Dear Andy, We like to take our Pack on special outings every couple of months. We’ve been to the Liberty Science Center, the Edison Museum, and Jockey Hollow. Now we’re looking for new places to go. Where can we get information on other places that can accommodate our Cubs? (Y.B., Basking Ridge Cub-master)
Want new ideas from experienced leaders like yourself? There’s no better place for sharing new ideas than your District’s monthly ROUNDTABLE! What’s a Roundtable? It’s a monthly get-together of Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders for sharing new event, program, and participation-building ideas. Call your District Commissioner – He’ll tell you exactly when and where your District’s Roundtables happen – or check out a recent issue of “Pathfinder.” When you go, take your Pack Committee Chair. You’ll both have a great time!
Dear Andy, Our Troop goes camping every month, 12 months a year (even in the summer, in addition to summer camp). Although there are lots of places we like to go more than once, with our schedule we’re running out of ideas and we don’t want to start losing participation because it’s “same old-same old.” Where can we learn about new places to go? (X.C., Vernon SM)
Thanks for asking! I’ve got two ideas for you to start with. First, our Order of the Arrow guys at Woapalanne Lodge are writing a book called WHERE TO GO CAMPING and it’ll be given to every unit in our Council. To find out how soon it’ll be avail-able, call Eric Hanna, Lodge Camping Promotions, at 973-625-2549, or Peter Keays, Lodge Chief, at 973-593-9255. Now, my second idea. How would you like to get together with a bunch of experienced Scoutmasters who – like you – are always looking to share new ideas about camping, Troop programs, service projects, and all sorts of things Scoutmasters are always thinking about? Why, in 90 minutes, I’ll bet you can learn more than you would spending twice that time searching the “Net”! Where are these get-togethers? They’re your District’s monthly ROUNDTABLES – call your District Commissioner to find out where yours is, then go! (Hey, why not bring your Senior Patrol Leader or Committee Chair with you!)
Dear Andy, Every six months, our Troop Committee selects new Patrol Leaders, Assistants, and a Senior Patrol Leader, so that all our Scouts get their “leadership requirement” for rank advancement out of the way painlessly. But some of the Scouts we appoint just don’t seem to want the job. How can we encourage them to lead better? (G.P., Newton Committee Chair)
Somewhere along the Scouting trail, your “compass” got out of whack, folks. If the “Patrol Method” – a fundamental of the Scouting program – is gonna work, the Scouts need to elect their own leaders. Any other way than this will fail in one way or another – sometimes you don’t even see it till it’s too late! So get back to basics. Hold elections at the Patrol level, then elect a Senior Patrol Leader (he’s elected by the whole Troop of boys, by the way, not the Patrol Leaders or other small group). The only “appointed” position is Assistant Patrol Leader – the Patrol Leader picks his own “second” because he knows he can work with the guy! After elections, it’s the Scoutmaster’s main job to train the new leaders. Some Troops run their own Junior Leader Training Course; others send their Scouts to the Council-sponsored JLTC; still others do both. But, whichever way you go, go for elected lead-ers right away. You’ll be amazed at how fast things get better!
Dear Andy, I try to focus my Den meetings on doing the advancement requirements for Wolf and Bear, but some of the boys can’t keep up when they occasionally miss meetings. What can I do to help them “catch up” with the other boys, so they don’t feel “left out”? (F.O., Gillette Den Leader)
Whoa! Wait a minute. Better read the Wolf Book and Bear Book again! You’re doing the parents’ job – that’s not how you want to use Den meetings. First off, it’s perfectly OK for boys to advance at their own, individual paces. Second, the whole Cub Scout advancement program is designed to help strengthen the bond between parent and boy, so except in rare instances it’s the parent who should be “signing off” on requirements; not you. Use your Den meetings to get ready for monthly-themed Pack meetings, and leave advancement to the boys’ parents
Dear Andy, we’re a new Pack and really confused about something – is it WEBLO, WEBELOS, WEBELO, WEBLOS, or WHAT! Every time we see it in print, it’s different? Aaargh! (P.Q., Morris Plains Den Leader)
It used to by easy – WeBeLoS meant Wolf-Bear-Lion-Scout. Pretty much a “no-brainer.” But it’s still not too tough, even though the “Lion” rank’s been dropped – Just think WE’ll BE LOyal Scouts! WEBELOS! (By the way, it’s pronounced just like it’s spelled – “Wee-beh-los” – rhymes with “gross”)
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(Issue 2 – Winter 2001-2002)