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  • No Tiger den this year?

    We are having some trouble recruiting Tigers this year. I've always felt that if we don't get a Tiger den each year, then not only do we have a gap in rank, but we could also be considered a dying pack. We had a huge recruitment in the upper grades this year and are adding a brand new Bear den of 8 boys, so I guess we are not really "dying," but should I be concerned if we don't have a Tiger den this year?

  • #2
    I wouldn't worry about a pack's longevity as much about how the boys in your area being served. If all the first graders joined another pack, fine. If they all signed up for Trail Life early, okay maybe. No 1st grader got signed up for anything, that's sad.

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    • #3
      Some parents don't go for Tigers because they have to be there with the kids. I also think there is a lot of uncertainty this year with the economy and stuff. Those would have been tigers will probably join as wolves and bears soon.

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      • dedkad
        dedkad commented
        Editing a comment
        That's what I'm hoping. And I'm also thinking that maybe not doing Tigers will help prevent burnout in the later years. It's just that the Tiger Cub year is so fun, I hate for boys to miss out.

    • #4
      I find that our Tiger den seldom looks the same a year later as a Wolf den. We have a lot of turnover and add lots of new scouts as Wolf Cubs. I wouldn't worry about it yet but keep an eye on the situation.

      I have found that a poor recruitment year for a den can impact the pack by reducing the pool of parent volunteers available. We run a smaller pack so it might be a bigger problem for us than for your unit.

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      • #5
        Don't worry too much about it. The only reason we have Tigers is because we are told to recruit Tigers. As far as I'm concerned, I'd be okay if Cubs didn't start until 2nd grade. Let kids try out sports and other activities. Then when they are ready for fire, knives, archery, shooting sports and outdoor activities, join scouts.

        I really believe that recruiting too young makes scouts look like little kids day care and it's not. The best scouting years (both from fun and adventure and also from the impact we can have on the kids) are when the scouts are 12 to 16. But, they tend to drop out before then. For many reasons.

        ================

        As for the original posting topic ....

        So ya don't have any / many Tigers. Don't sweat it. If ya don't have enough adult help, gear back to a manageable program. Not enough scouts, join with another pack.

        I'm afraid that I've seen 10 years of bad recruitment because of political turmoil around BSA. As a volunteer, I don't have the time or energy to fight the worlds problems. And I will not damage my family or my kids experiences grumbling at the mess. All I can do is run a great program and let a great program end up recruiting kids. After that, If the kids don't come, at least my family, my sons and the kids in our pack have had the best experience possible.

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        • #6
          This happened to us a few years ago and were concerned that we would have a gap. The next year, quite a few 2nd grade boys joined up and filled the gap and one of the dads volunteered to be the den leader. Long story short, the gap closed. As long as you emphasize good recruiting each year, you should be fine.

          As others have mentioned, occassionaly we will have Tiger recruits that will drop out withing a few weeks because their parents cannot be Tiger Partners and be at every meeting and event.

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          • #7
            Thanks, everyone. You are making me feel better.

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            • #8
              We had a pack in our district that decided to quit recruiting Tigers as an attempt to fix their burned out leader problem and they had the same number of scouts 5 years later without a Tiger program. Nationally there is some concern that the new membership requirements will hurt recruitment. If that turns out to be the case, there is little you can do about. Likely you will get a good crop of Wolves next year. Barry

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              • #9
                Our pack is seriously thinking about not recruiting Tigers next year and definitely not recruiting Lions either. It's just too young and it's hard for them to sit thru a pack meeting. I think it's a good idea. Cub Scouts lasts too long and is not the main show. Cub Scouts is just a warm up for Boy Scouts.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Eagledad View Post
                  We had a pack in our district that decided to quit recruiting Tigers as an attempt to fix their burned out leader problem and they had the same number of scouts 5 years later without a Tiger program. Nationally there is some concern that the new membership requirements will hurt recruitment. If that turns out to be the case, there is little you can do about. Likely you will get a good crop of Wolves next year. Barry
                  We're not approaching that, but personally I like the idea. I think we'd be just about as well off putting no effort into the Tiger year.... perhaps better off. From what I can see the burn out is real with scouts and parents.

                  We had a light year this year with tigers. Recruited 5, but one dropped before we started, due to sports conflicts. The one that dropped had an older brother in WEBELOS..... burned out. Dad a former den leader, coaches several teams so he didn't have "time" to lead. Obviously sports is more fun for that family and scouts was a burn out.
                  I had a terrible time getting a parent to lead the tiger den.
                  We recruited 6 new wolf cubs.

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                  • #11
                    Our pack had a couple of dens that formed up just before the Christmas break and still had a successful year. With good planning tigers can be done in a pretty short period.

                    Might be worth a try.

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                    • #12
                      Sorry, I am going to rain on this parade. Yes, you should be concerned. You need Tigers. They also bring parents who will be Den Leaders, CC, MC, CM and such. They can help out with Pack Events and Outings.

                      It is understandable about the Tiger Parents not understanding the program. It's not the Baby Sitters of America. So, they do need to be there. You should find a couple of 1st Graders and ask them what seven friends would they want to have in their Den. Call the Parents and invite them to the Pack Meeting and get them signed up.

                      I had one Den that went through with 2-3 Scouts. In the end it was only one that crossed over. It was an odd Den for that whole cycle. But before and after it there was 8-12 kids in each Den.

                      Comment


                      • dedkad
                        dedkad commented
                        Editing a comment
                        We did have five 1st graders who came to our recruitment meeting, which is plenty for a den. Unfortunately, they go to two different schools and since our dens meet right after school, it doesn't work too well to have a combined den. None of the parents volunteered to be a leader either. I already did what you suggested, telling them to find some more schoolmates to join Cub Scouts with them. Not a single one responded. Don't know if they don't have any friends, don't care, or just aren't willing to make the effort. I figure if the boys and parents aren't willing to make the effort to recruit a few friends, then how can I expect them to make the effort to complete the requirements or even to get a parent to step up to be leader. I told them all to meet with me after our pack meeting next week, and we'll see what they all want to do, but I am not optimistic.

                      • Hueymungus
                        Hueymungus commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Is there a reason why you have to meet right after school? Our Pack meets at 7pm for Den/Pack Meetings. Den Meetings can be anywhere.

                        What's your program? Is it exciting? What do you do? Do you host a few Den Meetings and show the Parents how easy it is? Gotta get them hooked first.

                    • #13
                      Parents usually need to have been in Cubs a year before they will volunteer for anything (unless they are "that type" which is rare, or if they have positive scouting youth experiences). So, if you get them to hang around for a successful Tiger year, you've got your core volunteers for the next 2-4 years. If they just started their boys as wolves, you only get 1-2 years of volunteering out of them.

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                      • blw2
                        blw2 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        plausible point. That is an advantage..... BUT based solely on my limited perspective 2 good years is all we seem to be able to expect out of most folks anyway..... not all, but most. After that, they may still well be volunteering, but for the most part the energy is gone and in fact they are soaking energy OUT of the group.
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