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Eagle1993

Dividing a Pack

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My Pack has grown a lot over the last few years. A few summers ago we were down to 26 after a crossing over.  At time of recharter this January we hit 71.  I now have 11 girls joining with 5 additional girls possible pending a parent meeting next week.  At he same time, 5 more boys are joining.  So, if all some thru we will be at 92 Scouts with 16 of them girls.  

Looking at the trend I think our Pack will settle out at 100 Scouts with 25 girls.   Given those numbers my DE is starting discussions of possible different Pack configurations.  One idea is separate Boy/Girl Packs.  The other, which I find more interesting, is a Webelos/Arrow of light Pack.  So, one pack for K5-3rd and the other as 4th and 5th graders.  

Other than the additional overhead this sounds like a great idea.  Has anyone setup separate packs like this?  Any thoughts of this subdivision?

This is very early and I haven’t discussed with anyone in the Pack... just feeling out the idea.

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I would just say split the pack, but you’d get parents with boy(s) and girl(s) which will cause inconvenience too.

100 Scouts will cause the quality of your pack to go down due to the mass amount of numbers and it’s not possible for every single DL and ADL to be good/perfect.

Edited by ItsBrian

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Me - I'd just stick with having a big pack

Splitting any group like this is tough.  There are always some hurt feelings from families or leaders that go to the group they didn't want.

I'd just take a look at.how you manage your packwide activities.  You just need more planning and organization as you get bigger.  Bigger also brings more adults and more resources too to help you manage that.

 

 

 

 

Edited by ParkMan
Typos on phone
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If your Pack is working well, why fix it?

It's funny,  the BSA wants successful Councils to merge and successful units to split for many of the same reasons.  :blink:

Edited by RememberSchiff

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My primary issue that I have is the lack of involvement with Troops for Webelos and AOL.  The AOL does the Klondike with one Troop but I would like to see more activities with multiple Troops.  That would allow the scouts to get a feel of the various Troop options in our area.  As the CC (same with the CM), it is difficult to have the time to help make that happen when supporting a Pack that is this large and ranges from K5-5th grade (and now girls).  I may just lean on my den leaders and give them contacts.  

Another option is den chiefs... perhaps I can reach out and see if any Troops would be interested in that role as well.  

Otherwise I agree that splitting the pack could just result in two weak packs.   I’ll see if there are other ways to skin this cat.

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My son is in a rather large pack and I assume that the policy where parents and scouts are the ones that determine which pack to attend would hold true during a situation like this   At least that is what we were told when our son was looking for a pack to join.  He had the option of attending 3 different packs in the area.  Now if a pack were to divide because of it's size, wouldn't the same policy hold true?  I would think it difficult to convince scouts and their parents the "rules have changed.  If my son's friends were told they were to stay in the new pack but all of his friends had to stay in the old pack, he would probably quit.  I don't know for sure, he has not been exposed to that situation.  It would seem to me to be quite a public relations nightmare to try and pull it off without great confusion and hard feelings.  Now if a group of scouts would prefer a smaller pack experience, then that's fine that they organize their own pack, but with many of the parents around here, that's not something they would feel inclined to do.  With 2 other packs in the area, they would most likely just go to a different pack rather than start a new one.  If you're the only game in town, that wouldn't be an option and they just may find other youth programs that are easier to work with.

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@Pselb 

We would have 1 Pack for K5-3rd grade and the other Pack for 4th & 5th graders.  I don’t see splitting friends as much of a risk. Most of the scouts in our Pack hang out with their own grade level.  We do have other Packs in town but all are heavily segregated by school... there are no scouts in any of the Packs from other schools.   When we lose scouts, we lose them to sports not other youth organizations.

Even with all of that, I am definitely leaning to keeping 1 Pack and look for other solutions for our primary issue (Webelos and AOL linkage to Troops) and secondary issue (entire Pack outings/meetings/event) exceeding capacity.  

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50 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

@Pselb 

We would have 1 Pack for K5-3rd grade and the other Pack for 4th & 5th graders.  I don’t see splitting friends as much of a risk. Most of the scouts in our Pack hang out with their own grade level.  We do have other Packs in town but all are heavily segregated by school... there are no scouts in any of the Packs from other schools.   When we lose scouts, we lose them to sports not other youth organizations.

Even with all of that, I am definitely leaning to keeping 1 Pack and look for other solutions for our primary issue (Webelos and AOL linkage to Troops) and secondary issue (entire Pack outings/meetings/event) exceeding capacity.  

You could have one pack but maybe operate as two?

Ex: Split pack meetings in half, one at one time, then one a time later.

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I would not split. I remember the pack I was in, when it was a 3 year program and Tiger Cubs was optional, was 3 Wolf dens, 3 Bear dens, and 3 Webelos dens. That is  approximately 75-90 Cubs, not including the 8-10 Tiger Cubs who showed up 1/2 the time.

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Been there and done that. We split our pack at 150 Scouts. It wasn’t do to lack of quality. In fact, because Cubs is run by adults, it isn’t like the troop program. Typically the bigger the pack, the better the program. 

Our pack split because a few self serving adults wanted to be in charge of something in their life. And as it tuned out for them, they were terrible.

 The council supported and even pushed the split because they said it would be better for the boys. But they had a reputation for creating new units even when it wasn’t in the cub family’s best interest. Professionals get bonuses from numbers. 

Over the years I observed that usually one unit of a split continues to perform well and the other eventually merges back or just dies. That is true for both packs and troops. 

Based from my personal experience at the unit level and at the district level, don’t split. Enjoy the the success and plan a head for future growth by recruiting more leaders. Be the pack other packs envy. Be a model of success.

Barry

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

 

 The council supported and even pushed the split because they said it would be better for the boys. But they had a reputation for creating new units even when it wasn’t in the cub family’s best interest. Professionals get bonuses from numbers. 

That is interesting, as in our case the council is the one initiating the idea of splitting the Pack up... no one inside our Pack has even thought of this.   I’ll focus on adding adult leaders in various roles to improve our program instead of breaking the pack up.  Thanks for the insights.

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37 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

That is interesting, as in our case the council is the one initiating the idea of splitting the Pack up... no one inside our Pack has even thought of this.   I’ll focus on adding adult leaders in various roles to improve our program instead of breaking the pack up.  Thanks for the insights.

Council has a different motivation for the split. Your packs success comes from a unique set of adults working together. Very rarely does that success continue with both units after a split. Save yourselves the hassle and risk by just continuing what you’re doing. 

Barry

Edited by Eagledad

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So your DE is suggesting creating a Junior Boy Scout Troop.  Think about that for a second.  The DE is not suggesting a traditional split of a Pack, the DE is suggesting one Pack for Tiger through Bear and one pack for Webelos.  I would call that second Pack a Junior Boy Scout Troop.

In the late 60's and early 70's it was fairly common to have large packs.  My pack had 8 dens and 2 Webelos dens for a while.  Most of the packs in the district ran from 50-100 cubs.  It certainly didn't hurt the program.

I can't think of one positive reason for splitting a Pack this way - not one.  It certainly wouldn't solve your Troop participation problem - that's more of a matter of contacting your Troops and asking them if and how they want to engage with your Webelos dens.

I can think of plenty of reasons for not splitting the Pack this way and the very first is you lose the visual of Webelos meeting with Tiger-Bear at Pack Meetings and being something Cub Scouts can;t wait to become.  

I wouldn't do it - and I think you can simply remind the DE that, as a certain person from National who posts in here sometimes reminds up - its not part of the program. 

 

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As a cub, we had a huge pack. It didn't matter though since everything was done as dens. There were no "pack meetings", we met weekly as dens. There were at most 3 pack events per year (B&G dinner, fall camporee, pinewood derby) all of which I have little memory. All my memories of cubs were with my den. IMO, that is how it should be as it sets the stage for the patrol method in Boy Scouts.

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Bigger units usually have more resources and can provide a better program.   As such, if you don't want to split, don't.  Your unit leaders helped drive the success and probably know what's best for the unit. 

BUT ... Would your pack do better having gym for say K-2 or K-3 to meet and a cafeteria for 4-5 or 3-5 to meet?  I do like the idea of keeping the pack as one pack.  If you are doing well now, don't split.   The issue is K & 1 is just too young for most things that serve 4th and 5th graders well.  And 4th and 5th graders don't want to socialize generally with K and 1.  

Could you keep one big pack that meets maybe once or twice a year at big things?  And then monthly pack meetings are age based sub groups?  

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