Barry C Runnels (Barry_C_Runnels@MMACMAIL.JCCBI.GOV)
Thu, 6 Nov 1997 11:55:32 CDT
>Our Wolf den has 13 boys in it, almost all are good friends, and no major
>behavior problems. As Den Leader Coach, I assumed that we needed to split
>them and began to recruit a new DL and ADL. But now the four leaders (the
>two original ones and the two new ones) aren't sure that they want to
We had the same problem with my favorite youngest son's Wolf Den when I was
CM. As CM, I pushed to divide his group of 12 into two Dens because I never
had a good experience with Dens bigger than eight. These 12 guys are all
close friends and on the same soccer team of which I was, and still am a
coach. First problem was dividing the group and that caused a lot of pain
with families. There is no easy way to break friends up, especially when
all the parents are friends as well. One group did great, good leader, lots
of fun. The other struggled. They had fun because the Pack activities took
care of that but as a Den, they always wanted to get back with their
friends in the other Den.
I had always planned to pass on the CM position and become my sons Webelos
leader. When I did, I decided to break my own rules and combined Den 6 and
7 to become 67. I told the parents that I needed lots of help and two
assistance. All the families were so happy to be together that they give me
all the support I needed. The results are that I have the best Den of 16
very happy boys and parents.
I don't think this is typical. A few parents from other packs have
approached me to take their sons who are also in a big Den but the meetings
are in chaos. They think I have some magic with big groups.
I still don't advise dens above eight boys because most of the time it
turns into bad experiences for the leader and I think leaders need to have
as much as the boys. Kids learn 90% of their behavior from how adults act.
A tired burned out leader doesn't act like they are having fun.
But you said your group is close, so in yur case it could work. Let parents
know up front that they have to help and than typically big dens don't
work. They must make it work. It has to be fun to be successful.
The families in your pack are lucky to have you Holly, because it shows you
care for these guys. You want what is best for them. Your Dens will do
Den 67 Big Dogs
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City