Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Weblos: The Turning Point

I am forced to admit that I loved being a Cub Scout. I loved the crafts we made, the uniform, the advancement, the recognition, and most of all, I loved my Den Mothers. But when a Cub Scout turns 10, it is time to leave the Den and become a member of the Weblos.

What in the world is the Weblos? Well, it comes from the combination of the phrase: “We’ll be loyal scouts.” Up until today, I thought the acronym was:  “We be loyal scouts.” But a quick check in the web corrected my decade’s long journey in Ebonics.

While Cub Scouting was maternally based, Weblos was male dominated, well at least it was for me. I think that was the first great shock to my strong Cub Scout spirit. I can’t recall for sure the name of my Weblos leader, but I think it was Br. Larsen. 

Br. Larsen was a gruff individual. I am not, to this day, sure he was active in the Church. He was far from being kind. Now, he wasn't abusive, he was just scary for a 10 year old boy. He was tall and over-powering. He had a huge tufts of greying hair and had a beard and mustache. The corners of his mouth were always caked with a white film which baffled me. Whenever I saw him talk, my eyes were instantly drawn towards the white film on his mouth. Okay, so I was 10....

What was once an event I looked forward to, even yearned for, now became a chore. I hated going to Weblos. I dreaded it. This truly suprised me as I loved den meetings so much. Because I was so unimpressed with my leader, I had little ambition to earn the awards that are part of the program.

These awards were less craft-based and more activity-based. Athletics played a significant role in Weblos and I was not an athlete. So, my desire dwindled. Sure, I got all the awards and achieved my Arrow of Light, the highest honor in Cub Scouts, but there was no joy in it. I was simply going through the motions – a theme that would haunt most of my remaining days in Scouting.

So, now I had a bitter taste of Scouting. Part of it was because of my unwillingness to work with my leader. Part of it was that Scouting didn't interest me. But Dad was still the Scout master and once I left the Weblos’ Den and Cub Scouts altogether, I was just one year away from being a real scout in Dad’s troop.

The next step was the Guide Patrol.

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