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  • I need help.

    I apologize if I am posting in the wrong place.

    I'm trying to sign my son up for cub scouts. I went through the beascout website. I received an email that my application was received, but that was several days ago and I have had no response whatsoever. It gave me a tracking ID number, but when I go to the website to use it, the site is incredibly, incredibly slow - and I can find no link or anything anywhere to use the number to check the status. I tried to use the search bar on the site, and all I get is error messages. I signed up for an account days ago thinking I could track the application, but still, I find no place to do so.

    I visited the website for the pack near me and found contact info. I sent off an email to them - also several days ago - with no response.

    I've even used google search to try to find a link to track my application status, but nothing, anywhere. I'm completely lost and don't really understand how people are supposed to sign up for this. If anyone can help me or point me in the right direction, or even tell me its normal for this to take so long, I'd really appreciate it!

  • #2
    You should call the Scout office for your Council and ask to speak to the District Executive for your neighborhood. He/she should be able to help you. If you don't know what Council you are in, let us know where you live (city/state) and we can help you.

    Comment


    • #3
      First of all, let me apologize for the individual that has not contacted you through BeAScout.org. (If you spend enough time on this forum, you will soon realize the IT systems set up by National BSA do not work well.) You sent an email to a local volunteer. You need to understand that the leaders at your local Cub Scout Pack (group) are volunteers and they may be on vacation or they aren't great at checking and replying to emails. It is also possible the Pack's leadership may not have updated their "PIn" on BeAScout.org and your email went to a volunteer that is no longer active with the group.

      Obviously, we want your son to join and experience the family fun in Cub Scouting!

      May I suggest you contact your local Council (regional Boy Scouts of America professionals that help out local groups of volunteers). You may be able to locate your local Council with an internet search of Boy Scouts of America and your largest local city's name. Once you find the phone number, let them know your son wants to join and ask for names and numbers of local Pack leaders (Cubmaster or Committee Chair, etc.) and call the individual.

      Most Cub Scout Packs are chartered (partnered) to local churches, school PTOs and civic organizations. You may also try and call the local churches, etc. and see if they have an associated group.

      I understand your frustration. Our first phone calls to the recruitment leader listed the the reader board at my son's school were never returned. It took awhile to get connected, but with a little elbow grease, we are in! Good Luck!
      Last edited by Polaris; 06-12-2013, 10:30 AM. Reason: Edited for content

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the replies. I'm trying not to be frustrated about it. It is what it is. I just didn't know if I should be pushing harder or just wait it out! I do know what council it is, it was listed on the pack website, so I will give them a call in the morning.

        if anyone can answer one more question - and this one is pretty petty - It asked what grade my son is in. He's on summer break now, so what should I put? The grade he just completed, or what he is going into? It's a silly question, I guess it will be sorted when I call, if I can get through.

        Comment


        • Sentinel947
          Sentinel947 commented
          Editing a comment
          I'd say grade he is entering.

      • #5
        Unfortunately, you've picked a tough time to try and join a Cub pack. At best, packs go to a once-a-month meeting schedule during the summer and some don't meet at all. Plus you're dealing with leaders vacation schedule in trying to get a phone call.

        As said before, try to contact your local Scout office for a referral to one or more packs in your area. If you have the opportunity to visit with them over the summer, great. If not, many packs and councils have their big recruiting drives just after school starts. Here, all the packs have a common recruiting night at the local schools. You get a chance to meet leaders of several packs and make a decision about which one to join.

        But here's my real advice -- have your son ask around with his friends while you talk with their parents. The number one key to being happy with a pack or troop, staying with the program and being successful with it is being in a unit with your friends. Go where his friends are or at least where he knows people.

        To your question, go with his grade this fall. Most packs "move up" at the end of the school year, not the beginning of the next. Cub Scouting is grade based, so if he's a rising first grader he will be a Tiger; a rising second grader, a Wolf, third grade a Bear.

        And sorry about BeAScout. From a curmudgeonly old Scoutmaster, it is a ill-conceived attempt by BSA to drive membership recruitment from the top down. Unfortunately, joining a Cub pack is a bottom-up process. The problem is your son doesn't join "Cub Scouts." He will join "A" local Cub Scout pack. There is no reason for you to complete an application on line. Find the pack you like, one where your son has friends and the leaders there will help you with the membership process and application.

        Comment


        • coldnote
          coldnote commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the advice. I don't think he has friends, which is a big reason I wanted him to do this. I think he gets along with everyone - I've seen pictures of his class and somebody even had an arm around his shoulder at the valentine's party - but I don't think he has "friends". He always tells me he just swings at recess and sometimes comments he doesn't hang out with anyone. I don't know if that is just his perception, or truth. He just doesn't seem to pick up on social cues/norms sometimes, although it has improved as he's gotten older. But it's just another reason I think something like this would be great.

          I figured we would just go with the one near us. They seem to be active (based on what I have seen on their site) and have lots of leaders. He is entering 4th grade in August. I'd like him be a scout for at least a few years.

      • #6
        Just to clarify something - you did NOT send in an application for your son to become a Cub Scout. You filled in an online form to receive more information. Heaven (or Hell) only knows where this information goes, or when/if they will get read/acted on by anyone. Traditionally, e-mail dumps do not get cleared out in a very timely fashion.

        The BeAScout site gives you your local council contact information which includes name, address, and phone number. You can call your local council for further information. They should be able to pull up contact information (Cubmaster name/phone) for the Pack you are interested in.

        The BeAScout site also shows the name of the Chartering Organization for the Pack.

        The Chartering Organization is the community organization which "owns" the BSA Scout unit (Pack / Troop / Team / Crew / Ship). You can do an online search to find contact information on the Chartering Organization, and then call them to get information on their Cub Pack.

        Since your son is going into 4th grade, he will be a Webelos Cub Scout. Hopefully, whichever Pack you choose will be active during the Summer so you, and your son, can get to know the folks. Find out if the Pack will be attending any Council Summer Camps. If at all possible, I suggest you get your son to Summer Camp. It will be a great, fun, introduction to Scouts, for him, and you!

        Comment


        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          Online applications via BeAScout are in beta in my Council. My unit hasn't had any, but it's an option (not default) in the BAS pin on myscouting.org and can be enabled by the unit. Youth it goes right in, adults still need a CC/CoR sign-off.

      • #7
        This is probably the worst time of year to join Cub Scouts. MostPacks will be starting up again in August/September. I think this is about the best age for your boy to start. Webelos is the most fun Cub Scout rank.

        Comment


        • #8
          Our pack is actually recruiting right now (or did a few weeks ago) to try and draw in members for summer camp, our water event in July and to start in with our pack meets in the fall (right now what we do over the summer counts as the rank they 'entered' at the beginning of June.) Definitely follow the advice given here, reach out to your local council (or if you know even more specifically where a local pack is chartered), see what you can find out and let us know how it goes! Wish you and your son the best of luck and hope he enjoys it.

          Comment


          • #9
            Hey Coldnote, have you found a Pack yet?

            Comment


            • #10
              No. I don't understand. The one near me is active. Their website shows events throughout the summer, and new content has been added since I first created this thread. But they seem to ignore any attempts at contact. I had figured at this point I'd just be on the lookout for them at school in the fall.

              Comment


              • qwazse
                qwazse commented
                Editing a comment
                Sometimes websites are great at putting barriers between real people who should be getting together.
                Your son would be old enough to start on Webelos (that's basically the last two years of cub scouts). So if there is anything particular on the site pertaining to Webelos (or specifically Webelos I) that may be the person to contact.
                Definitely keep an eye out at school. But, also, don't hesitate to look into packs who meet a little further away. This can be a slow time for any pack, but if there are community parades (for example the fireman's carnival in our community is this weekend), take your boy to them. Keep an eye out for boy scout uniforms. The idea here is just to get your boy to meet other scouts. Even if they are older boy scouts, they might have a connection to their old pack. And if not, hopefully they'll be friendly enough that your boy will be encouraged by this.

              • Pack18Alex
                Pack18Alex commented
                Editing a comment
                One thing I would do, if you haven't found a Pack Already, is look at the events going on in the summer, and just show up. In our problem, our do-everything volunteer that had to drop it all (and actually earn a living that was neglected while being super-scouter for 4 years) still had her contact info on everything and stopped checking her Scout Email address.

                If you show up to a summer activity, you'll find the leaders there, introduce yourself, and talk about signing your son up. If your son is shy, perhaps not bring him if he doesn't want to be embarrassed. Otherwise, bring him and get him involved in the activity.

                We're all volunteers, but most of us have jobs and/or lives as well. If someone shows up, one of the parents will talk to you about it, possibly a leader, and tell you where to show up, with an application, etc. If you're super gung ho, find the online form, leave the Pack Number blank, and fill it out and print it, and bring a checkbook for any annual dues.

                Want the royal treatment? Go to myscouting.scouting.org, create an adult account, take Youth Protection, print out the certificate, and bring an Adult Application to that first meeting. If you show up with your paperwork, willingness to volunteer, and youth protection, I promise you, you will be welcomed with open arms!

                Fillable Youth Application Form
                Last edited by Pack18Alex; 08-20-2013, 02:10 PM. Reason: fixed url bbcode

              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                Alex, and if you bring a registration fee check, you will get a field promotion right there.

            • #11
              I'm a Cubmaster for a pack and I've had some good luck with the beascout website. My biggest complaint is if I have to play phone tag (it happens, everyone has a life), they don't leave a message just their phone number on the caller ID. Please, talk to my machine! It's a nice one. I need the reminder about your name is from my Cub Scout Pack and not my troop or district committee. At least until I get you firm in my mind.

              (What state are you in, if I can ask?)

              Diana
              Cubmaster Pack 32
              Benton, AR

              Comment


              • #12
                I finally got a response from somebody! Got an emailed reply when I tried again on the 18th, saying they were currently at camp (emailed from phone). Said they had some problems with their site and would be in touch next (this) week. So I am awaiting that still, but at least I finally got something.

                Thank you all for the replies. Diana, I am in Illinois.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Your search brings back memories. I remember trying to find a new pack for my son. (We were in one that did very little.) I spoke with one of the District Executives -- BSA Councils are divided into smaller geographic Districts, and the District Executive should be familiar with the troops in his district.

                  I asked about packs fairly near me that were active -- the DE told me what packs went to the fishing derby, Klondikes, summer camps, etc. He was also surprisingly frank in telling me what packs did nothing. I doubt that I would have got any of this info in an email!

                  One thing I would be careful of is a pack that draws from a delimited group. For example, a school pack from a school your son does not attend. The DE might not have this info -- you would have to ask the pack.

                  Another way that you might ("might") get more info is on the Council website. They may show what packs have done well in the Klondike (a winter competition that Webelos scouts can go on), or other info. Or the Council website may have nothing -- BSA is just plain weird technologically speaking.

                  Agreeing with others that summer is a down time for many packs, but everything starts up again with the new school year. Packs are supposed to let the District/Council know when their recruiting night is -- so calling Council?District again in the fall might get you info about packs near you.

                  Adding: In my town, the pack that recruited the most was the do-nothing pack. The 'good' pack didn't recruit much because they drew kids from a wide geographic areas and the recruitment flyers never seemed to get to all the schools. When you visit a pack, ask them what they did last year -- better indicator, imo, than what they *plan* to do this year.

                  Another question to ask is if the pack sends its scouts to a particular Boy Scout troop, especially as your son is pretty close to transitioning (usually middle of 5th grade).
                  Last edited by Eliza; 08-04-2013, 09:18 PM. Reason: Edited, because I am so not into Councils/politics that I called District Executive a District leader.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Hi Coldnote, I hope your son has found a pack by now and is getting to know everyone. As some have said, it's tough to find/join a pack in the summer as most everybody is off on vacation, attending camps, relaxing, etc. I realize Illinois is a big state, but I'm in Illinois too and would be happy to point you in the right direction if you haven't made any progress. I'm in the "Three Fires Council", which is the Fox Valley area - 50 miles west of downtown Chicago. Drop me a line if you need help - danbrew@hotmail.com.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      I want to thank everyone who has sat through the waiting game with us! I was able to talk to the leaders at my son's school's open house. So we have finally succeeded in getting him in and he just participated in his first event! He had a lot of fun. He will have his first meeting this week. After seeing the other kids together, I wish I had gotten him into it much sooner.

                      Comment


                      • Eliza
                        Eliza commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That's great! I am so glad hour son is enjoying it.
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