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so if you were COR would you fold the pack or keep struggling along

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  • so if you were COR would you fold the pack or keep struggling along

    Sorry in advance, this is long, but I felt the backstory was important.

    My pack is self chartered. It was at 40ish scouts when I gave up my position as committee chair in Feb 2011 to move to boy scouts with my youngest and take over troop committee positions.
    I was happy to pass everything off to new leadership after being a primary pack leader since 2005.
    I remained in my COR position pending my name off all the financial records which never happened before the stuff hit the fan.

    We lost cubmaster who quit in the middle of the christmas party. I wasn't there, but his complaint was that he was doing everything.
    The new ComChair called me that he wasn't going to recharter the pack; I talked him into sticking around and stepped up to make sure the recharter was completed (with 24 scouts who were paid up, but probably 10 of them never showed up in January). I helped make sure the derby happened, recruited a new cubmaster, new den leadership to replace those who bailed with the last cubmaster, attended more leader mtgs, pack mtgs and such to keep things chugging along.

    kept most of those til May, then stuff hit the fan right at recruiting last August --a whole den moved to be part of a big pack taking Com Chair.
    And Our cubmaster passed away in August . again blows to membership and retention.

    So we went into August 2012 recruiting with about 4 scouts. We recruited enough leaders to have Tiger, wolf and bear dens (no webelos) of 4-6 scouts. we rechartered 14 in Dec.

    I did way too much stuff last year, which was hard with my committments at the troop level. But by the time you get a den leader and asst in each den, cubmaster, and asst cubmaster that is most of your committed parents in a very small pack--, I taught the others how to do stuff (awards, campsite reservations, etc) but mostly they just did minimum things and wouldn't take any real ownership.

    Well, this August we'd be at 7 with a couple people moving including the cubmaster says he's being transferred out of state 1st of August.. We have interest forms from 5 new scouts that want to join in August; we'd probably get more at recruiting, but you never know.

    The dad who has been den leader thru all of this found out the cubmaster is moving and called everyone to talk about the coming year. I know he's tired of the turnover of leadership. I know he's frustrated.
    He reports to me that everyone wants to either quit or give up and move to a different pack. I know he doesn't want to do this without help.
    They'd like to dissolve the pack and divide up the $ to go to each boy's scout acct that transfers to another pack.

    This pack is over 25 years old, so we aren't just a flash in the pan.
    So, What would you do if you were COR of the Parent's Group that charters this pack?

  • #2
    You heard second-hand from the dad den leader that everyone wants to quit or move to a different pack. If I were you, I'd make some phone calls myself just to make sure he is accurately reporting how others feel. Chances are, though, they won't feel the same nostalgia you do about the pack and just want to make sure their boy is having fun. If you think what your pack offers is better than the other packs in the area, then fight to keep it. Otherwise, save yourself, the other parents, and the boys the stress of the constant leadership turnover and move to another pack.

    Comment


    • 5yearscouter
      5yearscouter commented
      Editing a comment
      Well the den leader didn't get ahold of everyone and reports upon further examiation that he didn't get ahold of everyone basically just called a few in his den and he thinks they should just move to another pack.

  • #3
    I'd take a multiple-pronged approach to this problem.

    First, I'd get started with the DL parent who you say is calling others. It sounds like he is a natural leader. Will he step up to become CM? For your description, he's got as least 2 years left, so he could at least give the pack some continuity during his term. If he's taking the initiative to call others, he's probably already got a good idea of who is committed, and could get them to step up and take on a leadership position.

    Second, I'd call your DE. Loss of a unit will reflect badly on your numbers. He should be working with the Commissioner staff to find this unit a Commissioner who can work with you to help build the leadership team, and possibly build some sustainable systems. I don't know if this is a National program or not, but it seems to me that loss of a unit would be grounds for termination for a DE in my Council. Perhaps there is a way to move your unit to another CO that has members who would be willing to support a Scout unit?

    Finally, if this Pack is a feeder for your Troop, you should be bringing this up at the Troop Committee meetings to see if there are any committee members who are willing to help get the Pack back on track. (I've been reading "Scouting for Boys" this summer. B-P's vision was to have one committee to support all boys in the same unit. With the problem of constant parent turnover in a Pack, this sounds like a really good idea to me.) This would be especially true if the troop shares a CO with the Pack.

    If you can't get support from at least two of these groups, or unless you're willing to fall on this sword and take over the unit, I'd let the unit fold.

    You should talk to your DE about what to do with the funds the unit currently has in their account. I believe when a unit folds these are supposed to transfer to the CO. This is especially true if the CO has put up seed money or made contributions to sustain the unit.

    Comment


    • 5yearscouter
      5yearscouter commented
      Editing a comment
      Our moving out of state cubmaster thought the den leader was going to step up as CM or CC.
      However, this den leader does tend to be a debbie downer person, so we were afraid of him being very negative about the situation.

      Let's see the unit commissioner assigned to our pack is new to our area. He was pushing hard for us to find a new CO. Having been in the area for 25 years, the pack has btdt. Kiwanis has not very many members and don't have a meeting facility for us to use, they get together about once a month at a local restaurant to talk. The 2 churches in the area want us to pay more $ tha we have to use their facilities, and otherwise dont want to give us any attention. We have been with a PTA for a while in the past and CO with the miliary base before that, but those opportunities are no longer possible.

      UC and DE are beating the bushes to send us new members. We recruit from 13 schools of about 800 students each, so there are lots of opportunities. when I handed off the pack I had built it from 3 boys to 45 ish. Im not sure I want to do that again myself, but I know it's possible.

      The troop my boys are in pulls from 5 other packs in the area. They also compete with 2 other troops in the area. Most of the boys come from 2 very large packs to the west of us by about 15 miles. There has been negligible support from the troops to the packs and is an area that needs a lot of help. I have one past den leader and 3 or 4 boys scouts I can call on to help with recruiting, which includes my 2 sons. But they will not be able to be there every week to run things.

      Our funds would go to the council to be held for the pack in case someone re starts it in the near future. since we are chartered to the parents, the $ will not go to the CO/parents.

    • TSS_Chris
      TSS_Chris commented
      Editing a comment
      The UC or DE needs to talk more with the prospective COs about their responsibilities. If an organization agrees to be a CO, they can't charge a unit rent. They are obligated to provide the unit a meeting space, among other things.

      http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...theCOR/03.aspx

  • #4
    I tend to be of a different view. Leadership instability. Seven scouts. Unless you have several (not one, two or three ... four or more) adults willing to be leaders who are really driven to make this work and triple the size of the pack, I'd cut your losses and get your sons into a healthy pack. Then just sit back, help if asked, but let your scouts have a healthy scout experience.

    Comment


    • #5
      The Pack is self-chartered by the parents of the Scouts.

      If there are no Scouts, and the parents you do have no longer care, why should you?

      Comment


      • #6
        Once a den drops below 3 scouts it just isn't really a den. As others said if your DE is interested in helping you great. Otherwise I think they boys will have a better experience in a full sized pack.

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by ScoutNut View Post
          The Pack is self-chartered by the parents of the Scouts.

          If there are no Scouts, and the parents you do have no longer care, why should you?
          yeah I'm trying to figure out if I care ENOUGH to do this again.

          My boys are off to the troop, they are 13 and 17 now. I don't need a pack.
          Existing boys except 1 have never been in a large pack. closest other packs are 50-80 scouts. There is benefit in a bit smaller pack being available for some scouts. IF we kept all 7 and got the new 5 who are interested in joining, we'd have 3 in each den with 4 in webelos.

          So.
          1. We could fold now and not recruit in August. That is super duper negative thinking and is just giving up. I hate to just give up after putting in so much time to the pack, buying camping gear, building up a small bank balance, and such.
          2. I could do recruiting in August with help of my troop friends and then if we don't get enough bodies to do all the jobs, and then send everyone on their merry way. This is at least "do my best" kind of thinking and then if it doesn't work at least we tried.
          or 3. I could do recruiting in August with help of my troop friends, might keep a few people who didn't answer the negative den leader guy who tried to call everyone, and find there are enough new people to make it a go. We went from 3 in July2005 to 16 in Sept 2005, and then double the next year and then staying at around 8-9 in each of 5 dens every year after that tile I left. so I know it is possible.
          But is it naive to be that positive thinking? Do I really want to try that hard? Would you try that hard?

          Which one would you do?

          Comment


          • BadenP
            BadenP commented
            Editing a comment
            5 year, If I am not mistaken National passed a charter rule 2 years back stating parent groups were no longer allowed to be a CO because of all the legal hassles councils had to deal with when unit fights broke out and distribution of assets of the unit. In my own council and the three adjoining ones it has been mandated by the council via National that All Friends of troop xyz type of units had to secure a new CO via churches ,civil clubs, etc. by recharter time 2011 or the unit would not be registered. We were told this is Nationals new policy, and ten of these parent units disappeared in our council the rest chartered with American Legion, Kiwanis, etc.

        • #8
          In a situation like this, there's nothing wrong with putting your own family at the head of the list of priorities. Chances are the best you can do is prolong the inevitable. The pack had a good run and now it is time to die. Invest your time the way the rest of the pack has decided to invest theirs...in your own family's interests. RIP.

          Comment


          • #9
            Originally posted by ScoutNut View Post
            The Pack is self-chartered by the parents of the Scouts.

            If there are no Scouts, and the parents you do have no longer care, why should you?
            yeah I'm trying to figure out if I care ENOUGH to do this again.

            My boys are off to the troop, they are 13 and 17 now. I don't need a pack.
            Existing boys except 1 have never been in a large pack. closest other packs are 50-80 scouts. There is benefit in a bit smaller pack being available for some scouts. IF we kept all 7 and got the new 5 who are interested in joining, we'd have 3 in each den with 4 in webelos.

            So.
            1. We could fold now and not recruit in August. That is super duper negative thinking and is just giving up. I hate to just give up after putting in so much time to the pack, buying camping gear, building up a small bank balance, and such.
            2. I could do recruiting in August with help of my troop friends and then if we don't get enough bodies to do all the jobs, and then send everyone on their merry way. This is at least "do my best" kind of thinking and then if it doesn't work at least we tried.
            or 3. I could do recruiting in August with help of my troop friends, might keep a few people who didn't answer the negative den leader guy who tried to call everyone, and find there are enough new people to make it a go. We went from 3 in July2005 to 16 in Sept 2005, and then double the next year and then staying at around 8-9 in each of 5 dens every year after that tile I left. so I know it is possible.
            But is it naive to be that positive thinking? Do I really want to try that hard? Would you try that hard?

            Which one would you do?

            Comment


            • #10
              You are the COR, not the IH of the CO. Who is on the books as the head of the Charter Organization? Who does the IRS paperwork each year?

              This is a call that should be made by the Charter Organization, not just one person.

              Your CO, fortunately, or unfortunately, is the parents of the Scouts. Do they know that they "own" the unit? I would get all of the parents together in one room and talk to them about the reality of the situation. Then let the owners of the unit decide what they want to do, or not do, for the Scouts in THEIR Pack.

              Comment


              • #11
                I'm IH.
                We are the Parents of chartered org. As soon as a new scout joins, their parent becomes a voting member.
                So I can call a parent meeting now, to vote to continue or fold.
                or I can call a parent meeting after a trial of recruiting to vote.
                Which would you want to do?

                Most likely I'll call a parent meeting to discuss and plan recruiting. If nobody shows up that will be great fun.

                Comment


                • TSS_Chris
                  TSS_Chris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'd call the meeting now. If you wait until after recruiting, then you'll have more cats you need to herd to get a quorum. In the meantime, someone is going to have to do all the membership paperwork, and get the unit started up in the fall. That someone sounds like you.

                  If it were me, I'd have an attorney draw up a proxy ballot where anyone who wasn't going to attend could sign their votes over to you, and mail an invite to all the members. At least this way, you should have enough votes to make a binding decision by yourself if no-one else cares to show up. You'll also have a very clear indication that none of the other parents wants your unit to continue.

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  call an attorney????

                  I would call a family meeting and give everyone 2 minutes to speak their mind....Then vote.

                  If you write checks for the isa money, don't write them to the parents but to the unit they are going too....

                • TSS_Chris
                  TSS_Chris commented
                  Editing a comment
                  @BD: Yes. Call an attorney.

                  From the OP's description, his CO is most likely "The Parents of Pack 123, Anytown USA, Inc." So he's not just disbanding a unit. He's ceasing the operations of a nonprofit corporation. That requires a resolution of the board. There are definitely some i's that need to be dotted here.

              • #12
                The decision to fold the unit better be made by the largest group available. You don't want to dictate this unilaterally. It's only seven folks so it's not like you have to rent a hall for a parent's meeting. Of course, if they vote to remain, the folks so voting are your new unit leaders.

                And if they do continue, I think you need to stick with your original plan and step down as IH/COR. I only see trouble for you trying to manage a group like this.

                Comment


                • #13
                  If you decide to fold, I think you should spend all of the remaining money you have on a really cool outing for the boys as a group instead of sending them each off with their own money.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    In this scenario, I would probably vote to fold.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Leader turnover is a sad fact of life in Troops and Packs, and sometimes it can happen faster than we like. I can certainly appreciate your respect for the heritage of a 25-year old unit, and your desire to keep it going! Good for you! Some would shun the idea of heritage and label traditions as "tacky," etc. I would have that parent meeting before your recruitment and present the following as an option: Keep after your DE to find another CO in or near your town. Try American Legion/VFW/Other Veterans' organizations (They LOVE Scouts!). Volunteer Fire Departments, ALL civic organizations, yes, even the Garden Club. Even if they are unable to provide a meeting space, maybe they can help arrange one at another location in exchange for a little service time from the Pack (tidying up the grounds, etc.) and perhaps an annual donation to help with the heating/lighting costs. (Never, ever "pay rent"!) My American Legion sponsored Pack has a similar arrangement with a local church hall due to space limitations in the Legion building. BUT...leave it to your DE to approach these folks--he/she is trained in pitching new potential COs! If he/she secures a new CO for you, it's just a matter of transition from that point forward. You can keep the same pack number, your funds and equipment and leadership if the new CO chooses. (And why wouldn't they? It's a lot less work for them with everything in place already!) You'll be off the hook as IH/COR, and know you've done a "job well done" leaving a heritage Pack in good shape. I think deep down, you want to save this pack, and I'm certain your DE does too!

                      From what I understand, your recharter happens in December, so the clock is ticking, but it's entirely possible to do this!

                      Just my $.03 (I rambled too long for just $.02)

                      -Frank
                      Last edited by FrankScout; 07-30-2013, 10:24 PM.

                      Comment


                      • FrankScout
                        FrankScout commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Please let us know what happens!

                      • 5yearscouter
                        5yearscouter commented
                        Editing a comment
                        If anyone else has suggestions I'll take em.
                        Tomorrow night is school open house, but I don't have the bodies to cover all 13 schools. If the parents agree we'll send home flyers for a scout open house/roundup sometime before the end of the month. School start Monday.

                      • Bookemdano
                        Bookemdano commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Could always advertise in local newspapers and see what happens.
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