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Looking for suggestions on how to manage significant growth

Hi everyone,

Our pack finished round ups last week and had 54 sign up. That is triple the number we had participating last year and with adding our returning scouts we have about 70 scouts. I am looking for recomendations on how to make this a success. We have great pack committee and had a planning session last night. We are having a parent meeting next week before we start scouts while the scouts start working on their bobcat badge. We are using scoutbook for the first time and I am sending out parent invitations this week. Any advice will be welcome. Thanks!

Its a bit of a shock for sure. Do you have a leadership plan in place? ie do you have den leaders, committee members, assistant cub masters recruited? Because you need lots of delegation at this size. Get new leaders and get them trained.

Communication gets tough at this level, so always try to have announcements, plans, etc spread in multiple ways (email, before the pack meetings, etc) but keep it short. 70 kids will get loud and restless quick. Keep pack meetings fun, push the awarding of belt loops down to the den level. Whatever event that you have, make sure you have a plan to keep things moving.

Congratulations on a VERY successful recruiting campaign! We have 87 scouts in our pack and still growing. There is so much you can do to make this successful. Try keeping den sizes to 7 to 9 scouts. Get parents involved and trained. Ask you committee members to take all the online training they have time for - including the CM, ACM and den leader training. Keep pack meetings to an hour or less. Have a resource to create gathering activities (try cubscoutideas.com). Put together a prize bin of cheap toys/games and have a raffle at the end of each pack meeting. Each scout gets 1 ticket for being there and a second ticket if in full ‘class A’ uniform. No scout wins twice in a row. Seat the scouts in dens on tarps with den leaders. Have den leaders pass out advancement belt loops/pins after the meeting. So much more I can go on and on. Good luck and have fun!

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I had a similar issue a few years ago when another pack folded into mine taking us up over 70 scouts. Divide and conquer is the best advice. Work with the committee to recruit folks who can help with the administration and execition. Also have a good pack meeting plan, and distribute it to leaders in advance. Have an ACM be responsible for watching the clock, keeping the pack on task.

One thing that helped us manage meeting times was reducing the amount of individual recognition at meetings. We had to shift from handing out awards individually to scouts, to having the den leader give a 30-second overview of the dens activities, with loops and patches being handed out afterward.

We use “group me” app. It’s free on all platforms. It’s an sms text app. We have group chats for the whole pack for announcements, event reminders, QnA. Then each den has a chat with only den members and leaders, the CM and CC to communicate the Den needs directly.

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Make sure that you have several dens for each rank idealy 10 or less per den.

Start now at getting some leaders into higher training like Baloo and Wood Badge.

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I’d also add on that our biggest success with large cadres came from getting significant numbers of parents recruited to do various jobs, either direct-contact leadership or taking on/shadowing committee roles. Getting one or more Assistant Den Leaders in each den is helpful.

The biggest thing that we have fought against is the preconceived notion that some parents have that being a scout leader is only something that “people who know scout stuff” can do. “Well, sure knowing scout stuff helps. You know how to cook and tie your shoes and paint, though, right? See: you know Scout Stuff, too!”

Thank you everyone for your advice!

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