Re: Problematic den allocation (Long Post)
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Sun, 18 Sep 1994 00:11:18 -0400
On Wed, 14 Sep 1994 jacobi.PARC@XEROX.COM wrote:
> Maybe somebody has experiences with this problem,
> It could be a common problem?
> Deleted . . .
> The problem is that it left the pack with many second
> grader Wolfs, slightly too much for 1 den, not quite
> enough for splitting them into 2 dens. On the other side,
> the 3rd grade Bear den is too small for my comfort (4).
> In addition, the two new 3rd graders (ah, their moms,
> not the kids) have asked whether the boys could join
> the Wolf den instead. (One because of a younger
> sibling, one because the mom feels uncomfortable
> with the Bear den)
It sounds like you shouldn't stop with your successful recruiting efforts
yet. You may end up with a few more in each age group with a little more
effort and parents to volunteer in the bargain.
Keeping two siblings together may not be a good idea. Remember that the
program is based on age appropriate activities for each rank. It would be
likely that the older sibling would get bored and that could lead to Trouble.
The older boys should definitely not be working on Wolf requirements,
unless a disability or special circumstance (e.g. boy held back in School)
is involved. In that case you can work out suitable arrangements through
your Council's professional staff. Otherwise Bear aged Cubs should be
working on Bear requirements.
Why does one mom feel uncomfortable with the Bear den? Maybe she could
assist in the den activities.
> Would it make sense to shuffle the dens and have two
> mixed Bear/Wolf dens?
> The number of required leaders should not be an
> argument, enough have volunteered.
Many Packs have found that mixed dens can work between Bear and Wolf. But
what happens next year? The difference between Bear and Webelos is much
greater and a split is almost inevitable. If you have enough boys to make
the dens work, even if a bit small or large, it may be for the best to
keep them separate.
> Deleted . . . . . A
> very nice and capable father volunteered to step up
> and be den leader and we did set our hope into
> recruiting for this year. He now continues to be den
> leader, but, he is absent for two months (including
> recruiting night).
Sometimes it is inevitable that business and jobs will cause a leader to
have to travel. Two months sounds like a long time though. You may want
to ask whether, he still can be a den leader the rest of the year and find
out what his travel requirements are going to be like the rest of the year
now. Could be that you really need to recruit a new primary Den Leader
and ask him to be an assistant when he can. The Scouts in the Den need
leadership and not a vacumn from the very beginning. Do you have a Den
Leader Coach or another Pack leader that can step-in, if no other Parents
are willing . . . one that can recruit a couple of assistants? Of course
one of those assistants can then take over when comfortable and trained.
> I personally believe that mixing boys from multiple age
> groups is natural and good for the kids. However, using
> different books for Bears and Wolfs in the same den
> might make the job for the den leaders impossible. My
> packs committee certainly thought that way, at least in
> the past. Most our leaders are not sufficiently trained
> yet and use the books quite strictly for making the
Start with Fast Start Videos. They're much better than no training. Then
invite each of these leaders to training and roundtable. See whether any
need transportation. Make sure they have good directions. Call and
remind them a couple days ahead of each training opportunity.
> Deleted . . .
> Does anybody have good advice?
Chris, I don't know how good the above advice is, but hope it provides
some help. I think that once the new parent-leaders begin to understand
the program through training, they will want to see the Scouts stay in age
appropriate activities. If after all is said and done, it becomes
necessary to run a split-den, try to see that it has at least two
Assistant Den Leaders and that the den program is split between the two
with one Assistant working with each group. Openings, presentations, and
closings can be common program offerings. Activities related to
achievements should be separate. A lot of fun activities can be shared
including sports, tours, and games.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City