Webelos, or any boy for that matter, who join a Troop may leave within the first year for any number of reasons. While the shifting alliances and interests of adolescence are beyond the control of any Scoutmaster; there are some important steps one can take.
Don’t assume that because Webelos join a Troop as a Den that they should all remain together as a group. A discussion with the Den Leader and or the Den Chief will help decide which Webelos will work well together and which will do better if they are separated.
The Patrol Question
Many Troops use the New Scout Patrol plan successfully. We have adapted some of the concepts of the plan with a few changes. Sometimes a Webelos den will form a new Patrol, sometimes they will become members of an existing Patrol. It is important that the new Scouts feel they are in a "real" Patrol not a "junior" Patrol.
No hazing, no initiations, no bullying from adults or youth. The attitude with which a Troop receives their new Scouts is crucial. We continuously emphasis that new Scouts are, from the day they join, full members of the Troop. They are full participants in every aspect of the program and the program is planned to accommodate them as well as the older Scouts. We also emphasise that leadership is an opportunity for service, not an excuse for exercising lordly authority.
Acceptance, support and positive reinforcement go a long way. Every opportunity is taken to make our new Scouts feel at home, safe and wanted. Once the Scoutmaster sets the standard the Troop will follow. Correct negative behavior quietly and reward considerate behavior loudly. Preserve a welcoming and engaged attitude and new Scouts will become old Scouts.