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I was at a cub scout gathering earlier today and someone mentioned that a pack in our town was on the edge of extinction. Part of the problem is that the pack is pretty new, only 3-4 years old, to start with and had split off from an existing, much larger pack. Apparently the new pack never really grew roots and as the founding adult leaders and boys either left scouts or graduated on to boy scout troops, the pack size has dwindled. Right now the pack has under 10 boys, of whom 6-7 are Webelos and the rest are wolves/bears. No Tigers at all. The pack is sponsored by a PTO and draws from an elem school of about 600 kids. While there are other packs in town, most recruit from "their" specific schools so there isn't a lot of competition for boys from this particular school. All the other packs in town have 15-50 boys with similar or smaller bases to recruit from so this pack ought to be able to survive too.


Here's my question. Whose job is it to try to help this pack? Is it the existing pack leaders alone? Is it the district membership committee? Is it the pack that they split off from a few years ago, which doesn't really want to become a "mega pack" again in the future? Is it local troops who might want to see a healthy pack from which to recruit? Is it the UC (ha! I doubt they have one)


If you believe it is a district membership function to help struggling units survive, just how far should they go in terms of procuring or providing leadership?


If you believe it isn't anybody's but the pack's problem, does that mean that we sit by and watch this pack, which on the face of it has all the pre-conditions for success (a vibrant area scout program, a decent-sized recruiting base), fail?



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The district can help with recruitment of Scouts (helping with School Night for Scouting), but if there aren't leaders there to provide the program, the boys aren't going to stick around. It is not the district's responsibility to find leaders for the unit - it is up to the COR and the CC. If the unit has a UC, he can help as well. The district should provide training opportunities, so that once the leaders are identified, they can get trained to run the program properly.


The elementary school we are associated with has around 725 students. Our Pack has around 120 boys.

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Whose job is it to help this pack? Everyone you mentioned, BUT first we must identify what help is needed. Ive never been a UC never even played one on stage so I dont know how they are trained, BUT that is the position I would identify as being to place to look for the info needed. The original leaders have left, did they train replacements? IS the current leadership trained? As has been said it is not a District function to find leadership for the units. The DE and DC could help the CO/COR and CC understand how to recruit leaders and what to look for but the DE probably wont know prospective candidates. If the PTO is the CO seems the PTO would be in a better position to know who the volunteers are in this school in the bottom three grades which would be our pool. Recruiting boys for a pack that has poor leadership doesnt help the pack or the boys.



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As our DE lectured us one night at a District Committee mtg, WE are the District and WE are the Council. When a unit fails, a whole lot of people failed.


The CO agrees to operate a unit under the Charter agreement. This includes not only providing a place to meet, but also selecting and approving unit leaders. The Pack Committee agrees to see that leaders are trained and that they operate the program as intended with the resources provided by the Committee (fundraising, recruiting, training, etc). The Commissioner staff agrees to "be a friend" to the unit, monitoring key metrics of unit health and offering suggestions for improvement. The parents agree to support the Pack leadership by helping out where needed and to work with their boys at home on advancement. And finally, the scouts agree to "do their best, follow Akela, help the Pack go and give goodwill."


The District Membership chair is more focused on creating new units and school night type events. The Commissioners are the ones who are supposed to nurse "sick" units back to health. Unfortunately, a lot of Commissioner staffs are non-existent, ineffective, or are "in name only".



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Can't help thinking that the Question is a little bit wrong.

Maybe -What can be done and who will do it might be a little better?

The DE needs to meet with the Executive Officer from the PTO.

The first step has got to be finding out if the PTO wants to remain the CO?

If they are not interested? Building or rebuilding a Pack with no real foundation is just asking for trouble.

Allowing this Pack to fade away might be for the best? Restarting it with a new active CO would be better for everyone.

If they want to remain the CO, the next step has to be to get the District Membership Committee /Chair up to date and ready to move.

Provide them with all the information about the Pack. Anything and everything that is known about the Pack.

Have a member of the Membership Committee meet with the Pack Committee if there is one.

If there isn't see if ex-members can attend a meeting? At this meeting start forming a Nominating Committee and planning a recruitment drive.

Either someone from the Membership Committee or the Pack Committee could say something at the next PTO and explain that this Pack belongs to them and that their pack is facing some very serious problems.

Sadly if nothing works the Pack will die.

The District doesn't have and shouldn't have a long list of people waiting in the wings waiting to be asked to serve as leaders. The selection of leaders has to come from the Pack Committee and the CO.

Saving the Pack is not going to be easy.

They will need lots of help from all the committees that make up the District Committee.

Leaders will need Trained.

They might need help understanding and making a budget.

They might need to know about camps and camping along with what District activities are open to them.

They might need someone from the District Committee to tag along when they do the "Ask" inviting someone to serve. (District Committee members are trained not to come away empty handed!!)

They certainly are going to need a working unit commissioner.

Districts can do a lot, but at the end of the day it has to be a partnership the CO and the BSA,we just don't have the man-power to run each and every unit that falls on hard times.




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