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Ideas for Pack Committee meetings when Parents can't go to meetings..

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  • Ideas for Pack Committee meetings when Parents can't go to meetings..

    So, a Pack I oversee is real close to folding due to lack of parent participation.. They have enough scouts, but the parents don't want to step up, and the pack limps without the parent involvement.. Some of it is the fact that people expect someone to do it for them, but some of it is that people can't go to a committee meeting when they have kids too young at home to leave without supervision..

    Just before summer we had not quite the skeleton crew.. We had just lost the CC who moved away, but we had a CubMaster, 2 committee members and 2 Den leaders (pack only having 2 dens).. The two committee members didn't take on real jobs though they came to the committee meetings.. one though was good with recruiting being a 1st grade teacher in the local school, so that helped..

    Well during the summer.. The Cubmaster moved away, 1 Den Leader left over the recent vote, 1 Den Leader didn't want to be DL anymore, the Committee member who could recruite moved to a different Pack because that den was only two kids and the other kid left because of his parents problem with the vote.

    That left one committee member who really didn't take on any jobs.. So now we have the potential to get some new scouts in a Tiger den in and even a den leader for it.. But the wolf den has no leader, no Cub Master, only 1 on the committee....

    I'm suppose to be the UC of this group.. I know I am way to close and doing too much.. I kindof started last year doing the CC job until we had someone step up, I just had her trained and was stepping back, and she moved and I kindof ended up being CC again because the next committee meeting didn't happen since no one did anything to run it, so I ended up picking it up again.. So we are holding a meeting Sunday and the IH will be coming to it.. The one Committee member, the DL who stepped down, and the CM who is stepping down but willing to help train a new CM if we can find one (It's a 2 hour drive to come back to the area)..

    We are going to discuss implementing something where we ask one parent/guardian of each scout to step up and take on a role.. But, I know I will get the excuse that they can't make the committee meeting

    So any suggestions?

    I have two I am thinking about.

    1) Find a way to do online committee meeting so people can stay home with kids and still be part of the meeting.. (Not sure how, don't need visual.. but would prefer voice over typing as typing would take a long time, and you loose a lot not hearing how people are stressing things are they excited or going through the motions that sort of thing..)

    2) Find someone (in a group of people who don't want to do anything) to run a babysitting service while the meeting goes on so parents can bring the kids..)

    Anyone else have any ideas??

  • #2
    I like the online/conference call idea.

    Committee meetings are a bit more flexible than the boys: we had our CMs at a different leaders house every month.
    If they dont want to come to you/the scout hut, take the meeting to them ;-)
    With a longer drive meet somewhere halfway?


    • #3
      Does anyone know anything about this software??

      Seems to be open source code..

      Got it from this comparison chart..

      Seems it will run on Windows.. And will be good for up to 25 people.. Right now with 6 scouts in the wolf group and an estimated 6 from the wolfs.. Then possibly the IH & myself IF we got 100% participation that would only be 14 people needing to get on.. And 100% participation is dreaming.. Even when I was in a very active and populated troop the best attendance was about 12 people..

      The Pack isn't flushed with money.. So I'm looking for free or very, very cheap..
      Last edited by moosetracker; 09-11-2013, 06:20 PM.


      • #4
        That one seems kindof complicated, and may need a server..

        I found this one..

        which if we let them advertise seems free.. But, boy those Ads sure bring down the price, so I am skeptical as to what the catch is.. Don't get to record, but no biggy, 200 in attendance way more then what I need.. Can we only use it for free 2 or 3 times?? Is there a limit in time (like only for 30 minutes then they shut you down?? I can't believe having them run banner ads is worth saving you $18 a month or $180 a year plus upping you attendance limit from 25 people to 200 people..


        • #5
          If they won't commit to a come to a meeting about saving the Pack. It's Dead. Move on. Sorry, but that's the sad news. If you don't meet that the basic requirements, your done. Council won't charter you. Time to notify the DE and see if there is another Pack close by that can take in the Scouts.

          Requirements for Pack Registration.
          Packs must have: IH, CR, CC, two MCs , or one MC and one PT, CM, and one
          den leader who may be a Tiger Cub den leader, or a Cub Scout den leader, or
          a Webelos den leader. There must be an AP registered with each Tiger Cub.
          This person does not pay a fee in this position or fill out an
          application if they are the parent of the Tiger Cub.

          A PT is a Pack Trainer. No one has them. And I think that they are gone anyway.


          • #6
            So you make the rule that everyone has to complete a leader application and choose a job.
            You do your committee meetings in chunks, 15 minutes before or after any other scout mtg, with kids welcome, even if you have to buy extra craft kits etc. That's what we are looking at doing, totally going more informal for committee mtgs than ever before, but we don't have time, meeting space and the will to meet on a diff night of the week than the scout meetings on weds nights. another option is to recruit a den chief to act primarily as a babysitter during the committee meetings and bring all the kids. whatever you have to do to make it work. I think in person mtgs even if much much shorter are better than just phone/conference calls.


            • #7
              Well this meeting on Sunday is not for the entire Pack.. It's just for the small group of what's left to discuss what should be done, and how/when we will present it to the other parents that are left.. Being UC, I can make suggestions, but I don't think I should decide for the pack and implement it.. Especially something as forceful as mandatory parent participation..

              I have seen a few with Pack Trainers from doing District training, but highly unlikely to have one if you only have 3 people in your committee.. The Pack in my home town which is very active has one..

              The Den Chief idea would be a good one.. The Troop isn't much better off and the scouts are pretty young, don't know if they could manage watching 6 to 12 very young kids (dens are only Tiger/Wolf so 1st & 2nd graders).. I could check, there a year older then last year.. The 15 minute meetings after a Pack Meeting I could see to finish up anything that couldn't be done at a Web Conference, otherwise, 15 minutes is to short a time by the time you get them settled down & organized ( including finding something for the kids to be occupied with) you would have eaten up the time.. But perhaps figuring out these two need to personally meet on this before/after the Pack meeting and these three need to discuss this.. That would help.


              • #8
                Online meetings are for individuals with strong vision and tight fellowship. If you don't have that, they will fail. It's just as hard to attend (really attend, with no distractions) online as it is to throw the kids in a car and take them to someplace that provides a baby sitter. How far apart do these people live? Got any venturing crews in the area? It's a long shot, but they might have a youh with the kind of maturity to handle lots of little ones. (Frankly, I'm coming to the conclusion we've got it all wrong with having parents be pack leaders, but that's another story.)


                • #9
                  Your assuming that everyone has a decent enough internet connection and the associated hardware to make this work.

                  I attend alot of online meetings for work......Now it is tough enough at work.......Imagine the big game is on, diner is cooking, kids running in and out, phone ringing......Well ya get my point.

                  Far as a free solution I think google hangout may work, but I have not tried it with more than my two kids and wife.
                  One touch to see the whole family

                  With one touch, you can start a video call with one friend or a whole bunch. Video calls ring everywhere your friends have Hangouts. Whether they’re on their computer, phone or tablet, they’ll know you’re calling. If they’re not around or can’t pick up, Hangouts will let them know you were trying to reach them.

                  But you really have to ask your self if the parents aren't buying in then is it worth saving?????

                  Q while the venture idea is great and probably would work.......Does it solve the problem???? The problem will continue to move with the group as they get older.


                  • qwazse
                    qwazse commented
                    Editing a comment
                    BD it does not solve the problem, and is only a stop-gap. Mainly because because it is rare that venturing crews have a stable enough membership to be able to offer leadership year after year. So, the venturer you find today (if you find one) may not be able to find you his/her replacement in a year or two.

                    We have not built a culture where the purpose of den leader is to "qualify to lead a den of cub scouts" on age-appropriate adventure. And we don't have the position of "senior den leader" where a young man or woman could replace the cubmaster. I'm not entirely sure we should. Comparing notes with my Czech friends, they wish for more senior adults in their program.

                • #10
                  You state that parents will/can not attend Committee meetings because they have kids at home.

                  Are all of your families single parent households? If not, one parent can stay home with the kids, and one can attend the meeting.

                  When are your Committee meetings? Perhaps changing the time/place will make them more convenient for at least one parent per household to attend.

                  Gotta say though, if you can't recruit some new Cubs, with parents that are committed to help the Pack "go", you are simply wasting your time beating a dead horse. I highly recommend telling folks that flat out at this Sunday's meeting.


                  • #11
                    We've solved the young children issue by meeting in a location that has a playground for the kids, and using a couple of teens to oversee them. Our high school requires service hours and I've found a couple of teens who think this gig is an easy way to earn those hours.

                    We've also held many meetings where a few kids are in the corner doing homework, reading books, playing Nintendo or watching movies on a portable DVD.


                    • #12
                      We start our pack year with one mandatory parent meeting/leader meeting. We try to have a 2nd on in January. We go thru everything i the calendar, who needs to do what jobs, what our fundraising needs are and options, vote on anything important and get to know each other a bit with cheese and crackers and veggie tray and such.

                      Last night was our mandatory parents meeting. Everybody brought their kids. I could have sworn that all discussion, emails and txts that went out said to try to leave the kids at home.

                      So the kids ate all the snacks, looked at all the cool popcorn selling prizes, colored some, and talked quietly in the corner and the adults got thru as much as possible. kids made it thru a half hour before they were antsy, and we called it good enough.
                      Virtually everything else we do as a committee in a small pack wil be done thru emails, txts, phone calls and quick meetings before or after den or pack mtgs.


                      • #13
                        Everything is on the table.. I have told them that if they don't get adult volunteers then the Pack can't continue regardless of if they have the scouts for it or not.. First & second graders can't do a boy run Pack..

                        I came close to suggesting the CM work with the IH to close the troop.. I had sent out email to organize a meeting.. No response.. No response.. Sent more email.. No response.. I set a certain date and was going to call the thing dead after work, and there in my email were two responses after work.. One stating they had found interest to start the new Tiger Den (no adult leaders, just kids).. When I emailed back stating the kids weren't the problem it was the adults, I got an email back about 2 days later stating one of the Tiger parents would be a Den Leader..

                        So, again off on the merry go round.. To see if the Pack can be saved.. But, if they don't get the adult help, then I am not going to be a UC who runs a one man show while the parents do nothing.. I am looking for the time I can stop by once a month and ask "How's things going, then be on my way."


                        • #14
                          It sounds like you need to build camaraderie in your pack. Here's what I did early on as CC.

                          1. I found a cub scout mom who was willing to watch 6-8 kids for about 90 minutes. She had a teen age son to help, a ping pong table and a trampoline, which made it easy to watch that number of kids.

                          2. I held the committee meeting at my house (no kids allowed), supplied a couple of bottles of wine, asked other parents to bring a cheese plate and brownies/cookies. Another parent brought a six-pack of craft beer. Meeting started at 7pm which gave working parents a chance to get home and eat some dinner. We wrapped it up at 8:30pm. 12 parents attended, we got a lot accomplished and all the parents had a great time. In fact, they were asking when the next committee meeting was. It really built fast friendships.

                          I am well aware of the no alcohol at scouting events rule so I made sure to let the parents know that it was a non-scouting event, no uniforms and no kids.


                          • berliner
                            berliner commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I totally agree, great job. I honestly mean it.
                            BSA is strict with alcohol and kids and I agree.
                            But I second the motion to declare committee meetings as non-scout events for the purpose of teaching the adult beverage drinking merit badge 8-)

                        • #15
                          We're a small pack. Our committee meeting falls on the same day/time as our regular meetings. We meet at the same location. We have board games and movies and popcorn/kool-aid for the 6 or so kids that come with their parents. Some of the kids bring their ipads and gameboys. We don't have much of a problem.


                          • Sakitama
                            Sakitama commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Let me add, we do 2 den meetings, 1 pack meeting, 1 committee meeting a month. 5th Mondays are den meetings.