join-scoutsI follow a few forums about Scouting.  Recently a person asked how to keep a Scout from Webelos II to Boy Scouts.  I figured I knew the answer since being in Scouts for a while.  But, a response from another Scouter floored me.

“As district transition chair several years ago I asked my professional for a list of those youth that did not cross to Boy Scouts . After some extensive phone work I discovered the biggest stated reason they the boys did not join a troop was that they were not asked to join one. I called ( with help) and contacted approximately 500 families about 1/4 the total. I received responses from most of the contacted, the largest reason ( over 50%) of responders was no one asked the youth to join a troop or they did not know of a troop.
Boy Scout units have a vested interest in the success of Cub units, many of us are fortunate enough to have an associated pack , but many do not.You must cultivate a relationship with those local packs and help them succeed, good examples are the best work you can do to retain cubs. “

While I know that my Troop actively goes to the Webelos Den Leader and the Cubmaster to invite them and gets them to outings and Troop visits, which has dramatically increased the Scouts these past two years.  The Scoutmaster does make the ask and does have a SMC with the Webelos II.  I wonder about others and having them ask the Scout to join.  Can it be that simple?  Ask the Scout to join the Troop.  Ask the parents to join.

During my four years as Cubmaster, I reached out to many Troops.  Asking for help at Pack Meetings and seeing what meetings we could go to.  I knew that followed up with Scouts asking where they were going and what they were doing.

I remember Scoutmasters and others say, it would be great to have you in the Troop.  But, never shake their hand and ask them point-blank to join.

About Adam R. Cox

Current Skyloo District Commissioner Current Skyloo District & Council Trainer Current Council Member at Large (Cascade Pacific Council) Former Tiger DL & CM of P221 in Pioneer District Former Skyloo District CS Roundtable Commissioner. Former Ast Council Commissioner for Commissioner Tools and Communication Former Pioneer District Training Chair WE1-492-09 Beaver W1-492-11 Bobwhite TG ASM Logistic W1-492-17-2
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  1. Pets to Go says:

    There is a Cub Pack and Troop in the same charter organization that has a difficult time of crossing over the Webelos II to the troop. For example out of 21 W II this year only six crossed over. That is a mere 28%. That is not an acceptable percentage. I have told the Cub Pack and Troop they need to do more Troop/Webelos interaction. Such as inviting the Webelos on campouts and family events to show how a scout unit is run. It is all about communications and interaction. The most basic issue is the parents fear making the leap from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and do not want to spend time with their sons. They would rather drop them off and let a sports coach deal with them.


    • scouteradam says:

      Thanks for the reply. Yes, the issue is with the parents then. They need to understand the program.


    • Kelly says:

      I’m not sure that it’s fair to say that parents don’t want to spend time with their sons. As a Web II Den Leader, it’s truly about training my parents. Think about it this way: every time our den does something with a Troop, parents are required to be there. Every Camporee or camp activity, parents are required to stay with their son. Then, when you visit the Troop, you hear about monthly outings and all these activities and a parent starts to wonder if they can keep up with all that and work and everything else. My job is to train them about Boy Scouts, what to expect and remind them that although we are required to be there when they are Webelos, it’s not the case as a Boy Scout. When they cross-over it’s nice to attend and spend time at the Troop, however it’s not *required*. You can miss a campout and your son can still go. That was the determining factor in a couple boys staying in and crossing over, rather than dropping out. And, is it possible to entertain seeing other Boy Scout Troops? My den loved the ability to see a variety of Troops (even though, traditionally, we filter into one, mainly) and be able to find out where they felt the most comfortable and fit in the best. Just thoughts.


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