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  • Was I TOO BOLD?

    I've been Unit Commissioner for a pack since 2004, and I've had a pretty activist role in the pack over the years --- such as organizing the spring and fall recruiting nights.

    The Cubmaster has been getting slammed because the Pack Committee Chair hasn't been doing the job.

    After several months without a pack committee meeting, the Cubmaster organized a Committee meeting a month ago, which had excellent attendance and did fine work.

    Nothing scheduled a month later.

    So I e-mailed the Committee Chair today, congratulating her on the excellent meeting a month ago and reminding her that it was the CC's job to conduct Committee meetings.

    I included an agenda for the Committee meeting my pack is holding tonight as a possible source of ideas, and suggested a couple of locations where a committee meeting could be held.

    I offered to be of help if needed.

    The Cubmaster does a fine job but is being overwhelmed due to lack of adequate support.

    So --- was this unreasonably BOLD for a Unit Commissioner?

  • #2
    No, I don't think it was too bold.

    Your job is to help and to mentor units , right?
    So where does it say you have to wait for something to fall apart and trhey ask for help before you act?

    I mean, it's one thing is they were having meetings and such, but just not to your particular liking.
    But it's different when you can personally observe they are not getting the basic stuff for survival done.

    Kinda like a lifeguard: Do you wait for a person to dissapear underwater before you jump in or do you react at the first sign of trouble?
    Sure, they are not drowning ...yet...but they will be soon if you do not act.


    • #3
      In a forum like this, sometimes there isn't enough details given.
      Dealing with volunteer can be difficult more so when the volunteer your dealing with is being difficult.
      I would not have handled this the way you did. - This doesn't make what you did wrong, just not the way I'd have done it.
      My thinking is that it seems that you have taken sides. - Most times this is not a good idea for the U/C.
      I'm wondering why it took so long before you tried to fix the problem?
      As U/C if you didn't know there was a problem? Then you should have.
      If you did why did you wait till after the C/M went ahead with a meeting that is lightly to cause friction within the unit?
      I would never have sent emails. The best choice would be a face to face meeting, failing that a phone call where there would be active two way communication. You could if you had phoned offered to help and send agenda and the like. Just sending the stuff that your pack uses might be seen as you gloating that things are done better in"My Pack".
      I'm not sure what you mean when you post:
      "So I e-mailed the Committee Chair today, congratulating her on the excellent meeting a month ago".
      I hope that I'm reading this wrong.
      It sounds like you sent this congratulatory email for meeting, knowing very well that the Chair wasn't there.
      As a friend to the unit this doesn't seem a friendly way of going about things.
      If you were trying to shame or lay some sort of a guilt trip on this person there is a very good chance that you might have upset them.
      Upsetting the Committee Chair of a unit that your supposed to be helping and supporting? Is never a good idea.
      You ask "Was I too bold?"
      Just by you asking kinda makes me think that you knew and that you were aware that you crossed the line.


      • #4
        Wisht I'd had a UC when I was a CM. Mighta saved the Pack. We did have a DE whose name and number I knew. He answered my questions, and that is all. Mebbe I didn't ask the right questions.
        It is not being Too Bold. It is being Proactive. 'Course now, diplomacy is important too, and letting the CC think it was her idea to reorganize the Committee is a Good Thing. Might inquire about the CC's family, there might be dynamics impinging on her ability to do the best for the Pack.
        You seem to be knowledgeable about the Pack's society, social structure. Are there others who you might prod into helping with this?

        Helping with ecruiting is very definitely a Good Thing.
        Thank you for your Work with our Youth.

        Good Scouting to you!


        • #5
          Hello Eamonn,

          Thanks for the comments.

          Calling on the phone might be preferable to e-mail, but I'm an e-mail kind of guy.

          The Committee Chair was at the Committee meeting a month ago. The Committee Chair hasn't been an effective leader, and the burdens of leadership have been thrown onto the Cubmaster, who has been burdened more than he would like by that.

          Plus, the Cubmaster is resigning in August and we need to get the CC taking responsibility if she is able to do so. My e-mail to her was to encourage her to take charge of planning a needed meeting, and to give her some ideas on how to do that.

          Committee meetings have been held infrequently and irregularly over the past year. I usually attend Committee meetings, and I thought perhaps I'd been left off someone's e-mail list.

          The Cubmaster brought his worries to me a couple of months ago. He is planning to resign in August, and no effective steps had been taken to find a replacement. No committee meetings were planned to start dealing with issues.

          Since the CC hasn't been scheduling meetings, I encouraged the CM to call a meeting and start dealing with the issues. He did so last month and we had a well attended and effective meeting. But one is not enough.

          Rather than again suggest that the CM schedule a meeting, my idea was to encourage the CC to do so and to provide some help in doing so, and to provide more help if desired.

          I think we need to find out if the CC can do that task. I hope she just needs some encouragement. If she can't do it, that's important to know too.

          This is a pack that is large and has been successful since 2004, the last time the leadership fell apart. I helped put the program back together then, and I don't want to have that happen again.

          The parents historically have been willing to help. But they need some leadership to know what to do. Suggesting to the CC that she schedule a needed meeting still seems reasonable to me.

          Your comments and questions are good ones though.


          • #6
            Email guy or not there are communication nuances that we miss out when we are not Face-to-Face. Phone is next as you have some tone, than email. We all have inadvertently angered folks when we wrote things poorly. So while I agree with Eamonn that is probably not the way I would handle that I do not think you are "too bold" for trying to help.


            • #7
              You know, SP, it's never one incident, but a pattern of behavior that will get a UC tagged as "Too Bold". (That's a very polite way of putting it!) What you don't want to happen (that happened to us) is for the unit to request your removal and then that unit get tagged as a go-it-alone group. UC's simply do not darken our door.

              So if upon reflection, this is clearly a one off thing with this unit, carry on. If on the other hand you're seeing yourself in kind of a "rut", then maybe you need to say "Hey, guys, I've been UC long enough, let me suggest a new commish for you. If you need me, you'll still have my number ..."

              That way the ball's in their court. If they want you remain active, you can offer to do so as committee member for the events you are best at organizing.


              • #8
                Hello qwazse,

                Thanks for the comments.

                If I don't hear from the CC within a couple of days, I'll plan to give her a call.


                • #9
                  Its my experience that we adults rarely change patterns. The choice for change is usually change the adult or add more adults to balance the one. But trying to change the one adult's pattern is usually not a productive route to go in the long run.



                  • #10
                    Hello Eagledad,

                    All too often true. The SM hasn't persuaded the CC to take charge. The odds of my effort being successful.... limited.

                    I figure it's courteous to make the effort and hope for the best. And if the CC wont act --- then we'll know we need to try plan B.

                    Any suggestions on Plan B? That aren't too BOLD?

                    Seattle Pioneer


                    • #11
                      Looking at your reply.
                      Back when I was serving as a District Commissioner, the U/C's rated their units:
                      Green: No problems.
                      Yellow: Things aren't that great but with some help things should be OK.
                      Red: This unit is in danger of folding.

                      It seems to me that this Pack which is "Yellow" at the moment runs the risk of slipping into the "Red' If something or someone doesn't try to do something.
                      You might want to talk with the COR if there is one and that person is doing the job.
                      Hopefully the members of the Key 3 know what the situation is? If not you need to tell the District Commissioner.
                      My feeling is that maybe the DE might want to meet with the CO and discuss the future of the Pack.
                      The District Chair. might want to ask the Training Committee to see what they can do to help.
                      If it looks like the Pack Committee Chair is not going to remain maybe the District Membership Committee might want to see if they can help with advising on how to select a new Chair?
                      I know this sounds like there is a lot of people involved but saving the Pack is vital and from the District Chairmans point of view giving these District Committees members something to do is always a good idea.
                      Also it ensure that the pack is mentioned at the District Committee meetings so that way there is less chance of it falling by the way side.


                      • #12
                        Hello Eamonn,

                        Good ideas.

                        This pack was chartered by an elementary school PTA at one time, but it's been self chartered for years.

                        The Chartered Organization Rep is actually quite a spark plug in the pack --- contacting her would be a good idea. She's also a personable and tactful person and probably knows the actors pretty well.

                        As a matter of fact, the COR might make a fine CC!

                        There is also a business executive recently recruited as an Assistant Cubmaster who is taking a definite interest in the pack. He was being considered for Cubmaster except he is out of town traveling the world quite a bit. He would be a likely prospect to be CC as well.

                        Our district committee/Commissioners meet Thursday. Perhaps I can try calling the CC and COR Wednesday and talking things out a bit and plan to make a short report at the DC/C meeting Thursday.

                        Still TOO BOLD?? I tend to be pretty involved with this unit. I helped build it up when it fell apart in 2004 and I don't want to repeat that experience!

                        But it's easy for unit leaders to neglect important problems--- such as membership, appointing the right leaders or leadership succession. My aim has been to keep my eye on those kinds of problems, with the idea that if they were taken care of the rest of the program would be fine.


                        • #13
                          >>As a matter of fact, the COR might make a fine CC!

                          There is also a business executive recently recruited .... He would be a likely prospect to be CC as well.


                          • #14
                            It is not the UC's job to replace the CC. Though I can imagine the desire to do so, sometimes. Still, it is good to have prospects in mind, and maybe to chat with the COR about thins, as Eamonn suggests.


                            • #15
                              >>It is not the UC's job to replace the CC. Though I can imagine the desire to do so, sometimes. Still, it is good to have prospects in mind, and maybe to chat with the COR about thins, as Eamonn suggests.