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loss, how many?

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Barring any unforseen event that would cause your membership to decline, what is "average" for loss of boys each year? In my first year as CM, I've done alot to not only build our Pack but to try to retain what we've recruited. Well, got a call tonight from one of our Den Leaders that we lost not one but TWO from her Den..which only had 5 boys to begin with. One is "tired" of it and is too involved in other activites. The other (and this is what bothers me) left us for a neigboring unit. Remember, we have WAY too many units in our small county. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't. What is "normal"? We've lost probably 5 or 6 of our boys since the beginning of last season out of a Pack of about 40 boys (new recruit numbers included from Spring).

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Normal isn't a specific number because there are so many "normal" reasons:


* The program might be great, and the scout is having a blast, but it's not what mom or dad needed it to be (babysitting service)and are "tired of it".


* Scouts decide they like "X" activity better.


* Financial reasons including even the gas required to get to meetings. Jobs have been lost, bills adding up. economy in the tank...Some people are too proud to explain it and just disappear.


* Other packs, which can break down to several reasons:


* A particular friend to the parent/scout becomes DL in another pack and mom/dad/scouts treally wants to be in that den.


* A CO of a different faith may start a pack.Mom or dad may have been waiting for that faith to start a pack.Might be the absolutely same program, ....but it's "X" faith!


*Every pack is different with a different chemistry. They may fit better at another one.


* Parent "A" and parent "B" do not get along at all.Fighting, bickerings, gossip 24/7. One parent leaves pack to avoid drama ( has nothing to do with pack itself).


*Another pack might be closer to home.



This one is another reason and just happened to our pack:


This year, one of our DL's who didn't see eye to eye with the rest of the pack, started up a new pack at another CO that is 12 miles from our CO. He lives 2 miles from our CO. I live 2 miles from his brand new CO. We criss cross to get to our CO's. Approximatly 18 scouts of various ranks live within 1 mile of the new pack's CO. Some of those scouts lived on the other side of that Co - which put them up to 16 miles from our CO.



Those Scouts can drive for 5 minutes versus 25 minute due to distance and traffic issues.


To be honest, had that CO had a pack when my son joined up 2 1/2 years ago...I'd be at that CO instead of the one 12 miles away.


That DL started out as a Tiger DL graduated up each year until being a Bear Dl last year. Some of the boys have been with him since being a Tiger. Nothing personal to us, but they are sticking with the DL they always have had. There is alot of familiarity and comfort with that. That goes for both scout and parent.


Say what you want about the pack being great and friendly - most scouts tend to recognize and associate with the den first, pack second. They spend 2,3, or 4 weeks a month with the den, and only 1 night a month with the pack..at which time they are grouped by dens. At things like B&G, PWD, and campouts, they are grouped, clustered or divided by dens. Den flags, den yells, den activities, den awards....


We may see the pack as the main overall unit, but the boys may see the den as the bigger picture.


As a new CubMaster myself, I understand the "taking it personal" thing, but try not too because most of the time, it was not personal to the parent or scout.

Matter of fact, if things are going well. we as Cub Masters do not exist, DL's get the attention.


As CubMasters, we may feel like we are the head of the household so to speak, but like I said, that's not who alot of scouts or parents see it.




At any rate, we went from 60 scouts last year to 120-130 scouts. By recharter, we lost 5 or 6 . by Feb, we lost 3 or 4 more. Right now, we went from 120 to about 85.


Honestly, 85 is a big amount. And roundup starts next week. 3 schools 3 rallies, 3 signup nights, 1 new scout/parent orientation meeting! :o

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I know in my den, we had only 50% of those who finished in May show up for our first den meeting of the school year. Some of the no shows were active over the summer, so I am hoping that it's just missing the first meeting. BBut I know for a fact that I did lose 2 of my scouts to another activity the same nite as our meetings. Hopefully I can find a pack for them that meets on a different nite, or get them involved in the Lone Scout Program. Also another 2 have had their telephone service disconnected. So that is one concern of mine.


Try not to take it personally, despite how hard it may be. The important thing is that you want the kids active in scouting, even if they go to another unit. My pack lost a bunch of folks last year b/c one of the churches decided to restart their units, and asked one of our DLs to be CM, as he is a member of the congregation. While the a few in the unit did have hard feelings and were upset, the important thing is that the kids are still involved. My only concern is that they meet on the same nite as we do, and it appears that every pack in the district save 2 meet on Mondays.



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Thanks Fish. I feel a little better. But after seeing this 64 year old Pack almost die, I guess I'm just afraid we're always just one breath away from dying again. I guess I need to just accept that you won't retain everybody. I'm just worried about the Den (my son's Den) which is now down to just 3 boys.

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Thanks Eagle. I don't mind losing the boy to another unit, I just have a problem with the unit he went to. That sounds bad I know...but it's one of those Packs that walk around like they OWN Scouting. They are the biggest unit in the county even though they are the smallest township. They have been invivted to county wide events (one of which that MY pack hosted) multiple times and they NEVER participate with the "unwashed" masses. Kind of like your rich cousins who don't want anything else to do with the family. It's gonna kill me to see their pack numbers on his arm. :-((This message has been edited by jamist649)

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In our district the retention rate varys from 15%-100% with the average being in the 70%.


Program Program and Program is the main reason for leaving.


We are an inner city area and have to contend with a fairly transient population. Oh well.


Our neighboring Pack has a retention rate of 15%. Their program is terrible. We have received some of the refugees but I am afraid they have jaded most against the program.


Far as the economy excuse goes, maybe, it has been an excuse used by too many to get out of scouting. We have a motto, that money should not stand in the way of scouting.



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Agree with ya 100%, esp. since I was one of those scouts growing up.


I know 1 grandparent was very concerned b/c they cannot afford a uniform, I told her not to worry as we will work something out. A week and a half after running into her, I got him shorts and a shirt, now got to "sell" it to him. And by sell I mean $1.00 for the shirt and a pants that the CUB pays. That and a "Thank You" note for the OA chapter that got his uniform. I just hope the shorts fits.


We are one of those units that take all comers. Challenging at times for the budget, yes but we are fortunate to have a CO that while relatively hands off, does help out. So we do have soem aid to help out. But some of the grandparents are very proud,a nd won't take help.



EDITED: I agree 100% that Scouting should be about the boys and take everyone intersted.


In reference to programing, yes program is key. If you have a good program ,then they will come. BUT you must also have good communication to notify those of what's going on. My den picked up two folks b/c they heard from their buddies at CSDC what we did last year, and some of the plans for this year.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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