Monday, January 24, 2011

We Be Loyal Scouts

As of today I'm officially a den leader. I just printed out my Youth Protection Training certificate (which, by the way, claims to be "suitable for framing" so you might just see it on my wall...or not) and I feel like I'm completely jumping into the fire. We have a "pack meeting" on Tuesday and a "den meeting" on Wednesday. And we had two committee-type meetings today.

I'm completely out of my league here. Not only have I never been through scouting but I grew up watching my brother go through the Scouts Canada program, which is a completely different system, dutifully sewing on his badges and longing to join the boys on their adventures (they did really cool things; and I only sewed his shirtsleeves shut a handful of times, but that was only because most of his badges went on his sash and not on his shirt).

We were sitting in our meeting this afternoon discussing the 2011 budget and the topic of belt loops came up.

"We'll continue to buy badges and beads for all the boys but we won't be supplying belt loops anymore. They're just too expensive, so we'll have to let parents know that they will have to supply belt loops for the boys if their boys want to earn them."

The whole time I was thinking, Why don't they just put belt loops on the pants in the first place?!

Belt loops are some kind of...award...I guess. Andrew earned eight of them, including one for basketball (which, if you know Andrew and his ability of getting balls to go into baskets, is rather surprising).

We're the "wolf den" leaders, which I'm kind of excited about because when my brother was in scouts (and when my dad was a scout leader) they would end each activity by "howling" at the moon—because our cubs are wolf cubs. I always wanted to howl at the moon, too. All the boys would get in a circle in the gym and then they'd have the chosen "leader of the pack" yell out,

"DYB! DYB! DYB!" which stands for "Do your best!"

And then the rest of the pack would answer, "We'll DOB! DOB! DOB!" which stands for "do our best."

And then they'd all get down on their haunches and let out the most amazing howl. Sends chills down my spine just thinking about it. I seriously think I'm going to have our little wolf cubs howl at the moon before they go home. For real. Though I'm not sure I'll get away with introducing the DYB-DOB thing since the Boy Scouts of America is full of their own acronyms and code language.

Like Webelos?

It's like they couldn't think of any other ferocious animal the boys could emulate and so came up with some lame, generic codename. The American progression is [tiger] > bobcat > wolf > bear. And then you enter Webelos.

Only today did I find out it stood for "We'll Be Loyal Scouts," though the running joke is that it stands for "We Be Loyal Scouts."

Seriously? That's as bad as Mia Maids.

In the LDS church girls ages 12-18 enter what is known as the Young Women's Program. For the first two years you're known as a Beehive—suggesting industriousness, Deseret, teamwork, etc. For the last two years of the program you're known as a Laurel, bringing to mind laurel wreaths, glory, etc. For the middle years of the program—ages 14 and 15—you're known as a Mia Maid.

Technically that would be a "MIA maids" because the MIA stands for Mutual Improvement Association, bringing to mind...nothing. Well, except for mutual improvement and associations. And who wants that when you could be a Beehive or a Laurel? I mean, really?

In Canada the boys progress from [beavers] > wolves before being matriculated into plain old scouts. Since we don't do the beaver program in the church our boys are just wolf cubs until they become scouts.

This makes more sense because wolves actually live in packs, whereas bears and bobcats do not. Also, there are no tigers in America so that one is way off, but, again, we don't do the tiger program in the church and just start with bobcats, so who cares?

A more natural progression would be bobcat > cougar > wolf > bear. But then, maybe they already thought of that and just didn't know how to measure which animal was stronger: a cougar or a wolf? It's a tough one. Alternatively they could just have wolves through the whole program (as in Canada). Either way we could leave out the Webelos thing altogether. I don't even know how to talk about Webelos because I want to drop the "s" to make it singular but that kind of kills the whole squishy-chopped-up-half-word thing they were going for.*

If you have multiple Webelos then you have one Webelo, right? But then the scouting aspect is completely lost and you're left with boys claiming to be plain old loyal instead of boys claiming to be being loyal scouts. And really, I think that's fine because I don't really see any difference between a loyal scout and a loyal not-scout.

Luckily they called me to be a wolf den leader so we can forget all about Webelos and Bears and Bobcats and whatever else they have going on. They were definitely inspired, though I'm still wondering why we ever said yes to this.

I'll just be the best Webecludemoth that I can be.

(That stands for We Be Clueless Den Mother).

*Reminds me of this episode of Everybody Loves Raymond:

Ray: You know what's good? That Chinese place with the crazy grandmother who screams at you.
Debra: Oh, yeah—Chinese Star! Oh, I love that place! 
Ray: Yeah. 
Debra: Yeah. You know what she's screaming...?
Ray: Yeah, "Habanadah!" [snorts] She's crazy.
Debra: She's saying, "Have a nice day."
Ray: Oh. [pause] Well, maybe she's not crazy then.


  1. Can I rant for a moment, please?: At least they pay for things like badges and beads for the boys! Unlike the girls who (though this does depend on the "enlightened" status of your ward) often get something like $8/year/girl. Grrrrr. If the girls can work without rewards so can the boys. Or they could start doing Girl Scouts.

    Moving on, I never knew where Webelos came from either - very interesting. And the belt loop thing is strange. I thought I remembered my brother having things that could go on his belt loops, but having to earn the actual belt loops?! Anyway, good luck with your pack!

  2. They were talking about the things that go on the belt loops. I just had no idea that they were because they just called them belt loops. :)

  3. Plural webelos; singular "iamalos". Awkward that they both end in "s".