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NationalTrailEagle84

Meeting Weekly Or Bi Weekly

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Just curious as to what is typical for your pack. We are looking to change things up a bit this Fall and are considering meeting bi-weekly instead of weekly.  We are also considering having the option of a Saturday meeting (activity day) in place of one of the weekly meetings.  Just looking for some input and thoughts.

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We try to have 1 pack meeting per month, on a Friday

and encourage the dens to meet the other 3 weeks in the month

But it's up to the DL to work out and coordinate with the parents in the den re. day, time, etc....

 

It's really more complicated when you dig into the weeds though....

looking at any given month, there are other variable to consider

pack camping events to work around

school calendar and events to work around

holidays

room availability conflicts at the church

etc....

so some of the months it really gets difficult to have any meetings.

 

Our reality has been that the DL's meet less frequently than our target of 3 per month

some months my son's DL meets 3 weeks

but really shoots for 2 meetings per month

which sometimes results in 1 meeting in a month due to last minute schedule conflicts, weather cancellations for outdoor meetings, etc...

My other DL's I suspect average closer to the 1 meeting per month number

 

I've had a few discussions with my son's DL, who happens to also be a good friend.... about this very topic.

 

As a parent, i agree with his target of 2 den meetings per month + the 1 pack meeting, results in 1 week a month that isn't tied up with scouts..... assuming there's not a camp or event in that 4th week.

 

But I understand that

more frequent meetings serve to keep folks engaged

and with more meetings, if a boy misses one or two it's a low percentage that he's missed

 

I see it in our less engaged dens that meet more sporadically..... head counts are dropping and folks are not as engaged.

Edited by blw2

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With that being said

I think sometimes it makes sense to reduce meeting frequency.

If for example you just don't have manpower to share the load.....

but it's a catch 22

 

I know of at least one pack that has some sort of combined meeting where the dens all meet the same night, then they come together for a pack gathering.... or maybe it;'s the other way around with pack first....

Edited by blw2

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With that being said

I think sometimes it makes sense to reduce meeting frequency.

If for example you just don't have manpower to share the load.....

but it's a catch 22

 

I know of at least one pack that has some sort of combined meeting where the dens all meet the same night, then they come together for a pack gathering.... or maybe it;'s the other way around with pack first....

 

That's sort of the way we did it. It's much more convenient for parents who have several Cubs.  We had a Cub Scout meeting every Tuesday night--meeting in the same building. Most dens met during it.  We had a Pack meeting at the same place once a month. 

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When my son was in Cub Scouts (and I was a DL and then ACM), every den seemed to decide on its own meeting frequency.  The Webelos dens usually met twice a month to work on the skill awards for the Webelos and Arrow of Light badges.  The younger dens usually met once a month and sometimes even less, but I don't (and didn't) see how you do the program or keep the interest of the kids that way.  (And I understand that since that time (more than 10 years ago), more of an  emphasis is put on working on advancement at den meetings rather than at home, so once a month or less would be even worse now.)  On the other hand, 3 or 4 den meetings a month plus the pack meeting might be a little too much.  Two den meetings plus the pack meeting, and maybe one other weekend den activity (such as visiting something or maybe a day hike for Webelos) seems like a good balance.

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I moved to two 1.5 hour meetings a month when I was a Webelos leader. But I had 16 scouts and needed to divide the meeting up into several activities so that scouts didn't have time to get bored. It worked very well for me.

 

Barry

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I occasionally see or hear of dens meeting once a month and I just don't get it.  When you're meeting that infrequently, how do you get into any kind of rhythm or develop any sense of den community?  And how do you come close to covering even a fractional portion of activities for a given year?  I'm talking about rank requirements and electives?  Sure, maybe you could just squeak by and do the minimal requirements for a rank badge, but are you really doing enough to provide a rich, fulfilling, and valuable experience for your scouts?  I don't see how that's possible.

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to minimally have 2 den meetings a month plus a pack meeting on a 3rd week.  That's less than once a week for all commitments over the course of a month.  Sports teams, theater groups, martial arts, and other similar competing activities all meet more often than that.  Maybe one of the reasons many packs are suffering is because they don't doing enough and kids don't get enough opportunity to do something truly enriching and enjoyable?  Kids drop scouts because they don't get anything out of it...

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With my Webelos boys I met weekly for 1/2 hour, had a monthly activity (hiking, biking, camping, fishing, nature walk, etc... All had a cooking lunch associated with it.), and a monthly pack meeting.  My boys earned their AOL as Webelos I and we repeated the pin requirements at a deeper level the second year.  We ended with a big canoe campout just before crossing over.  All the boys qualified for TF within the first month because they had to repeat the physical fitness part 30 days later.

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I occasionally see or hear of dens meeting once a month and I just don't get it.  When you're meeting that infrequently, how do you get into any kind of rhythm or develop any sense of den community?  And how do you come close to covering even a fractional portion of activities for a given year?  I'm talking about rank requirements and electives?  Sure, maybe you could just squeak by and do the minimal requirements for a rank badge, but are you really doing enough to provide a rich, fulfilling, and valuable experience for your scouts?  I don't see how that's possible.

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to minimally have 2 den meetings a month plus a pack meeting on a 3rd week.  That's less than once a week for all commitments over the course of a month.  Sports teams, theater groups, martial arts, and other similar competing activities all meet more often than that.  Maybe one of the reasons many packs are suffering is because they don't doing enough and kids don't get enough opportunity to do something truly enriching and enjoyable?  Kids drop scouts because they don't get anything out of it...

 

I agree. I know the pack I was a den leader for met every week as dens, and once a month was the pack meeting. I don't see how the biweekly or monthly meetings would work. I would think that there would be more absences, as people forget they have it. Rec soccer practices once a week in the off season (aka spring, with Fall being the "main" season (two practices a week)). I can't imagine doing Cub Scouts with less than one meeting a week (between Den and Pack meetings). 

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yep, no doubt about it... less than 2 den meetings per month is a bad thing from my perspective.

2 per month is less than ideal for sure.

 

but having a meeting every week is a burden on parents.

In my opinion, 1 den mtg per week would be good, but as a parent I would plan on missing some..... especially the week of the pack meeting

 

Someone mentioned sports....

now that is a burden... at least one practice a week, maybe more + game day

But the difference is that is usually for a shorter period, maybe 6 weeks or something.  One reason we don't push our kids into sports is that we both work and it's impossible for us to make it happen.

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.....My boys earned their AOL as Webelos I and we repeated the pin requirements at a deeper level the second year.  ....

interesting.

 

My son could be on track with that, except in the current program it's not possible.  One of the AOL requirements is "be active 6 months after completing 4th grade", or some such thing....

and from what I understand the new program will be even more focused on 5th grade

 

But my son didn't do it in den meetings.

Not saying I like it, but the way our pack rolls I don't think any boy makes rank solely in den meetings....

occasionally an achievement or web pin will be finished, but the norm is to do some or even most of the requirements.... but not all in the meeting.

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Depends on how one structures the meetings.  One meeting was dedicated to the swimming pin, and we went to the pool and knocked it out during a outing activity.  Communicator was done in class playing with flashlights and flags.  Readyman was done on a bike outing.  I had it organized so that the outdoor stuff was done in the summer and the indoor stuff in the winter months.

 

As far as weekly being an inconvenience for the parents as has been suggested.  I met a half hour before the scouts met each week.  If the parents couldn't make it for that, they weren't going to make it for Boy Scouts either.  The "visit" a Boy Scout activity?  Well they just stayed on, we met in the same place.

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oh, one more counter thought to frequent meetings....

and it points to a problem

 

cub scouts is full of too much repetition and boredom anyway.

 

I can imagine that 3-4 den meetings every month without fail + den outings + pack meetings + pack outings may very like tip that repetition to an extreme....

 

So much in cubs is demonstration anyway

 

Take fire building as an example.

My son is finishing up his 1st year webelos year....

over the last two years (Bear and WEB 1) he has been shown and told how to build a fire at least 4 or 5 times formally, by scouts or scoutmasters.

at two WEBELOS Akela Weekends (council camp) where a SM taught a really good lecture class

at at least two other council camps where scouts showed the cubs how

and at the den meeting to work on his outdoorsman pin, where scouts visiting from our troop showed them how

never was it hands on....

except for the many times he has done it with me on our own personal camping trips....

 

So by the time he's being presented the lecture in his first year in the troop, you might understand why he'll be yawning.....  yeah yeah, i know... teepee..... log cabin.... fuel/oxygen/heat..... yeah yeah,  I got it....

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