Working With Large Cub Scout Packs

Barbara asked this question recently on the Facebook page:

Just found your page and I’m anxious to poke through it. Anything on how to handle huge Packs? We currently have 88 registered Cubs and we’ll probably hit 100+ by the fall. I’ve just signed on as the committee chair and I want to help continue our legacy of crossing over enthusiastic Cubs into Scouts BSA. How do we keep boys from feeling lost in the shuffle?

So, a few weeks ago I answered a question about very small Cub Scout packs. This is the other side of the coin.  I think the answer here is in the dens. Ideally, the size of each den should be six to eight boys. So if you have 30 Tiger Cubs, you really need to divide them up into four or five dens. Den meetings need to be run independently of each other and at pack events, boys and their parents should stay grouped in their dens.

So what is the reason this is not always done? Not enough den leaders! You have all of these kids and only one or two parents have volunteered to be leaders. It is easy for the other parents to say, “Why can’t we just put them all together?” The reason is that it isn’t fair to the Cub Scouts or the Den Leader. The Den Leader will get frustrated and burned out and the Cub Scouts won’t be getting the attention they need and deserve.

So, how do you come up with those other leaders you need? I would go ahead and divide the boys into dens. Tell the parents in each den to get together and figure out how they will provide leadership for the den. It might seem a little harsh, but usually somebody will step up. Then, make sure the reluctant leader gets lots of training and support. You will probably have to invest a lot more time and energy into this leader than the one who volunteered right away. But in the end, you will have a better program and hopefully you will end up with another adult who is excited about Scouting.

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