Friday, July 26, 2013

Webelos Scouts and Boy Scout Camporees

Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discusses further ideas for effective Cub Scout Pack Planning .  "The June/July 2013 edition of Advancement News offers some great insight into creating additional opportunities for Webelos that also supports quality Webelos to Scout Transition practices.  The below article come directly from page 2 of the Advancement News."  You can download the full edition at:

Webelos Scouts and Boy Scout Camporees  This time of year during annual program planning, Webelos leaders often have questions related to Webelos Scouts attending Boy Scout camporees. Most frequently asked: Can they attend or not? If they can, why should they, and what can they do while there?

Webelos dens might decide it would be a good idea to attend camporees to complete Arrow of Light Requirement 4, "With your Webelos den, visit at least one Boy Scout–oriented outdoor activity," or even Requirement 5, "Participate in a Webelos overnight campout or day hike." From an advancement view, camporee attendance seems to fulfill the "letter of the law" for the former, but probably not for the latter—unless the Webelos Scouts hike through the camporee on the way to their own separate campsite!
  • According to The Cub Scout Leader Book, a well planned Webelos-to-Scout transition program helps Webelos Scouts in many ways:
  • By introducing them to Boy Scouting skills and future advancement opportunities.
  • By giving them the opportunity to see youth leadership at work in the troop and sense their own potential as youth leaders.
  • By allowing them to become confident and enthusiastic about the patrol method.
  • By generating the desire for troop membership as the result of this gradual exposure to troop-oriented activities.
  • By letting them make friends in the troop before becoming Boy Scouts.
There is little doubt these benefits would be experienced at a camporee, but the multi-troop setting may not go far enough in sup-porting them. This is primarily because a Scout troop involved in camporee events may not be focused on the Webelos visitors. Consider a similar scenario: When high school seniors visit a prospective college, the college will probably not want those visits to be during homecoming when students are caught up in their own activities. Instead, the college may plan special visit weekends where the focus can be on the potential freshmen.

A Webelos Scout daytime visit to a camporee is encouraged, as mentioned in the Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines ( However, the boys should not compete in the activities designed for Boy Scouts. To return to our previous analogy, those visiting high school seniors would not be able to take classes for credit during their college visitations. Help in determining whether an activity is oriented to Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts, can be found at Most importantly, though, Webelos Scouts cannot spend the night at a Boy Scout camporee.

So much for "letter of the law." What about intent? As noted above in the Cub Scout Leader Book excerpt, the point of the Boy Scout visit and joint activity is to help with the Webelos transition into a troop. This can best be accomplished at a special troop Webelos Scout welcoming event, rather than at a camporee.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Annual Summertime Program Planning - Revisited

Back in April Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discussed the newly updated national resources for Cub Scout Pack Planning .  "Research conducted by Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, Indiana, illustrated that strong packs all have in common good annual pack programs that are developed a year in advance.  These plans are then placed in a calendar and shared with all families right in the beginning of the year. This shows good organization, avoids conflicts later, attracts more families, and you'll retain Cub Scouts for longer.  Why wouldn't we all want to conduct strong and thoughtful program planning??"
There is an overview of the six steps of the Annual Program Planning Process and additional resources that include:
  • Pack calendar template that allows you to build and share your calendar with your families electronically or printed
  • Pack newsletter template so you can share regular information with your pack families
  • Posters, both letter size and tabloid size, which you can customize for your needs
  • Family Talent Survey form
  • Cub Scout Den Meeting Program form
  • Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide
  • Boys' Life Planning Calendar
  • Boys' Life resources
  • Pack Budget Planning Guide/worksheets
The national BSA resources on Pack Planning can be accessed at:

Additionally, Dr. Zoeller notes that the Patriots' Path Council's own Cub Opportunities page allows for "one-stop-shopping" when it comes time for dropping in great council and district events to round out the Cub Scout Pack calendar.  Events like district family camping, the Belt Loop Midway and Bonanza events, fishing tournaments, and a whole host of days trips, museums, sporting events, and so much more!!

Be sure to visit this hugely important resource when planning for the coming year at: