Thanks for the ideas folks.
When we changed around B&G this year, we were careful to make it not just about the Webelos. Sure they had the most significant ceremony of the day, but that’s appropriate considering they’ve reached the end of the CS trail. But for the rest of the dens, we acknowledged all of the loops they’ve earned thus far, and we did a little facepaint ceremony marking the step along the journey they’re currently at.
I totally agree that there should be stuff to involve all of the scouts at every pack meeting But I don’t think that it should necessarily be the same stuff for all of the levels. And I believe in a progressive program where each successive rank looks like a bigger and bigger achievement. it gives them a set path to follow and benchmarks for which to aspire.
Thanks Jennifer for the resource ideas. I often forget to go back to those print resources that are out there for us. And while there’s certainly a lot to be found on the internet, you have to sort thru a lot of junk to find quality program features that’s on point and consistent with the overall vision.
I’m in complete agreement about semi-immediate recognition. We hand out belt loops at the very next pack meeting. But we structure the rank curriculum into the meeting plans so that it intentionally takes a whole year to earn the rank. In this way nobody actually earns the rank until the end of the year. But there’s a good chance that everyone has actually earned it because nobody missed out on an important requirement. We front load the year with elective stuff to pad the recruitment season. That way we’re not working on the required stuff till we’ve given ample time for people to join and get acclimated. The Cub Scout program has that awkward concept of annual level advancement even if the previous rank was not earned. So scheduling the program so that the earning of the badge corresponds with the end of the year, helps to eliminate that awkwardness. And it also gives the most people the chance to actually earn the rank so you don’t end up with many people advancing without earning the previous rank.
I must say that the idea of Webelos 2 (AOL) scouts transitioning in the winter season is a bit odd to me. That’s not how it was done years ago when I was last involved in cub scouting. Back then we would bridge to a troop in May and then go straight to camp with the troop in July after only a few meetings with them. It also feels weird to have all of your oldest scouts in the pack missing for that last half of the year. But it does make sense to get them into the troop earlier and that’s how the new AOL program is structured anyhow.