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What to do with my den???????

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Is 14 too many for a den?

So here's the situation. Currently we have two wolf dens(one den is mine) to become 2 bear dens next year.

Our CM is leaving mid year next year and has been trying for 3 years to get someone to step up to ACM and CM.

But by Sept, the situation will be critical.

In my den, I am the only DL, no co DL or assistan DL. So when something happens and I can't do a meeting, we cancel it. The other den has 2 leaders.


It looks by all peoples talks, everyone is expecting me to become CM. I don't really want to do it, but I don't want to see the pack fold either. If it came down to folding, I would do it.

The problem is that I've told my den multiple times, in person that if I become CM, I can't run the den. We have 7 scouts in my den. I had a face to face with all the dad's in the den last week and talked about this and asked who was going to lead the den. I got 3 flat out "not me" responses and 4 blank stares.


So what do I do? My wife has gone as far as telling some of the mom's in the den that if I become CM, my son will transfer to the other den and that will be the end of it. Our den will fold.


I'm thinking 14 is too many for one den, although they do have 2 leaders and I would also help, just not be listed as a leader.


But I don't know what to do.

One part of me says just wait til it become critical next crossover and the crap hits the fan and see who steps up when the pack is on the line. The other part of me says if I wait that long it will wind up being me anyway and I will have lost 6 months of being able to shadow the current CM to see what he does.


My main purpose to to make sure my son enjoys scouts and I feel that the best route for that is for me to stay a den leader. Although he does think it would be cool if I were CM.


Any suggestions?

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14 is a big den, even with 2 DL's, but really depends on how many actively come to meetings, where they have them and if it works or not.


If you wanna stay a DL, stay a DL. If you want/can to step up as CM, then do it.


I always prefer to "draw a line in the sand and step to it or cross over it", don't straddle it and don't wait till the last minute.






(This message has been edited by dg98adams)

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14 is too many scouts for 1 den. No matter how someone dices it, slices it, or sugarcoats it, 14 scouts is too many for 1 den.


Seems to me the best thing your pack can do is solicit a new CM. That keeps you as den leader and keeps the dens separate. With 14 Wolfs, there should be 22 adults that are candidates to be CM for 3 years (the den leader families are already involved).


If it were me, I'd consider each Wolf parent and prioritize them in order that I think they'd do as CM. Visit individually with the top guy/gal on the list and let him know he's needed, has your support, and it's for 2.5 years. If he says No, move to the next until you run out of people.


I see this as really the current CM and committee chair's job to line up his replacement. Just making blanket announcements at meetings or sending emails that a replacement is needed hardly every works. Individual face-to-face requests for help with encouragement and a pledge of support tend to have better results.


Whatever you do, making your stand obvious now rather than when it gets 'critical' would be best. If people see you as a possible CM, they'll not volunteer to do it.


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I think that with STRONG leadership (2 adults) PLUS involved and active parents, 14 can work, specially at the bear level. They are a little older, a little more mature, and a little more independent.


If you were to say 14 webelos, I would definitely think it's doable.


Also, the thing is that while a CM's job is hard, it CAN be made easier by strong committee members that help. So it doesn't mean that you couldn't combine the dens and have THREE very good leaders. Nothing in the books that say that a CM can't be a den leader.


Besides everyone here knows that with a den of 14, an average den meeting will have 10. 12 at the most. I think it's doable. Specially if the leaders are well trained, well helped (I know, but you know what I mean), and enthusiastic. And you know...everyone here gives you their support too. ;) ;P

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We had 14 (well, at one point, we thought it would be more, we lost 2) Tigers. One DL, and one assistant, who is in the Navy and who is absent more often than not. Except at holidays, we never had less than 10 boys at a meeting; and I would never wish a 14 boy Cubaree with a new leader on anyone!


We will potentially have 14 Wolves, IF we don't add any. We're telling any new adds that some parent needs to step up and lead a 2nd den, and we can split the boys in two. We'll still all work together, and stay on the same agenda, but this way there will potentially 4 leaders to help get things done (2 DL, 2 ADL).


I volunteered a Tiger dad to jump in as ADL, as the current ADL will be shipping out and unavailable for most of the year next year. I do that a lot though; I was the VP of my daughter's band booster organization and after a year of asking for help/volunteers and not getting them, I just started telling people what they were doing. Most of the time they would do what I needed.

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I recommend creating two "patrols." I got grief when I've mentioned that here in the past but it works well for us.


Asking for another DL gets the deer in the headlights response. However, asking for two people to help "coordinate" small group (i.e., "patrol") activities has worked very well for us. The advantage is we still meet at the same place and same time, so facilities are easier and boys get to see all their friends. Then, we can break into more managable groups for activities.


If no one steps up, and you really don't want to do it, then draw that line in the sand and don't cross it. That's the important part. Once you say "I'll only do this if no one else does," you're automatically doing it.

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I've operated this whole year as the DL with no official assistants. I did farm out some den activities to parents and their scout to help with. That went well and I'm fine going forward as a single DL. Mind you, I have been trying since last August to get someone to sign on as an official ADL.


My initial thought was if I had to become CM, then I need someone from my den to lead it.

So there's 6 other families in my den. Two families have 4 kids each where the dad coaches 2 sports already, so neither of them are going to volunteer. I also have a family where both parents are Girl Scout leaders, so they are not going to volunteer. So I'm down to a choice of 3 families. One I don't think is a good choice and the other's have told me they can't do it for various reasons. I've asked them face to face. They did offer to help more, but couldn't commit to being a leader. So I'm slowly running out of prospects.

I haven't approached the other den about a new leader yet. Mainly because they are a den that meets after school and we are a den that meets at night. We just operate totally different.


I'm inclined at this point to just sit it out til the CM leaves and the council comes in and forces the issue. Either every position gets filled or we fold. If musical chairs needs to take place at that time, then so be it. I think the pack needs this re-focus instead of the few doing the majority of the work. My plan is to try again in September at the beginning of the next year with getting the CM to have a parent only meeeting and lay it all out on the table.



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Delaying it till September is just gonna make it harder.


Council won't force the issue.... your Unit Commissioner or the DE will scramble and try to get something done to keep the Pack, but they are likely to be less successful since they might not know your pack and you may end up with an untrained, paper CM and be worse off.


Hope you can get something solid before the summer takes off.


Good Luck

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(*raises hand quietly*)


May I humbly point out that in this day and age, 14 Cubsters does NOT mean a pool of 22 adults. For my 13 Cubs, there are only 17 adults, since most of them are single parents, and some of these kids are siblings in different Ranks.


However, that being said, I call malarky when other single parents (I am one) tell me they don't "have time". Really? You want your boy in Cub Scouts, but you don't "have time" to help? I'm single. I work full time. I have a teenaged daughter and HER activities to deal with. I have a home, a yard, and a dog to look after. Just. Like. You.


But I manage to be both the CM and a DL, thank you very much. We each MAKE the time for what's IMPORTANT to us.


The simple answer is that, in a Den of 7 Bears, if ONE of those adults won't step up, then they have CHOSEN their priority. Put them in a room together, tell them you're going to lead the other Den, and it's closed. When they leave the room, they'll either have chosen a leader or chosen to disband.


But I realize the whole PC-ness these days makes that hard. Good luck! I agree that you need to make your decision NOW.

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Usually being Cubmaster is easier than being a Den Leader.



The recommended way to find new leaders is for pack leaders to sit down and identify the BEST person to fill the position. Then find a congenial time to meet with that person and ask them to do it.


If you get turned down, repeat with the second best person.


If you don't have anyone agree to help, I'd use the Ann Laurel method described in the previous post.


If there are parents in the den who are making siginificant contributions, I'd take those along to the second den.


Everyone else gets cut loose, unless they change their mind.

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You can not be REGISTERED as both a CM, and a DL.


You register in your main position (usually the one the unit needs you registered in for recharter), and then do whatever other jobs you feel you can manage, and the Pack Committee, and the Charter Organization, agree to letting you do.


Has your Committee Chair(CC), or Charter Organization Representative(COR), actually asked you to take on the position of Cubmaster(CM)? Or, are you just assuming that you will become CM because no one else has offered?


It is up to the CC, and the Charter Organization, by way of the COR, to find a new CM, not your council. They have all of the families in the entire Pack, and even adults associated with the Charter Org but without any Scouts in the Pack, to choose from. Your CC, and COR, should be finding, and convincing, the best possible candidate, not simply the warmest default body.


If you do not want to be CM, do not do it. A CM who does not really want the job is less likely to do a good job.


As for finding a new leader for your den, don't discount Girl Scout leaders. Just because they are committed to GSUSA, does not mean they have no time for BSA. Actually it could mean just the opposite. They are already committed to Scouting, and willing to volunteer their time. It is often difficult to tell your son that you only have time to volunteer for one child, and he is not it. Ask them - face to face, and offer to help, and coach, them in any way they need.


Actually, one of the Girl Scout leaders might make a great CM. Less extra meetings than would be required for a den leader.

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I can see that, with the way our pack has been running this year. It's more work being a DL than a CM.

I also think that being a DL is more hands on with kids than being the CM is. While he runs our meetings and he does go to the weblos woods (which I know nothing) about. There's not much direct interaction with the kids. I enjoy the den meetings and coming up with things that interest the kids and they have fun with.



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I discount the girls scout leader parents becuase I asked and they said no because they're too busy with girl scouts.


our committee chair is non existant. We do have one, but does nothing and I haven't seen at the last 4 leader meetings. I'm not even sure what a COR does so it leads me to think we don't have one. I've been approached mutltiple times by the current CM to become the CM. First time was when I was a 2 month old den leader and I told him maybe in a couple of years. The beginning of this year, I lost my 2 ADL's but also told the current CM that I would be his ACM this year because we don't have one and the CM has too much to do, he was doing alot of stuff he shouldn't have been doing because he had people who wouldn't follow through and it was easier to just do himself. He has 3 kids, 1 cub and 2 scouts and is the troop scout master. He declined my offer saying I couldn't be a ACM and a DL. So now we are to the end of the year and he's leaving at crossover next year and I brought up the subject of who is going to replace him. He asked me if I wanted to take over the pack along with a couple other leaders asked me if I wanted to do it. Since he declined my offer, I just bumped up how much I was invloved and took over more things that he had been doing, I followed through and got them accomplished. Things like paperwork for certain pack events, making sure other people were doing stuff when they should be. Little things, but I guess it give the people the idea that I should be the next CM since my name seems to be on alot of the things going on.(This message has been edited by njdrt-rdr)

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Good grief! I had 20 tigers and then 12. Do not make my mistake...BREAK THEM UP. I will be a lot more fun for them and for you. You can always piggy back some activities if it helps the other leader or share schedules but the smaller groups give the boys the attention they need.

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