Cindy asked this question on my Facebook page:
Hi, all! I am in need of some advice. We are in the process of starting up a new Pack. At this point, it will likely only have the minimum number of required scouts (5) and they will be of various ranks…1 Tiger, 2 Wolves, 1 Webe 1 & 1 Webe 2. Den meetings for 1 scout seem kind of lame, but combining Webes and Tigers isn’t much better. Any ideas on how to run den meetings for these guys while we wait on building in the fall?
I would consider running concurrent den meetings if possible. One of the main reasons boys join Cub Scouts is the social aspect. They want to do fun things with other boys. If you can have them meet at the same time, you can do some of the activities together and some separate.
Pick a “theme” for the meetings. For example, Tigers, Wolves, and Bears could all work electives related to art at a meeting and Webelos could work on Artist. That way they could do an opening ceremony together and maybe one or two of the other requirements and do the parts that are different in their “dens”. Then they could all get back together at the end for a game.
If you expect to add additional Scouts in the fall, you want to stay away from anything which is “required” for the rank. For Tigers, Wolves, and Bears, anything in the electives section will work. For Webelos, Citizen and Fitness are required for the Webelos badge and Outdoorsman and Readyman are required for the Arrow of Light. They will also need to do some (but not all) other activity badges. So it might be good to decide which activity badges you will do to meet the rank requirements now and then work on the “extra” activity badges over the summer.
Another option is the Cub Scout Academics and Sports program. This supplemental program can be used for any of the age levels and has a lot of fun activities. Some of them can be used as requirements for the Webelos activity badges, but these are often options. If your Webelos breeze through the requirements for one of the belt loops, you can challenge them by having them work on the pin.
Even if you run your den meetings together, I’d recommend you have a clear distinction between den meetings and pack meetings. Your den meetings should be focused on age appropriate activities related to their rank advancement while pack meetings should be your more typical family events.
I’d recommend you try to get a Den Chief or two from a Boy Scout troop. If your chartered organization has a troop, ask them first. Otherwise, just find a troop in the area and ask them if they have any Scouts would would like to be a Den Chief. In this situation, a younger scout (11 or 12 years old) will work fine. They will help inject some fun into the program.