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I am working with a new Pack that has 4 Tigers, 2 Bears and 1 WEBLOS. The Cubmaster wants the pack to succeed and so does the Charter Organization. The boys come from an economically disadvantaged area (no uniforms) but seem to enjoy what has been done so far. They do not have dens set up they just meet as one group every week on Sunday afternoon (working on their Bob Cat rank right now). Beside an interested Charter Organization, committed Cub master and his wife they dont have any other actual leaders working with the scouts. The Cub Master has taken all the on-line training he can so that isnt a problem. Members of the church are listed on the committee and as Committee Chair and the Cub Masters wife is listed as the den leader so they have enough for a valid charter. I am looking for ideas which I can use to get this pack off on the right foot. Though I am not new to Commissioners work and the Cub Scouting program I really dont know where to start to help. I have tried to have a parent/committee meeting but have had little success in that area. We have tried to recruit more scouts through the school with some interest but no follow through. Any ideas you have would be valuable at this time, I am willing to try anything to get them off on the right foot.

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Wow, sounds tough. One of the first things I would do is do my best to get the unit funded...i.e. Fundraise. Most communities are very supportive of Scouts, if they know they are there. Once you have a little cash flow, you can buy handbooks, uniforms, supplies, etc.


One major problem I see for this unit is lack of parental support. You mentioned that you had attemped a parent meeting with little success. This is not good, and there isn't a whole lot you can do to change it. One of the main things I have found with my Pack is communication. The parents you describe are probably not going to have the dayplanner marked up with appointments and flyers on the fridge. You're gonna have to call them and remind them of meetings. I like your idea of "every Sunday" that's easy enough to remember. But as small as your group is, you could probably make a weekly phone call just to ask "how's it going?" or "This week we did this, make sure he reads that...". This will do alot to keep the parents involved and informed.


Our Pack had dwindled to small number before new leadership took over and quadrupled the number we have. We did this by making ourselves known. Everything we did, we sent to the local newspaper (small town). A week or two prior to Roundup at school, I sent a letter to the editor to the local newspaper again letting the community know who we were and what we were trying to do. I also gave "recruiter" strips to any Scouts who recruited a new boy.



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Here's your strength: 7 kids.


7 kids who want to have fun and program.


Build on that strength: focus on having good program for those 7 kids.


To make it easy, take advantage of easy options (like District and Council activities at camps), and get the kids doing fun stuff.


If that happens, the rest can come into place.


If they have fun, it will be easier to raise funds for more ambitious program, recruit leaders, etc. You'll also attract more of their friends.


Now, a problem you'll have in planning your meetings (which may be part of the problem) is that most of the Cub Scouting resources do not address what you've got here. You've got a Den sized Pack, so you've got a Pack with one den: a mixed Den. And you really don't have any difference between a Pack Meeting and a Den Meeting (it's just that some meetings might be more fun and family and recognition).


Now, for those Den Meetings, you'll have a conundrum: what to do, what to work on. Now, you're starting mid-year, so focus on fun, but if you want to use some of the Den Meeting plans, there are ways to work the program with mixed Dens (basically you'd follow meeting plans, but let the Tigers work at their own pace, and the Webelos Scout to take a bit more leadership role plus work at his advanced pace). A work in progress that describes how to do that, by taking one plan as the "base" and adding in what's missing from the other meeting plans, is found in the document called "New Cub Guide Meeting Plan Paths for Mixed Dens" located at http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/1596. A direct link might be here: http://www.southfultonscouting.com/system/files/MixedDenMeetingPlanoptionsfromtheGuide.DOC. There is a Tiger/Wolf/Bear plan, so you can just ignore the "Wolf" add-ins (for now). It doesn't address mixing in Webelos yet, but that's on my "to do" list.


Now, there is another mixed den program out there, but it is sort of self-defeating in one respect: when you succeed, add members and get up to "full den" size at each level, there is no easy transformation from that program to the program used by the rest of the Scouting program (and the one talked about at Roundtables, in Baloo's Bugle, etc.).


Bottom line: don't worry about how the Pack is different from the full sized packs with big org charts. Make the program work for the 7 kids.


My $0.02. Hope that helps.


Bert Bender

Pack and District Trainer

South Fulton District, Atlanta Area Council

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There are lots of parallel requirements in the advancement program. Look for them, then take advantage of them. Build activities so that they cover the range from Tiger to Webelo.


Get ahold of your DE. In our Council, Scoutreach $$ can help provide at least the first Scout shirt. Do not be afraid of asking at District RT for experienced uniforms from established Packs with good uniform closets.


Is your Chartered Partner a church? Get the kids involved for Scout Sunday, and make sure the Pastor tells their story from the pulpit now and again.


Keep looking for more leaders; in time you will need them.


Keep it simple, make it fun! In time you will grow and have true Dens!

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