Meetings and Logistics
1. When are the meetings?
Our meetings are held on Mondays at 6:30 PM, most often at Burnt Hickory Baptist Church- although your Den Leader may from time to time hold a meeting at another location. We typically have three meetings per month- two meetings with just the Den, and one meeting as the whole Pack. We typically follow the Cobb County Public Schools calendar- if school is in session, we will meet!
2. How do I find out what den we are in?
All dens are arranged by age and rank. You will find out during our New Parents’ Night, usually in late August/early September.
Pack 353 is considered a “belt-up” pack. In other words, the only part of the uniform that we require is a uniform shirt, belt (which is used to hold the adventure loops that your Scout will earn), neckerchief and slide, and visor cap. Everything can be purchased at the Scout Shop, which is at the Atlanta Area Council headquarters, located next to Truist (formerly SunTrust) Park in Cobb County.
4. When will den meetings start?
Den meetings will start after you are assigned to a den and two parents volunteer to be the den leader and assistant den leader. For dens that require a new leader, den meetings will start after the leader & parents decide on a meeting time. New dens and leaders will have a lot of help from experienced leaders in the pack.
5. What if I want to change packs (my son’s friends are in another pack or another pack’s activities fit my schedule better)?
Easy – this is called a transfer. You will have to fill out another application and pay a $1 transfer fee. The $1 fee is covered by Pack 353 if a boy is transferring in from another pack.
6. When is the pinewood derby?
1. What is the cost for a new scout sign up?
The annual national dues for a member of Scouts BSA is $66 (effective August 1, 2020), and there is a one-time joining fee of $25. Please note that the $66 annual dues are pro-rated for those who join at the beginning of our program year in August. These are the dues for the rest of the current calendar year for BSA registration and a monthly subscription to Boys Life magazine. NONE of these dues stay with the pack. Checks are payable to Boy Scouts of America.
Once signed up and national dues are paid, later in the year we will collect pack dues for the next program year. The total pack dues, which includes the national dues, are $235 for activities that run for all 12 months (yes, summer too!). The majority of these dues stay with the pack and cover most of the activities for the current school year (August to July). Pack dues will cover all advancement awards, a neckerchief and handbook upon crossover to the next rank, defray the majority of the costs of our annual program (i.e., camping, outings), the cost of the pinewood derby car kit, and much more! A detailed breakdown of pack dues expenditures is available upon request.
2. Can I pay later?
The Boy Scouts of America registration fee (which will be prorated from $66) and the $25 joining fee are due at the time the application is turned in. Pack dues are typically collected no later than the November pack meeting. If this is still inconvenient, then please speak with your Den Leader. We want all Scouts to be able to enjoy all that the program has to offer. If you need assistance with paying dues, then please speak with your Den Leader.
3. Why do different packs charge different dues?
Pack 353 dues are $235. Our dues are in the average range – dues for other packs range from $150 to $300 or more. Packs with $110 dues typically ask often for money for activities during the year – packs that have higher dues may schedule more expensive activities, fund everything, or have expenses other packs do not have (i.e. fees for facilities). Please see number 4 to see what our dues cover. Also, remember that at Pack 353, scouting is a year-round activity, not just during the school year.
4. Besides dues, where does the money for Cub Scouting come from?
Money for Cub Scouting comes from only two sources, the dues we charge per scout, and fund raising. Scouts BSA does not provide funding for the pack and all leaders are unpaid parent volunteers. Fundraising for our pack is accomplished by selling popcorn, much in the way cookies fund Girl Scouts. The more popcorn each Scout sells the more money is available for fun activities! Our pack Treasurer (another parent volunteer) maintains a budget for the pack which includes how money is allocated from the dues and popcorn sales. If you would like to see a detailed copy of this budget, we will be happy to provide it to you.
1. I’m a parent. Do I have to attend the meetings?
At the Lion and Tiger rank, parental involvement is required. The program is set up so that parents are involved with their Scout and working on their adventures. This means that parents attend the den meetings with their Scout. Trust us- the parents have just as much fun (if not more) than their Scouts at the den meetings!
At older ranks (Wolf and Bear), we strongly encourage all parents to continue to attend den meetings with their Scout.
2. Can the whole family attend meetings and outings?
Absolutely! Pack 353 is a family pack- not only can both boys and girls participate fully in the Cub Scouting program, but our pack meetings and activities are open to all siblings as well.
For the protection and safety of our youth, all parents need to complete and stay current with Youth Protection training. There are several ways that this can be accomplished- Our Pack hosts two in-person sessions each year (Fall and Spring), and the YPT course can be completed online at any time, free of charge.
3. How can I volunteer?
This is our FAVORITE question! Without adult volunteers, we cannot offer the programming and activities that you have come to expect from a quality unit like Pack 353.
Any parent that wants to step up and volunteer is welcome to do so. We have a wide variety of positions available and are always looking for a willing parent to pitch in. This can be in a wide variety of roles, from helping a den leader with a meeting, to serving on the Pack Committee, to even becoming a Den Leader. Den Leaders have to register with Scouts BSA, and agree to a criminal background check. All dues for registered adult leaders are paid for by the Pack. Don’t worry- it’s super easy, the entire curriculum is arranged, and there are a ton of web-based training modules for every position in Cub Scouting.