When A Den Is Too Small, Then What?
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sun, 8 Oct 1995 09:01:56 -0400
Mike Grier and many other Cub Scout leaders face this question each
year. Here are some ideas:
* Have the existing Cubs go to school in uniform. At this age many
boys really want to get a uniform and will be drawn into the game.
* Try to get permission to do a presentation to the grade(s) of youth
in the age group where you need members - sort of a mini-rally. It
helps sometimes to do this during lunch or recess times.
* Put up a display in the school, the community library, neighborhood
churches and the area grocery stores showing the uniform, patches,
pictures, and critical who to contact information.
* Announce a backyard cook-out and invite target age boys and parents.
* Have a fun activity after school on a Friday night and invite other
boys to join. Get really creative. And make sure it really is fun,
visibly fun so that other boys want to join in. Have a balloon fair
with a dozen balloon popping and other type games. Lots of bang &
laughing. Heck, maybe you could get a teacher or the like to sit in
a dunk tank and have the Cubs sell tickets - raise money and attract
interest. Well maybe that isn't a good idea, but you get the picture.
* Try this one out! Display a uniform at the School or chartered organ-
ization. Put up a sign - WIN A UNIFORM! First new Cub Scout to complete
the Bobcat requirements (list 'em) and recruit at least one other Boy
gets a free uniform with all badges sewn on and a special recruiter
patch! Now if a boy comes from a financially hard hit family, here's
his chance to earn the uniform without it being a handout. You can
almost always find enough used parts to have a good quality uniform or
two or three anyway.
* Use the recruiter patch!! Boys this age love badges and patches. I
showed the recruiter patch to the boys in one den and by the next Pack
Meeting one Cub did such a good job (he wanted to earn the patch real
bad) that he recruited enough new boys for an entire den! and a Den
Leader too! We rigged up a special recruiter neckerchief for him by
sewing a patch on the Cub neckerchief. (Yea it wasn't in accord with
the insignia guide, but you can bet the DE and UC were only too happy
to give a good wink when they saw the new smiling faces getting the
benefit of the program. One of the few times when a little rule bending
was for the best.)
* Do some parent visible activities - flag ceremony at PTA, service
project at School, etc.
* Follow-up each witht he parents of each boy that showed interest.
* If you don't get new recruits, then consider sharing a den with
another Pack. It is real important to have a group of at least four and
preferably six to eight boys in a den to allow enough for contests,
team efforts with other dens, etc. And you need to have the numbers
to start developing group dynamics that lead to learning on the part
of the Cubs.
* Ask for help - anyone in sight is a target! Use your resources - people,
their talents, places, etc.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City