Re: Pack Meetings
Randy Moyers 1355 6051 (moyersrl@PLHP002.COMM.MOT.COM)
Wed, 7 May 1997 10:20:37 -0400
I can sympathize with you. Last year our pack had 220 boys registered with
about 190 active. We had been rejecting the idea of splitting, but finally gave
in over the summer. It was the best thing we ever did. We now have 120
registered and about 100 active boys. It makes things a lot easier to handle,
and our DE loves us because we -handed- him a strong, viable, additional unit
of about 70 boys. 8^)
Last year we were forced to make the pack meetings advancement factories and I
feel the boys got short-changed. The meetings still ran over 2 hours.
What we have done is:
1. Move the game to pre-opening. It saves time and gets the scouts there so you
can start on time. Also use this time for display of den crafts and projects.
2. Start on time. (See #1) Once people realize that 7:00 means 7:00 they will
get there. It is also unfair to penalize those who do make it on time.
3. Keep the announcements short and sweet. Just the highlights. A lot of
information can get passed through your leaders meetings to the den meetings.
Have a -complete- and -correct- handout/newsletter that the parents can read.
You shouldn't have to read it to them. You will get quizzed afterward. There is
no way to avoid this. Someone will always ask, *When you said the red scarf,
which color did you mean?* Some people will want clarification no matter how in
detail the announcements are. Deal with them on an individual basis (you'll
have to anyway). Don't delay the whole meeting trying to lay it all out for
4. Keep the advancements moving. Put all the advancements for a boy in a
plastic baggie and all the baggies for a den in an envelope. The den leaders
for den 1 are called forward. We have the advancements chair read the boys
name. The boy comes forward. As he is coming to the front I get the baggie and
hand it to the Cubmaster. When the boy reaches the front the CM hands the
baggie to the boy, shakes his hand and congratulates him. He moves in front of
the den leaders. When den 1 is complete we applaud them as a den and dismiss
them. Move to den 2........... For rank advancements we spend a -little- more
time on the individual boy. For Bobcat, we turn the boy upside down and have
the parent pin the badge on right side up. Keep it moving.
5. In order to keep the boys quiet we bound and gag them as they come in! 8^)
No, not really. Seriously, I am not sure that there is a way to keep 100+ boys
quiet for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. I am looking forward to seeing how others on the list
address this issue. Keep the program moving. Use a PA to talk over background
noise. Don't expect silence. Just a reasonable degree of quiet. We have as much
problem with the parents in this area as we do with the boys.
I think its great that you are not turning boys away. These days, kids need our
program more than they ever have. Do your best. Tap into the wisdom of the
list. Seek advice and help from other scouters in your area and you'll have a
great program. Good Luck!
On May 6, 9:14am, Peter Hickey wrote:
> Subject: Pack Meetings
> Our pack is what I would consider to be extremely large. There are about
> 120-130 boys in 12 dens. The pack meetings include an opening,
> announcements, awards ceremony, skit, song, game and closing. To give out
> awards to all the boys who have earned them makes the meeting extremely
> long. (two hours or more).
> To split the pack up has been suggested and rejected by the pack leadership.
> To stop accepting boys into the pack after we reach a certain critical mass
> (which I feel we are way beyond) has also been rejected.
> So it appears that we are somewhat stuck with dealing with a large group of
> scouts and trying to run an effective pack meeting. Does anyone have
> experience with a large pack and/or suggestions on ways to make the pack
> meeting run better.
> I am looking for constructive suggestions. I hope that my inquiry will not
> result in lectures on what we are doing wrong.
> Thanks for any help you can provide.
>-- End of excerpt from Peter Hickey
CC, WEBELOS Leader, Outdoor Activity Chair Pack 281, ASM Troop 397
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South Florida Council
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