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Absentee Cubmaster?

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  • #16
    ScoutWolf,
    I was a CM for 5 years, I also taught the CM training for my district for 6 years.

    Some comments on your post:

    "I have work and I cant swing it tonight"
    Before retirement I was a firefighter, that means working weekend, holidays, nights etc. It was never a problem because I had good ACMs. I missed a lot of meetings and trips but my shift work allowed me to do things during the day like get awards and patches from the Scout Shop during the day when everyone else was working. Don't discount the things your CM does when you're not around.

    ""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."
    From the CM point of view having good DLs is the most important thing you can have for a good program. CM apparently believes you're doing a good job and he can't replace you. Take it as a complement. I rarely attended den meetings unless there was a problem or I was invited. I always went on camping trips because they were pack events but I know CMs who don't camp. That doesn't mean there's no camping program in the pack, just that someone else runs the camping trip (Like a ACM or WDL).

    "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."
    Not sure what you're suppose about a kid who just finds out he has a peanut allergy other than to make sure his parents know so he can see a doctor. Unless of course he has a full blown anaphylactic reaction, then it's time to dial 911.

    "His communication is less than stellar. Except to tell us when he isnt going to show up."
    At least he tells you when he's not going to be there. How many of us had had leaders who just didn't show up and not even bother to tell anyone?

    "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 understand you're just trying to put all that Woodbadge training to good use. When you become CM that will all come in real handy. I did WB and understand what it does and does not do to prepare you for a position in Scouting.

    "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. 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."

    The committee choses the CM, with approval of the CO. The Committee can replace the CM at any time. If the parents are not happy them maybe it's time for a change. Get your training and put your name in the hat, sounds like you would be great at the job.






    Comment


    • #17
      "A Cubmaster who is saying "no" to parents who want a part in the program has the wrong attitude, by and large"

      Unless the person volunteering has the wrong attitude or doesn't work well with others. It's the Committees job to choose the best person for a job, not accept everyone who wants a position.

      Comment


      • #18
        I missed the WB hatred.....

        So SW were you a scout as a youth????



        We are getting part of the story as usual....

        How would the opinions and attitudes change if we found out he was a life long scouter who has been CM for 10 years and has no boys in the program??? and the boys loved him or hate him???? Wife was ill??? or he lost his job and is now working 2 part time jobs????


        Or a newbee who has only been CM for 6 months?

        I don't care for WB


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        • #19
          I've been Cubmaster for 4 years now. I'm at all the Den meetings, do the opening announcements (Always brief) and flag ceremony. Then usually help any Den leader who needs it. Right now I'm running the Tiger Den until the WebII leader's son crosses over, then he will take over for his youngest son. I'm lucky to have a "9 to 5" job with lots of vacation, so haven't missed a Pack meeting or campout in 5 years . All of our Dens meet on the same night, so I get there a few minutes early to unlock the Church.

          Comment


          • #20
            This sounds more like the CM and CC haven't made a solid division of yours-mine. When I took over for a weak CC, I told our CM that admin was me and the committee, not him. If it's paper, I sign it.

            Other than staying in the loop with Outdoor Activities and Advancements, our CM has totally backed off all admin functions. We have also shown the entire Pack our color coded org chart, which works well with military folks, and that has helped get a lot of admin issues directed to the Committee and away from the CM.

            It really sounds like the CM and CC aren't getting along or working well together. It is truly a partnership, with the CC being the sharp eyed quieter partner in the back of the room taking care of business while the CM is up front and active with the boys and DLs.

            Comment


            • #21
              The only thing y'all haven't covered thoroughly is the CM refusing adult help.

              When CM, I made it a point to never refuse help! (I did have to beg for help a few times...) If I don't think that a volunteering adult was capable of doing the task that they wanted to do, I'd find some other way for them to help. Even the Hall Monitor job is important and making a contribution. (Our guys broke a toilet off the wall once during PWD. $518. Now we have adult hall monitors.)

              If your CM is a control freak to the degree that "If I can't get that task done, then nobody's gonna do it!", then your committee needs to find him another job. Need a hall monitor?

              Comment


              • #22
                Does life get in the way?

                Absolutely.

                I make it a priority to be there for my kids though.

                I know what you are saying with a CM being there for Den Meetings. Theres not a lot for him to "do". I see the perspective there, but when I have obligations with work such as parent conferences or curriculum nights, I let the CM know well in advance that I am not going to make it.

                The whole peanut allergy situation: I told him, "oh" I took the initative to call the next day and check up. I guess its too much to ask for someone who is in charge of a program to call up a scout and their mom to say "hey is little johnny doing fine?" I heard about this from his DL. As a teacher by trade if a student is out more than two consecutive days, I call home and see whats up. Its the teacher in me I guess.



                Basementdweller, I know you are into the WB hate and im not concerned with that, but when you have missed 4 of the last 5 meetings due to "things I cant tell you." What is going on? My response, "Are things ok? Can I pray for ya man?" No response. Were both members of the chartering organization (church) and worked together in various church positions together. So its not like a acquaintance style relationship. Hes a life long scouter and has been through thick and thin with the pack, but when you finally are excited about having kids in the pack and you arent there for them, what are you to do? Hes very set in his ways, some of which are effective, others not so much IMHO.

                If you do that in my profession not showing up, kids arent performing, you arent performing meeting responsibilities, your gone. Yes its "volunteer" but its your job as a leader to be there when needed. He was needed and not there.

                I guess my vision and perception about what a leader does is different from others. Im just going to work on retaining parents and scouts (my ticket).

                Im just growing weary of having to stick up for him to parents. thats all.(This message has been edited by ScoutWolf)

                Comment


                • #23
                  I have never had a teacher call to check on my kids even after bein out with the flu for a week a couple of years ago.......

                  Difference between urban and suburban rural schools I guess.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Oh the times and how they are different now in education.
                    I dont have any kids yet, but I already feel like I have teenagers with 165 kids on my case load at school calling parents to see whats up when they are out due to things. When they mean "no child/teacher/parent left behind"...they really do mean it

                    Not trying to come off as "whiny" through all of this everyone, and maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill through all of this. I'm just honestly concerned that parents are going to get a bad impression of him as a leader and a person and the pack.(This message has been edited by ScoutWolf)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      JoeBob, I thought I covered it pretty well in my posts. CM has said that the DL is needed in his current position. Also the committee chooses and approves (usually with input from the CM) ACMs along with all the other adult positions. When a change needs to be made, they should make it.

                      ScoutWolf, maybe you could send a letter to the committee announcing your availability for the CM position. You've got a lot of great ideas but you can't implement them from the back seat. Jump up front and drive the bus! Your first job is to find a DL to replace you.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Eagle732:

                        I thought that is what I said:

                        "If your CM is a control freak to the degree that "If I can't get that task done, then nobody's gonna do it!", then your committee needs to find him another job."

                        You're not snared in that BSA nomenclature, are you? CM is not MC...

                        These folks don't have a CM. They have a person call 'Cubmaster' who won't let anyone else help him. Strange....

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          The Cubmaster (CM) is a problem for the Committee Chair (CC), and the Charter Organization Representative (COR) to solve, not you.

                          You, Scoutwolf, are a den leader. That is your registered position, and your main job.

                          Your job is not to second guess why the Cubmaster (CM) is not attending den meetings, or calling every parent whose kid misses a meeting.

                          Your job is to give YOUR DEN the best program YOU can can possibly give them. Your job is to worry about the families in YOUR DEN.

                          Let the other den leaders do the same for their dens.

                          If this happens, then what the CM does, or does not do, will matter very little to the average family.

                          BTW, if the CM is unavailable, it is the job of the CC to step up/in.

                          Also, gotta say, private, suburban school, as long as a parent calls in every day to let the school know their child is going to be absent, no one from the school will call to "check up" on the student. Your checking-up has nothing to do with "no child left behind", and everything to do with not trusting the students, or their parents.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Sometimes life happens and sometimes life piles on. Sounds like this fellow has problems beyond simply being busy.

                            I've worked with a couple folks whose lives were completely falling apart around them -- work, family, marriage, finances. The quick take would be that someone in that situation should drop Scouting and focus on the important issues in their life, right? For two guys I know in particular, Scouting remained the one area of their lives which wasn't in the toilet. They were good Scouters, respected by others and Scouting was an area in which they still felt some degree of control. The last thing they wanted to do was give that up.

                            My first stop would be to have a chat with your minister. He shouldn't tell you anything about the fellow's situation out of confidence, but he may be able to give you some overall insight. He may be unaware of your friend's issues and may be able to help from his position. That is especially true if the pack is chartered to the church.

                            Secondly, I'd take another run at helping your friend. If my above assumptions are correct, you need to convince him you in no way want to take CM from him -- just the opposite, you want to help him through his "busy" time to be successful and stay on as CM for as long as he wants. If his survival instincts are kicking in, he may see you as a threat to his position. That may, in part, explain the animosity over you taking Wood Badge. (And by the way, I would NOT take CM training -- that's only going to fuel his suspicions. Besides, having taken both DL training and WB, there's nothing you need to know that you won't get by reading the CS leaders' book.)

                            A friend of mine is a business consultant-type and one of his sayings is to check your "sword and shield" at the door. That's how you need to approach this guy. Go in with your palms up. Start by asking his advice on den activities. Tell him that he is right, that you need to remain a den leader, 'cause he's got CM covered. But you are willing to help him with some of the behind-the-scenes errand and admin stuff if that will allow him to focus on the program more. Stay behind the scenes for the time being. I think the last thing you want to do is go running in, Al Haig-style, to take over a pack meeting the next time he's away (besides, that really is the CC's job). When you see things falling through the crack, quietly pick it up and handle it. But don't do stuff behind his back either. A good coating of sugar helps too: "I ran into the guy from Roundtable at the grocery store and he said the info for day camp is on the web site. Do you want me to print some sign up sheets?" Or, "I need new Scout socks, can I get the rank badges for the pack meeting while I'm at the Scout Shop?"

                            You know all this -- it's classic servant leadership; old-fashioned leading from behind.

                            Good luck!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              "Also, gotta say, private, suburban school, as long as a parent calls in every day to let the school know their child is going to be absent, no one from the school will call to "check up" on the student. Your checking-up has nothing to do with "no child left behind", and everything to do with not trusting the students, or their parents."

                              Slow down please. I wasnt being super serious here about NCLB. It was meant as a metaphor in all earnest.

                              Trusting parents and students? I guess I am not allowed to care about my kids after school hours.
                              So if I call my parents just wanting to talk to them about why johnny isn't in school and hes missing work and hes failing my class, that's not trusting my parents? I don't frankly care if its public or private, kids are kids no matter where. Kids need to be held accountable and taught accountability by someone, if not their parents, then myself as their teacher. I work with parents who have no idea what real accountability is. I get paid the "big bucks"

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Den Leaders are infinitely more important than the Cub Master. Its the den leaders that the boys and families see every week. Our Cub Master runs the once a month leaders meeting, and pack meeting. The Pack meeting outline is done at the leaders meeting.

                                He also does a lot more than that, like rechartering, tour plans when we want to do a pack camp and probably dealing with the behind the scenes whining that probably goes on.

                                But the Cub Master's main purpose is to MC the pack meetings. It should be the committee chair etc doing the rechartering, but some packs just don't have that level of commitment from a lot of people to take over all those jobs.

                                I have never asked our CM to come to our Den Meetings, but I am sure he would if he could if I asked him to. He is also the Web2 Den Leader and will be moving on at the end of the year after a long tenure as CM of our pack.

                                Our new Cub Master we hope to give him enough support so that we have people who can handle rechartering etcetc and he can be the MC/face of the pack.


                                Is your Cubmaster in charge of everything? Collecting money for events etc, can't that go to your Treasurer? Den Meetings are run by the den leaders, shouldn't need to have a CM there. If this was a Den Leader acting like this I can see your point, but the CM, although he isn't wonderful, he isn't horrible either.
                                (This message has been edited by jc2008)

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