As you're heading into your second year of Webelos, I thought I'd give you some hints and suggestions, so you're not going crazy next January and February.
Webelos is a transition from the adult led Cub Scout program into the world of Boy Scouts, which is more boy led and adult guided. Webelos activity badges are meant to start helping the boys learn valuable life skills and to gain exposure to adults and their hobbies and careers. AND our job is to make it fun and interesting for them! (Not an easy task sometimes). AND to help them gain independence.
Here are my thoughts -- having been a Webelos Den Leader for 2 years, having helped another den crossover and now -- being in Boy Scouts and seeing things I coulda, woulda, shoulda.... with my den and my own scout.
I HIGHLY encourage you to take advantage of the Webelos Adventure Days camps being offered this summer. Going as a group is a blast for the kids -- they will have a healthy mix of classroom and outdoor education, mixed in with fun and games. They LOVE the counselors who play along with them and also act as their guides. My son still remembers the names of most of his camp counselors... This camp is an easy day for parents -- drive to camp, enjoy a little free time at the pool with your son, eat lunch with him, drive him home. (They sometimes offer an option to stay overnight -- a great opportunity to camp and bond as a den.)
This will also assist you in completing some of the more challenging badges. If necessary - repeat something -- it never hurts to hear it twice!
I especially recommend signing up for:
SCIENTIST or ENGINEER
You may sign up for 2 each day. I suggest you stick together with your den, or at least a buddy.
The challenges of the Webelos 2's year that you will face --
A bit of boredom from the boys --- which means -- they need to go on outings, explore the world and learn from other adults (and Boy Scouts.) NOT JUST THEIR LEADER. If you see some requirements that you're comfortable teaching or know someone who can help out -- please step up and help out. Call the troop if you need help. Call me or Gene if you need help.
Visiting Boy Scout Troops -- START NOW!
We ask that you visit 2-3 troops to get an idea of various troop operations and personalities. You need to do this EVEN IF your son has already chosen a troop. Unfortunately, many of the troops do not start their invitations until the fall -- November through January, a busy time of year.
If you would like contact information now, please contact me.
Spend as much time with the troop as you can. This will make the transition into Boy Scouts easier -- if they already know some of the guys.
Remember - every troop is different. We have had scouts transfer into our troop. We have had scouts transfer out of troop. It happens. The boys need to find a troop that feels right to them. (You are also an important part of that decision. So YOU should visit too. You need to feel comfortable with the adults who will take your son camping one weekend a month and to a week-long camp. You will need to feel comfortable with the adults who are mentoring your sons from childhood to adolescence to manhood. --Yes they will be 18 when they leave the troop!)
Camping as a WEBELOS DEN -
For the Arrow of Light, there are 2 times that they must camp as a den. Once for the AOL and once for the Outdoorsman Badge. Camping at Webelos Experience counts, camping at Family Camp counts. As a den, you may wish to camp again. Invite the Webelos 1's to go with! Help them out, too!
Navajo Camp -
this is a great experience. PLEASE ATTEND! The excitement for Boy Scouts happens at this camp! The Webelos will have free time and class time. Mostly they will have fun!! Please read the leaders' guide on www.goscouting.org
Go to Forms and scroll down to Navajo. You will find lots of info. there.
ACHIEVING the ARROW of LIGHT-
Review the requirements NOW so you don't have any surprises.
The Arrows that we give at the end of the year have thread wrapped on them to represent each achievement they have earned -- Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos -- arrow points, relig emblems, Webelos badges. Start getting that list together.
Parents,if you choose, you can make the Arrow of Light plaques for your scouts. I suggest you decide this at a Webelos parent meeting of some kind. Fees for supplies run from $20-$30 depending on what you use/decide, etc.
Our den had a last den meeting that was pizza and cards... something silly and fun!
BLUE and GOLD BANQUET - for Pack 509
Your scouts will be guided by you to plan the B and G banquet.
The den's responsibilities include:
Food, entertainment, paper goods, decorations (except Tigers make centerpieces). We have access to several ideas for entertainment -- we like to keep it fresh and exciting... Let me know if you need any suggestions.
SUMMIT ACHIEVEMENT AWARD - This award is no longer available.
RELIGIOUS EMBLEM -
If you and your scout are interested in the religious emblem, our church/chartered org (Glen Cary) has made the religious emblem program part of their Sunday school curriculum for 5th graders. They are offering it in the spring. If you are interested in this, please let me know. Your scout will technically be in Boy Scouts, but will earn the 5th grade religious emblem. This is another recognition that carries into adulthood and may be worn on an adult uniform.
This will be a busy year for you -- but it is worth it! Completing with an Arrow of Light is an honor! They will be able to wear that recognition on their adult uniform when they are leaders.
LASTLY - your son will need some equipment when they head into Boy Scouts. If you are pretty sure they will cross over to Boy Scouts, consider camping and other equipment items for upcoming birthdays, Christmas, etc. You can find the camping list on www.troop509mn.org under forms. If you don't know what to buy or where to find it, talk with Gene...
YiS (Yours in Scouting),
Jody and Gene