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  • Absentee Cubmaster?

    Take a Deep Breath, the question Im asking is at the bottom:

    Commence Vent:

    Hey everyone. Im a DL in our pack and lately me and the WDL and myself have been getting a tad frustrated with our CM. It seems that his life, work, and (insert anything else here) is getting in the way. Hes missed 4 out of the last 5 meetings and a lot of the parents who love scouts and our pack are growing concerned.

    He missed the campout because of family issues. I understood that completely, and that wasn't an issue with me. I understand things come up. However, it seems to be "I have work and I cant swing it tonight" seems to be a general theme.

    myself and the WDL offered ourselves to be his ACMs when hes not here so a parent isnt looking around asking wheres the CM I need to give him something. We said we can help you out with retrieving awards, tracking achievements, managing things when you cant be there.

    His response:
    "Well you wouldn't be DL anymore, and Im more involved than many CMs I know. In fact, many of them dont even show up for den meetings to help out. They only show up for pack meetings. Many of them dont go on campouts or outings. Im probably one of the more involved CMs in our district."

    I backed off a bit and said, ok thats fine I was just thinking that maybe you could use some help in case you cant get around to doing something, or a parent needed something.

    One night he wasnt there, one of my bear cubs we discovered had a peanut allergy that both the parent and scout did not know about and we had to get him some medical attention. Told the CM. His response "Oh." Not my reaction when we discovered it. I called him after the meeting and never called back. His communication is less than stellar. Except to tell us when he isnt going to show up.

    Honestly, Im beyond being there for adults. ( I checked that at the door a long time ago. ) I just finished WB training and I loved it. However his hatred (yes) towards WB given past experiences with it has caused a bit of a rift between us that I was not trying to create. I just wanted to help him and provide for him an outlet to say "Hey, Im stuck at work or something's come up. Can you run and get this and that?"

    The thing that scares me is many of our parents are starting to take notice. It concerns me because I love our parents and I dont want to lose them to the disfunction that could potentially arise. Parents are growing concerned.

    End Vent:

    So for the CMs out there, how involved are you on a den/pack basis? Does our situation seem odd or the norm with CMs being there all the time versus seldom?

    Our committee chair is frustrated with it because they have addressed it with him, but he seems to not really take what they say to heart.

    Whats y'alls thoughts?

  • #2
    Well, it's true that there is no requirement that a CM attend Den Meetings.

    However, Den Leaders may need someone to take charge of registering Scouts for an activity or doing other administrative chores to avoid being distracted by such things.

    I'm leading our Tiger Cub Den right now for lack of parents willing to do the job, and I know I can't do that and collect money as Treasurer at the same time, as an example.

    So ---- what kind of tasks need to be done? Can a Committee Member do those tasks? Those are probably things that a Committee member should be doing anyway.

    What a Cubmaster should really be doing when attending Den Meetings is checking on how Den Meetings are going, the quality of the program and leaders and how Scouts and parents are reacting to the program. If the Den Program is being well led, the Cubmaster needn't attend more often than is needed to verify that fact.

    A Cubmaster has a responsibility to help train new Den Leaders and to step in if Den Leadership has problems or is failing. Are those tasks being done?

    In my opinion, any Cubmaster who turns down the offer of an Assistant Cubmaster has rocks in his head. An Assistant Cubmaster is a Cubmaster in training who can step up to be Cubmaster as needed, and should be able to help the Cubmaster do the various tasks that a Cubmaster should be doing.


    This is your real issue. The CC should be the one deciding on appointing Assistant Cubmaster(s) and resolving issues with the Cubmaster. The CC should see to it that a Committee member is attending Den Meetings to help out with administrative stuff if that is needed.

    Also, do you have monthly Committee/Parent meetings? That would be another venue to raise concerns and you need for help as a Den Leader. If you do have MONTHLY committee meetings, are they quality meeting with good attendance by pack leadership?

    There are lots of replies that could be made to your post. I will look with interest at the ideas other have on the issues you raise.


    • #3

      Your situation sounds like my pack a few years back. CM was a nice guy, but his work took a lot out of him. We had one pack meeting cancelled about 2-3 hours before it was to start.

      With our meeting situation, the CM is at 99.99999% of the den meetings b/c all the dens meet at the same time and location. Sometimes a den may have another location to go to, but unless A) the CM has a son in that den, or B) the CM works at the place a den is going to, the CM is at the main location.

      When the CM isn't there, others take up the slack. Currently our CC and CM are a great team and one of them is at every meeting. We all pull together.

      And that is the key. You need ACMs and MCs willing to help out. And that is the CC's job.


      • #4
        Camping - I'm there
        Pack meeting - I'm there.
        Parade - yep, there too.

        Den meeting? only when invited.


        • #5
          If you have a small Pack, and all of the dens meet at the same time/place, I can see the CM attending every meeting, every week. Basically you have weekly Pack meetings that split off into den meetings.

          We averaged 35-45 boys in our Pack. Dens met when/where it was convenient for the den leaders, and where they fit into the CO's calendar. We had dens meeting at various different days throughout the week. Most met in the meeting room in the Parish school building, during the evening hours. Some dens met at the den leader's home. My Tiger dens met every Saturday morning in the school meeting room.

          The CM only attended a den meeting if he had something specific to discuss with the den as CM, or if he had a child in the den. The CM never attended den outings with the dens.

          The CM attended Pack meetings, and Pack-wide activities. He also attended monthly Pack Leader/Committee meetings.

          We had an Asst CM who would take over a Pack meeting if the CM could not attend.

          Pack activities are run by which ever committee person/parent/leader is in charge of that particular activity. Not the CM.

          Purchasing/organizing awards, and managing the Pack management programs, is the job of the Advancement Chair.

          Our old CM was not a camper. Not very outdoor oriented at all. He would attend the activities during the day with his sons (if they were interested), and then go home at night. Not a big deal. The BALOO trained leader(s) were the ones running the campouts.

          SW, it sounds like your CM is doing many of the activities that should be done by other volunteers, specifically Committee Members.

          Your CC should recruit more volunteers from your Pack parents, and the CO, to help spread the work around.


          • #6
            The CM needs to be at pack meetings, all-pack activities/functions, monthly pack committee meetings, and any DL meetings or training he sets up.

            If your CM can't/won't do these things, it's time to find a new CM. The CC and COR are the ones who approve adult positions, so the CC can appoint an ACM if necessary. However, you shouldn't be expecting the CM to be at every den meeting night.

            How involved is your CC and the committee? Has a clear line been drawn between program and administration? Do the CC and CM even get along? What does the COR have to say?


            • #7
              Thanks for the replies. To clarify some things:

              We all meet at a central location. He does come to those, but he's facilitating usually rotating around to other dens. That's not my biggest issue. He has been a no show at pack meeting where we usually give out vital information. It's kinda left the CC to do the work of two people and her to assume what is fine and not fine with the CM.

              Our CC last night said to go ahead and do ACM training. Me and the WDL are doing it this weekend.

              We do have monthly parent meeting and round tables with them. They are the ones who knock around ideas for the pack to do. We tell them if they want to have voting status, sign up as a committee member. It's not that political in our pack

              We have had parents step up,company without asking wanting to mange achievements, camping, and activities. However our CM says no to a lot of these things for reasons beyond me. We have one parent who's a type a mom. I used to think that she was going to be a challenge to work with, but in fact, she's just wanting the best fr the kids and offered to handle some things for the CM. he said no, and she want to the COmmittee and they said yes.

              Here's my thought as of right now. Boy Scouts is boy led and Cub Scouts is parent led. If parents see a failure in leadership they vote with their feet. As a school teacher by profession, if you aren't doing your job, then parents can assist with your departure.. I know it's a volunteer organization, but you volunteered for this position and if your struggling you need to either delegate more leadership out or step away for the sake of the pack. I am afraid we are going to lose parents because they have been turned off from helping the pack go and grow by the CM and will eventually leave because their help and presence isn't wanted or needed


              • #8

                Sounds like you want to be CM, be careful what you wish for.

                FYI, there is no ACM training, only CM training.

                Good Luck!


                • #9
                  No desire to be CM...seriously.

                  Just a desire for competent adults to run a program and a position they volunteered for so DLs can go back to doing what they do best. Den Leading.


                  • #10
                    Lets step back.......

                    Life happens.

                    Family Always comes first. ALWAYS

                    Job comes before scouting.

                    So the old boy is hitting a busy patch......What can ya do to help????? Step up, which you apparently did and where told your place...

                    He missed one campout and one parade....still no biggy in my book.

                    far as the peanut allergic reaction....I am not sure if you told him the boy was ok or not, but what was he supposed to say????

                    So what can you do??? Bring it up at the committee meeting with some recommendations and have the CC and COR act on what the group believes is the best of them.

                    Far as announcements go at Pack meetings....What is he announcing? Most of the cub stuff is den level....if your holding a bunch of Pack events then that is a separate issue.


                    • #11
                      As a CM myself, I am usually at 90% of the Den and Pack Meetings. I'm always at the 2 or 3 campouts that we have each year. I have a son in the Bear Den but I'm not needed that much because they have good coverage with a DL and ADL. I admit, I don't have that much to do on den meeting nights but I make myself available to leaders and parents to provide support for questions or take care of administrative duties. Sometimes, I cover for our CC on paperwork if she cannot be there or I make an appearance at a Den Meeting to give out recoginitions or make a presentation. All that said, there is no requirement that I be at a Den Meeting unless I make a promise to be there to assist the Den Leader.

                      "...No desire to be CM...seriously. Just a desire for competent adults to run a program and a position they volunteered for so DLs can go back to doing what they do best. Den Leading..."

                      I had no desire to be the next CM also, but I am now. Funny how that works out. Being a CM is not hard. It's only hard if you are expected by your Pack to ba a "one-man" show with no help from the CC and DL's. I can tell you I would not be CM right now if that was expected of me. Like it or not, DL's are often the natural successors as the next CM because of their direct interaction with the cubs. Think about could you if you care about your Pack.

                      (This message has been edited by Jeffrey H)


                      • #12
                        What would a Cubmaster do at a Den meeting?


                        • #13
                          >>No desire to be CM...seriously.

                          Just a desire for competent adults to run a program and a position they volunteered for so DLs can go back to doing what they do best.


                          • #14

                            Train Den Leaders as needed and evaluate the quality of the program dens are offering. These can be vital functions.

                            If a Den Leader or other adults in a den can't make it to a scheduled Den Meeting, the Cubmaster or ACM is the automatic backup.


                            • #15
                              A Cubmaster who is saying "no" to parents who want a part in the program has the wrong attitude, by and large. Generally speaking it's vital for Cub Packs to be attracting parents into participating in the leadership of the pack. Pack leaders need to be vigilant in inviting parents to help with tasks and filling leadership positions.