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New Parents TRYING to get involved with Cub Pack

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  • New Parents TRYING to get involved with Cub Pack

    We have had a horrible time trying to get our son into a Cub Scout Pack.
    Have been trying for over 2 months...

    First, our local council referred us to a non-existent pack... congrats, my husband was registered as CubMaster & I was Committee Chair - our son was the ONLY Cub Scout.

    OK, so that was not going to work...

    Local Council Rep was dodging our calls - had to show up and ambush him at lunchtime outside the Council office to get answers.

    Phone interviewed several CM's. Found a pack that sounded great over the phone.

    Husband & I both completed full online training & registered as volunteers. We are excited & ready to be involved.

    The pack leadership could not care less. Our offers to be ADL were rebuffed. There is NO ADL in any of the dens (I don't think). The pack meetings are DREARY. HORRID. AWFUL. or, as my son puts it "really bording"

    My husband offered to write, print, produce a weekly pack newsletter. No response. {we are both in advertising/marketing. would have been a great newsletter for the pack }

    We went to a council camping event - and our pack did not even camp together. Our den did NOTHING together. We are SO disappointed.

    We joined Cub Scouts to allow our son to meet & socialize with other boys. He has Asperger's, and it is not easy for him to make friends. We felt that Scouting, and all of the individual achievements and sharing with peers would be a great fit for our son. He finished his Bobcat badge over a month ago... has yet to be recorded in our pack. He has also completed 3 beltloops. Again, not even recorded.

    I am at a loss. I thought I had chosen a pack that would be a good fit.

    How can I find a pack that is active, fun & interested in our involvement?

    Please don't suggest the Council. They are less than worthless. Don't return messages, and make promises that they never intend to keep. The council could not even provide an accurate schedule of local pack meetings.

    I can't ask my son's friends. He has none. That's why we so DESPERATELY want to join Scouting.

  • #2
    Well, I wouldn't lay too much blam on the council. They have records of what is turned in to them. If a pack started up, but then everybody dropped out or left for other packs...might be recharter time before the council finds out.
    As for council knowing meeting times...the individual packs can and do change that from year to year. No way the council has time to keep up with that.

    BUT...The council should be able to tell you what packs are registred/chartered, and where their CO is located and who the last person listed as Cub Master was. That info could be old, or changed, but it'sa start.

    One thing I notice that doesn't get pointed out ar roundups: You are not limited to any pack in any area. You are perfectly able to drive past two packs if you like the way the 3rd one is run. You can cross council and district lines if you want. More gas burned, but still your choice.

    Only costs you $1.00 to transfer from one unit to another.

    Comment


    • #3
      While your local council does have records on the Packs, some councils are better at record keeping than others. Most District Executives at councils are notoriously bad at returning phone calls. Part of the reason for that is that they are not actually in their office all that much. They are usually out in the community working to start new Packs/Troops/Crews/etc, register new Scouts, and raise funds for the council. You might have better luck with emails. You might also try getting friendly with the front desk secretary. They can be worth their weight in popcorn!

      To find local Packs near your house, enter your address on this page at the BSA National Web site -

      https://beascout.scouting.org/

      The resulting map will give you the Pack number, and the name of the community organization which charters (owns) it. Some will also give you their address, and contact info. Others will direct you to an email (sometimes to the local council) form to request more info.

      I suggest you contact the Cubmasters at a number of local Packs (you can find the phone number of the charter org in the phone book if necessary), and make an appointment to visit a den meeting at your sons level, and also a Pack meeting if you can. Talk to the families, and the leaders there.

      There is a Pack out there which is a good fit for your family. It just might take a bit of work finding it!

      PS - a good Pack should be thrilled to have 2 registered adult volunteers, but keep in mind that there are other positions that might need filling besides that of den leader.

      Happy Scouting, and Happy Pack Hunting!


      Comment


      • #4
        Since you called several CM's.. I take it there were a few other Packs to choose from??.. I would start out calling them again. And visiting a Den meeting or Pack meeting or Pack committee meeting to get the feel of the Den you son would most likely be placed in.. Normally you do Troop shopping, but nothing against you doing Pack shopping.. DO so Before your son (or you) are totally turned off.. The others may not sound so good over the phone, but be much better, because the den you son would be in has an excellent DL, and/or they will love your help, and you can work on making the Den/Pack become better.

        Do you or your husband have a background in Scouting? Just wondering, as with most parents who don't know what they are getting themselves in for, they would have been turned off far sooner.. Probably at the "ghost" pack.. They also don't typically roll up their shirt sleeves and volunteer to help, it is more you have to slowly encouraged them to wade in.. Hopefully if you know how it is suppose to be like when run well, you can do the Pack shopping and find yourself a great Pack.

        Early Dec is recharter day.. Don't want to push you to hurry, just if you wait until after Recharter day to jump to a different Pack, you may transfer to a different Pack then when the registrar keys in the charter info (about a month or two after recharter day, you may land back into the Pack you left because your name was on their charter.) Just if you do jump after the recharter date, watch out for it so you can transfer back to the Pack you want to be with.. Or Do not recharter with the Pack you don't like to avoid complications while you decide on a different Pack..

        Phones are great, but one CM may be a great salesman and sell you the Brooklin Bridge while the other is being truthful or don't do well blowing their own horn, and come off not looking so go.. Go.. See for yourself, then choose.

        Comment


        • #5
          With your attitude and enthusiasm, maybe you should start a new pack. Have you met any other parents who were dissatisfied with the other situaiton? Do you know of any other parents of children with Asperger's or other autism spectrum conditions? Maybe you could have a special needs unit where everyone involved would be on the same page. You only need 5 scouts to start a unit. This is a lot of work and maybe not the direction you want to go, but just an idea.

          I'll bet you'd be more likely to get a return phone call from the DE if you said you wanted to start a new unit.(This message has been edited by the blancmange)

          Comment


          • #6
            Moose, different councils recharter at different times. Sometimes districts within a council have different recharter dates. Mom2cub's location per her profile is Ft Myers, that is in the Panther District of the SW Florida Council. Panther District recharters in January.

            Mom2cub, don't just do phone interviews. Visit den and Pack meetings so that you can get a good idea of how they do things. Talk to the parents and find out what they like, and don't like about the Pack.

            When you find the right Pack for you, they can take care of switching your registration to their Pack. It should be fairly easy.

            Comment


            • #7
              When I was in my former troop I would drive 34 miles round-trip to the meetings because I liked that troop. Now that I have moved and found a different troop, I drive only 21 miles round-trip. Our council has 3 districts and at one point I lived in one district, had a troop in another and a crew in the third. Yeah, it's a lot of travel and hassle, but I have what I consider the best possible experience for me.

              The small village (not a city) that I have my troop in has two troops (I was ASM in one of them and am now SM in the other) and 3 packs. I don't live in that village, but I live two cities away.

              Unless you live in a huge geographic, sparsely populated council, there should be a couple of options out there for you. Otherwise, the "start your own" sounds like a pretty good idea. Heck, you're already 3/4th the way there, just find 4 other boys your son's age and have at it. You're good to go. Even if you don't do very well the first couple of years, it's better than the alternatives!

              Stosh

              Comment


              • #8
                PM sent, also have a scout son with Asperger's.

                Suggestion to moderators, create a forum for special-needs boys.

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I first started on this forum it was a bit confusing the different forum areas. There is a special needs sub-level under Open Discussion-Program. There are also other sub-levels under the High Adventure area. I was on the forum for many years before either 1) I noticed them or 2) they were added.

                  Occasionally people will post in those areas but because of their relative obscurity they aren't used much.

                  Stosh

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    one thought, you might find out when your district roundtables are. If your just calling CMs blind you are not going to have any idea who you are dealing with, and everybody thinks their way is the right way. At the roundtables you will meet seasoned scouters who have roots in the local packs and can really point you in the right directions... you'll all meet CMs and know they are involved, because they are at the roundtable. That is really the sniff test... if they are attending training they are trying to do the right thing. Also, you might find out who is coordinating special needs packs/troops in the area. Some larger areas have packs that have parents with lots of experience with that kind of thing (I speak from experience there, we are one of those packs in our area).

                    It's just a thought, when we started looking for a new troop the first thing I did was talk to the roundtable staff and find out the top troops in the area, and they had lots of great ideas.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      OP: I'm tremendously impressed, and encouraged, by your tenacity.

                      You honestly deserve a medal!

                      I'm at that reflective midstage of life, and I can more clearly see that scouting was far more valuable than the sports I did. You're to be congratulated for your perseverance. Keep calling the council: they'll get the knack, wake up, and help you.

                      Comment

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