As a way to encourage better retention as well as reduce somewhat the expense of the program why not combine two years of program in one handbook? The Webelos handbook essentially covers the Web ! &2 years. It would not be that difficult to combine the earlier years and that would encourage families to continue on in the next step since they already have the handbook. Just a thought.
The BSA does not monitor these forums. You should provide your feedback via your Council professional staff.
Just rather wondered if any other volunteers felt the same way, since Webelos is one book and of course Scouts is one book.
I would be THRILLED to have all of cub scouts set up similar to Webelos. The whole rank structure, not just the book.
We have three packs within our school district and all of them suffer from the problem of kids wanting to be with the other kids their age, so one pack will end up with nearly all the new kids one year, the next year a different pack will get the bulk of them, and we end up with dens that are too small to stand alone. Sometimes those kids move to the pack that all their classmates are in. Sometimes they just drop out.
We try to accommodate these kids by including them with another den, but when you have 8 kids working on one rank and only 1 kid working on the other, it’s really easy to focus on the big group and leave the odd man out to complete requirements on his own. Having the ability for kids in adjacent grades to share electives would make for a much better program for these kids!
This would be especially helpful for the girls where our numbers are lower in general. If we lose even one girl from a den, we suddenly don’t have a den anymore.
Unfortunately, these decision are all made at the National level and the most important thing on their agenda is $. By combining books they would be losing in their mind a ton of revenue. What they fail to realize is, after a year or two most people quit buying the book each year anyways unless the Pack forces them to do so.
Exactly what Travis says.
I can persuade each family to buy 1-2 books over a six year program. Every family will get one.
Today we have a total of one book per age we all share. Even our Lion families don’t buy them. So the BSA loses out on way more revenue than it’s gaining by making a bunch.
The shirts, scarfs, etc are the same way, the Lion shirt is stupid to have, they should be in the blue shirt. It should be one scarf for Lion to Bear and one for Webelos. I can persuade a family to buy a multi-year item.
The whole program is designed to produce material that doesn’t sell at as good a margin as making more of fewer items.
I disagree on this point. Four years in the same uniform increases the likelihood of having to buy two of them.
We give scarfs as a rank up incentive and webelos advancing to aol get a lantern and we say to light the way to goal of boy scouts. It seems to work and it gives a nice touch to have parents take the old neckerchief and present scout with their new rank at advancement ceremony.
They look adorable all together in the lion t-shirt, its like a class B. They are so small and grow so fast a blue shirt might not fit them as a tiger. Keeping expenses down as they learn if scouting is a good fit form them, is always important.
I think BSA should drop the Lion program. The program is too long and repetitive. I would rather see BSA do a few fun stand alone recruiting events for 4 and 5 year olds rather than make it a rank: a raingutter regatta in the spring, a hike or outdoor activity in the summer, a camp fire and s’mores in the fall. Things like that.
I would also like to see Wolves/Bears and Webelos/AOL combined. The whole program needs to be streamlined and made easier from a volunteer standpoint and cheaper from a parent standpoint. I’m not as cynical about the money end because I think BSA, if it survives post bankruptcy, is really going to have to re-engineer itself if it wants to survive.
I generally agree that combining Lion/Tiger and Wolf/Bear like Webelos/AOL would ease the strain on Leaders and parents. I don’t want to eliminate the classic ranks (Wolf/Bear/Webelos), but Lion, Tiger, and separate AOL could be reconfigured. Finding leaders, training them, and balancing den sizes are the biggest challenges. As a committee chair and den leader, I have to ask most of my fellow leaders to be in double positions, and I worry about succession of leadership. Having two years per level could reduce the number of leaders needed and build in mentorship for leaders.
I have no disagreement with modifying the program but do remember “We have had Cub Scouts organized this way since 1932”… It will take major thought and consideration to make it work in the best interest of all.
“Boy Scouts” ended February 2019. It’s now Scouts BSA.
The Lion rank is absolutely welcome and thriving here. We have a full Lion den hike with the pack every month. They routinely go two or three miles all through the northeast winter. They meet every week. Just like girls, they should have been part of the program a long time ago.
yes Christopher I normally catch myself on saying or writting just Scouts, my apologies didn’t mean to offend. Been in scouting a long time and that is what happens when you are not fully aware what your typing…
I just don’t think it’s working to keep kids in scouting long term.
But when you really look at how many scouts actually last long term. I’m sure the minority is those that would be tiger to eagles. From a business sense the BSA probably sees the average length of a couple years and needs to open it more potential families.
BSA makes a marketing mistake. It focuses on kids that will stay from Lion or Tiger to Eagle. That’s a very small percentage of kids. What it needs to focus on is how to attract more kids from each age cohort to enjoy scouts for however long they are with us. Focusing only on the kids who have the drive to stick it out from Lion to Eagle isn’t going to help create the kinds of relationships that keep adult parents feeding their kids into cub scouts and even scouts.
Your post makes me wonder what type of program the packs are running and if a merger might be necessary. Any school of any decent size ought to be able to support a pack. 6 to 8 boys or girls to a den ought to be doable. Kids do join where they have friends so that can be an attraction. I have found that Packs and Dens that run quality programs that meet the needs and expectations of families tend to hold members and grow, even during the year by reputation. 9 and 10 year old’s don’t want to be doing what 6 and 7 year old’s are doing so the program needs to change to meet different levels of skill and interest. I hope the packs have an active summer program and promote the summertime award. Good Luck.
I agree that the younger cubs should have one shirt, one neckerchief. Of course, a pack can trade up on neckerchiefs, have them turned in as the boys move up. My son’s pack had their own Pack neckerchief with their # and Chartered Partner on them. That worked well. Of course, the Scout Shop lost out a bit but it helped the local program.