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Wild Webelos and Activities

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  • S. Kelly Parker
    As a long-time Cubmaster, I have to put in my two cents on Webelos and their behavior at Pack Meetings. The best way to promote good behavior is to make sure
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 1, 2007
      As a long-time Cubmaster, I have to put in my two cents on
      Webelos and their behavior at Pack Meetings. The best way to promote
      good behavior is to make sure the boys are involved in the meeting,
      know what is coming, and know what is expected. Over the years, the
      hardest lesson I had to learn was that people did not join Scouting
      to watch me stand and read announcements.
      Each Webelos Den should be expected to provide a skit or
      demonstration at every Pack meeting. Nine and ten year olds are
      absolute hams, and will happily act out "Buck-toothed Buzzards" or
      the "Sesame Street Bus" any time you ask. Use that enthusiasm to let
      them show off--and pass out a paper with all the announcements at the
      end of the meeting as parents leave.
      It is important for them to know what is coming and what is
      expected, as well. Current television practice has conditioned us to
      pay attention for 7-9 minutes--then take a break. That's what we're
      used to. We know that, and control ourselves until the commercial.
      If you make sure your Pack Meetings have a regular flow to them,
      the boys will know that their turn is coming, and that whatever is
      happening now is going to end and go to something else. That may
      sound very simple, but to a young boy, 5 minutes of an adult standing
      there talking is an eternity that seems to never have an end.
      As Cubmaster, I have set up a game in the meetings--if I say the
      word of the night during the meeting, the boys get to sing a silly
      song that is kind of a "gotcha". The trick is, if someone else says
      the word, and the boys sing--they "lose" the game. In addition, I
      broke the awards for Webelos into several parts--hiking awards,
      special patches, then activity pins---by pin--then badges. Again, the
      boys paid attention because it was their turn next.
      Sorry--I didn't mean to go so long on this. Make sure your Pack
      Meetings are focused on celebrating boys and Dens, not adults and
      announcements. It is more work, but it is much, much more fun.
      Kelly Parker
      Pueblo District Training Chair and UC
      Grand Canyon Council, Phoenix, AZ
      "I used to be a whole lot of stuff and just keep doing more."
    • Dan Kurtenbach
      Kelly, Bravo! Great message about how a Pack Meeting should work. I really don t like the term Meeting -- it s really a show! A variety show, with funny
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 1, 2007
        Kelly, Bravo! Great message about how a Pack "Meeting" should work. I
        really don't like the term "Meeting" -- it's really a show! A variety show,
        with funny parts (jokes, run-ons), musical parts (songs), theatrical parts
        (skits), rousing parts (cheers), dramatic parts (awards ceremonies) and even
        serious parts (flag ceremonies, demonstration of a skill or accomplishment,
        Cubmaster minute). Kelly has laid it out well -- short segments, keep it
        moving, find a flow (don't immediately jump from funny to serious; time the
        loudest, craziest part for about 2/3 of the way through). Please, please,
        use dramatic ceremonies that tell a story -- don't stand up there and just
        hand out envelopes with the boys' badges in them. Finally, have at least
        one high-energy adult to be the clown, cheerleader, and person of many
        costumes who has a grasp of the "fun meter" and is always ready to jump in
        with a joke or silly song when needed. It doesn't have to be the Cubmaster
        -- a "sidekick" will do just fine.

        Dan Kurtenbach
        Fairfax, VA
      • Margo Mead
        You have some good suggestions. I just wish I could figure out why they re better-behaved when they re younger and then when they hit Webelos age, seem to
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 1, 2007
          You have some good suggestions. I just wish I could figure out why they're
          better-behaved when they're younger and then when they hit Webelos age, seem
          to think that it's ok to run around before pack meetings whooping and
          hollering, that they should be able to sit in their seats and make random
          annoying noises while I'm trying to do ceremonies, that they don't need to
          look in all my stuff to see what ceremony I'm going to do and discover the
          secret to the color-changing water ceremony, etc. I've been a Cubmaster for
          4 years now and it's always the Webelos who suddenly become like this.



          At this last pack meeting we had a mystery. We sent the boys out for a few
          minutes and told the parents what we were doing, then we called the boys
          back in and sent one of them to go get the guessing jar-and it was missing!
          There were clues to be found on the items (hats, ties, books, and
          newspapers) that we had given out to the parents and siblings. While I was
          trying to give instruction to the group about how they needed to show their
          badges and ask the "suspects" nicely to see the item to see if it was the
          one they were searching for, I had to shush about 3 Webelos scouts, not
          because they were talking, but because they were trying to be Bobby
          McFerrin. I think they're feeding off each other.



          We're working on getting the Webelos to actually have something to
          demonstrate every month. I've been dealing in the past with a Webelos leader
          who rarely communicated with us and often didn't even show up to pack
          meetings, much less have his den prepare something to demonstrate. We got a
          new Webelos leader to help the other one, and the new one's wife is my
          assistant Cubmaster, so things are improving.



          Regards--

          Margo Mead

          Portland, Oregon

          meadclan@...



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