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Turning a pack around

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I will try to make this short and painless. I want to know what you would change first if you were to become CM of this pack:

The pack meets twice a month. Every meeting the current CM talks for about 30 mins then we break for den meetings. We are short 2 den leaders. I have never heard of any Commity members. Our DE knows we don't follow the program and is frustrated with our lack of growth. No parents want to volunteer for anything. Our "den chiefs" play football outside instead of helping. They boys aren't having any fun (except of course in my den where we are working and having fun). my den last year earned more awards as Tigers then all the other dens combined. We only have 2 campouts a year and only had 3 boys from our pack attend the day camp that our pack is supposed to be in charge of. Our DE met with me at school yesterday and we did a recruitment during lunchtime. I am trying to get more boys but I don't want to get them then lose them.

The ship is sinking, the rats have left, and I am bailing with a thimble. Where should I start?

Kristi(This message has been edited by cajuncody)

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Woooow! Sounds like you do have a problem.


I would start by trying to get your leaders trained so that they can learn and understand what the structure is supposed to look like.


Next, I would tinker with the meetings. You need to work on this meeting thing. You cant have two quasi Pack/Den meeting per month. It just doesnt work that way. We have packs in our area that meet in mass every week for den meetings. They meet at the same location at the same time with all of the boys. But they do not get together as a Pack. They meet as dens. Then, once a month they get together for the Pack Meeting. It works for them and it seems to foster great communications between the leaders.


Next you need to work on awards and advancements. The whole CS program is built around that concept.


As for the Den Chiefs, Id get rid of them for now. Bring them back when you have a program that you can integrate them with, and, the Den Leaders know what to do with them.


Two campouts a year for a CS Pack is OK, there is nothing wrong with that as long as there are other outdoor activities during the year.


Day Camp is terrific, but dont hang your program on it. As the dens gel, Day Camp enrollment will go up. I might think of unloading the Day Camp responsibilities from your other leaders. They need to concentrate on their Dens and the Pack first. Find others to take on the Day Camp.


And as for recruiting, lunch time in the school yard doesn't seem to be the ideal place. Get flyers, and do a regular evening recruitment drive.


Good Luck.


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I am learning how things work, my question is what to change first and how to change it with out losing the older (though few) scouts. If I suddenly announce when I take over as CM "Okay everyone, we are going from 2 meeting per month to 3 (or 4) I am not sure how many will stay. The lunch time recruitment was the best we could do on short notice. I contacted the DM and he had flyers printed up overnight (no foot dragging there) and met me at school the next day to help pass them out during lunch to the boys. Our evening scout night received poor response due to the flyers not going home on time. On this new flyer we promised a "Free Ice Cream Party Meeting" to try and encourage boys to give us a go. (Thanks Ben and Jerrys) I am planning the whole meeting by my self on short notice and it is going to be a Pack meeting/party.

I want to know what item you would change first. The post about the embezzeling treasurer really got my attention and I am already talking to people to co sign checks if the CM is doing it alone now. I don't want to be that way. I have never even heard if we have a pack committee, let alone who is serving on it.

I just keep remembering the Titanic. It was supposed to be unsinkable . . . I just want to keep my pack afloat while I get some help fixing it.


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Right now your Pack/Den meetings are neither Pack or Den Meetings. The kids are bored listening to the CM for 30 minutes and Ill bet the parents are saying, whats going on here. You might be pleasantly surprised by the reaction youll get to making the Den Meetings real Den Meetings, and the Pack Night a real Pack night. Explain to everyone whats going to happen and that the benefit to the boys will be that they can actually work the CS Program.

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Your pack committee members have to be listed on your charter. That's where you'll find them. Either ask your CM who they are or your DE. That'll show who your treasurer is supposed to be. Ours is just a committee on paper also. Needs to be changed.


I agree to get rid of the den chiefs, or get them to some training, so they know what they're supposed to be doing.


First thing I'd change would be to have a true pack meeting monthly, with advancements for those boys so that they can see the result of all their hard work.

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Unfortunatly as the wolf Den Leader the best you can do is to have the best den you can. Unless the Cubmaster changes or is changed the pack will contuinue to decay.


If you were to become CM or CC you could do alot to remedy the situation.



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I am becoming the CM this spring as the current CM is retireing. I am looking for opinions as to what to change first and how the change it so as not to lose the boys. I think I am going to start my den meeting once more per month. If I work them into it slowly they will have time to adjust.


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This would be the specific request for advice that I was looking for in another thread (as opposed to a hypothetical.)


If I were in Kristi's shoes, here are the steps I would take.


1) Accept the Cubmaster position and finalize it by completing a new adult application, securing the proper signatures, and regstering at the council service center.


2) spend about $4.00 each for a full set of Program Helps for each Den leader and Assistant.


3) Find out who the committee chairman of record is and get him or her to conduct a committee meeting to plan the next month of meetings. Prepare a schedule to roll out at that meeting.


4) Familiarize myself with the Program Helps booklet and make sure I was using the monthly themes -- that match the suggested themes for the den meetings.


5) If the committee chairman were on paper only, and not interested in conducting a meeting, I would call the den leaders and meet with them on my own. At that meeting, I would go over how to read the program helps, strongly suggest that they follow the plan, and assign each den a part of the themed pack meeting as lined up in the program helps.


6) During the month, check with each den leader to make sure they understand the program helps and are using them. No need to beat or cajole -- you're just offering assistance by helping them to follow the "new" pack program.


These steps can go a long way toward beginning to follow the program.


BTW -- Program Helps are provided 30 days at a time in Scouting Magazine for registered Cubmasters, Den Leaders, Tiger Den Leaders, and possibly Assistant Den Leaders. However, you can buy an entire year at your Scout Shop for about $4.00. I suggest strongly that you do.


Best of luck. I hope this helps.



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Since you are becomming Cubmaster may I make a suggestion.


Take a few items at a time and take them from what they do now to what they should be according to the Cub Program methods.


If you do everything a little bit at a time you are going to drive people crazy with small adjustmments and the cubs you serve today will be den leaders by the time you have a real Cub Program operating.


I would do the following things in this order.


Insist that the Committee Chair attentds training and gets the committee functioning properly to support a real cub program.


Have all your den leader watch Fast Start and explain that there will be changes for the good of the program made over the next 3 months.


Arrange with the District training Chair for New Leader essentials and Cub Job Specific to be brought to your location at your group's convienience to get everyone.


Go to one pack meeting a month (60 or 90 minutes depending on the size of the pack).


One, 1-hour, Den meeting a week for every den except for the week of the Pack meeting.


Make sure the committee gets every Den leader the program resources they need to be successful.

Handbook for their den's rank

Cub Leader Book

Program Helps or Webelos Leader Guide (depending on the den level)

How to Book

Cub Song Book


Meet once every two months to review pack meeting agendas and Den activities with your program group.


Keep the committe informed of your progress and your program needs.


Have Fun!






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