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Kick-starting a defunct Pack, need Webelos leader

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When my first-grader was looking at scouting, Pack 1280 didn't have anything functioning at the local elementary school. So we and a few other intrepid Tigers signed-up, and attended another Pack's meetings, although we wore 1280 uniforms. Didn't really meet as a den, I didn't know very much on what to do, and just participated in the monthly meetings and occasional outings.


Last year, my Wolf's little brother became a Tiger, and a Tiger Den formed. I started leading a Wolf Den (as Pack 1280), still met with the other Pack, and wonder of wonders, the Tiger den found a leader, and they met as well with the other pack. At this point there are some 14-16 boys involved.


This year, we find a new chartering organization, we had three successful JSNs (already 9 have signed up and paid yearly dues), and tomorrow night is the first Pack meeting.


Last Sunday I met with a mom of a 4th-grader, who is looking to get involved back into Scouting (he participated as a Tiger and a Wolf in another locale, last year wasn't involved as they were new to the neighborhood, and the 'defunct Pack 1280' didn't have anything at his school or we just didn't reach him. Anyway, he is interested, and will come out (likely) tomorrow night. Two other moms are interested with their 4th-grader, speaking with them they are clearly intimidated at starting to lead a Den, no prior experience. I just found out a fourth mom wants to sign-up tomorrow night (has the paperwork filled out).


We have (luckily) found an experienced Tiger Den leader, so they are in good shape, the existing Wolf Den is full so we are on the hunt for a second Wolf Den leader (that will be tomorrow night's exercise), and I'm leading a Bear Den along with Cubmaster duties (which I'm fine with, and have an assistant to help).


My question: am I nuts to just 'kick-off' the Webelos Den, organizing meetings, and getting things 'off the ground' with the four (at present, one signed up, three very interested) and see how that goes? Am I crazy to be concerned about a Webelos den (I could jettison them all to the other pack we met with last year, they are struggling a bit, and have my own concerns about them).


I'm not interested in burning out, I'm actively looking for leaders and have found a few to step-up (we even got the pilot Lions program off the ground, from one 'Sneak Peek' event identifying a leader there), with the 4th-graders I know I could at least start it by organizing a few first meetings. Any input / wisdom welcomed.




Dale aka 'scooterdog'

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Don't take any $ from the Webelo families.  Tell them to recruit a couple more boys to form a nice group.  4th grade boys are really good at recruiting. Leadership (even shared rotating leadership) should come from within that set of 12 parents, or someone they recruit from outside the organization.  Take the money and applications at that point.   I'd love to come lead Webelos again...


Everyone in the entire pack has to lead -- weither on the committee, as a special event organizer, or as a den leader / assistant den leader.  

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Personally, I'd talk to the local Boy Scout Troops.  Find a Troop with an Assitant Scoutmaster who needs something to do.  Webelos is all about preparing the boys for Boy Scouting, so who better to lead them than a Boy Scout leader?  Now, the Boy Scout leader may need to be reminded that this is Cub Scouts and the standards are a bit looser and the leader needs to put in a bit more effort, but by the time our boys are Webelos the difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts shouldn't be all that much.


If the parents of the boys don't have Boy Scout experience, I personally wouldn't push for one of them to be the den leader unless they also have an opportunity to go through IOLS/WOLS in the very near future.  A good way to recruit may be to get one or more den camping trips scheduled yet this fall.  Remember that two deep leadership is required, but beyond that it may be best if the adults and parents camp in separate tents away from the boys - let the boys do as much for themselves as possible so that they can experience what Boy Scouting (and Webelos) is all about.  Make sure you plan a healthy amount of fire building and whittling into the weekend.  Any chance boys that age get to experience hands-on with fire and knives is priceless as far as recruiting more boys.  Just be sure the leaders keep a close eye on the boys to make sure that any injuries are minor.  ;)

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