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  • combining wolf and bear dens

    We have a small CS pack that currently has a Wolf den of 5 boys and a Bear den of one. I'm wondering what ideas or advice you all might have about how to go about doing this, and if it's advantageous? Thanks,

  • #2
    Hi kahits,

    Interesting delimna. On the one hand, I'd say don't combine them, because their activities are different. On the other, I say combine because a boy trying to work his achievements without the fellowship of other boys is more likely to quickly lose interest & drop out.

    Perhaps you can work with your Den Leaders to develop a plan such that a couple of weeks each month the two Dens are working on similar achievements. Then your lone Bear could attend the Wolf Den meeting, but his work would be more complex, appropriate for a Bear. Given that Wolves have 12 set achievements, while Bears choose 12 of an available 24, you might be able to work out a route for your Bear that would correlate quite well with the Wolves.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Except that I only have 3 Wolves, I'm in the same position this year and am running the den as a combined group. Right now they are working on Bobcat at the Den level, so the playing field is even there. I've been planning ahead and many of the requirements have parallels in the two programs.

      No, its not a perfect situation, but I believe it will be doable. The parents are still the ones to be signing off most of the requirements, so all the boys should still be progressing at their own speed.

      Good luck in however you proceed.

      CM - P102
      DL - Wolf/Bear den


      • #4
        It can be done but you will have two big challenges. You do not want to bore the Bear by repeating his activities he already doid last year as a wolf, you don't want to give the current wolves a year of bear program and then nothing new to experience next year. You are going to need to be unique and creative in your den activities both this year and next or you will lose A LOT of scouts.

        The bigger question is how did the pack get into this situation. There are probably bigger problems here that need to be addressed.



        • #5
          You can combine and feel free to do so that way each boy gets as much out of the program as possible.

          BW, I can't find any reference in the post about losing boys or any such situation. My question is why would you say that there is a bigger problem. They stated it was a small pack, so how can you insinuate that they have a problem other than they want to combine dens?


          PS: BW, any time anyone talks about having a small group or losing people your answer is that they have a problem or are not putting on the program properly. You need to rethink your philosophy on these things. I currently have 3 active Tiger Cubs and it has nothing to do with the program or the way things are run.


          • #6
            Thank you all very much... just to clarify, our pack serves a college campus neighborhood (UNM) that has all the trappings of that kind of population (lots of single moms looking for adult male leadership...). It's a liberal elementary school, for sure, but the program still has a purpose. Dealing with the parents who can't quite embrace the perception of BSA, with a boy who can't wait to get in can be difficult, but I have learned to do whatever it takes to get that boy in the program, even if it means you get walked on by his Akela. We definitely have holes in the dens, but each year it seems to get a little bit better. My ACM took on the UC position last year, so he is going to be fine as my replacement in Feb. 06, but I'll check back from the troop that is also in the neighborhood. I hope we can provide them with some den chiefs. W.


            • #7
              Fred if you had read my post you will see where I explained why there is a danger for losing boys. They will not want the same program two years in a row. It will be difficult to work with two levels of scouts and give each level their own age appropriate program. A wolf program will bore the Bear, a Bear program will leave you nothing new to share next year when the wolves become Bears. Boring meetoings is the #1 reason boys quit. As I explained for this to work Kahits will need to be very creative for two years.

              But now kahits is looking to leave in February for Boy Scouts. So I hope the next leader is ready for the challenge.

              It is unfortunate that kahits will not be staying with the den through Webelos.

              AS far as the size of the pack, small units rarley survive, that's just a fact. They lack the depth of resources to sustain a program. Its a problem that needs to be recognized and dealt with if the pack is going to not just survive but thrive.

              PS Fred
              "I currently have 3 active Tiger Cubs and it has nothing to do with the program or the way things are run."

              No, but it does have to do with how you recruit. Unless you only have 12 eligible tiger candidates in town recruiting three Tiger Cubs is not a good sign.

              I have no need to rethink my philosophy, I have a bit of experience at this I know what warning signs look like. Thank you for your concern.(This message has been edited by Bob White)


              • #8
                You make some very good points, Bob.... most of the packs around the university are struggling, but the DE is committed to keeping that from happening. There just aren't any other packs that are close by, so we all try our best to get organized, trained, and do the best possible round up, in the fall and spring, with limited results. I am the CM and Webelos II DL, so all of that is going out the door at the B&G in Feb.06, but I'm trying to help these 2 dens to include the bear in with the wolf cubs, since that appears to be the only real option, or until more Bears can be recruited. It's early still, we could still get more boys. For now they are together, until they can become seperate. All your comments are appreciated.

                CM P3
                DL WebII


                • #9

                  It would be nice if you responded more postively to these peoples questions or not respond at all. You were just plain rude amd condescending to kahits questions. It is not your place to judge others when you have no intimate knowledge of that units inner workings, and your so called years of experience should have taught you better how to deal with people. Fred is so correct in his evaluation of your reply.

                  Kahits, in your current situation you have little choice but to combine dens until you recruit some more bears. Let the bear work on his own advancement but in the presence of other boys so he doesn't feel isolated and alone. Years ago I was asked to be a Webelos leader in my churches pack, the den had only two boys. We did all the outings and advancements and the boys had a ball, by the end of the year we had acquired five more boys for the den from outside the pack and we grew from there. So don't give up hope, do a good program and more boys will come in, from little acorns mighty oaks grow.


                  • #10
                    It would be nice if you actually read my posts instead of simply dismissing them because they are mine.
                    Read kahits original post.

                    "I'm wondering what ideas or advice you all might have about how to go about doing this, and if it's advantageous?

                    I answered the question that was asked. It is possible to do but it will be difficult without two years of very creative programming if the boys are to keep from doing the same things two years in a row. It is sound advice for the situation.

                    In fact you said almost the same thing. And you could have done it without even mentioning me. What you think of me will not help kahits in the least.

                    Please try to stay on topic.


                    • #11
                      BW says "No, but it does have to do with how you recruit. Unless you only have 12 eligible tiger candidates in town recruiting three Tiger Cubs is not a good sign."

                      In that case I take having 4 Tigers out of a class with 7 eligible boys as a decent rate. Do other schools have the problem of low numbers of boys? Our school of 170 (K-8) has nearly twice as many girls as it does boys.

                      If your Bear is a first year scout (mine is), then he won't experience much repitition of activities. My concern is next year when he would be the only Webelos, since that is a different kettle of fish all together.


                      • #12
                        Our bear joined Tigers during the Spring roundup. He bridged to the Wolf den in May and went to Day Camp in June. He loved it all.. wearing his Wolf neckerchief over his camp tshirt. Last year he was one of 3 Wolf cubs, but his mother (his father is deceased) was without a car, or a recording machine on her phone, so she kept showing up for den meetings on the wrong days. That years Wolf den leader was a father who really did not want to fill the position, because of his other committments. Both of his kids both dropped out, after he had to leave his law practice and go on his own. This lone Bear did, however, get his Wolf, last year, but not until just before he bridged in May. Anything the Wolf den does will not be a repeat for him, in my opinion, and I have suggested to his mom who will have to be his Bear leader, that she will have to work with him, at home, to make sure he get's his bear requirements completed. She is still very unsure about what to do, and she is a bit forgetful (we gave her the new DL start up packet, with the fast start CD... and she said she never got it.) but I assured her I will make sure she get's trained and knows what she is doing. We have a boy in the Webelos I den who went thru both his Wolf and Bear years alone, but this year he finally has 2 denmates. His dad accepted the UC position, and I think these past 2 years woke him up to the need for him to get more active in recruiting for his sons den, as well as being more active in the pack. He will also have to take my CM position, after next February, so he will be wearing alot of hats... some on this board think perhaps too many.(This message has been edited by kahits)(This message has been edited by kahits)


                        • #13
                          First I wasn't commenting on your advice about combining dens, I was commenting on your last statement:

                          "The bigger question is how did the pack get into this situation. There are probably bigger problems here that need to be addressed."

                          This reply had nothing to do with the topic either.

                          As far as you stating I have a problem with the way I recruit, I take this personal because you have no unearthly idea how I handle recruiting. You apparantly don't know what warning signs look like, because I have a very strong program that does most of the recruiting by itself. I also stated I have 3 active Tiger Cubs, I currently have 7 Tigers in the den, but with football and the necessity for an adult partner, I only have 3 active. (active meaning they have attended 90% of everything so far)


                          BTW Bob, you should try staying on the topic.


                          • #14
                            It is totally related, one problem leads to other. Until the membership is strengthened this problem will continue to repeat.

                            How you take things is in no ones control but your own. You said you had three Tigers, You now say you have a full den of 7. Had you said that the first time my evaluation would have been different. Accurate feedback requires accurate input.

                            What is unrelated to the thread are your complaints to me. You are welcome to PM me rather than use this thread.

                            (This message has been edited by Bob White)