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What are the biggest issues in your Pack keeping Cubs?

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  • What are the biggest issues in your Pack keeping Cubs?

    What do you see that causes Cubs to leave Scouting? Sports? Not cool any more? Not having fun? Weak program? Family issues?

  • #2
    Had four drop off since last spring, three moved (one due to family issues), the other family had twins born. We keep a flexible program, and I let my "sports families" know they can take a season or two off and jump right back in. Attendance is not mandatory, and I don't charge so much that families think they're "wasting" their money on an activity they don't participate in. If I had to spend $80, and I was going to miss several months, I'd reconsider, too.

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    • #3
      Sports is the big one. Not having fun/weak program and family issues are probably tied for second.

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      • #4
        Deployments and traffic. Most of us live off-post scattered around the southern half of the metro area, and our traffic is on par with DC or Atlanta. Rush hour is a nightmare.

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        • #5
          At the beginning of this scout year (Bear), DH's den lost a boy due to his dad's change of station; one boy to sports; and one boy who didn't really want to be there or follow instructions, so he and his mom bailed. (from last years Wolves)

          He started with 17-18 Tigers. Lost 5 or 6 by Wolf start, added a few more, and is now sitting on 28 Bears. We'll lose at least 4 of those this week (signed up and paid but never showed).

          We've lost them because of parents (being involved/not being involved/bringing in boyfriends that despise scouting). There has been only one boy that my husband wishes he could have kept (well, two, but one came back this year), and he left because mom was bouncing back to ex-husband #2 (not his dad) in another state. Still breaks my heart when I think about him.

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          • #6
            Almost all of our departures were due to parents--mom or dad lost interest, divorces where it wasn't important to the parent with custody, etc. At the Cub age the parents have to be the ones making the decision.

            I know of only one case where we lost a cub due to not being interested in our program, but that was a scout who never attended camp or any activities outside the pack and den meetings, and who missed a fair amount of the latter due to sports.

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            • #7
              I dunno. One transferred to another pack that met at a different day. One dropped out because his parents told him he had to choose between activities. One just stopped coming.

              I still have to core of boys I started with at Tigers. I think we lost one at the end of the Tiger year. We got 3 more for Wolfs. No losses to Bear then lost 3 to Webelos. Right now I have 10 scouts in my Webelos group.

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              • #8
                Most of our pack losses are due to boys losing interest in the program. Even when we're doing "fun" activities, I think some boys are just worn out with learning, paying attention, and cooperating in a group by the time evening comes around.

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                • #9
                  The biggest reason by far is scheduling conflicts with other activities. Another reason is simply lack of interest or expectations not met - they tried the program and it wasn't what they expected or wanted.

                  Another dynamic is that some den leaders are simply better than others. The DL's that plan-ahead, are organized, employ some fun into their meetings, and move the boys along in their achievements tend to be the one with the best retention.

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                  • #10
                    In my experience:

                    (1) Sports as they get a older.
                    (2) Craft and school activities that turn off boys who thought it would be mini-Boy Scouts. They leave and while they might have liked Boy Scouts they usually don't give scouting another try.
                    (3) Time. As Elementary school starts to ramp up demands toward the end of Elementary school homework and after-school activities make it harder for parents to juggle demands.
                    (4) Burn out. The kids who starts as the enthusiastic Tiger starts to burn out half way through the Webelos journey.

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                    • #11
                      (2) Craft and school activities that turn off boys who thought it would be mini-Boy Scouts. They leave and while they might have liked Boy Scouts they usually don't give scouting another try.

                      Opposite problem...boys who join and don't like to do the camping that our pack does. Although most have stayed around for events & derbies, we have a few who we can never seem to get to go camping.

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                      • #12
                        The typical feedback we get from parents for boys that aren't returning is "sports" and/or "lost interest". Our local youth football program has practices 4 nights a week plus a game on the weekend, and includes grades 1 - 6! We have a local soccer club accepting kids in grades 1 - 6, that includes a travel component. I am constantly stressing that we are flexible and understand that boys will miss some meetings due to other interests, but the sports programs don't necessarily reciprocate. Miss practice and you may miss out on playing.

                        Another sense I get from some parents is that joining Cub Scouts for a year is similar to signing up for a season of sports. Once they've done it then they may not necessarily feel compelled to continue (i.e., "we tried that"). I'm not sure how to address that, either. I don't want to scare away parents by making them think they need to make a multi-year commitment.

                        The flip side to the sports argument is that I frequently hear from parents about how their son just isn't interested in sports, and that they are glad our program is available so that they can get him involved in an activity that isn't sports-related.

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                        • #13
                          Hello Tampa,


                          >


                          I think this is likely to be especially common where the Webelos Den Leader is repeating the Cub Scout years, rather than making a real transition towards the greater independence of Boy Scouts.

                          I am pleased to be able to say that our WDL is making that transition, with regular outdoor activities for Scouts in his 2nd year Webelos program.


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                          • #14
                            >>"I am pleased to be able to say that our WDL is making that transition, with regular outdoor activities for Scouts in his 2nd year Webelos program."

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                            • #15


                              Yes, this is the case with us. Several boys are non-sports to either disability, general uncoordination, or just uninterested, and we welcome them. We also have several athletic brothers of those non-athletic boys, along for the ride.

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