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BIG Pack Growth....Help!

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We doubled the size of our pack within the past 2-3 weeks due to some active recruiting. We're now at 70+ boys when previously we were at 35-40 (and the new registrations keep coming!)


I seek any and all advice for growing from a medium pack size to a large pack. Advice can be on the programming or the committee/leadership side. The good news is that we're having luck getting new leaders to step up and our dens, while mushrooming, are still relatively manageable (7-8 boys on average).


I expect a little chaos and pandemonium as we settle into a new routine, but want to make sure we don't lose parents/scouts in this interim phase. Any suggestions/advice to combat "growing pains"?

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Congratulations on your great recruiting.


Two big challenges are going to be communication and record keeping.


In addition to the new den leaders, consider recruiting an experienced leader/parent to be a pack trainer. Delegate new parent relations to the pack trainer, and have that individual help with parent orientation, Fast start for new leaders, etc.


What kind of record keeping system do you use? Are you all paper-based, or have you automated? If you're running on paper, consider going to Packmaster or ScoutTrack.


Do you have a web site/an e-mail list/a pack newsletter? All of these are going to help new (and existing) parents and leaders get a grip on the program and answers to their questions.


How good is your advancement chair? With this many boys, you're going to have lots more awards. Consider getting some help for this area.


How are the finances? New parents need to be brought up to speed on fundraising quickly. Again, new boys, new expenses. If there's not a formal budget this would be a good time to do one. Figure out how much it cost per Scout to run the pack last year. Then apply that figure to this year's membership. It gets to be a big number very quickly. Our pack of approx. 35 spent about $3600 last year. But the cash flowing through the books is about 3 or 4 times that much, due to fundraising proceeds, camp fees, etc. Be sure you have a really good financial control system and a treasurer who works closely with the committee chair.


How many assistant Cubmasters do you have? At this size, you might consider having as many as three. That way they can help with crowd control at pack meetings, do some of the den visits for the Cubmaster, be another source for answering questions, etc. Of course, this means they and the Cubmaster will have to coordinate/communicate well and often to make sure everyone is on the same page.


Logistics will be a big consideration, too. You may have had relatively unstructured pack meetings. Now they're going to need to be a little more rigid to get through awards/games/etc. with a much bigger group.


Where did you camp last year? Is it big enough for this group, or do you need to make reservations NOW for a bigger campsite. And a bigger place for the Blue & Gold, and the Pinewood. . .


Unfortunately, one of the results of growth this fast may be that you'll lose some kids. Try to forestall that with really good communication. Putting systems in place and being super organized will help you cope.



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Congrats on the growth. One thing that came to mind is contact the troop(s) that the pack feeds and ask for Den Chiefs. That should help you with retention and crossovers. We provide DCs and it helps us with our growth and gives both the scouts and cubs a chance to see what Boy Scouts is about and helps the Den Leaders.




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Great job on recruiting.

Pevious responder is correct on having great communications.

This year we have also doubled in size from 36 to 72.

Suggestion: Build a strong committee(have a backup or co-for every position) and den leadership, get the new parents involved right away. Do you have a website yet?

Get training to as many adults as you can handle, parent volunteers also. Your district should help with this. My expeience with cub scout parents is that they don't understand the principals and objectives of scouting and feel lost. I repeat - welcome them in and get them involved.

Review your pack plans, are the events now going to work?

How's your budget - is it time for an extra fundraiser? Awards cost money.

We had so many new dens we started a mentor program

(experienced den leaders and assistants helping the new den leaders along).

Have fun with it. Everyone wants to be involved somehow.





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WOW! Good for you that your pack is growing. Obviously you're doing the right things and cubs talk.... Our pack, too, has doubled in size this year to over 70 scouts. We are doing most of the things that are needed to manage such a large pack. The reality is that some den leaders end up wearing more than one hat. I, myself, am a Wolf leader, Advancement Chair, Popcorn kernel and District Committee member. It's easy to say "enlist more parents". Reality is that it's hard to sell them on such a time committment. They see what I do and are apprehensive to step up to the plate. Den chiefs are a great idea and I've got one in my den. Our dens are huge (20 Wolf in my den alone) because we can't get parents to step up and lead on their own. We're now busting out of the church where we meet. The other den leaders don't prioritize scouting first in their lives and it shows. Their lack of communication is a detriment. Communication is the key in any group. Parents feel more in the loop when you keep them informed and involved. I've taken on that role of being the liaison. Also, Packmaster, a software program that helps you manage your pack is a godsend. It's got some glitches when working with advancement reports to council, but it's a great database of info that can be used in many ways. I usually communicate by email to my scouts because our leadership team doesn't have the time to call 70 scouts about events etc. Packmaster can email reports, messages to your scouts as well. Just make sure you have uptodate emails.


We, too, put together our Unit calendar early. We encourage our den leaders to put den plans into place as well.


As far as $$ issues. Our pack, in the past, has not collected dues. We make good money on popcorn sales that offsets this. However, this year is a different story. A pack of this size may need to do more than one fundraiser because Blue and Gold, advancements cost big bucks. We also have given out den budgets for their activies, but it's a small amount. That's our challenge....never enough money for activities. Your Unit Commissioner is a great resource for your pack. They are trained in their position and are there to help you with all issues regarding your pack. Draw upon that person frequently.


I'm interested to see how you're pack flourishes. So please post to keep us uptodate.



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