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Thread: Sections Sizes and Age Ranges

  1. #1
    Member Simon.Hubbard's Avatar
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    Sections Sizes and Age Ranges

    This may have been asked/answered before but can't find it.

    Beavers: 6 - 8 years (2 years in their Section )
    Cubs: 8 - 10.5 years (2.5 years in their Section )

    This means by design averaged over a relatively short period of time, Cubs will grow in size year on year at an average rate of 2 cubs per year every year as a Beaver Colony of 24 will loose ~12 Beavers per year to Cubs, where as an equivalent sized Cub pack will loose 9.5 Cubs per year (i.e. they gain more from Beavers in a year than they loose to Scouts, without even trying to take from their waiting list). This seems to be a systematic problem without recommended solution.

    Options I can see are:
    1) Run two Cub packs to one Beaver Colony and run the packs at 18-20 members
    2) Run the Beaver Colony at 18-20 Beavers to the Packs 24
    3) Change the age ranges so that flow is even

    I'm really interested how others deal with this as we're about to jump to 31 Cubs because of a large top heavy Beaver colony, and if I hadn't asked our BSL to not take the next 4 in their waiting list (all 7) would have hit 34 in a very near future.
    I've heard of one Colony/Pack sending Beavers on a 6 month sabbatical to stop the pack being over-run but that hardly seems right and rightly caused a bit of an uproar. I'm currently angling for option 2 in our Group but that has other implications including lack of leaders and over-loading Scouts.

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    You are mistaken all Sections ought to 'lose' roughly the same number of kids to the next Section each year as each other its just that some Sections retain members for longer. The sizes for sections should align to the length of time kids spend in them quite well

    So a Beaver Colony of 24 (so 12 kids in each year on average) should lead to a Cub Pack of 30 (2.5 x 12) and a Scout Troop of 42 (3.5 x 12). Obviously issues occur where you end up with significantly more kids in one 'year' than the 12 average and when one Section does not have enough Leaders to cope with a Section the size the size of the other Sections really need.
    Last edited by shiftypete; 13-02-2013 at 05:03 PM.

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    Senior Member Walsallwizard's Avatar
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    You will find that there is a loss of some Beavers to Cubs, our Beaver Colony runs at 20 max kids whilst I run at 28 for Cubs anymore and the hut is just too full. Some Cubs are ready for Scouts at 10 some it’s as late as near 11 the key to managing it is plan for the ebb and flow of membership, it's not a straight forward mathematical conundrum
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    Member Simon.Hubbard's Avatar
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    Thanks chaps

    That's my option 2) Run the Beaver Colony at 18-20 Beavers to the Packs 24 +/- 2

    We can't really accommodate much more that 26 Cubs in a hut and there's a pretty big tail off from Cubs to Scout so I guess I need to "encourage" our Beaver leaders to run a smaller Colony.

    Doesn't help me get out of my current problem of 31 Cubs ... that's what comes of inheriting a section that did no size planning :-)

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    I raised it in this previous thread: http://www.escouts.org.uk/forum/thre...+size+planning

    Long term, you can't significantly alter the age ranges because in Beavers the difference between an 6 and 8 year old is already quite large so you'd have to make every section 2 years to fix it that way. The solution has to be to fix the number of places in the ideal ratio of 2:2.5:3.5, however you want to do that with number/sizes of sections. 18 Beavers to 24 Cubs is about right and gives you nice sixes.
    Short term, if you can't provide spaces for the current beavers you've got to either find new leaders to open another cub pack, increase the size of the packs you've got or accept that some will have to move to other groups.

    We're in a similar problem at the moment with the loss of a cub leader so we're short on cub spaces and are having to say exactly that to the parents.

    [Edit - someone somewhere mentioned splitting the pack to run alternate weeks. I guess you'd need to reduce subs a bit but it would let them all continue without you having to run two meetings and they could still all come to outdoor camps where the space wasn't such a constraint]
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    Deleted - answered already by someone else.
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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    We had to open a new cub pack as beavers were swarming up to us. We both had 28 cubs in each pack, a year later, my pack has dropped to 19 and there is only two Beavers due up in the summer. In every pack you will have tidal waves and droughts. A drought this year as there are only 2 getting upto 7 1/2 by end of year and then the onslaught next year as practically all the beavers reach cub age at the same time. You have to look two years ahead to see whos coming and who will be going. Were a bit out of sync with 2 coming up and losing 11 to scouts, so Ill be down to 10 by christmas and up to around 25 by may 2014. Though sometimes I enjoy the quiet times when the pack is small!

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    Shiftypete is correct, 24 Beavers should result in 48 Scouts, however there aren't many groups where the Scouts are double Beavers in numbers because we lose at transitions and we lose a large number as they go through puberty and find other interests, school work, or become more independent of their parents. All that's fairly well understood. As to the OP's question, I find groups are self regulating, they grow to the size where the leaders can't cope with discipline or award work or keeping up good activities for a large section - then the YM's leave and numbers drop again.

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    Man in a daft hat Hatman's Avatar
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    Its a big problem. We are opening a second Cub Pack at Easter because of it. The trouble is that we could open a second Beaver Colony as well. Then we would need a third Cub Pack and so on......

    Nigel
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