Recommended Den Sizes
Posted 08 July 2003 - 11:52 AM
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Posted 07 May 2017 - 05:02 PM
While I may have had 15 scouts, later it grew to 16, I divided them up into two groups or denpatrols.
This is an old thread but this is great advice. I'm finishing the year as a Wolf Den leader and we have 14 boy's. Halfway through this year we moved from a garage into a school multipurpose room. I started to break the Scouts into groups of 3 and rotate them around into 3 activity stations.
Our den meetings are every other week and last 1.5 hours.
It has mostly worked but I have run into an issue with the Denner program. I wasn't able to have every Scout be a Denner or assistant Denner.
I'm also concerned about the Scouts not building a close bond/comradery with the other Scouts in their Den.
I've been mulling over the idea of breaking the den into 3 smaller, permanent groups, but I wasn't sure what to call them... Den Patrols!
This will let me assign a Denner for each den patrol and let them cycle through a few times throughout the year! And I can let each group give themselves a name!
Love the idea!
Thanks (From the future!)
Edited by RememberSchiff, 08 May 2017 - 05:44 AM.
Added @ prefix to notify Eagledad
Posted 08 May 2017 - 04:19 PM
we do it a bit different but it works. We have 1 den per rank level. So we have had a Tiger Den as big as 30. When we meet they divide into smaller groups. We have multiple den leaders and they would work together. It prevents one den out performing other dens or one den dying out. I think the days of 6-8 scouts meeting at someone's house is long gone.
We meet at School as a Pack every two weeks. We do a mini pack meeting (10 min) then the dens break out to various rooms for 50-60 min. Once the dens are off in their various spaces/ rooms they will divide up further is needed.
It has worked for us for many years and we are always right under 100 cubs.
Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:34 AM
I started the year with 11 Tiger Cubs plus a twin sister tagalong. An 12th joined (I believe at the encouragement of the District for us to add more Cubs) later in the year but never showed.
By crossover this week, I was down to 6 regular attendees (7 if you count the sister) and one infrequent who earned their badges. The others were still on the roster but essentially dropped out. One moved away.
The last 4 or 5 months with the smaller number went well. 10 Cubs, despite parental help, was chaos. Our meeting room was small and I could never quiet them down for a few minutes for talk time.
I definitely recommend splitting big groups, if you have the leadership. This year we didn't, but through attrition it evened out and I think the remaining boys had a good year.
Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:44 PM
If the patrol method is working in cubs, then that's a good work-around. We tried something similar but Tiger year for my little guy was a bust. Tiger year for my older son was our start in scouting and we had lots of recruits that year so the Committee Chair sat the leaders down together and we went through the list and carved out two dens. It was a little painful but necessary - we soon became three dens of up to 11 boys each! (Cubs took on a life of its own in that grade, over half the boys my son's grade were in the pack) Through attrition we still had 25 boys get AOL at the end and most went on to the two troops in town.
Now my younger son finished Bear year in a den of 11 while the other den has 9, but our pack has a more serious Scout focus in Webs/AOL (meeting almost weekly for months to do outdoor skills, etc) so we may be losing more boys who play travel teams, etc. We'll see what happens in September but I hope we still have two healthy dens!
We have between 8-10 per den in most years. It's not ideal, I'd say 6-8 works better. But, it's hard enough to have leaders step up and sometimes cubs move away or move into other activities so we don't see 8-10 as a problem.
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