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How to Recruit Parents to help and make sure you get the good ones

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  • How to Recruit Parents to help and make sure you get the good ones

    I was just reading and Story on scoutingmagazine.org the link to the story is hear (http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/201...-cub-scouting/)

    As I was reading the comments a very smart person by the name of Mr Don posted this
    " How do you identify talent to be a leader. Simple. So simple I will share you the most successful trick into finding the right people to help you. I should trademark this…but I can’t. So here it goes… I call it the Oreo Test.
    Pre-Step: I am the COR. I speak with the Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, etc and see who they may think would be a great help or asset to the Pack or Troop. Then… I get my game face on…
    Step 1:
    Walk up to a person who shows interest in helping out. Chit chat with them. I used to be a special investigator for the USG, so… you learn a lot about people in a simple conversation (micro twitches and all), but I digress.
    Step 2: I’m very personable and I love telling jokes…so I’ll admit, I am a bit of a clown and I get them laughing about some of the fun anecdotes of Scouting (1 hour a week and all, that one time at Scout camp where Rickey the Raccoon at the Nutter Butters, waking up each Saturday to the forest and smell of burnt pork butt, etc).
    Step 3: After a little chit chat, I ask them to do a simple favor for me. I ask them if next week they would bring in a pack of Oreo cookies to share as a snack (for the kids, leaders meeting, etc.).
    Step 4: I let the test begin..
    So why this simple task? I can tell you that 100% of the perspective leaders in our Pack/Troop have been asked to bring in Oreo cookies. They look at me puzzled and I politely say, “See you next week.” You are probably thinking I’m losing it…especially if you have spoken to my wife lately.
    By now you are probably wondering why Oreo cookies right? So I’ll explain…
    1. If they come back next week without them… they will probably have an excuse. I have no use for excuses, I only need solutions. We all work, go to school, have disabilities, have sick kids, etc. Adapt, overcome, find a way…just like all the other dedicated adults in the pack that on top of life remember the craft, or the Scoutmaster who stays two hours after the meeting helping Scouts and he still has to get up for work at 4-5 am.
    2. If they come back with the snack size two cookie pack, they did what was asked, but the bare minimum. Bare minimum does not = good leader quality. Who wants to work with folks who do the bare minimum? It’s only a matter of time that their work ethic will be dipping into that less than the bare minimum and the program will suffer which means the boys will suffer.
    3. If they come back with a thing of Oreo cookies that is the normal pack…they have followed directions, met the challenge, and sacrificed $3.50 of their own money and time shopping to get it. They might just be worth the leader conversation.
    4. If they come back with Double Stuff…now we are talking potential… They exceeded expectations. They get the leader conversation that night. Usually these folks walk in with a smile holding them up. You get a laugh, they get a laugh, we all get a cookie! Steven Covey would be proud with the Win-Win-Win!
    5. If they show up with Nutter Butters… I’ll make them a Scoutmaster or Cubmaster only if they were paying attention to the anecdotes from Step 1. I always joke 2 things: 1.) It’s not a campout without burnt pork butt involved (Scouts burning bacon) and 2.) It’s not a campout without Nutter Butters.. Don’t really know why the second…but they always make the backpack trips.
    More than not…the folks never show up again. They self eliminate the time I have to spend with them as a leader and more than not… the folks that come back the next week with Oreo cookies bring more than one pack…which is the final test. See if they bring back cookies to me, who cares… If they thought it through to make sure each and every boy in the Pack or Troop has a cookie, their heart is in the right place from the word go. See I can train you in Scouting… you either have the right heart or you don’t. I surround myself with leadership who has their heart in the game for the boys. The boys come first always…
    See a simple test of Oreo cookies gets me quality leaders who have the right heart, stay the longest in the organization, attract like minded others, parents, and Scouts. Who would have thought all that from a cookie? End of the day… I don’t care if you are Dad Eagle Super Scout… or brand new single Mom, just bring in Oreo cookies next week… and lets see where this goes. Plus, you can see the entire room smile that next week when someone walks in with Oreo cookies because no one but the leaders ever know why, and the kids will eat anything chocolate! So … win-win…again!"

    When I first started cub scouting last year with my son my head was in the wrong place I was looking of something my son could do to help him socialize the pack I was in was not really doing a good job of delivering the cub scout program I do not think they ever opened the book our meetings were two hours of freeze tag that was about it. Unhappy with that I was ether going to leave the pack and join a new one. Then I mad a fatal mistake I stated to read the book and read the scout law and thought well I do not like program they are providing let me try and fix it. So I become my sons den leader(Tigers) and boy did I have fun. The pack still has issues and I ended up changing pack anyway they needed help they lost a WEBLOS den leader (not sure why) but I stepped up to the job because I am so great full to be in this well organized pack that is how I got hooked.

    So I have a Three part question

    How did they trick(LOL) you in to getting involved ?
    What was the most fun for you as a leader ?
    How do you trick new people to give up an hour (LOL) a week ?


    So the question is how do you guys get the parents involved in the Cub Scouting experience

  • #2
    No tricking involved (well, except for the one hour a week :-) )
    The most fun is just watching the boys grow. The two remaining members of my Tiger Cub Den in my troop are both 14 yr old Life Scouts.
    Just ask.

    The oreo thing seems like a good idea.

    Comment


    • #3
      They didn't need to trick me into it ... if anything it was slightly hard to break into what I considered an "old-boy" committee. They had been together for years and didn't seem very interested in new blood.

      It is rewarding for me to watch the boys grow and mature. The kids are young for such a short time, before we know it the will be grown and gone. Need to sieze the moment NOW and spend time with them and the other scouts.

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      • #4
        We've been fortunate to have people ask to help. In some instances their role has to be limited until they don't "get" what the whole "boy led" thing is all about. If they don't ever get it, their role remains limited. We have more people that want to help than we have legitimate roles for them.

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        • #5
          I got "tricked" by the recruitment flyer. Brought my son to the recruitment meeting to join Cub Scouts, not knowing it would involve effort on my part. They get my son all excited about Cub Scouts, then tell me afterwards that if my son wants to do Cub Scouts, I would have to be his Tiger Den Leader and would need to recruit more boys to boot, since only 2 Tigers showed up for recruitment. Ended up being my son's leader all the way through Webelos, and loved every minute.

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          • #6
            Troop - the adult leaders split and left me with the choice of being SM or dissolving the troop. It was a game of "123 not me". Luckily I conned a few adults to step up and take troop positions that were empty. After a lot of drama it all worked out, and now the troop has a good program. Pack - 2nd son wanted to be like his older brother and be in scouts. Since I was the only parent who has been through the cub program I volunteered to be the tiger DL. Now I am going up the ranks with him as the DL. My den parents don't want me to change jobs, even though I have high standards.

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            • #7
              You see I just dont understand it really !!!! In Cub Scouting you can assist your son more than you can in Boy Scouts. You do more in cub scouts (as a parent) than you do in Boy Scouts because of the Patrol Method. When my son moves up to Boy Scouts (2 years) I will remain in Cubs !!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JasonG172 View Post
                You see I just dont understand it really !!!! In Cub Scouting you can assist your son more than you can in Boy Scouts. You do more in cub scouts (as a parent) than you do in Boy Scouts because of the Patrol Method. When my son moves up to Boy Scouts (2 years) I will remain in Cubs !!!
                This is an interesting observation. You are spot on with the emphasis from your perspective, but to move from doing to observing is quite a challenge, but a good one for not only your son, but you yourself. It's great working directly with your son when he's in Cubs, but once he goes into Boy Scouts, the relationship changes as well as it should as your child grows up into adulthood. But how then do I relate to him in a worthwhile way as he grew in independence?

                I loved it when my kids were small and I had the opportunity to relate one-on-one with them. But as they grew and spread their wings so to speak, I felt kinda left out. It's a struggle in those years as to how much do I let go and let be so they can be ready for adulthood themselves. It's a tightrope act to say the least.

                In a way, both programs are good to be a part of for your kids, and while more difficult, working with your boy on the Boy Scout level has great rewards as well. My children are children for just a short period of time, They will be my grown children for quite some time. Was I ready for that inevitable change? (Still working on it, but now I got grand children to make up for it!)

                Stosh

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by jblake47 View Post

                  the relationship changes as well as it should as your child grows up into adulthood. But how then do I relate to him in a worthwhile way as he grew in independence?

                  Stosh

                  Yeap you're right and that's when I will be less hands on with only giving my input when asked, I have started that a little this year as he is a Webelos and I am not a Web Leader. Webs meet in the summer with my Pack and when its time for them to meet I am Dad and I dont wear my unifrom !! When he moves up I will gladly hand him over to the SM hoping I did everything I could to Prepare him for Boy Scouts.
                  Last edited by JasonG172; 07-01-2014, 09:22 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JasonG172 View Post


                    Yeap you're right and that's when I will be less hands on with only giving my input when asked, I have started that a little this year as he is a Webelos and I am not a Web Leader. Webs meet in the summer with my Pack and when its time for them to meet I am Dad and I dont wear my unifrom !! When he moves up I will gladly hand him over to the SM hoping I did everything I could to Prepare him for Boy Scouts.
                    But as an ASM you can learn as well to better relate to your son during these developmental years. Don't think for a moment that letting someone else guide your child through the rough waters of adolescence is a good thing. It's a journey for both parent and child. In this day and age of nannies, child care providers, coaches, teachers, pastors, etc. etc. etc. one can "raise" a child and never have to interact with them. That's really sad. never underestimate the power of simply being there just in case. If nothing else, but to cheer him on and encourage him to push the envelop. He will notice, I guarantee it. The SM may make a great role model, but no matter what, you're still Dad and that trumps everything else.

                    Stosh

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                    • #11
                      When cubs move to scouts parental involment does not go away. You just give them more room. In scouts adults are always needed as drivers and to have in camp. We let patrols go on hikes separated by 10-15 min. Oldest scout patrol first. In the rear are the adults. Each group gets a radio, just in case. On canoe trips there are 2-3 scouts in a canoe. Adults are in single kayaks. In troops everyone get to go on the adventures but adults stay out of the way. Our rule is that unless an adult is a ASM or SM, they don't interact with the scouts. All other adults just drive and enjoy the show.

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                      • #12
                        I follow whats being said, and I mean I will "give them more room".

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