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Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Bridging Over

Last night at Spring Creek Park, very chilly by the way, at the big fire ring with a large bonfire we watched the Arrow of Light ceremony for about 6 packs and 50+ Webelos. The AOL teams did a great job. Afterwords the Webelos bridged over to their new troops. We welcomed Brandon and Timothy into 483 as they bridged over. Both boys are eager to get started on their trail to eagle.

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BSA Commercial

Have you seen the new BSA commercial on TV?  It flashes the Scout Law, starting and ending with TRUSTWORTHY before focusing on a man is climbing a mountain, setting his next anchor.  As he struggles to pull a climbing device from his bag, a Scout quickly rappels down to the man with his wallet and tells him he had dropped it at the base of the climb.  The man watches, puzzled, as the scouts gives the wallet back and then the boy takes off out of sight as the narrator talks about character. 

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When visiting troops, Webelos parents come with a lot of questions; but they don’t always know everything to ask.  The old philosophy still applies.  There are no stupid questions.  Ask away!!!

Over the years, there is a common set of questions that need to be answered whether they are asked or not.  Here is a sampling of questions that Webelos parents should always ask and the troops should be prepared to answer.

  • The troop:  Who runs it?  The boys or leaders?  What if there is a problem?  What is the patrol method?  How do they get into a position?  Who teaches the new scouts how to be a patrol leader?  Is someone assigned to helping the new scouts through the first year?
  • Fundraising: What means of fund raising do you utilize?  What percent goes to the scouts?
  • Scout Accounts:  Do each of the scouts have their own scout account?  What does that money go toward?  What is done with money that is still in the account when they age out or earn their Eagle rank?
  • Camping Attendance:  Can the whole family camp?  Do you have a family campout?  Does a parent have to go?  Do the scouts have to camp to meet rank requirements?
  • Camping Gear:  What do they need?  What do they REALLY need?  What is too much?
  • Camping Meals:  What is a grub master?  Will a scout be allowed to go hungry?  Who cooks for the scouts?
  • Camping Facilities:  What type of activities does the troop do?  Where does the troop go?  How do they shower?  What about clean clothes?  What about a child that needs medication?  What if a child is injured?  What if a scout doesn’t want to participate in part of a campout such as climbing or rappelling?  Does the troop exercise Challenge by Choice?
  • Camping – Long Term Campouts:  What is a long term campout?  What long term campouts does the troop participate in?  Do they always go to the same camps, rotate between a few, or do they pick something new every year?  What is the average budget for long term campouts?  Why should a scout go to a long term campout?
  • Leadership:  Who can be a leader?  Does the troop allow females to be assistant scout masters and camp?  Do new parents have to wait to become a leader?  What training is needed before becoming an ASM (Assistant Scout Master)?
  • Committee:  What kinds of committee positions are open?  Do new leaders have to start in the committee before becoming an ASM?
  • Rank Advancements:  What does the troop do if a scout falls behind?  What if a scout is an over achiever?  How old does the troop like to see a scout be before becoming an Eagle?  Why?
  • Merit Badges:  Where does the troop stand on new scouts earning merit badges?  How do they start a merit badge?  Who signs off on the merit badge completion?  Does all merit badge work have to be done at a scout meeting?  Can they earn all the Eagle required badges before the non-required?  Who are merit badge counselors for the troop?
  • Training:  Where can a new parent get training?  Is there any available online?  Does the troop have leaders trained or available for things such as climbing, canoeing, and COPE?

That should be a good starting set.  If any of the other leaders can think of things I missed, send it in.  I’m sure there’s many things I’ve forgotten.

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Webelos Visits

The time has come that Webelos will begin visiting all our troops.  Personally, our troop is a big fan of having them stop by any time so they can see what we’re about.  We always recommend they do just that when they come in for a planned visit.

I’m curious to know what others do for these events?  Do you have a set meeting that you do each time a group visits or do you make sure the recruiting season is filled with Cub Scout friendly activities.  During our PLC, we recommended the latter to the scouts. 

For instance, tonight, we have at least 12 young scouts visiting us who will get to watch, and participate if they’d like, as the scouts take out, inspect, and put up tents for our upcoming November campout.  That will be the gathering activity, followed by the opening, a flag ceremony, merit badge work, and the closing.  While this is going on, the parents will have a chance to visit with some of our leaders to go over how our troop operates.  The parents will also get an idea of the preparation for a campout as the scouts sign up for that trip.

It is sure to be fun and we look forward to meeting the potential new additions to Troop 483.

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