A reader sent in this question:
My son is now a Webelo I, been in cub scouts since the end of kindergarten he signed up. Our den leader does 90% paperwork and talking at den meetings on the items in the handbook. Is this they way it is or are there other packs and dens that do hands on activities to accomplish same goals? My son is very bored – along with 2 other kids there – and want to quit. Have been begging to since last year. I would like to know if there is a possibility of finding another pack that operates differently so they are not so bored. Thanks for your help!
Cub Scouts is meant to be a hands on program. The material is “taught” through activities. The Webelos program is particularly activity based. There could be a number of reasons why the den leader is spending a lot of time with paperwork and talking.
First of all, does the den leader have enough help? Den leaders can become overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done. In a small den, all of the parents will need to be fully involved. One parent could be in charge of collecting and checking paperwork. Are the parents helping the Webelos do the “paperwork” things at home? If not the den leader must cover everything during the meeting time, instead of doing more of the fun stuff.
For Webelos, it helps to have “experts” come in and help with the various activity badges. This makes the talking parts much more interesting. For example, an actual engineer can come to a meeting where the Engineer activity badge is being worked on. Perhaps you and the other parents involved could meet with the den leader and brainstorm a list of people you know who could help. Then you could offer to be responsible for contacting some experts and arranging for them to come to meetings.
If the parents are offering to get more involved, but the den leader doesn’t want help, then it is a more difficult situation. But the answer to the question is, yes, they should be doing hands on activities. And if the parents of all three Webelos are fully engaged, you should be able to find a way to make that work for you.