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No more themes or program helps

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"They did not like the way that it focused on advancement and in a lot of cases threw the fun to the wind."


More advancement in den meetings is a recognition that more boys have lots of other activities and the schools give out more homework than in the old days, so they typically don't have as much time on their hands.


However, you are right that keeping it fun is also important for retention, both for den meetings and pack meetings. If they feel a meeting is boring then they start thinking how they could've been playing video games instead and before long decide the few camping opportunities aren't worth sitting through all the boring meetings.


Personally, I found that when I focus too much on advancement the kids do get bored, and I had to readjust and introduce more just-for-fun activities. Frankly, I can probably credit the Fast Track approach with losing one of my boys and almost losing another.


Now that I think of it, what is really needed is a re-write of the requirements. It gripes me to have to go over very basic stuff that I know they are doing in school already such as the stupid food pyramid. Some might argue they learn by repetition, but I'd say that makes it more boring for them.


An experienced Cubmaster once said that if a pack meeting includes some sort of game that involves running the boys will come away saying it was a fun. If they didn't get to run they will say it was boring.

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Although I didn't do everything in the Program Helps, it did provide me with ideas for the Den meeting. It was a great help for a new Den Leader.


I can see maybe dropping them out of the Scouting Mag, and have the Den Leader be provided them by the Pack Committee, but to drop them all is silly.


And as a new Bear Den Leader, I looked at what we need to do next year, and the way the Den is set up, I will not be doing very many Acheivements at our meetings. Since Bears are setup to decide on the things they want to work on? I've already tasked my son with, which ones do YOU want to do? I'm sure my other boys will likely want to do different items.


For the last two years (Tigers/Wolf), I've always tried to get some Achievment/Elective stuff done. Since the parents didn't always work with the boys, and I wanted to make sure they made rank. I can see if Fast Track is to push that idea, then at least Bear Achievements need to be set, unless BSA wants all the Achievements done?


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Well I made the comment on no more Program Helps last nite at a CSDC meeting and everyone was shocked, including the pro. The leaders there also expressed that they didn't like the Fast track format, stating that they almost lost people before reverting back to the program helps.

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