Re: Pack Split (long)
Bob Nieland (rgn@MCS.NET)
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 22:03:13 -0500
>Certainly some of the TMOTSLL [Trusted Members Of The Scouts-L List] have
>had experiences with splitting a Pack with both residing and remaining (not
>with the same Charter Org.) at the same school.
>How did it all shake out?
>How did you avoid hard feelings? (or did you?)
>How did you decide who went where?
>You fill in more questions/answers that you faced.
Mike (and the list),
Your situation sounds very similar to ours. We had grown to 105 boys last
year and have recently split into two packs that draw almost 100% of their
membership from a single school. I'm not sure if there is a single right way
to do a split, but I can relate our approach and experience so far, which I
think most of our parents and leaders view as positive.
As in your case, we had initially resisted the idea of splitting. I think
what pushed us over the edge was a chaotic and crowded Blue and Gold last
year, as well as the realization that last year's fifth grade class was
fairly small and we could see ourselves in the 120+ range for the 1996-1997
year (in fact the two packs have around 130 Scouts at this point and we
haven't done fall round-up yet!).
We believed that fairness and evenhandedness in the process and buy-in from
each of our constituencies at each step along the way were critical to a
successful split. The Pack Committee first discussed the idea of splitting
with the den leaders at a meeting last February. We talked about the
advantages and disadvantages of splitting, as well as how and when we might
split. The feedback we received was that balance in the size of the two
packs and in the experienced leadership was desirable, and that a split
along a north-south boundary in our school district made the most sense.
I then created a spreadsheet so I could sort our membership by age and
subdivision (neighborhood). From the data, it was pretty easy to see that
the best way to split was to have one pack in the three northernmost
subdivisions and another in the five further south. The dens were already
pretty cleanly divided along these lines. We had only one den that was
evenly split between between "Northerners" and "Southerners", and we decided
to put them where their den leader lived. We ended up with seven Tiger, Cub
Scout and Webelos dens assigned to the North and six to the South, with at
least one den at each grade level in each pack.
After that, we arranged a meeting between the Pack Committee and a District
leader who had gone through a split a few years ago. We talked about our
plan and got his input. We also started working with a nearby church in one
of the southern subdivisions to arrange for a chartered organization and
meeting place for the new pack. The church had a Boy Scout Troop, but not a
pack, and was very accomodating. The leadership of the new pack decided they
would use the same unit number as the troop.
At our next den leaders meeting, we circulated the plan and recommendations,
and got their feedback and approval. Next, we circulated a letter to all of
our parents. The letter explained what we were planning to do and why. We
indicated our preference for keeping boys together in a den, even if it
meant that a few would be in the "wrong pack", given the subdivision in
which they lived. We also stated that we would with anyone who had been
placed in the wrong pack and had a strong preference for switching. (We had
two families with siblings in each of the two packs and these were the only
two who ultimately switched dens). At the end of the letter, we asked that
they contact one of the committee or program leaders with any comments or
concerns. As it turned out, we got very few.
We agreed to do all of our recruiting jointly, and to assign any new boy to
the pack that covers his subdivision. We arranged to buy flags and banners
for the new pack and split the rest of the treasury evenly. We also decided
to try to keep our den numbers different, just in case we ever needed to
recombine. The new pack uses den numbers 1-7 and we will use numbers greater
The two packs operate on a "buddy pack" system. Some of our volunteers serve
both packs (e.g., Quartermaster, School Year and Summertime Outings) and we
will continue to conduct some of our activities together. We also plan our
calendars together so that equipment, such as our portable sound system, is
available when needed.
Mike, if you (or others) have any follow-up questions, feel free to
Committee Chairman, Cub Scout Pack 101
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City