Re: SPLITTING PACK contd.
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 00:12:53 -0400
There is an ancient curse "may you live in interesting times." No doubt
the sage knew that the very things that can make life exciting and
interesting can also create a number of challenges and anxiety. Your
Pack at one time must have been incredibly successful to have grown to
the point that it draws nearly 300 people to a Pack Meeting.
Units grow when they are successful. Depending on the people involved,
the meeting hall, and many other factors, this growth continue past the
point where it is healthy. Eventually if a unit grows beyond its limits
the program suffers and the process is self-correcting -- families and
Scouts leave, fingers get pointed, feelings are left hurt, and the
remaining folks have to dig out of a hole to get back where the Pack once
was a few years earlier. This process is costly to both the families and
It is much better to organize a good split that will result in two
healthy and viable units to continue to help the boys grow. This is
always hard because we always seem to have adults with their own agendas;
e.g., I want all my son's friends from School to stay together, I've put
in my time and don't want to be dragged by these new people, I want, I
this, and I that. The challenge is to change the "I" business to the
"boy" business - what's going to be best for the youth? What will help
them have the best chance to have a good experience in Cub Scouting?
What can we do to make sure they have the best program and one part of
the Pack doesn't end up a poor relative of the first?
There are no easy answers to these questions and almost none if the
answer is prefaced with "I". Challenge your committee to discuss this
issue, but with a rule in place that nobody present can use "I" "ME" or
"MY" in any sentance. :-))) They may not buy into it, but you'll have
made an important point about where the discussion should go. Once they
get over the idea that the meeting isn't about adults, it might be good
to review quickly again the basics of the Cub Program and how it is
supposed to work. How can two units be structured to make it work? How
can it be structured to assure that both units are healthy and will
survive, ensuring the delivery of quality program to the youth members?
You mentioned that the chartered organization was a Church. Invite the
pastor to come to the next committee meeting and make it a point to ask
him/her to give an opening prayer and brief opening statement of purpose
for the meeting. Something along the lines of "Open our hearts and minds
to a greater purpose . . . help us to be selfless in being good shepherds
to these young people . . . guide us to find solutions that will be fair
and help us to sacrifice more of what we want for what will be better for
all . . . Opening remarks can be tailored along the same lines, provided
they really are short and to the point -- a statement of interest and
purpose from the Chartering Organization.
Follow up with a proposal in a sales pitch - don't leave it to chance.
Sell them on the idea that things can't continue because you are
shortchanging the boys on program, advancement recognition, etc. Sell
them on what a new start can do for them. Prepare for objections and
meet as many as you can.
Hopefully folks will get the message and start figuring some good
solutions instead of wasting time arguing while the membership grows
tired and complains.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
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