Just last night we hosted a Webelos troop visit. While the visiting Webelos went off with the Scouts we asked the parents to come with us into another room and meet with the troop’s adult volunteers.
The committee chairman talked to them for a bit about the basic functions and administrative things involved with having a son in the troop. When I was introduced to the parents I said a brief hello and explained that the best way for them to learn what our Scouts do and experience would be to talk to the Scouts rather than me.
Just before I headed to the parent’s room I asked a Scout who joined the troop last year if he could spare about ten minutes, he said he could and I asked him to follow me.
I introduced him to the group of parents and explained that this Scout had no idea why he was in the room, but that he’d be happy to answer any question they may have about what he’s been up to for the past year. He looked at me a little confused and I reassured him that this wasn’t a test, it was just a chance for these parents to talk to him. I don’t really know what they asked him or what he answered because I left the room to get a Scout who had been in the Troop for two or three years.
When I returned I thanked the first year Scout for his time and told him he could go back to his patrol and introduced the next Scout explaining that he had been with us for three years. While he answered questions from the parents I went to find our senior patrol leader. I returned, sent the three-year veteran back to his patrol, introduced the senior patrol leader and let him answer questions from the parents while I went out to get my next speakers.
Lat night two of my alumni were at the meeting ( I wish we could say that we planned on having them there for this but it was just a happy accident). I asked them if they had a few minutes and they followed me to the parent’s room. I thanked the senior patrol leader for his time, sent him back to the troop, and introduced the two alumni; “So far tonight you’ve heard from a Scout who joined the troop last year, one who’s been around for three years and our senior patrol leader who has been around for five years. These two young men were Scouts in this troop, both became Eagle Scouts and are home for winter break – so now you get a look at where your son is headed if he joins our troop. Once again feel free to ask them whatever questions you like”.
After these two alumni had answered questions for five or ten minutes I finished up with about five minutes of disjointed rambling (I wish I could edit my talks like I can edit the podcast – I can make myself sound a little more intelligent that way). We dismissed the parent’s meeting and one of the assistant Scoutmasters had some pictures of our trip to Switzerland to show folks who were interested while we waited for the Scouts to close our meeting.
I was much happier with this Webelos visit than ones we have carefully planned in the past, I think the parents got more out of it too.