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  • New Cub Master many questions.

    Hello all mind if I sit around the virtual campfire with you?

    I've got a few questions, but first some backstory. My son just joined Wolf Cubs, well, I was actively involved in Boy scouts about 15 years ago as a Boy scout, I made it as far as First Class, but turned 18 and was done since we didn't have any venturing scout groups around. Well, I really enjoyed it and was more than happy when my son decided he wanted to be in scouts. We went to the meeting our District Director (DD) offered, we currently don't have a DE, and it was a great chance to see what the cub scouts can do. I didn't offer up at that time to handle a Den or anything because I was starting school the next week, working on my BBA, and didn't know what my class schedule was going to be and didn't want to do a poor job and let down the cubs and my son. So I held off until I knew my schedule. Well, I called the DD and talked to him and the Cub Master had backed out he was the ROTC instructor at the High School, Science Teacher there, and going to get his Masters. Well one thing let to another and I decided I'd do it. We need some one too and I figured I wasn't going to just send my son to be babysat..lol This all occured about 2 weeks ago. Since then I have completed all the online training, we have the Cub Leader Training in about 2 weeks, and Baloo training that same day, plus I have a Roundtable I'm planning on attending on the 10th. We've had our first Leader meeting where we set the Pack Meeting schedule and that's about as far as we have gone. Well, here's the start of my questions:

    1) Out of 35 kids we have 4 that are previous Cub Scouts, how quickly do we need to get the parents to get the uniforms?

    2) Our Popcorn sales aren't starting until the 17th of this month and after talking with the only previous den leader I have found we had no bank account, the previous CM just handled the money, we have 8 scout bucks, and talking to the Council we have $1.29 on our pack account there. What do I do for funds for the boys between now and then time the popcorn sales are over. I don't want to discourage the other 30 families from staying in scouts by constantly asking for money for them to do things, the uniform will be enough for many of them to spend on scouts so far. If I donated some of my own money to try to do things for them would I have to give it to the District or can I just donate it to the troop?

    3) We don't have a Pack flag, where can I get one? Is it only the council that has them?

    4) I would love to go through Wood Badge training is there a way for me to find any other councils that are offering it locally? The last one my council had was back in 2006. Is there any other training that is recommended by any of you that would be helpful?

    5) I'm also an American Heart Association instructor (CPR, First Aid, Healthcare Provider CPR, and Adavanced Cardiac Life Support) would the Cub scouts, more specifically the Webelos need CPR/First Aid for anything they will be learning?

    6) Final question I promise! If I wanted to do a fund raiser such as getting a bunch of baskets and filling them with gifts and other items to sell, could I do that and even have name brand items in the baskets? What restrictiions are there on what we can and can't do for fund raising? I know we can ask for funds without any thing in return, and we can't ask for donations like the Salvation Army, but can we use name brand items in something like this idea and sell it as a gift basket/pack?


    Thank you all ahead of time for your help and words.

  • #2

    Congrats on stepping up and being the CM! I just finished 2 years as a CM after being my son's Den Leader for 2 years.

    1) My answer is ASAP. If you make it seem like it's optional, then it will be. On your pack schedule, plan a "uniform inspection" for a pack meeting. It will alert the parents as to when you expect the boys to have their uniforms. This will come up every year for new scouts anyway, so it's a good habit to get into. We usually do ours in October/November at the 2nd or 3rd pack meeting.

    Now, if there are financial issues in general in the area you live, then you may need to be creative and look for used uniforms or whatever, but the expectation is that the boys should be in uniform by such-and-such date.

    The uniform inspection itself isn't rigorous or punative. In fact, make it the opposite... For example, best uniformed den gets to do the flag ceremony next month. Or maybe, hand out tickets for a drawing at the end of the pack meeting...the better your uniform, the more tickets you get. The drawing could be for cookies, a toy, some legos, whatever. The best way to get uniforming going is to get the BOYS to want to wear it and have THEM get on their parents to get it bought.

    2) Who is your chartering organization (the group that sponsors your pack)? Is it a church, civic org, school? They technically "own" the pack and are granted a charter to run a pack according to the BSA's program. You should talk to whomever deals with your pack to open a bank account and find a treasurer. Typically, when opening an account, you'd use their tax-id number. Keep the district and council out of it except to ask advice. They'll have nothing to do with your finances except to take a cut of your popcorn sales.

    That being said, what about yearly/monthly dues? Our pack charges $99/year payable at the beginning of the school year then we do our popcorn sale. No more comes from Mom and Dad except for specific events that they may sign up for which the pack may or may not reimburse. If you decide to donate, it should be to the Pack's checking account, once opened.

    3) Pack flags are orderable at scoutstuff.org. The order form is at http://www.scoutstuff.org/BSASupply/images/pdfs/70-381.pdf. They also have flag toppers (finials?) for flag staffs as well. I assume you already have a US Flag, as that should come first then the pack flag if tight on money.

    4) Check your nearby councils for Wood Badge...usually may be able to go as out-of-council if they allow it and have space. A list of councils is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Local_councils_of_the_Boy_Scouts_of_Ameri ca, although not sorted by state. Which council are you in?

    In general, I'd say to get your feet wet for a year or three before jumping into Wood Badge. You'll have plenty to do as Cubmaster and WB isn't directly applicable to running pack meetings as it's a leadership methods course.

    Instead, do your CM training, BALOO, maybe Outdoor Skills for Webelos leader (OWL), Hazardous Weather online, etc... Also, if your Council does a Pow-Wow or University of Scouting, definitely attend that. Finally, use Roundtables as a resource and a networking mechanism.

    5) CPR is more in the Boy Scout timeframe. However, the Webelos dens will need an activity badge co-ordinator for their Readyman activity pin...you'd be perfect for that. Co-ordinate with the Webelos den leader to help out, if needed.

    6) Yes, absolutely, as long as you get permission from Council. Use Unit Money Earning Application at http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34427.pdf.

    Good luck, and keep those questions coming!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Make sitting down with the chartered organization one of your first priorities. They agreed to sponsor the pack and should be intimately involved, especially with such sudden leadership turnover.

      Comment


      • #4
        AlFansome & Shortridge

        Thank you both for your replies. I will definitely find out about our CO, I haven't found that out yet.

        1) I'll talk with our parents the end of this month about the uniforms at our pack meeting and get them and the scouts on board with the uniforms. Great Idea about having a raffle for the "best dressed". I saw a uniform inspection thing and maybe I can do a point range system such as 50-60 points 1 ticket, 60-70 2 tickets and so on. Might have to get something good to show at the pack meeting too. OH!! Can do a thing for the best den, who has the highest points, and give them a trophy or something. You've got my gears turning on that one.

        2) I haven't heard anything about yearly or monthly dues, but that sounds like a great idea. It's $10/year for our council and $12/year for the Boy's Life subscription, but another $28 for a total of $50 wouldn't be too bad would it? Our area's average income is 31K - 39K/yr. So, they might not be too upset about that.

        3)We are going to try to use the local school's cafeteria and they said we could use their flag, plus each den leader is going to get a US flag for their den. I know with the flag ceremonies we are supposed to have a pack flag and US flag.

        4)Ok, I didn't know WB wouldn't help more with a CM, but I know in the long run it will be helpful. I will definitely look at the other courses you mentioned too. Thanks

        5) Cool, I didn't know if the Webelos would or not, I knew the Boy Scouts did, but wasn't too sure. Thanks!!

        6) Great I'll do that and get it to them once I speak with all the den leaders and get their ideas/suggestions.

        Comment


        • #5
          Howdy, FoukeCM!

          First of all, congratulations - you've got the most fun job in the Pack! The most important thing about being a Cub Master is NOT being anything or everything else.

          Training - do the all the required training for CM. Then stop - for now. Make sure that others get the BALOO (and OWL if necessary). In fact, make sure that multiple people get the BALOO. Don't make yourself indispensable for having Pack campouts - backup is great!

          Get your Committee Chair to handle budget, determine Pack Dues, and set a Popcorn goal. ITS NOT YOUR JOB. But definitely have some input as to setting Pack Dues if you want to make sure the parents can afford uniforms, too.

          Webelos don't need to learn CPR. But they will have fun learning how if you've got access to the dummies.

          As for the Charter Org, most of the interaction should be handled by... the Committee Chair.

          As for Popcorn and any other fund raiser you do - you can be the "talking head" & main cheerleader - but you can't be the Popcorn "Kernel" or person in charge. The Committee Chair should be rounding up volunteers for these positions.

          In case you haven't guessed - I would hate being the CC as much as I loved being the CM!

          Mr. Cubmaster, you do have one very serious role - you're "the Program Person". You need to make sure that the Den Leaders have what they need to effectively put on "the Program". Which means that Den Leaders should NOT be heading up fundraising, or the Christmas Party, Blue & Gold Dinner, etc.. any more than you should be. Make sure the Committee Chair gets bodies to handle all these events.

          Now, go have fun.

          NC

          Comment


          • #6
            FoukeCM,

            Greetings!

            You've gotten excellent advice. Specifically about money. Find Committee Chair to organize the rest of a committee.

            As the Cubmaster, you will probably have alot of say an influence in how the budget is being spent. Ranks, recognitions and Webelos activity pins are the bulk of the budget. But Blue and Gold, special pack events, den meetings in a box, etc. You will have many recommendations on where to spend money at, but get a treasurer on the committee to handle the funds.

            Also, along with the money earning project worksheet and approval from the DE/DD. Inquire with other Cubmasters at your local Roundtable how they have held successful fundraisers.

            Good Luck, get a committee and have fun!

            Scouting Forever and Venture On!
            Crew21 Adv

            Comment


            • #7
              You got some great advice. Since I'm considered a "uniform policeman" here are some ideas to get them uniformed.

              1) Thrift stores, garage sales, Ebay, etc are your friend. Once uniform always uniform, so you can have scouts in vintage uniforms. heck my son wears a vintage hat and slide (you know your old when uniform items you wore are "vintage")

              2)See if other packs have "uniform closet" of expereinced uniforms that you may be able to buy. they may be willing to part with a few uniforms.

              3) at soem point, hwne you have folks outgrowing their uniforms, create a pack uniform closet.

              good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh man, I have a bunch of questions for the Scout council office now.

                I'm going to call them this morning and see what I can find out.

                I need to find out who my:

                Charter Organization
                CO Representative
                Committee Chair - if we have one
                Committe Members - if we have any
                Who the past CM was and how to contact him, he was at the roundup.

                Many many questions. Thank you all for pointing me in the right direction. I think the past CM was sort of a "I can do it all" CM. He handled the money, fund raising, scout bucks, and registration for all the camps and everything. They really didn't have any Pack meetings and I honestly don't think there was a committee, but I'll find all that out today and let you all know what I hear. Thank you very much for all the wisdom you have bestowed on me. I do greatly appreciate it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  FoukeCM,

                  Greetings again!

                  I have met just a few Cubmasters that have had to "do it all". To revive a unit and to begin a new unit.

                  The advice was always, don't "do it all" for too long.

                  It happens. But any Cubmaster caught in that situation should recruit a committee (albiet the opposite way of doing things) or think of merging with another Pack.

                  Hopefully your previous Cubmaster did not have that mindset, but was unfortunately caught in a temporary situation were assistance was becoming scarce.

                  Good Luck!

                  Scouting Forever and Venture On!
                  Crew21 Adv

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Had a nice talk with the Scout office, found out the old CubMaster's number and left a message for him, and found out that our City Lion's Club is the CO, and the CO Rep is also the Committee Chair. Now the problem is getting in contact with the CO Rep, I've got a number but it's been disconnected, and I have looked on the Lion's website to try to find the local chapter and they don't even have the local chapter listed. I think once I can meet with the CO rep and maybe the committee if we have one that it'll be a lot easier than what I'm thinking right now. Just have to get some organization in it and get the group running like the BSA says and it'll be fine.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1) Where does the pack hold its meetings? The safe meeting space is supposed to be provided by the CO (in theory apparently).

                      2) Find out who is listed as the Institution Head for the CO and try to contact that person if you can't reach the COR.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ok what I am recommending is NOT how it is supposed to be done. Again ,NOT how it is supposed to be done. However "Desparate times calls for desparate measures."

                        1) Contact the IH of the lions club IF they are still around. The way it sounds they amy no longer meet or have merged.

                        2) If you cannot find your charter organization's IH or COR, or they don't want to get involved, then do the following.

                        A) Recruit folks to be a comittee, Den Leaders (DLs), etc. You need to multiply yourself. The more folks you have, the easier it is.

                        B) Talk to the location you are meeting at and see if they are interested in being the CO

                        C) if that don't work, talk to your DE about potential COs. He may have 1 or 2 lined up, andallthey need is leaders.

                        d) Repeat C as needed.

                        Good luck and hope this helps.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          NoRules/Eagle92

                          Right now we are meeting in the Community Center and I've got a meeting with the superintendent of the school district to see if we can use the school cafeteria for our monthly pack meetings. Once I meet with the superintendent then I'm going to go see what I can find out from the Lion's club and go from there. Thank you both for your suggestions I'll definitely look into other CO's if I can't find or get in contact with anyone from my current one. I'll let you know what comes up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Welcome FoukeCM. Just go to the Council office and ask the registrar (or your DE) for a printout of the Pack's charter roster. That should contain the names, phone and address for everyone registered with your Pack, including the Chartered Organization (CO), CO Rep (COR) and IH (institutional head). Then go about making corrections, which the Council will need to know about.

                            You asked about funding the Pack until a fundraiser can be scheduled. Cash donations to a unit are perfectly acceptable...you just can't solicit them. Once you talk to your CO (Lion's Club?), explain the situation you're in, and ask it they might not be able to appropriate some "seed money" to help get things going (buying you a Pack Flag and American Flag would be nice, too!). That's their job, although some COs do it better than others. They are also responsible for providing you a meeting place and helping to recruit and approve adult leadership. Again, some COs are more involved than others...some not at all. There's good and bad in that as you will find out. Also ask how your boys can be of service to the CO. It is against BSA policy to fundraise for them, but there are myriad other ways to provide a symbiotic relationship. The CO and its members should know who you and the boys are.

                            Good luck and have fun! We are here to help and support!(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A few things about the American flag. tehre are ways to get a donation.

                              1) Ask you local American Legion, VFW, or VVA for one. Also check out Woodmen of the World.

                              2) Check with your local congresscritter. I've had one Eagle get a flag flown over the Capitol form his Represetnative, another from his Senator. Also had 1 brand new unit receive a flag flown over the Capitol from their congrescritter, given to them when I presented their charter to them.

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