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Meeting frequency--pack and troop

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When I became CA, the pack was meeting from mid-September to the end of February or the first week of March. There was a summer picnic and sometimes a carwash. That has changed to Cubs running weekly from early September to the first week of June, with camping each month plus another pack activity scheduled each month. This has pros and cons. The pros are that those who like the weekly meetings (three den meetings, 1 pack meeting, so we don't have two meetings in one week) tend to thrive on the consistency. The cons are that those who struggle to make it to meetings (homework, other family obligations, sports, etc) tend to drop away because it becomes too much. Half the den leaders like weekly; half want fewer meetings.


Troop meetings. The troop my son was formerly in met all year. However, it was more of a social time that a program time, which appealed to some but not to others (thus former :)). Year-round weekly meetings was a plus to all those who came. The pros are that those who missed meetings during a particular sports season or during band competitions had a good portion of the year to attend still. Also, it allowed for a consistent program to take place so that momentum could ideally keep going rather than drop off. The troop my son is in now has found summer to be difficult for meetings; therefore, it meets during the school year with summer camp and maybe one or two other events during the summer. This too has pros and cons. The pros are that the program is strong, and sticking to the school year is the time that most can attend. Advancement takes place regularly, even over the summer when meetings drop off. The cons are that it's easier to lose interest.


This is my experience. How about others?

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Our Boy Scout troop meets everyweek on Monday evening. We do usually skip MON meetings that are federal holdidays though.


From just after summer camp until school starts, we allow the wear of the activity uniform rather than the full official field uniform. And admitedly some of those meetings are more fun and games than full meetings - this is by design and at the request of the Scouts. We may play softball, have a little cookout, watch a movie, or play board games. Some program functions do take place though. However after school begins in the fall - we go back to our regular program meetings.


Our Venturing Crew meets weekly all year on Thursday evenings. But we do usually skip meetings that are on holidays or within a day or two of a holiday.


I don't serve in a pack so I can't address that.




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First, what is a CA?


When I was involved with Cub Scouts, our den (I was the den leader) met much like Owl62 - every Thursday except for weeks when a Pack meeting was held. (Only after a few weeks as a Scouter did I learn that Thursdays should be reserved for district activities!) We usually met from the week before school started to the week after school ended and then once a month during the summer.


Now as a BS leader (and I mean Boy Scouts!) we meet every Monday and have an outing every month (usually the third week) except for December. The Monday after an outing only the PLC meet. We meet year round escept for about a 2 - 3 week break from about mid-December to the first Monday after New Years day.

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Our troop meets every Monday unless there is a holiday like Memorial Day or Labor that falls on a Monday. In the summer we have regular meetings, scouts wear our Class B shirt and scout shorts (with scout's socks) or scout long pants. During the month of December we have 2 Mondays off and when we come back our meeting is usually held at the Lazertag. That is our treat for the scouts.

Our PLC meeting is always the 3rd Wednesday of the month, the scouts decide on what program they will be accomplishing the following month.


However our Venture crew meets once a month (2nd Wednesday) and an officer's meeting 1st Wednesday to discuss advancements and/or outings.


I believe meeting on a weekly basis for the troop benefits everybody. Scouts can take full advantage of the program, it allows the scouts to catch up on advancements particularly when we have merit badge classes. The scouts are fully aware of what they have to work on. They are also aware that if they are ready to advance that the Board of Review is always on the 3rd Monday of the month, unless it falls on a holiday. The scouts make an appointment with the Scoutmaster for a conference and the following week they are prepared for the BOR. If they miss this then they need to wait for the following month.

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I am also wondering what a CA is?


My den meets weekly on Tuesdays. Our Pack meetings are the third Friday of the month. We do have den meetings on the week when the pack meetings occur. Without question, the weekly den meeting is the way to go. The boys bond better, and if they have somewhere else to be on a particular Tuesday, they wont miss that much. It gives us more time to play and do fun things, as opposed to working on achievements all the time. It also allows you to take more time in doing your achievements. I also think that attendance is better with the weekly meetings. We do our weekly meetings from September to June. Although our Pack has a pretty lame summer schedule the den has a pretty active summer schedule with time at day camp & resident camp, and pool party's.


The other benefit is that for the scatter brained parents, they know that if its Tuesday ..its Cub Scouts. As Tigers and Wolves we did meetings every other week. Even with the calendar I published, 3 or 4 parents would call me every Tuesday with the question, Is there a meeting today?.


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Our pack -


Pack meets once a month, September - May. May is usually a picnic. An activity is planned each month of the summer (Day camp, pool party, rocket derby, picnic, etc.)


Preferably, dens meet every week that the pack meeting doesn't. Some only meet twice a month (1st & 3rd week, pack meeting on 4th). They meet September - May.



Our Troop -


We meet every Monday year-round. One week a month, we have our PLC & Patrol meetings instead of a regular troop meeting. Often, this is the day after a campout.


We take off a week during Christmas break, Spring Break, Fall Break and the major holidays. We sometimes call off the troop meeting after a campout. Over the year, I would estimate there are about 8 weeks that we don't have a Monday night meeting.

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Our pack meets the 4th Monday of every month although June, July and August are summertime activities, not normal pack meetings. Dens meet first, third and fifth weeks (if there is a fifth week.) The second Monday is the leaders' meeting. We usually camp once in the fall and once in the spring and our year-end picnic usually turns into a campout too.


The troop meets every Tuesday, 52 weeks a year. If Christmas or Chirstmas eve is on a Tuesday, we' skip that. During the summer meetings are usually outings, even something simple, like a volleyball tournament at a local park or a trip to the skating rink.


One other thing -- we still try to have Cub Scout meetings on holiday Mondays. If you skip the Mondays that have holidays, you miss a ton of meetings. Because Tuesday is a school day everyone is still in town. There's no reason not to meet.

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Our Troop meets 50 Tuesdays a year unless a holiday falls on a Tuesday. We skip the week after summer camp and the week between Christmas and New Years. However, we have an Advancement Marathon on New Year's Eve day. The older guys come and work with the young guys on rank advancements that boys may have missed over the course of the year All have pizza ans pop for lunch, then most of the younger guys go home and the older guys work on MBs. I usually have been able to get 8 - 10 counselors there who could cover 20 - 30 MBs if boys are interested.


After that's done, they usually have arranged a sleepover at someone's house for New Year's Eve night. This past year it was mine. We had a blast with them!


I'd be afrraid for our Troop if we didn't keep the momemtum going by meeting every week. If your Troop can maintain a consistent program without meeting every week, I admire you. I don't think we could.


As far as Cub Scouts go, when I was a Den Leader, we met every week except the week of the Pack meeting between the start and end of school. This included the fifth week of the month when they occurred, but those were always an outing, like to Pizza Hut or a Putt Putt course. During the summer, we met every other week, with no dues owed, and only a requirement that a single uniform piece be worn, no matter what it was. Most guys started hooking their slide on thier pant belt loops. One week we had crazy uniform day, where everyone made up their idea of the craziest uniform that they could think of.


Our Den is still the only Den I've every heard of to meet regularly through the summer. We started as a Bear Den, so we only had two summers to do this. But when I've discussed this with others, they all ask how I kept kids from quitting. When the Den started, we had 7 boys. When we were done, we had 11, and only one of the original boys had quit. I'm convince it was BECAUSE we met during the summer that this Den stayed together so well. Resting inertia didn't have to be overcome every September. Were I ever to go back to be a Den Leader (God forbid - PLEASE!) I'd do it exactly the same.


Good question! Good discussion!



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Our pack would meet once a month from Sept. to June, with at least 3 summer activities other than camp.


Den meetings were left to the individual dens. Some met every week, some met only twice a month. One den met during the summer as well, but most did not.


The troop meets every week year round on Sunday nights. We don't have meetings when we have activities, such as camp-outs, where we come back on a Sunday. We also have an activity/community event each month. We do not have meetings too close to holidays, and we take a week off after summer camp. Summer time attendance is way down, but we have the meetings for those who can attend.


Basically, the unit can set up whatever meeting schedule works best for them as the committee sees fit, and still following the basic BSA guidelines. If you would like a different meeting schedule without changing units, bring it up at the next committee meeting along with any reasons/concerns you have for the change.


Hope this helps!



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Our troop had been one of those that didn't meet officially in the summer. We had summer camp in late June, Governor's Honor Guard at Mackinac Island in July, nothing in August, then tried to gear back up in September.


This year, though, we decided to change that. While we didn't have weekly troop meetings, we had at least two activities planned in June, July, and August, in addition to our regular camping. And you know what? It's been our best year ever--the boys are active and enthusiastic, they've bonded closer together, and are really excited about Scouting. It was the best move we've ever made.


As for our pack, it's strictly a September-June affair. And the dens meet on whatever schedule they want. And almost no one does any of the extra summer activities offered by the council--more's the pity, because our den (the only one to attend day camp) has such a great time.



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I meant to add this to my previous post.


One of the reasons I believe we struggle keeping new Scouts who cross over from Cub Scouts units that run Sept. thru May is that we often encounter a conversation like this at the crossing:


SM: We're glad to have you with our Troop! We have a number of exciting things planned.


Families: Like what?


SM: Well, we have our new Scout camp out at the beginning of June, where last year's class of new Scouts will teach your son's how to pack, set up camp, build a fire, cook a meal, and teach them woods tools skills so they can earn their totin' chit.


Boys: Wow, COOL!


SM: Then, in June, we do a campout at the big resivior here, where you guys will get the chance to learn how to canoe, and you'll probably get a chance to try kayaking a little, too!


Boys: Wow, Really Cool!


SM: Then, at the end of July, we'll go to summer camp, where you'll use a lot of the skills you've learned so far. You'll get the chance to work on some requirments both at camp and back at our campsite, and you may even earn a merit badge or two!


Boys: Man, I can't wait!


SM: Then, in August, we'll do a Patrol Campout, where you guys will get to camp on your own, with your Troop guide and a couple of adults, but with none of the other guys around. that way you guys can practice what you've learned so far, without those guys interfering. By the time you get done with that, you'll feel like you've really become an outdoorsman.


Boys: Terrific!


SM: So make sure you start coming to our weekly meetings right away. You'll learn many of the skills to make you safe and allow you to enjoy yourself at the outings. We meet every Tuesday at the church.


Families: You mean during the summer? Since when did Scouts meet in the summer? We never did in Cub Scouts! Man, we've got summer plans, vacation, baseball, and family picnics. We'll see you in September.


And so it goes. Up unitl a few years ago, we could get 10 - 15 guys a year cross. It's down quite a bit now, but even when it was high, it was rare to get more than 5 or 6 guys actually start with the Troop.


I'm only one lowly voice. But I really believe that it's vital to keep meeting in the summer, even if it's less often. Condition boys (and even more their families) to Scout during the summer, and I'll bet that retention rates at least double.



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