Cub Scouts - Strong Values - Strong Leaders - Character Counts

Den Meetings in a Very Small Pack

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.

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.

31 Responses to Den Meetings in a Very Small Pack

  1. Cindy June 10, 2011 at 7:53 AM #

    Thank you for the ideas. We do have a Den Chief, 2 actually. My plan is to have the DC’s work with the older boys while the adults work with the younger ones. We’ll all be working on similar things, as you suggested, but the application will be slightly different.

    This week, we all made a gift for father’s day. At our next meeting, I hope to have a speaker (dental hygenist) talking to the boys. They actually called and offered their services, so I think that we’ll take them up on it.

    Thanks, again1

    • Scouter Mom June 10, 2011 at 8:50 AM #

      Sounds like you are off to a great start!

  2. Heidi June 12, 2011 at 10:13 PM #

    This is a full year of how to do combined den meetings, all planned out for you. It would be perfect in your situation.

    • Suzanne November 4, 2012 at 11:10 AM #

      This is exactly what we need for our small Pack! How would we go about purchasing 3 copies? Thanks!

    • Terry September 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM #

      Heidi, thank you a million times over for sharing this link. I had no idea this existed but it’s exactly what we needed. Thank you, Thank you!

  3. Melinda November 14, 2011 at 5:45 PM #

    Thank you so much for this information! We have only 6 boys in our Pack and 5 are wolves, but only one is a bear. We dodn’t want to have him in a solo den, but were running into so many trials with the combined. Your resources are wonderful! Thank you Scouter Mom and thanks to Cindy for asking the question.


  4. Lea January 19, 2012 at 6:22 AM #

    I have been running combined Den Meetings for six years. You just hit all the important things I’ve learned. Wish I had found your website years ago, but it’s really giving me a lift – I’ve been getting bored and you have lots of new, easy ideas. THANKS!

  5. Sandi January 21, 2013 at 8:46 AM #

    Oh my goodness, this is so helpful!!! Thank you so much for putting out this sites for the planning manuals. We have a small unit too, only four boys, 1 wolf, 2 bears, 1 webelo and this is exactly what we needed to get everyone doing what they need to do!

  6. ScottyK March 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM #

    I’m the Cubmaster for a small pack here in Oklahoma City. If I understand the article correctly, you are suggesting planning the meetings so everybody can work on the same electives/belt loops? If so, how to you accomplish the requirements for the various ranks since the requirements between Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear & Webelo vary greatly.

    This is the situation I’m in. I have 6 Tiger Cubs, 2 wolves, 1 bear, and will lose my 5 webelos in the summer due to age.

    • Boyce February 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM #


      If you flip around through the requirements, the key is to find requirements that are related. For example, “first aid” happens through every age rank. You can find things that are age appropriate, such as having Tigers wash an “cut” and put a band aid on it, while Webelos tie a splint. You may need to tweak or substitute some on the requirements, but that’s the landscape for a small pack — it’s better than having separate activities that end up being so difficult to coordinate everybody’s frustrated or bored.

  7. Eric November 4, 2014 at 10:02 AM #

    We are a small pack with about 12 boys, 5 of them are webelos. we find doing combined den meetings beneficial most of the time. As previously stated, just have to find common themes between each den and start from there

  8. Kristen January 24, 2015 at 11:17 PM #

    The link that “Heidi” posted on 6/12/11 was SO HELPFUL. We have a very small den and I have almost no experience being a den leader. Trying to figure out how to combine the Wolf, Bear, and Webelos (on my own) was :-(. Now I feel equipped to do it. Thank you, THANK YOU!!

  9. Michelle November 8, 2015 at 2:07 AM #

    I think these are great, but the advancements don’t seem to match my guide. Example, at the bottom of each lesson it lists which requirements that were met by attendees, but those numbers don’t match my wolf guide.

  10. Coralee November 11, 2015 at 3:39 PM #

    I think the guide is for the old (pre-June 2015) requirements. The cub scout program completely changed, so this guide won’t work now – anyone know of something similar that is already created with the “new” program?

    • Michelle November 11, 2015 at 8:07 PM #

      I have looked and looked, but no luck. Because of the new program, I guess it’s up to us. I purchased the official den guide for our largest den and then build off of that for the other den requirements. Im also going to buy the webelo den guide just because they have so many requirements. Atleast that will supply a general framework with games and closings, etc. I printed off the weekly overview at the beginning of the old guide linked above so that I can get a general idea of topics and pacing.

  11. Michelle January 7, 2016 at 10:14 AM #

    Regina, it says I don’t have authorized access to that page when I click on the links above. Maybe instead of being logged into your blogger account and copying the link you need to be viewing in publicly and copy that link? Thanks

  12. Michelle January 7, 2016 at 10:15 AM #


  13. Brandy January 7, 2016 at 5:15 PM #

    Regina, I am very interested in this information. How can I gain access to it?

  14. Paul January 8, 2016 at 5:18 AM #

    Hi I was having the same problem as Michelle. I am also trying to get ideas for combining a pack of 11. We don’t have a lot of leadership that shows up consistently and I am trying to combine the small dens so the Cubs have more fun and socialize. Thanks

    • Shelley January 16, 2016 at 5:36 PM #

      I am in the same boat and would like the info as well! We have a pack of 10, with den size ranging from 1 to 4 boys. 2 are my boys. I have 2 other registered leaders, one who travels for work and can’t consistently attend, and the other arrives 2 minutes before meeting start up until 10 minutes late (one hour meetings, often go over slightly). Needless to say I do almost all the planning, bring all materials, and do all the communication with parents. The guys do help out when we go camping, they make sure they are available those days.

  15. Giboney March 2, 2016 at 5:08 PM #

    is there anyway you could email me the plans for combining all of the dens! That would be AMAZING!!!!

  16. Cathy March 9, 2016 at 2:09 PM #

    How do I get access to those plans?

  17. Paul March 10, 2016 at 2:53 PM #

    How can I get access to the plans? I can’t get into the blogger web site for some reason. Was it taken down?

  18. Chel March 14, 2016 at 2:51 PM #

    I too would love to have access to these files please?

  19. Deanna May 4, 2016 at 11:21 PM #

    I think the website a lot of you are looking for is a blog called Wiggle Poke Giggle Zoom. Google it. She has written a 1 year schedule that combines wolf, bear and webolos for the new cub scout program. I’m considering using the schedule too since I’m in the same scenario.

  20. Cathy May 9, 2016 at 11:57 AM #

    Thank you! I found it!

  21. Deanna June 1, 2016 at 4:17 PM #

    I’m new to cub scouts and I have a combined den of wolf, bear and webelos using the new program implimented in 2015. It’s hard to find anything online about combining dens. One blogger at Wiggle Poke Giggle Zoom has a super schedule on her blog or use this link
    I have combined 3 adventures so far on my blog at under cub scouts or use this link
    I hope to add more as we progress thru the months. Maybe one day an official book will be written to help out small packs. Till then I guess we just help each other! Good luck!

  22. Regina November 4, 2016 at 6:33 PM #

    Super Schedule combining Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and LDS religious knot in one year, pretty challenging!

    Simple way to combine dens, this is what my pack has done the last few years and a lot of the parents forget we are even combined, it seems just like a regular den.

  23. Regina November 4, 2016 at 6:34 PM #

    there is a contact form on the blog (right hand side) where you can request a word doc or pdf

  24. Wendy April 28, 2017 at 4:59 PM #

    sam Houston Council has a program called InStep and it’s amazing for blended dens. It encompasses the newly revised requirements so it can be used without adapting

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: