Edited by Robert W. Peterson
Illustration by Bill Basso
When a Webelos Scout joins our troop, he is given an equipment list that helps him select the proper equipment for our various types of camping (car camping and backpacking).
Our troop relies heavily on troop guides to mentor the new Scouts in preparation for their first camp-outs. We use two troop guides for each new-Scout patrol to spread the workload. One of them is usually the boys' former Webelos den chief, so he already has a degree of trust and respect.
The focus of several new-Scout patrol meetings before the camporee is preparing for the outing. The troop guides help the patrol leader conduct a check to ensure that Scouts have the proper equipment. This fulfills the first requirement for Tenderfoot rank. We use the patrol method!
Our troop has a different slant on camping gear. Our troop owns and supplies the camping equipment. Each patrol shares a patrol box with cooking utensils, pots, and camping gear. We have enough tents to accommodate both Scouts and Scouters.
Each Scout pays an equipment fee of $35 in addition to their annual dues when they join the troop. Our chatered organization also assists with funding for equipment. This way, even first-year Scouts can enjoy camping without a huge initial outlay of cash.
Ellicott City, Md.
In our troop, it's the job of the troop guide to make sure boys in the new-Scout patrol are ready for the spring camporee. He has help from the assistant Scoutmaster in charge of the new-Scout patrol, but we depend mainly on the troop guide to teach camping skills.
As Scoutmaster, I appoint the troop guide and take special care to select a Scout who is a good camper, as well as a person who also enjoys teaching younger boys.
Our troop works rather closely with our brother pack. In a program year-long process beginning in October, we invite the second-year Webelos Scouts to visit most of our monthly camp-outs. It doesn't take long for them to get to know our Scouts and leaders.
By the end of January we invite second-year Webelos Scouts and their parents to the first of several summer camp meetingsan informational seminar where we cover costs and the activities they can expect as new Scouts.
In April we hold what we call a recruitment camp-out in a cabin at Scout camp. By this time the Webelos Scouts are very familiar with the troop and its methods, and we get the opportunity to spend time with their parents.
The Webelos Scouts cross over into the troop in May. They've camped with us for months, have learned proper packing procedures, some basic outdoor skills, and what we expect from them. And they also know what they can expect from us.
Assistant Scoutmaster G.M.
ANY IDEAS FOR AN EAGLE CEREMONY?
My son is nearing the next step in his Scouting careerearning the Eagle Scout Award. In the past, Eagle ceremonies in his troop have been strictly by the book and without much innovation or excitement. Is there something we can do to make the ceremony even more memorable, but without too much trouble?
Send your answers to Front Line Stuff, Scouting magazine, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079 - or use the form below. Responses will appear in Scouting's March-April issue.
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