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cmd

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About cmd

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  1. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    You might be surprised by how much mileage you could get out of just having a tent set up in the corner of your meeting space and allowing kids to pretend they're camping. We had one set up at a joining night one year and it was the popular spot for all ages of cubs, including ones who regularly go camping. If you can get permission to have a lock-in overnight in a church fellowship hall or gymnasium, you could set up tents and a fake campfire, do some skits, etc. Another activity our older scouts do, but that would work well for little ones with a slightly tamer hill, is a sledd
  2. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    I think the eager parents join at whatever grade is the first one offered. It makes sense that you'll get fewer older kids joining because you've already captured the segment of the market that is most interested. If Bears were the youngest, then you suddenly added Wolves, you'd have one year where both programs had high numbers because you hadn't tried to recruit the easy sells yet, then the number of new Bears would drop the next year. And the overall number of bears might drop, too, just because it's normal for some kids to not like scouts and not return for a second year, no matter what a
  3. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    Even more important - preparing their parents for that transition. I think "my kid isn't interested anymore" sometimes really means "I was the one pushing my kid to do cub scouts, but having visited the chaos of that troop meeting, I don't see enough value to deal with the hassle of making him do it." At the cub level, we really need to prepare the kids and their parents that the training wheels are about to come off, and they may crash and burn before they get the hang of things. And at the troop level, they need to ensure that the older scouts are ready to actually manage their leadershi
  4. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    That's similar to what I was planning: 2-3 "things" each month, so a den meeting or two, no pack meeting, and highlighting one of the pack activities going on that seems like a good fit for the littles. But, the 3 parents who showed up for our kick-off meeting tonight are all going to be at the pack meetings with older siblings anyway, so I guess we'll be adding those in. And they want two den meetings each month. And the sibling factor will probably have them attending a lot of pack functions, too. Our dues are so minimal that we can't charge Lions any less. We've always just ignor
  5. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    The issue that I found with Lions and pack meetings wasn't that they weren't engaging, but they were just too much too late in the evening. Most of our den meetings are 6:30-7:30, and the pack meeting generally follows that pattern, though some years they've had longer pack meetings that went until 8. Our Lion parents requested an earlier 6-6:45 meeting time to get the kids calmed back down in time to get to bed on their regular schedule.
  6. Our pack used to meet all on one night, but not necessarily in the same space, and one of the other two packs in our area takes over a church building for the evening for den meetings, but the only time the kids are all together is if it's nice enough to hang out all together outside before the meetings start. Having them on the same night just makes it easier to schedule. If a den normally meets on Mondays, then trying to get those kids to a pack meeting on Weds is hard. The family generally has other stuff scheduled for other nights and needs to designation one day as the one that they ar
  7. I love the idea of the uniform bank being coordinated outside the pack/troop. That avoids the problem of families who are embarrassed about charity AND those who are keeping their distance because they may have left scouts on bad terms or just don't want to deal with a hard sell from leaders wanting them to come back. Plus, it keeps you from ending up with pack A having all the medium kids only small shirts and pack B having all the medium shirts and small kids.
  8. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    I took the year off myself when my son crossed over. I needed the break, but after a year of that, I found that I had just replaced the stress of trying to run everything with the stress of not knowing what was going on, with no real gain. So, I'm back.
  9. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    Those of you who are unhappy with the Lion program - did you follow the plans laid out in the leader guide or just read the actual requirements and do something that fulfilled them? I feel like there's a huge disconnect between what the requirements say and the activities suggested to fulfill them. Like the Animal Kingdom requirement "demonstrate you know what to do in an emergency" that then has the kids playing a game with first aid for cuts and sprains and bug bites and blisters. I would personally interpret "what to do in an emergency" as things like discussing how/when to call 911, ge
  10. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    Alcohol isn't allowed in state parks in PA? It never would have crossed my mind to look into that, even though I grew up there. It's something that was done so often that I wouldn't have thought I needed to research it. In NY it's legal and parents always look at us like we've lost our minds when we tell them that they won't be drinking on the campout.
  11. cmd

    Recruiting Lions

    Given that we haven't had a Lions cohort go all the way through without the interruption of covid, I don't think we can say yet what impact the new rank has on retention. Were you guys in packs that had an early pilot program? I'm surprised you had any that started as Lions. Our 6th & 7th graders didn't have the opportunity to be Lions and our current lack of any 5th graders is because we didn't have a Lion den but the troops on both sides of us were chosen for the pilot program and the next year they had solid groups moving in to Tigers and leaders trained and ready to go. We did
  12. How do other people "sell" the Lion program? My understanding is that the recommendation is that the kindergarten crowd should have 2 meetings each month, about 40 minutes long, and only have the pack meeting and events loosely mentioned to them, not really pushed. We've had a number of people interested in trying it out, but $130(assuming the pack doesn't ask for any dues from them) plus uniform plus book hasn't turned out to be an easy sell. Broken down over the course of the year it's not a huge amount, but any kind of sports kids sign up for at this age tend to be a month or two
  13. Troops aren't broken down by rank the way a pack is, so having the necker change wouldn't be as useful as it is for cubs. It's nice to be able to find at a glance that one kid who has wandered off with his brother's den. Our pack solved the cost problem of the multiple neckerchiefs by asking parents to donate back any old neckerchiefs and slides they didn't want, then buying enough more to have a complete set. Now all neckerchiefs are owned by the pack and loaned out for the year. We always end up short a few slides at the end of the year, but that's a manageable expense for the pa
  14. ParkMan, Would you be willing to share the script you used for the face painting?
  15. I actually think that this pack is operating so far outside of the way the program is designed, that it might not be having the effect on the boys that everyone is suggesting. It seems like it has gone all the way past "being handed a rank you don't deserve" to just being handed a piece of fabric to put on your shirt to identify how old you are. It's lost all connection to being an earned rank, so probably bears the same weight to the boys as getting a different colored neckerchief. And I'm guessing that if this has been going on for a while, the troops in your area must be used to starti
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