Oh, I reckon there's a fair bit of doubt about it, ScoutNut. One-sided hearsay story from a fellow who admits to havin' a grudge and all.
I would remove BluejacketScouter from his commissioner position if he insisted on carryin' on this way. Not because it's necessarily wrong to invite folks to district or council events but because the way he's goin' about it is wrong. He's goin' to be the one losin' kids from Scouting, by settin' up all kinds of conflict and ill will in a Pack. That kind of adult behavior more than any other thing costs us kids and units.
The way to go about it is to repair da relationship with the Cubmaster and work with her, eh? The woman is apparently an elementary school teacher, so she is probably more qualified than most folks in that position. Yeh don't work around her. She's goin' to be the person the parents approach for advice and information, and she needs to be that person. Not some DC who comes flittin' in and out.
So the way yeh go about this is to build a relationship and then provide support. As a UC, yeh get to know the folks in the pack and figure out who does what and where they are and where they want to go. Maybe this issue isn't the most important one, and instead the priority should be on somethin' else. Perhaps helpin' find a committee person who can help da CM with communication?
As a DC, though, the job is to improve da systems of support. Maybe da problem is that the district event information isn't well distributed in a way that she finds helpful or easy to pass along. Gee, we've never seen that anywhere have we? So perhaps this is somethin' that da district program committee needs to address, not the CM.
That way, yeh don't just fix da problem for one unit where your wife happens to work at da school, yeh fix it for a whole bunch of units.
But whatever yeh do, yeh never, ever undermine the position of the volunteers closest to the families and kids.
(This message has been edited by Beavah)
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- Nov 2009
" Perhaps it was discussed at a pack committee meeting which Blujacket didn't attend. Or perhaps Bluejacket didn't attend the program planning meeting where a decision was made. "
Doesn't matter a single bit. Even the entire committee ( which exists only on paper) decides to not participate as a pack,fine - but they NEVER EVER have the authority or right to prevent families from doing things on their own. The families get to make the final decision as to wether they want to attend a scouting event.
And if the CM thinks that this is competing with her program, then she needs to step back and improve her program. That's her issue, not the families, the districts or council's problem.
Again, as the former CM, I worked really hard and the pack and it's members was able to reap the rewards of being able to choice which or all events they were going to.
Personally, I didn't care much for a district event. Kinda dull, kinda crowded, kinda expensive. But I also don't like cherries. Doesn't mean anybody else feels the same way as me. Doesn't mean i have the right to ban cheries from pack cookouts or camp menus.
Plenty of events that were posted for families to go to.
Some familie would go to ever council/district evant as well as all pack events. Some would do half and half. Others would only go to pack events.
Point is, in each case, they made up their own minds and made their own choices.
If I was scared that the council was competition with my pack, then i would be the one with issues.
Alot can be done in a years time. If one or two council/ district events ruins what your pack is doing, then you you ain't doing much at all and are doing a diservice to the scouts!
- Mar 2009
Maybe I missed something since I didn't read this other thread but I broke it down just like Scoutfish. Bluejacket didn't go around the CM and doesn't appear to be trying to set the Pack's program. He invited some families he knows from school while at school to an event he's talking at. The CM's reaction sounded to me like classic control freak. From his (admittedly one-sided) description, the Pack didn't decide on the program, the CM did. SHE felt the event he was speaking at was too expensive and didn't give anyone a chance to participate on an individual basis.
Having said that, I think he should honor the CM's request to not contact people in the unit other than her EXCEPT for his personal acquaintances. She is nuts if she thinks he shouldn't inform people he knows from associations outside Scouting. IMO there's nothing wrong with him meeting with the CO since they recently changed leadership and may not be acquainted with their duties and responsibilities or what the Council or District have to offer but he shouldn't ask them to circumvent the CM in distributing information -- fine if they decide to do so themselves but he shouldn't prompt it.
There are definitely some egos stroking themselves here and it's not just Bluejacket or his CM.
- May 2002
- Aug 2005
""There are Council and District events the Pack does not participate in. Recently I was talking to a few parents while at school and discovered the families are not being told of events."
Why do the families have no clue about these events?
"Therefore, they are not getting getting the opportunity to attend activities that the Pack is not directly involved in."
Wow! Not only does that suck, but is very unprofessional of the CM and unscoutlike!"
Why? Maybe because the Cubmaster and the Pack is under NO obligation to share that information with the families and they have decided that doing so will create bigger problems for them. While giving the parents all the information that is forwarded to you worked with you and your unit, that doesn't mean it's going to work with this Cubmaster and her unit, or for all other units. You have no idea what the dynamics are in her unit and here you are calling her unprofessional (which doesn't make any sense because she's a volunteer, not a professional) and unscoutlike.
You don't know what kind of direction she's been given by the CO - you have no idea if the decision has been made by the CO, or by the leadership of the Pack, or by the Cubmaster, not to promote any activities that might be inaccessible to members of the Pack due to economics to prevent hard feelings among the members. Maybe $9 doesn't sound like a lot to you, but that can be a major expense for a family living on unemployment or part-time work. You don't have any idea if the Pack or the CO is providing minimal scholarships that pay for a Cubs registration so they can at least participate in this great program called Cub Scouts.
Now let me repeat something here - the Pack is under NO obligation to share any details of any district or council events with their Pack. Yes, it would be nice if they did, but they don't have to. It's rather unscoutlike to call someone unscoutlike for not doing something they aren't required to do, don't you think?
A good commissioner, who learns that district/council event information isn't being shared with the parents, even if those parents are "friends", talks to the Cubmaster FIRST before inviting people out to an event. That's when they might learn that the Pack didn't tell the parents about an event because the Pack has it's own event scheduled or that the Pack has a number of members struggling economically and that the Pack may have made the decision not to publicize to avoid problems at Den and Pack meetings (As adults, maybe we can understand that life isn't always fair but 8 year olds really have a hard time understanding why Johnny got to go to some fun thing and they didn't). If someone is telling you that they felt that $9 was way too much money for an event, that should be a pretty big clue that the leader is taking a lot more into consideration than what you know on the surface. If I recall, Basement's unit served an economically depressed area - I wouldn't blame Basement a lick for not publicizing district and council events that only some people in his Pack could afford and then kicking the hind end of a UC/DC that went around him and "invited" people to the events.
I'm also going to say this - in some respects OP's Cubmaster may be a better leader than you were, Scoutfish. One of the hardest things we do as leaders is make decisions that affect other people, whether those people know it or not. This Cubmaster made a choice to not publicize certain events - for whatever reason. The DC just swooped in and, unintentional as it probably was, undermined the Cubmaster's leadership. When I was a Scoutmaster, I made those choices all the time - when I got home from Roundtables, I looked at all the information and chose which I would share with the committee, which I would share with the PLC and which I would just discard out of hand. I made those choices because I knew my unit and the people in my unit better than the people at Roundtable knew them. That's part of being a leader. You, on the other hand, made a choice NOT to make a decision. You avoided making those decisions by broadcasting everything out to the parents, whether it was part of your Pack's program or not. Its a different leadership choice - I wouldn't call it a bad choice but I have no hestitation in calling it a weak choice.
I have to agree with Beavah here. Any Commissioner's #1 job is to be friends of the Unit, and that means the unit's leadership. Scouting is not about individuals making individual choices to attend events. It is about units choosing what their program will be and attending those events as a unit.
When a Unit Leader asks a Commissioner to back off, said Commissioner should back off, and then work diligently on reestablishing the relationship. Be the unit and Unit Leader's friend, do not be an enemy. You need that Unit Leader's help especially during recharter.
As an ADC I have 4 units that I support directly because the district does not have enough UCs and the DC supports several units as well. That may be what's going on here, but not for sure.(This message has been edited by johnponz)
And so it ends......
I wonder if he took the advice offered and backed off and apologized....
Guess we will never know.
- Nov 2010
Some of ya'll need to cool down and quit tilting at windmills that aren't flippin' there. This is a Pack that gets a lot of direct commissioner service, and cheerfully:
I've driven 30 miles out of my way to unlock the church for their den meetings when the Cubmaster was out of town. Helped them create advancement reports. Loaned them equipment. Can we borrow a flag to practice folding? Sure, I've got one just for that. Been invited to teach knots to the Webelos. Can you get us a barrel to collect canned food? Yep. And so on. Two months ago my son, 6-year-old daughter and I were invited and camped with their Pack - I washed their dishes. (Come to think of it, I led songs and washed dishes at their Blue & Gold, too - drat!) This is not mean old Commissioner trying to run the Pack from the ivory tower. There is no desire to micro-manage a pack two towns over.
I have a good relationship with the unit but the unit does not have a good relationship with the district. That was long before I came onto the scene. It's one of those small-rural-town vs. big-county-seat inferiority complexes. The only thing I counsel them about regularly (read: forcefully disagree) is the "free" program that the Cubmaster runs. It's really tough for me to stay neutral on that issue. She intentionally prevented a boy from attending camp and I'm still furious about that.
We usually have four recruiting events in the district:
1. Units usually (but not all) hold an open house at their meeting location.
2. The district will make certain that all schools are covered with information about Scouting in the district as well as local units. This is what I was doing last week. Sometimes this activity is covered by a local unit. Sometimes not.
3. We do a program kickoff picnic for all units with games/activity and invite youth in the district to attend. Units that send representatives can do presentations or answer questions about their unit. If a unit does not attend, the district will do handouts for the unit. Pack in question does not attend.
4. Read-in night at the county library, same as above.
Units not recruiting youth or poor recruiting methods? Yup, that's on the concern list. I'm watching to see who comes back after summer. I know that 2 DL and CC quit. They do have an upcoming open house scheduled through the DE, but haven't posted any information to the school or community. I guess we'll wait and see how that turns out...
As for the many comments about DC's job is this, that and the other...unfortunately I inherited a Commissioner staff with only one active UC - me. I was previously this pack's UC, at the expressed request of the CO. Anyway, staffing issue is being worked on, I am up to 5 UC but have not assigned this unit yet.
A case of someone asking for advice, and then not liking the answers. How about this...You are doing GREAT Bluejacket. Keep up the good work. This is definitely the right path to go down. The Unit's leadership and you will get along just fine as long as you keep fanning the fires of conflict.(This message has been edited by johnponz)
Yah, BluejacketScouter, after yeh spend a few days thinkin' about all of our comments in da back of your mind maybe they'll soak in a bit.
I'd suggest that one of your orders of business as DC is to find a UC for this pack who is from that small, rural town (or a similar one) with an inferiority complex.
Either that, or decide yeh want the Cubmaster job when yeh drive da current Cubmaster out.
- Apr 2006
"I've driven 30 miles out of my way to unlock the church for their den meetings when the Cubmaster was out of town."
It's interesting that you have the key to the church and you are not one of the unit leaders. Regardless of your actual position, you have become a "de facto" unit leader for this Pack and that has the potential to create conflict. Do the parents of this Pack view you as a Pack Leader? Forget about what the patch says on your sleeve.
I agree that the Cubmaster dropped the ball when he left town without coverage from another Pack leader. As a CM myself, I would ensure that Den Leaders had a way to get into the CO or provide an alternative meeting place.
- Dec 2010
I sympathize with you BlueJacket.
When a system that works has been created, it's only natural to work that system with impunity.
While some may gripe, the Open House, Parent's Night, Pack Meeting/Event system works for recruiting boys, and you can't be blamed for making sure each Pack you're helping is following that system even if you have to step in and help as well.
Even though it can leave heartburn with some leaders, recruiting done right will reap its own rewards and it's hard for a unit to be upset with that. If I hadn't had similar experiences and successes I wouldn't feel comfortable telling you that you're doing the right thing. However, I've seen Packs that recruited poorly in the past, after having a few years of recruiting help (that they may not have even asked for) grow in size, leader engagement, and impact on their neighborhood. A leader who does not support constant recruiting is the leader who doesn't understand there are more kids out there with parents just as smart and motivated to help boys as they are, they're just waiting to get asked to join Scouts!
Ya know Jeff.....Life happens.
I wonder if Blue actually has permission to have the CO keys..... While I am SM I do not have keys to the CO because I am not a church member. I am good with it...... One of the trustee's lets us in for the meetings and after makes sure all of the lights are off and windows and doors are locked.
Ya he isn't going to take any advice because in both years of his adult scouting experience he has learned and seen it all.
Blue has it ever occurred to you that the reason no one is stepping up is you????
You were washing the dishes so a pack parent did not, you unlocked the CO so a pack parent didn't......
I made that very mistake, I did jobs and no one stepped up to fill the jobs because I was already doing it.