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Vipers!! (update on my sitch)

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  • Vipers!! (update on my sitch)

    Hi, gang! Just popping in to say hello, and that y'all were right about the gal who came over to our Pack to "help out" as CC when our older children's pastor lady retired from the church.

    This new gal was ...asked... to leave her other Pack because she was so dictatorial. I talked to her at length; I *did* feel at the time that our Pack would be giving her a chance to redeem herself. So you'd think that she'd bend over backwards to NOT make the same mistake again, right?

    Wrong. Of course, wrong. I know, I know. I was ~warned~! But we were desperate, and we needed help. Read that: We needed help. Guidance. Pointers. Tips. Input. Suggestions. Encouragement.

    What we GOT was The Roman Occupation. I'm almost laughing, typing this. Sure, our little teeny Pack has struggled for 3 years, but we have NEVER NOT had fun. We always had fun. Not so much, any more.

    The new gal came on, and introduced two of HER friends from her former Pack. One was assigned as Com Sec, one as Treas. The CC gal was SO ABRASIVE in the 1st Com Mtg she chaired, that my last 2 old guys couldn't WAIT to resign. Now, one of them was a lump on a chair and no big loss, but the other was my old Grandpa Cubmaster Advancement Guy. I *hated* losing him.

    But no one can stand this woman. (I can hear the I-told-you's. Yes, yes. I hear you. And you. And you.) And she's dug into the Committee now with her two VIPER HENCHWOMEN. Since the 2 old guys left, NO ONE from the CO has had time to step in and be involved. We've had NO staff liason from the CO (church) this whole season so far (I should have *insisted* on one back in September).

    So basically, this woman and her two axe-handles have taken up squatting on our land. We asked for HELP. Not for them to take away our car keys and tell us we were grounded. And that we were a big disappointment. And that our father never wanted us... wait. What were we talking about? OH, yeah...

    Everyone had fled, and the last Den leader and I were telling a Troop parent about finding a new Pack, and she said, "Oh. No, ladies. This is YOUR community, not theirs. You're going to the pastor and telling him about this."

    So here we are, 100 days into the program, and no one can stand to see these 3 women coming, they blame EVERY little problem on our lack of understanding, our ignorance of BSA policy, OUR failing at this and OUR failing at that ... the "poor attendance" at the Pack meetings was because *I* usually take *70-75 minutes*, and not 59 minutes.

    Pffffft. Really? THAT's keeping people away? I had a joint Den meeting with Wolves and Bears. I POLLED my guys, "What do you like about Packmeeting?" "Games!" "Songs!" "Crafts!" "Skits!" "Snacks!" They like It All. The parents even started laughing about the games I've made them play. They love me, I'm telling you.

    My Pack meetings are not the problem. Our Commissioner offered to come to MY DEN and give a "Pinewood Tips & Tricks" talk to MY BEAR PARENTS, but he said, "Invite the Pack, too--whatever parents want to come hear it." So I did.

    I got a phone call from Tha Vipah, "Soooo...are you taking over Pinewood, now?"


    "Well...I see you're scheduling Pinewood workshops when I already HAVE workshops on the calendar. Just let me know now if you're taking over the event, and I'll cancel what I've planned. You can do it. No problem. Just let me know..."

    I have NEVER in all my days been around such ugly-spirited, yet perfectly self-righteous kindergarten behavior. The 3 vipers talk to EvErYoNe as though they are either a daft child, or a dog who has piddled on the rug.

    I tell you what I'ma let you know, fang-lady. I'ma let you know that this is NOT a good "fit", and I'ma recommend to the COH and COR that they let yo patootie go.

    Not, of course, that the CO has any obligation to listen to a single word the lowly CM has to say ... but evidently according to my Pack parents, they will have to.

    Now that we've gotten some direction (and we did lack it), I'm pretty sure we can take it from here, without being scolded all the time. Boy, howdy. I am about tired of being scolded.

    And that, friends, is my update. :0)

  • #2
    Sorry to hear your troubles. Did you get more adult help besides the 3 vipers? Because you were a barely working, couldnt survive because you were doing it all Pack before they arrive. Get rid of the vipers and if you have not recruited more leadership you will now be back to yourself, minus those who left.. Again a situation that you could not survive with.. A situation where you were going to leave for a new pack..

    So will you need to leave for a new pack with or without the vipers?.. If so, I dont know if you should make the decision if the 3 vipers go or not, because you will be making a decision to leave the pack with basically no adult leadership (except a den leader that you mentioned.)

    I tell you, you seem like such a personable thing on the forum, and through you we get a sense that you can make things fun for the boys, and that the kids & parents have no issues with you.. But, except for that I would be wondering at this point if it was you or them with the issue.. Wow, if it werent for bad luck with you adult leadership sounds like you would have no luck at all..

    The drunk guy who was CM but lost it because of being drunk, then was CC but lost it for being drunk.
    The old comm.. Member who was a bump on the log.
    The old Advancment guy.. Who was good at advancement but nothing else.
    The Web II Den leader Grandmother who had social issues.
    The other Den leader (who I guess will go to a new pack with you)..

    Which means get rid of the vipers and it is you and the one den leader.. Pack will fold either way, and you are back to the question of if you want it to fold with you being burnt out or not..

    When is your recharter? You should figure this out before then, otherwise you will feel duty bound to stay one more year.


    • #3
      Since your CoR isn't on hand much, I think it's time you went to the IH and told him as the CM that you do not believe the pack can function as a going concern much longer, and then you need to step down as CM effective with recharter.

      It needs to fold and lie dormant for a year or two so that all the bad blood can move on. In that time the CO can decide whether they would like to continue to sponsor a BSA unit, and they and the DE can have sit down about what that really means in this day and age.


      • #4
        Yep, you're both right!

        The ONLY saving factor here might be that we HAVE gotten several NEW families during recruiting in Aug/Sep. Now that they've gotten used to the program and all, some of them are very nice, and ...functional... :0)

        In talking to my other Den leader, she feels confident that if we approached Familiy A, B, and C, that they would *likely* be willing to step up, if we explained the situation.

        I did talk to the pastor, and we're going to meet this week before the next Committee meeting and discuss what to do. He, the other Den leader and I agree that we'd hate to see it fold because we DO have about a dozen or so families who DO enjoy the program and participate. Where would they go?

        The 3 gals who came from the other Pack all have different reasons for coming over. The CC gal was a Webs2 leader as well as CC, and her 3 Webs wanted to stick with her. So she transferred her Den to us.

        So I *know* part of the reason they came is that they *needed* a Pack to let those 3 boys finish up their Webs2 stuff. I have 2 other NEW Webs2 besides them; all 5 will Bridge in Feb.

        The Sec gal is one of those Webs2 moms, so that makes sense. But she's as joyless as the other 2. The 3rd gal (treas), I have no idea WHY she'd drive 17 miles here and back for this. She has NO kid in the program; she's just friends with the CC. Her only purpose appears to give the CC a quorum.

        Now, my downfall is perhaps that I'm TOO fun-loving, and I might tend to shrug some details and things off and say, "Eh. It'll be FIIIIINE! up and we'll figure it out!" That drives some people nuts, I know.

        What I don't understand about these gals is that they *are* JOYLESS. There is nothing charismatic, nothing charming, nothing fun, nothing friendly about any of them. Now, the CC is fine with the boys, but she talks to ~everyone~ like they're kindergarteners. To an adult, that's very grating.

        Again, I realize that the CO doesn't have to do anything that I ask them to. But my HOPE is that the other Den leader and I can present some names of willing parents to the pastor, and tell him that our ~recommendation~/request (as parents) to the CO would be to tell these 3 ladies, "Hey, thanks for the assistance. We think we can take it from here, now that your Webs are Boy Scouts. There's the door."

        I think the pastor will do it, if just to get himself OFF of my speed dial!! ;0)


        • #5
          When is your recharted in regards to the Feb Crossover?.. If you have recharter after that and can stomach them for 2 to 3 more months, that would be a nice point in time to kick them out with the kids.


          • #6
            Moose, I've never been real clear on the whole re-charter dates thing. Confuses me every time.

            I know that they're making "last call" for Pack dues right now, so evidently it's due imminently.

            Four months ago, I knew we needed ...something... but I think this experience has shown us what sort of tone we DON'T want our Pack to have.

            I absolutely agree that it would be the right answer for everyone if they got their boys bridged to whatever Troop, and then quietly resigned from the Pack.


            • #7
              Ann, it rather sounds to me that you are not really making much of an effort to work WITH these women.

              Yes, it does sound like they are different from you. But JOYLESS? Really?

              The program is for the BOYS, and the CC seems to work well enough with the BOYS, and their families, that they all followed her to a new Pack. She has also managed to get 2 brand new Scouts to work hard enough to complete both the Webelos rank award, and AOL, in six months. That is no small task.

              The CC also seems to inspire so much loyalty in the folks that know her that one, with no child in the program, will drive 34 miles round trip to help her, and the PACK, out. All this while putting up with being disrespected by the Pack's leaders. Wow, that sounds like so much fun, I want to sign up for that!

              Did you ever consider that your two old, lump, do little to nothing, Committee members, left simply because with the Pack finally having the help it needed, they no longer felt obligated to show up any more?

              Your big toss-up over the PWD workshops could have been averted if you would have simply called the CC, and told her about the offer by your UC to expand the den PWD talk to the entire Pack, BEFORE you went ahead and invited everyone. Instead you cut her out of the loop, and made her feel like you went behind her back. Then you really could not understand why she was upset?

              You seem to want to run the entire show, with a CC there only as a placeholder on paper. You can NOT be BOTH CC and CM. If you try, neither job will be done well. A Pack needs a "fun" guy to work with the boys (you), and a "serious" guy to do the administrative/oversight/support stuff (the CC). If left to yourself, as you want to be, your Pack would not survive past this month. It would simply cease to be when it was not rechartered for another year.

              You all need to stop "marking your territory", and remember this is, first and foremost, for the BOYS.

              Do your job as Cubmaster. Let the Committee Chair, and the Committee members, do their jobs.

              By the way, there is no such thing as a "quorum" in Cub Scouts. You need to learn to work TOGETHER.


              • #8
                On a lot of points, you're not wrong. Points taken.

                Of course, since I tend to ramble anyway, I didn't include everything that's gone on.

                The requests to show up to "closed" sessions to essentially complain about what rotten parents we have. The emails that were sent out to all the famililies by the treasurer ~changing~ my event instructions ... without checking with me, first.

                The constant interrupting from the back of the room ~during~ Pack meetings with business things. Example: Stopping the popcorn skit to remind me that a form needed to be faxed by Thursday.

                Things like that. EVERY idea in Committee meetings (that isn't brought up by the 3) gets shot down. Example: Our Troop and Pack is ALWAYS in the city's Christmas parade. We don't even have to sign up; they know we're coming.

                At the Oct Comm Mtg, the other DL said, "Oh! Parade on the 3rd!" The CC asked the time. It always starts at 5:00; we line up 4:00-4:30. "Well, WHY would they do a parade at 5:00 in the afternoon? That's just SILLY. I can tell you right now that I can't be there, and I don't think my Webs will want anything to do with it."

                "But... but... we're always in the parade. It's been on the calendar since last ... last May!"

                (*deep, dramatic sigh*) " can MENTION it at the Pack meeting, and we'll SEE if there's any interest, but that's a REALLY bad time for a parade, and I just don't see us participating in it."

                I swear on my Baloo badge that that's *precisely* how she said it. The other DL and I were ~stunned~. It's been like this the whole time.

                You're right, ScoutNut... The 1st-thru-11th, or even the 111th time it happens, you kind of try to say, "Let's all just get along."

                But there's a limit to anyone's tolerance of being pooh-poohed.


                • #9
                  Well - The Christmas parade comment was said in a bad way, and it is not right to feel if her Webs can't attend at that time no one will want to either.. BUT... I do sort of understand her frustration with the time, and can see why her Webs may not attend..

                  You already stated they are driving a distance to get to the Pack.. Having driven a distance for the troop we selected for our son, and being a working parent.. Weekdays at 4 or 5 are problematic! To get from your work (whereever that is), to home to pick up your son, then to drive a distance to the troop meeting.. Yeah, problematic.. At times I still did not see how it was possible for someone living in the neighborhood to get to those events on time without at least leaving work 1 or 2 hours early.. But for me it would be more like leaving work 3 to 3.5 hours early..

                  So some of her frustration could have been misdirected, and came out sounding wrong..

                  But, other then that, seems like you have a great list.. She may have a great list against you too.. I always wonder when someone is putting alot of people down when they are not present, what they do when I am not around.. Sort of takes you back to those middle-school / high school days with those "popular" girls who were the last on my list that I would ever want to hang with.


                  • #10
                    I hear you. And it's a big reason why I have tried keeping my own counsel all this time. But I got a pretty screamy email the other day, as did the other DL. She asked me if I'd gotten it, we compared notes, etc...

                    So I don't ~think~ it's just me. But anyway, we're going to meet with the pastor, then with the other 3 gals.

                    It will work itself out.


                    • #11
                      Ok, so you have 3 people on committee, and whether you see eye to eye with them or not, they will be going to boy scouts sometimes this spring?

                      If so, I would talk to committee chair about how she sees the transition to new leadership going, how long she wants to stick around after going to boy scouts, etc. Yes, she may want to stick around for another year or so, or she may get tired of driving so far after a bit. Suggest strongly to her that you have xy and z parents who seem to want to get more involved, and you'd like her to work with them to train them to do secretary, treasurer, advancement, or outings chair or something along those lines, so that when she does decide to move on, they'll have some experience under their belt. That will give you a bit more "weight" on the committee to get things to go the way you see.

                      And then warn those parents xyz that committee chair is a bit um, brisk, in her delivery, but that without her your pack would have already failed. that you need them to step up to help out and learn the ropes so she can move on sooner rather than later.

                      and see how that works out.
                      you can't get rid of a cc or secy or treasurer unless you have someone to replace them with. so meeting with the church may get you no where, and you don't want to go in there with guns blazing for her job but have nobody in mind to do her job.

                      Use her to your advantage to get the other parents some kind of experience in the running of the pack or you won't have a pack at all without some bodies doing some work.


                      • #12
                        "What we have he-ah, is a fail-yah, to cummunikate..."

                        I have to agree with much that Scoutnut noted. CM does her thing, CC does hers, and the Committee backs up the Pack. If the Treasurer is keeping an honest, open accounting, and the CC is holding meeetings, and the boys (the BOYS) are having fun, and being Scouts, then I would counsel working with her and , as 5year suggests, HELP her to work toward the continuance of the Pack.
                        Be appreciative of her efforts at organizing things, be open in your communicating about YOUR plans and acknowledging HER plans. If you cannot agree to a particular idea or plan or activity, then gently explain how and work toward a version that she can accept. As to the Pack meeting interuptions, I find in my sub teaching gigs that I have to be directive. When I am explaining the triangle project and a child speaks up that her brother went to the hospital last night, I gently say I am sorry to hear that, and we will talk about that after the lesson. And I do.
                        As Pack Ringmaster, you need to smilingly thank her for the reminder of the need to fax something somewhere and then ignore the irrelavant interruption. Sometimes I will POINT at the child and say "Irrelavant!" and then ask them a particular question about our activity.
                        Stay in command in your baillywick! Politely! Smilelingly!
                        The CC is, after all, filling a role you needed, and seems to be doing it, if not diplomatically and caringly, at least in a way to make folks less than complacent! That can be seen as a good thing, for what it is.
                        Rechartering: You sound as if you are not familiar with it, but acknowledge the need for the process. It similarly sounds like the CC is very familiar with the process. Let her do it! And make your admiration and gratitude be expressed! Assuming all goes well...
                        Your CC seems to be the sort that will grudgingly admit that SOMETIMES some folks won't agree with her, and (to her mind) oh well, I guess that's just too bad for them (note the reaction you related about the parade timing...). Don't take it so persnally, she sees the rest of the world the same way, I am sure. Do the parade, take pictures, show them at the next meeting and then move on.
                        You must be doing something right, or the Pack would not be so attractive to people. Take pride in that, just widen your embrace to include her, despite her reticence to be included.


                        • #13
                          Christmas party last Monday night. The stickers that I'd brought for the gift exchange were swept into the trash, replaced with a ticket system. I was told that the choose-a-number was not the "preferred way".

                          CC had asked for a copy of the agenda for the Pack meeting/party. I supplied one. I was told that the invocation "needs to be before that song." I was told that I should have had two craft choices, instead of just the one, and that I should not have planned a team-competition game -- it should have been a whole-group game. Mind you, this is all AT THE EVENT that I'm being told my shortcomings. In front of parents. In front of Cubs.

                          AFTER my welcome, she interrupted me and said, "The Webelos are now going to do a PROPER Flag ceremony." Which is wonderful, but I had NOT been advised of it. But whatever, fine. Until she came up to the front of the room and STOOD IN FRONT OF ME, and took OVER the opening, leaving me standing there staring at the back of her head.

                          She'd asked for 10 minutes (~10 minutes~ of a 59-minute party) to talk about PWD (which is 6 weeks away). I granted that. But upon her arrival, I was told that she did not like the spot of the 10 minutes that I'd given her, and she informed me of when she would be doing her presentation.

                          Then when I began the Awards portion, the Treasurer got up and stood, again, in front of me, started telling (all) the parents that if their dues aren't in by Friday, "Your son can't come back in January, it's as simple as that."

                          WAY TO SET THE MOOD FOR REWARDING THE CHILDREN! Woot. And, pray tell, why wouldn't you go to the INDIVIDUAL parents and ask for their dues? You threaten the entire room with, "...and don't come back until you can pay..."

                          Then DURING Awards, they passed out the new t-shirts. DURING awards, so that I couldn't get anyone's attention. Then it was time for craft, but oh, no. We had to take a group picture over ---> there with them holding up their shirts. "No. You stand there. DON'T LOOK GOOFY! We can't see yours. Move over. You're blocking him..." on and on.

                          THEN we needed a group shot of them holding up their Pinewood cars over


                          • #14
                            Oh Ann, I am SO sorry. I hate party poopers. And control freaks. And people that forget that the ONLY reason we are here is THE BOYS. Period. Dot dash.

                            So sad.


                            • #15
                              How did the meeting with the pastor go?