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Pack is dying?

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I've come to the realization that the Pack is dying out. We're down to 7 boys on paper. I'm he Cubmaster...and every committee position.


What do I do?


My Chartered Org is a church with it's own issues (three churches merged. They've decided to sell the church we met in. Bib bombshell last Sunday).


What do I tell my Chartered Org Rep? What do I ask for?

How do I ask my Council for help and what help do I ask for?


I'm discouraged.

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Do you still have a meeting place?

Does your CO still want a Pack?

What are your recruiting options?


You can ask your District Executive for help but don't be disappointed if you don't get any (just my experience).


You say you have 7 boys on paper. How many do you have that are active? Do they want the Pack continue? If so what are the families willing to do to help?

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Kimble: Your in a tough spot. Thanks for reaching out.


Since you have three churches just merge, reach out to those pastor's who came in. Do they have Scout Units?

I would if possible, stand up in church and ask who is an Eagle Scout and in Girl Scouts as a Boy/Girl growing up. Then tell them about the Pack. Invite them to a Parent meeting about joining. You just had two other churches merge into one. So, you have more people at church.


This is a great time to advertise.


What you do need is to reach out to the Charter Org Rep, District Exec and the Unit Commissioner (if you have one). They can bring the help you need.

You cannot do this alone, you need to reach out to the Church/Pastor to get the word out.


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I feel your pain, it happened to the pack when I became the new CM as well. Eagle732 asks good questions.

Most of the answers, I fear, you will have to find for yourself. The most important one has to do with the CO. If they have lost interest, you might as well disband.

I was in almost exactly the same situation but the CO became more supportive and the pack turned around nicely in a couple of years. DON'T expect ANY help from the DE or any other scouting resource outside the pack. If you get it, fine, but you should be prepared to go it alone.

But if the CO has lost interest, it's time to just allow that rechartering deadline to pass and move on to another unit if there is one. If the DE calls, pleading to keep it alive on paper, just politely decline. Sometimes it's the best way.(This message has been edited by packsaddle)

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Agree with the above advice. But be prepared for the worst. We did all of the above, but in the end, our Troop and Pack (which I and a few others founded and kept afloat for over 25 years), folded due to lack of interest. Surprisingly to me, the DE didn't care and the Commissioner service was non-existent.

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Interesting that 3 posters here think that the DE will not help to keep the Pack alive while only one thinks that they are a resource that will help.


Why is it that DE's seem to have little interest in helping a failing unit turn around? Does it take too much effort, too many resources, too much time?


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Many packs need to be reorganized for the new school and Cub Scout year.


I'd start by setting out an exciting program for the September-December period. Plan a recruiting night, den and pack meetings and a monthly outing. Schedule monthly parent meetings as part of that plan. Perhaps you district or a neighboring district has some activities for Cub Scout packs you can use as some of your outings.



Personally, I favor having a first meeting of the school year serve as the pack recruiting night as well. You should have an event which will attract the interest of new and current Cub Scouts and parents both.


Read through the currently active "Scout Signup Night" thread for some ideas:





The next week have your first den meeting, with fun activities like making name tags and preparing to go on a hike and hot dog roast the next weekend. One of my projects will be for boys to make hot dog roasting sticks from handles cut from tree branches and steel wire glued in a hole drilled in the handle. Boys get to use the hot dog roasting stick on the hike.


If you have a quality recruiting night, followed by a quality den meeting and a quality outing, your next meeting should be a parent meeting that will function as a reception to which you can invite new and existing parents to plan out your next months program and to talk turkey about the help you need.


Four years ago I took to rebuilding a pack down to a single Scout. It took me a year to get up to seven boys!

(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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To answer your question in your last post, because it is easier to let a dying pack fail and then start one or two new units to replace it, that way he gets credit for new unit growth on his annual evaluation. That is SOP with most scouting professionals.

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There are a few things to consider -


1) You say you have 7 Cubs "on paper". How many do you really have? Do you have enough to recharter (5)?


2) Since they are selling the church you are currently meeting in, I am assuming that the three merged church congregations will be going elsewhere. Is the new church anywhere nearby? Would it be possible to move the Pack to the new location?


3) Is the church willing to let the Pack continue to meet at the church until it has been sold? Or are you being kicked out immediately?


If you do not have enough boys, or adult support, to make working to save the Pack a realistic option, than I would not beat myself up over it. Do some research on the various other options in Packs in your area. Pick one for your family. Hold a parent meeting and let the families know what is going on. Give them all a list of area Pack contact numbers, and let them know where you will be going. Then it will be up to the families where they go.


If you have the numbers to continue as a Pack, and the parents want to help, then I would work at reviving the Pack.


If it is possible to move to the new, merged church, facilities, than that is what I would work on.


If the new church would be to far away to make it a feasible location then you will need to find a new Charter Organization. Your DE (District Executive) can help with this. Approach other churches in your area. What churches, or other organizations, do your Pack members belong to? Ask them to approach their organization/church on behalf of the Pack.


Once you have a new home, you might find you have a new potential base to recruit from. Step up your recruiting to get your Pack numbers up. Make sure your program is great. Given time your Pack will get strong again.


For right now, if you can continue to meet in the old church that is great. However, with under seven Cubs it should not be to hard to find somewhere to use temporarily until you find a new permanent home. Check out meeting rooms at the local library, community center, and police/fire station. Depending on where you are, you might even be able to move outdoors.


We had a local Boy Scout Troop go thru this same process. The church congregation was down to an aging handful so they were merged into a church in another town, and the building sold. The Troop had been chartered with that church for 50+ years.


The Troop ended up a church that was two blocks from their original home. Nice folks, nice facilities, and the opportunity to show Boy Scouting to a whole new, younger, congregation. Last I heard, the church was considering chartering a Pack as well. As a big plus, they were able to keep their unit number so their Troop history was not lost in the move!





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Kimble, do what you can. Selling the church is out of your hands. 7 scouts is a great start. If you go somewhere else will all the others come? In our pack of 12 the rest would not come with us. Personally I would not count on council's help but that is my own opinion & experience. Ask the Chartered rep what do these changes mean to the pack. Find a new Charter organization if needed. Mine just provides us with a meeting place, they are comfortable with that and so am I. Remember Kimble, you are doing this for the boys not for council nor the church.

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Hello BadenP,





I think that's too easy of an answer.


It's usually a lot easier to keep an existing program going than to start a new one. A LOT easier. And it's unlikely that you are going to be able to let a unit fail and then reconstitute it as a new unit. It's probably going to just disappear.


I suspect that the issue boils down to the resources available to the district to help and deciding where to spend those limited resources.


It may be better to spend time helping better situated packs do fall recruiting than pouring in resources to try to keep a marginal program going at the expense of other uses of those resources.


And at least at my council, the expectation of starting more units has been reduced. Keeping existing units going and growing is probably more important these days.



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According to DE training I received in Irving and two of my SE's "a professionals time is too limited to waste efforts to try to save a severely struggling unit whether it is from a lack of youth or battling leadership. It is far easier and preferable to start up a new unit with new leadership and a unified vision." You can call it simplistic but it is very true from my own experiences as a DE for five years and is SOP for councils so they do not become weighed down with leadership infighting, arguments over money and equipment, or a problem CO. Besides you can usually and easily start up two new units for every unit that fails. Depending on the density of units in a district the strong ones always seem to survive and thrive, while the weak ones wind up getting culled from the herd due to poor leadership and/or poor program.

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