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Cub scouts - How to avoid Lions ?


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#1 fred johnson

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:09 PM

Is there a way to avoid recruiting Lions?  For years, our pack did a good job of recruiting.  Lately though, the council has stepped in.  To be honest, they've fumbled.  They mean well, but they don't know the dates or the secretary at our school.  So what happened is the fliers went out at the wrong time or not at all.

 

But beyond that, our pack lost the choice whether to recruit kindergarten Lions.  Our pack has talked and we've just done badly at it year after year.  We can debate the pluses and minuses.  Personally, everyone probably knows my opinion.  I think Lions is killing the Cubs.  And I suspect Tigers isn't helping either.  

 

So ... Any suggestions for how a pack can politely ask the council to not flyer or advertise Lions to their school?  


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#2 RememberSchiff

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:13 PM

How does your CO feel about Lions and Tigers? If they share your opinion, IMO they should talk to Council.


Edited by RememberSchiff, 31 March 2017 - 01:14 PM.

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#3 fred johnson

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:16 PM

Same.  We've seen three years of bad pattern.  Can't seen to fix it.  Just not the critical mass of numbers.  Those that do and stay are burnt out by Bears.  Heavy drop off.  Tigers that visit the next year see smaller numbers because some tried in kindergarten and had too few to make good experience.

 

We've talked to some families that don't join at Kindergarten.  They feel their kid isn't ready.  They then try in 1st grade and see few as we have heavy drop off in Lions.  We'd rather wait and recruit in 1st grade as we think we'll get much better numbers.  ... To be honest, I think we could hold off to 2nd grade and get better numbers.  You can then treat Cub Scouting as still family oriented, but less day care and more the beginning of man'ing up.   Beginning to explore and try things meant for older kids.


Edited by fred johnson, 31 March 2017 - 01:18 PM.

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#4 fred johnson

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:18 PM

Duplicate


Edited by fred johnson, 31 March 2017 - 01:18 PM.

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#5 blw2

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:23 PM

 

 

So ... Any suggestions for how a pack can politely ask the council to not flyer or advertise Lions to their school?  

Just say please, and be direct.

I'd say that if the key three are all in agreement, there would be no need to piddle around it.  Just tell them, "we'd like them to stop please. We are not intending to recruit lions."

 

If the unit's key three aren't on the same page, then I see problems with it and no winning that one.


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#6 blw2

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:24 PM

and then i should add that the follow-up would be to stand firm, and politely decline any and all that end up do trying to register.


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#7 Col. Flagg

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

I found this interesting. So units are supposed to come up with a Lion Guide, who is an experienced Scouter. Talk about taking away from the Pack. Usually the person that fits that role ends up being CM.  :D

 

If you are not staffed to roll out the Lion program as suggested in the PDF, I'd simply tell them you guys are not ready, Fred.


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#8 qwazse

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:10 PM

Speaking up at round table might help.

 

I'm still patting myself on the back for calling out our DE when he told us to file tour permits/plans for meetings at coffee shops (or anywhere away from the CO)! :mad: Six years later, and the whole Byzantine  process has imploded. You're welcome.

 

This program roll-out is a different animal, however. So, don't count on the pro's to be at liberty to go quietly into the night. But, it would be good to sound off and get the opinion of other scouters in your district.


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#9 NJCubScouter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:24 PM

If you do tell your council that you do not wish to have a Lion den, I would be curious to hear the response, given the direct vested financial interest of both the council as a corporation, and individual professionals, in increasing membership numbers. ("Who are you, a mere volunteer, to decline to do extra work for free so I can make more money?" Not to be cynical or anything.)

From the first day I heard about dens for Kindergartners, I knew it was going to be a problem. I don't have any direct contact with it though, since I have not actually been a "CubScouter" for almost 15 years.
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#10 fred johnson

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:34 PM

From the first day I heard about dens for Kindergartners, I knew it was going to be a problem. I don't have any direct contact with it though, since I have not actually been a "CubScouter" for almost 15 years.

 

I remember others being skeptical.  I remember being a relatively new volunteer not thinking it was a big issue.  Now long time in, I'd argue it's a HUGE issue.  I'd argue Tigers is a similar issue.  Lions and Tigers prop up membership numbers at the expense of Boy Scout membership.  #1 it lowers the maturity of the cub program to not resemble scouts.  #2 it burns out the volunteer intensive cub program.  It's not a three year commitment.  Now, it's a five year commitment.  #3 most non-leaders have had enough of scouting by Webelos  #4 it creates a different non-scouting view of scouting.


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#11 Stosh

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 02:48 PM

If no one steps up to be a Lions leader or a Tigers leader then put on a sad face and tell the parents the Pack won't be able to host the program this year for those two age levels..


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#12 NJCubScouter

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 03:16 PM

If no one steps up to be a Lions leader or a Tigers leader then put on a sad face and tell the parents the Pack won't be able to host the program this year for those two age levels..

 
It sounds to me like Fred's pack does not want to have a Lion den regardless of how many potential leaders step up.  Which I can understand.  If I were a pack-level leader today, I would probably be taking the same position.  Tigers are young enough, in fact some of them are too young - and I would say that included my son at the beginning.  The idea of going a year younger and including kids who are barely past being toddlers - and potentially including kids who have not even reached their fifth birthday until a month into the program - is mind-boggling to me.


Edited by NJCubScouter, 31 March 2017 - 06:27 PM.

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#13 EagleonFire

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 09:45 PM

So do your little ones still meet every week like the rest of the scouts? If so ask if they can move to a twice a month program? My cub meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. And they are 5-8 year olds. the parents seem to like it because at this age it's not to much but still something productive and the kids seem to like it because well all things scouting is cool! Also I dont know how much freedom you get with those kids at that age but I know when I take these kids on a campout they are always pumped for the next month on how they are ready to go again. That may keep your numbers from falling off at bears
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#14 AltadenaCraig

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 03:14 PM

I agree with EagleonFire's approach.  Our Pack went to one-den-meeting-per-month decades ago.  The pack meets monthly at our church's parish-hall and a couple of weeks later or so each den meets at different cubs' home.  This scouts-every-other-week approach, coupled with rotation of den-meeting venues, mitigates burn-out and promotes family buy-in.  At least it seems to work for our pack.

 

As for recruiting, our charter-org is associated with a day-school and we've been blessed with Heads who have been strong supporters of scouting.  We haven't tackled Lions, but the Tiger program has been a big plus as a gateway.  Toward the end of each school year one of our Tiger den leaders gets to spend a half-hour or so with the kindergarten boys (recruiting for the following year's Tigers).  The den leader simply shows up with a pinewood derby car in one hand and an Estes rocket in the other, and asks if that's something the boys would like to do.  It's always a slam-dunk.  Flyers go home with the boys, including the date of the first pack meeting in the new school year and recruiting just seems to take care of itself.  Though our situation is unique, I'm hopeful others can find a nugget or two to apply to your cub scouting recruiting & program.  YIS.


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#15 Stosh

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 04:11 PM

@AltadenaCraig welcome to the forum and thanks for the post.


Edited by Stosh, 02 April 2017 - 04:11 PM.

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#16 Back Pack

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:24 PM

In our troop there's a high correlation between the Cubs whose dens met once a month and them leavin Boy Scouts by 12-13. Those who met twice a month or more lasted much longer.
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#17 RichardB

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:22 AM

I found this interesting. So units are supposed to come up with a Lion Guide, who is an experienced Scouter. Talk about taking away from the Pack. Usually the person that fits that role ends up being CM.  :D

 

If you are not staffed to roll out the Lion program as suggested in the PDF, I'd simply tell them you guys are not ready, Fred.

 

Yep, that would be running the program as it was designed.    


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#18 Back Pack

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 06:35 AM

Yep, that would be running the program as it was designed.

Well the designers need to step in to the real world to see how the program they have designed really runs. That Ivory Tower thinking doesn't work. Most years we are lucky to get untrained parents to be Den leaders, let alone an experienced leader.

If you want membership to rise, think retention, not new acquisition. That's customer service 101.

Edited by Back Pack, 03 April 2017 - 06:37 AM.

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#19 bearess

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 07:08 AM

Can you just tell them that your pack isn't doing a Lion den? How long have you been doing Lions?
I see the arguments against Lions, but as a parent of young kids, most people I know aren't looking to add a new activity in third or fourth grade. Kids/families get set in their routines. Sure, some kids will join at those age groups- but I bet those are outliers. It seems like doing Lions/Tigers is going to get a lot more boys than starting later.
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#20 RichardB

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 07:34 AM

Well the designers need to step in to the real world to see how the program they have designed really runs. That Ivory Tower thinking doesn't work. Most years we are lucky to get untrained parents to be Den leaders, let alone an experienced leader.

If you want membership to rise, think retention, not new acquisition. That's customer service 101.

 

Did you ever think that running it as designed, with an experienced leader would lead to a good outcome, which for a Lion would be transition into a Tiger, a successful summer program, etc........  Part of the program is to not overwhelm the parents of said Lion.    

 

Don't have the minimums to run it right, yep, just say no and focus instead on your internal challenges - that sounds like a good plan.   No need to blame others nor is there a need to assume just becuase someone sits in a different seat today than he or she did a few years back, doesn't mean they don't have a clue.   


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