only. Will be
easier now that the people I want to use will have taken the course - this
year they all wanted to sign up so they could get their Knot credit. :-)
However, there is a bigger problem. As CubBobwhite mentioned, there is a new
OWLS format being "test-driven" at a couple of spots around the nation this
spring. (This was on Scouts-L, by the way, in late April.) This problem may
be addressed by the new syllabus. The problem is that OWLS current syllabus
is very duplicative of BALOO. People who took both (almost 1/2 of attendees)
were fairly displeased. The only substantive difference was training on four
Activity Badges - Geology, Outdoorsman, Naturalist and Forester @ 20 minutes
apiece. It may require the camping overnight to differentiate the two -- but
our Webelos leaders just don't want that. (Your experience may be completely
different, as CBW's is.) So it's a dilemma, one that I hope will be resolved
by the new Syllabus in a year or so.
The other Syllabus problem can be combatted with some attention paid in
advance - but since it is very old, it uses incorrect references for almost
**everything** - CS Leader Book, How2 Book etc. I made a careful mark-up of
the old syllabus before I shared it with the staff, then helped them get
current CS literature for review. The trick was, it was so old that the
references were older than the "old" materials that I had. That is, the CSLB
references didn't refer to the book in use prior to the November 2001
version. So when a reference was fairly oblique it took some creative
translation. You've obviously been at this longer than I so you may have a
stockpile of older literature to aid in translation.
Other details - we charged $10 each, $7 of which went for food. Since we
have a habitual late registration problem we charged $13 for registration
after the Saturday before the event. The only other expense was purchasing
the outdoor code cards at 7 cents each. The photocopying was all donated --
but we didn't have the level of resources that CubBobwhite did either!!
(Sounded very impressive.) I bought a couple of Webelos flags but took them
back to my pack afterwards and the pack paid for them.
Promotion. We did a Cub Leader Basic Training session in March and promoted
there to Webelos leader specific and Cubmaster groups. Took to April CSRT -
but almost no one was there. Then emailed twice, once to Cubmasters, and
once 2 weeks later to all Cub Scouters on our email files. (We did not have
a Webelos specific list, and it would not have identified Bear leaders who
would be moving up, anyway.) I also did personal email and a few personal
calls to people I knew who had mentioned wanting the course. Our Service
Area headquarters with excellent Scout Shop is in our District
geographically -- posted it on the bulletin board there. Our problem is
baseball season - a huge percentage of the Webelos play baseball (some
soccer) and lots of the leaders are also coaches.
Finally, I put my email and phone number on EVERYTHING, including on every
email that goes out even if it's sent by our DE instead of me. I did not
have a single attendee I wasn't expecting (a big deal in our district)
although several contacted me for the first time w/in 48 hours of event.
That's all I can think of. Our trainees were complimentary despite the
overlap with BALOO. They especially liked the opportunity to network, and
they did a lot of that. Oh yes, the 1-day syllabus had too much downtime
around suppertime. My group became restive at that point.
Good luck, and let me know if you need anything else!
Pack 321 CC, Hoover AL
Vulcan District Cub Training Coordinator
Greater AL Council
- Teresa Hall wrote, among other things...
> We held the session concurrently with the weekend-long BS-level[snip]
> Outdoor Leader Skills training. There was room at the camp for
> us to have our own pavilion, and the trainers for many of the
> events were already in place for OLS. Virtually all of our
> trainers were BS rather than CS. (I had 3 cub-only staffers.)
> The positives - they had some well-developed sites and training
> methods for some stuff like Rope & Knots, Woods Tools, etc. I
> could NEVER have pulled this staff together just for Web
> good learning experience on both sides. The negatives -- Boy[snip]
> Scouters just are not as familiar with the Cub Scout program, and
> despite reminders in advance kept suggesting things that Webelos
> just can't do as a den - like canoing. It really grated on Web
> Leaders who WANT to do those things and feel constrained by those
> particular rules. The solution next year will be to add more Cub
> trainers and use OLS trainers in skills areas only. Will be
> easier now that the people I want to use will have taken the
> course - this year they all wanted to sign up so they could get
> their Knot credit. :-)
Actually, I think the idea is a good one. "Use your resources" --
where have we hear that one before?
As far as the program differences leading to problems with what the
Webelos can and cannot do, I think a word to the WDLs who are
enrolled to the effect that "You may hear about things during this
course that are not allowed the Webelos or Cubs. Keep in mind that
most of the trainers here are from the Boy Scouts, and may not be
familiar with the Webelos or Cub Scout programs" Would suffice.
Remember, every Cub leader that you bring in for the training is
going to duplicate some protion of what a Boy Scout leader is
already doing there.
Chuck Bramlet -- Phoenix, Az. --- mailto:antelope95@...
I "used to be" an Antelope! WEM-10-95 Member DNRC
Firebird District Committee Member at Large -- Grand Canyon Council
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing"
-- Stephen R. Covey
With 47 Packs, I don't see any reason that you cannot run a successful
WLOT Course. You need to be aware that the course is being rewritten.
By now a couple of pilots should have been executed. The current goal
is to present the course at the National Meeting in June. Shortly
thereafter we should be receiving the new syllabus and get an idea of
how to execute the course. It is my understanding that the course is
designed to be run by a District.
I would suggest that you contact your Council Training Chair to
determine what your Council's plans are for implementing the updated
course. Each Council's plans may be slightly different, so I do not
want to suggest you contradict them without knowing what they are.
Keep up the good work.
Yours in Scouting,
Ken Todd, Dist Training Chairman
--- email@example.com wrote:
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 16:19:49 -0400
Subject: Advise please
... Our Boy Scout trainers are offering IOLS next fall, and have
offered to share facilities with us....
Do You Yahoo!?
LAUNCH - Your Yahoo! Music Experience
- Hi Jamie,
We ran an OWL (Outdoor Webelos Leader Training) in April and had a
blast! Until this year my Council ran this but attendance from my
district was light. We had 15 people attend and 5 Adult Staff and 2
Venturers as Youth Staff. the fee was $25.00 and included 3 meals,
Cracker Barrell, a large handout and a tshirt. We made the t-shirts with
iron on sheets printed on the computer. Everyone seemed to have a great
time and we had a number of folks who had conflicts and want another one
which we have scheduled for August.
OT District Training Chair
East Texas Area Council