The Greatest Show on EarthIndian Nations Council
age have a terrible time with skills. The desire is there, but ability may not be. Remember, any real attempt on their part is the challenge and even the reward. Never compare one boy's accomplishment to another's. At this age a boy needs a compliment for a job done to his ability. Nine year old's also need learning to be fun. Along the theme of the particular activity use games, both mental and/or physical, where possible. The challenge to this age boy comes in many forms, and when fun is involved the learning can become easier.
At nine the boys can be unpredictable. One week he loves the current activity. The next week the continuance of the same activity bores him. The key here is to keep them busy, and to keep all the boys involved. Have the bored boy show the others or you how he is doing his project or skill. Two deep leadership is an important factor here. Two helping and guiding works well.
First year Webelos also like to tease, poke, verbalize or antagonize the other boys, but hate it when the same is done to them. Two will "gang up" on one, then just as fast one of the pair will be best friends with the boy being teased. As the group gets older though it generally gels into a unit and although everyone isn't "best friends" they look out for one another.
As the first year progresses you will begin to see a change in the boys overall maturity level. At first it may not be readily apparent. Then after a particular meeting you will be aware the boys were more attentive, or quieter, or more on task. After a little thought you will realize they have been this way over the last few meetings, or maybe at the last pack meeting. At this point you begin to hand over more responsibility to the boys.
The ten year old Webelos is generally more mature than he was in his first year in your den. His self control is greater. His willingness and ability to lead is better. His strength and self-confidence are higher. The poking and teasing and silliness generally decreases. The unit becomes stronger as a result. As this happens you as their leader should hand over more of the den responsibilities to the boys. Taking roll, collecting dues, deciding on activity pins to work on, den activities planning, etc. goes to the boys, and your job becomes easier.
As second year Webelos the boys are now most likely mature enough to understand the need for being quiet at pack meetings and often begin to attempt to keep the younger boys in the pack quiet at the appropriate times. However, remember these ten year olds are still boys, so don't expect too much from them.
In summary, when you reflect back on your first few meetings with nine year olds and compare them to your last meeting with them as ten year olds you will see a greater change than you ever imagined possible.
Webelos den leaders and assistants should complete their district's Cub Scout Leader Basic Training and a Webelos leader outdoor experience. They should also attend their district's monthly roundtables and council pow wow.
Fifth grade Webelos leaders and assistants are encouraged to attend the Boy Scout Scoutmastership Fundamentals before they start the second year. In this way, the leaders will better understand the Boy Scout program and will be able to adapt their meeting and activities in the final stages of this transitional period.
The Webelos den does not operate with the recommended monthly themes. Instead, it uses a monthly activity badge focus. Part of each month's activity badge program should include something to do at the pack meeting. This could be a fitness demonstration or a display of projects. The point is that the Webelos den should remain an integral part of the pack, and should have a part in each pack meeting.
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