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About MNBob

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  1. MNBob

    Den Chiefs

    I am the Committee Chair for a Pack looking for information about Den Chiefs from those Packs/Troops who have sucessfully used them. What works? What doesn't work? How much help do they provide? How can Den Chiefs benefit dens and den leaders? If a den is struggling because of a poor den leader does having a Den Chief help or can it make the situation worse?
  2. MNBob

    will Tigers be fully integrated in 2010?

    bbender: Thanks for pointing out that link to Baloo's Bugle! We're holding an important leaders meeting on Sunday and I've been trying to collect as much as information as I can about Cub Scouts 2010. The PDF has some good information that I haven't seen before. I also liked Bill Smith's column about Den Leaders. I've been telling leaders for the past couple of years that I feel den leader is the toughest job and we should avoid having den leaders fill multiple roles. Of course then I violate my own suggestion by also serving as the Committee Chair. I would add that from my experience Den leader is the most work but Committee Chair has been the most frustrating. Dealing with other adults and trying to get leaders to perform their volunteer duties can be tough.
  3. MNBob

    Who does BSA allow to camp with Boy Scouts?

    We have had a crossover group of Webelos who now expects that the parents should accompany their scouts on every campout.Interesting. My son crossed over Sunday with 7 others from his den. Seven of them attened their first Troop meeting last night where we were informed that their first campout is near the end of April. Every one of us parents are looking forward to sending them camping without staying with them.
  4. MNBob

    Best AOL & Crossover Ceremonies

    We just did this one (http://www.usscouts.org/ceremony/aol.asp) on Sunday. It went over pretty well. Have a link to the one you've been using?
  5. MNBob

    give the SM a break!

    @acco40: LOL! That's a funny story.
  6. MNBob

    will Tigers be fully integrated in 2010?

    Having took both CSDL and WDL training I understand the differences and the need for two classes. Webelos is definitely a change from Wolf Bear. I do not have the benefit of having actually taught the courses. Eagle92: Can you list some of the differences betweeen TCDL and CSDL training that help justify the need for two courses?
  7. MNBob

    will Tigers be fully integrated in 2010?

    Webelos are very definitely CUB SCOUTS. All Cub Scout rules, regulations, and guidelines apply to them.The rules, regulations, etc are the Cub Scout program. Webelos are part of the Cub Scout program. That's what I said. Sorry that I've made this a semantics argument. I agree what Webelos are Cub Scouts but in a Pack meeting we'll sometimes refer to "Cub Scouts" meaning all the boys and other times we'll differentiate betwen "Cub Scouts" (Tigers, Wolves and Bears) and Webelos Scouts. My main point is that I see more difference between Webelos and other ranks than Tiger compared to Wolf and Bear. Tigers require parents. That's the only major difference IMO.
  8. MNBob

    will Tigers be fully integrated in 2010?

    Would your training as a Webelos den leader have helped you be a good Wolf den leader?Yes The same is true for Tigers. Your training for Wolf/Bear/Webelos will not help you run a Tiger program.I disagree but we're all entitled to our opinions. My opinion may be in the minority but official training is not all that enlightening. You get an understanding of how Cub Scouts is organized and you get ideas from people who have done it before. But no one is going to convince me that after going through two other den leader classes (and committee training too) that Tiger training is going to provide me with any additional benefit. That's giving too much credit to the training program. I'm not tryiing to criticize training. It's a good thing but lets not pretend that a couple of hours suddenly prepares you to for everything.
  9. MNBob

    wonder why

    That's ok. Ranting helps relieve stress especially when you have empathetic readers. :)You can read my (long) Cub Scout leader rant in http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=268735 which sums up my whole leadership experience since my oldest son started as a Tiger in 2005. Round 2 begins in the fall with my youngest son as a Tiger.
  10. MNBob

    will Tigers be fully integrated in 2010?

    I do not believe that Webelos are considered Cub Scouts. They are in the Cub Scout program but they are Webelos Scouts. If I understand correctly the Cub Scout program used to consist of Tiger Cub Scouts, Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts. At that time boys earned their Tiger badge before the Bobcat badge. In 2006 this changed and the Tiger badge was earned after Bobcat and "Search, Discover, Share" was removed. Tiger has replaced Wolf as the first Cub Scout rank. So instead of Tiger Cub Scouts, Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts the program just has Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts.
  11. MNBob

    will Tigers be fully integrated in 2010?

    Here is another example of questionable integration. Looking at the upcoming "Univerisity of Scouting" for our Council (http://training.nsbsa.org/uploadedFiles/file/UofS/UofS-Catalog-Spring2010.pdf) it still lists two different classes -- 903 Den Leader Specific Training and 909 Tiger Leader Specific Training. If Tiger is now the first official year of Cub Scouts then "Den Leader" training should apply to all three ranks -- Tiger, Wolf and Bear. Is this an issue with our Council being behind the times? I'm already trained as a DL and WDL. This fall I will become a leader for my youngest son who will be a Tiger. I have absolutely no plans to go to "Tiger Leader" training.
  12. MNBob

    give the SM a break!

    Agreed Stosh, the ultimate goal should be to resolve and fix the issue. The main point of my long-winded response is to show that often there are lots of other things going on that might not be apparent to the casual observer so give your leaders a break and don't always assume they're at fault. But a more general question is how do you bring accountability to a volunteer organization especially if you want to get rid of a particular volunteer but do not have anyone available to take over the position?
  13. MNBob

    give the SM a break!

    I once ran into a friend at Walmart who at the time was the wife of a Scoutmaster. We became friends a few years earlier when she was a den leader of the pack and I was the Cub Master. I also trained her husband in Scoutmaster Specific, so we saw each other now and then. Well this time when we met, she apologized for bothering me so much when I was the Cub Master. She saw that I was confused, so she explained that she saw first ahnd the stress of being the one person everyone calls when they have a problem.This is exactly how I feel except I'm not the Cubmaster. I'm the Committee Chair. Half way into my first year as a DL (Wolf) the current CM asked for volunteers. As a DL I felt it was my responsibility to help the CM find leaders so I approached some parents in my den that I felt might be interested since I figured I knew the parents better than the CM. I was told that we needed a CC and that all a CC had to do was go to monthly round up meetings (I had not had training other than YP as our Pack did not emphasize it). So one of the parents in my den volunteered for the position. For the rest of the year that was all that was expected of him. Even when recharter time came in March the CM who was used to doing everything didn't ask the CC for any help. Fast forward to December of that same year (we are now Bears) and the CM suddenly quits without warning. Now bring into context the fact that our Pack had forever operated independent of a CO (which was a housing association) and had barely any contact with the District because previous leaders didn't think it was necessary. Not surprisingly we scrambled to finish out the year. The WDL became the CM. The AWDL became the WDL. I got two more parents from my den to step into leadership roles (Outings Chair and Membership Chair). We managed to run our Pinewood derby pretty well in January. The B&G was less successful and there were rumors of some discontent which came from people who didn't want to help. In the spring many of us went to training (other than online) for the first time at a "University of Scouting" event and the parent from my den who was the CC obviously got a big eye opener when he found out what the CC was really supposed to be doing. The new CM was actually pretty gung ho and had lots of great ideas. The meetings he ran were planned and went well. For the first time ever we were going to try to come up with a rough plan for the upcoming year including one Pack get together per month in the summer and the CM created a tentative 12 month calendar with the idea that we'd meet once in early summer and once in late summer to fill in the details. Summer came. First planning meeting never occurred. Each summer activity got canceled since we never discussed the details. Late August arrived and the CM informed us he would not be able to continue in the position. His son ended up leaving the Pack. Before he quit, the CM had forgotten to schedule our meetings with the church where we met so we had to completely revise our schedule of the past couple of years because our normal meeting dates/location had been given to Girl Scouts since we dropped the ball. The CC and I (now WDL) did our best to take charge of the situation and get everything in place. The ACM became the CM but this ended up making things worse since he always felt his only roles as CM was to run the meeting. He did not provide an agenda and he did not communicate with parents or Den Leaders or ask dens to prepare anything for meetings. At the round up meeting the CM told new parents how they could expect things to be chaotic and disorganized. I suppose he was being honest but it didn't make a good impression. We asked new den leaders to get trained but none of them followed through. We made it through that year with the CC and I pushing hard to try to improve Pack meetings and get the CM to buy into a little more planning. We canceled one meeting because we simply were not prepared to do anything. As the year progressed the CC frustration grew and he started backing away from helping the CM. He instead concentrated on finding a new CO and preparing for recharter. I OTOH became even more involved despite having a den of 16 boys (we had 2 DL but I was the primary organizer and planner). Because the CM did not feel it necessary to communicate with parents I became the email voice for Pack announcements and updates. I tried to provide a rough agenda for Pack meetings on behalf of the CM. We purposely did not hold Pack meetings in January and February just so we didn't have to worry about them (Pinewood and B&G replaced the meeting was our excuse). We made it through the year and then the CC gave the CM an ultimatum (after hearing from the CM that his wife didn't want him to continue as CM) -- either step down as CM and return to ACM and allow the CC to become CM or agree to more planning and actually carrying out the duties of the CM. He chose the latter. Once again we made plans for the summer (2009). This time the recently recruited Outings Chair came through and we held one activity in June, July and August. The CC was expecting a baby in August so I volunteered to take over his position because I realized he'd be pretty busy in late summer/early fall. By August I made sure we had meeting space scheduled. The CM did not hold any planning meetings but I called a leaders meeting in August. I asked any interested parent volunteers to please come to the meeting. One shows up and she becomes the ACM. At the meeting I told the CM to please put together a tentative Pack meeting schedule for the next couple of months to present at our next meeting. I also talked about our upcoming round up meeting in September and asked Den leaders (other than myself as W2DL) to plan some activities outside while the CM, Membership Chair and myself led new parent orientation. The MC tells me he won't be able to make the meeting. September round up arrives and none of the den leaders ever talked or made any plans. One didn't even come to the meeting. Scrambling I ask the CM to take the kids outside and figure out an activity while the former CC and I talk to parents. The meeting goes ok but the number of incoming Scouts was disappointing. Once again we ask new (and existing who are untrained) leaders to get training. None of them follow through other than some who do online only because I forced the issue with Youth Protection. In August the committee voted to include a Lions den (kindergarten pilot program) because we had a father who was interested in being the coordinator. I voted against it but the vote decided differently. The pilot program is supposed to commit to two meeting per month and we are expected to give feedback to the Council. The year begins. I tell den leaders that I'd like them to meet twice per month. Most choose to meet once per month including the Lions den. The Coordinator only wanted to lead the den so that he could bring both of his boys to a meeting on the same night and he wasn't going to commit to second Lions meeting since his older son was only meeting once. Despite my August request the CM does not provide us with any Pack meeting agendas. Despite his spring promise to the CC the CM still does not plan any meetings. He mentions an idea for the October Pack meeting and we tell him to run with it. Just prior to the meeting he tells us he never followed through on the idea so we don't have anything planned. At our next committee meeting he tells us that he may be out of town hunting in November so he assume the ACM will take care of the meeting. By this point she is fully trained and she agrees. We apologize for bringing her into this mess between the former CC, CM and me. She tells us she is willing to step into the role of CM so we essentially "fire" the CM at the end of November, 2009. We have not looked back and the new CM is doing a great job. Dealing with the CM issue for so long took precedence over other problems including a den whose leader didn't really want the job and did not provide any effort yet no other parent would step up. The new CM's significant other has stepped in to lead the den in January through the rest of the year. This has been my experience with Cub Scout leadership. I apologize for such a lengthy response but maybe my experience may relate to others who have struggled with leadership issues. I'm fully trained as a DL, WDL and CC. Despite my training and despite the well-intended "just do X and everything will work out" responses from people sometimes things just don't work out. You either persevere or give up. For me personally the greatest frustration I've had as a CC is asking leaders to do something that is part of their leader role and having them simply ignore me or not follow through. Although we have a new CO (Lions Club) we still operate independently. I don't know where I'm supposed to turn for help but I'm now making the effort to better understand the Pack->District->Council structure and see what the District provides. I just crossed over my son and his den and am proud to say that all 12 Scouts earned AoL and crossed over to a Troop. I now lose some friends/leaders who are also crossing over as I prepare to bring my youngest son into the Pack as a Tiger. At least at this point we appear to have a good CM who I can share the burden with and the former CC/friend still has a younger son in the Pack. Despite everything I have enjoyed myself. If you made it this for thanks for reading.
  14. MNBob

    Cub Scouts 2010

    I don't need a BSA pre-planned program for that. You just ned someone to spend about 15 minutes with you to share how den management needs to work.The key word in your sentence is the first -- "I". I agree that for you, or me or plenty of other leaders being a den leader comes naturally and doesn't seem all that difficult. But for others it can seem overwhelming. In fact, as CC this year while talking with other leaders about how we could get more volunteers to step up, I had one of the other leaders basically tell me that what may seem clear and straight forward to some of us is overwhelming and confusing to him. His comments made me more considerate of the other leaders by not assuming that everything was clear to them just because it was clear to me. Now as I have made an effort to get a better understanding of how our Pack is supposed to operate with the District I'm in his shoes. The hierarchy is not clear. The resources that I'm supposed to take advantage of and the people I'm supposed to talk to are not clear to me and when I talk to district people it sometimes feels like they think I should already have the knowledge(This message has been edited by MNBob)
  15. MNBob

    Cub Scouts 2010

    @Scoutfish: Someone I can finally relate to! Sounds like I've found another minority Pack where not everything works as perfectly as explained at training and as listed in the leader books. At it's height (first year Webelos) my den had 16 Scouts. (Yes I know that's twice the recommneded size but we made it work with 2 den leaders and by splitting into patrols but still one den.) I had parents similar to what you describe. All I could do was repeatedly remind them where their Scout was falling behind and what projects he needed to complete at home. Eventually I recognized that some Scouts simply were no longer interested in Scouts and I asked parents on more than one occassion to talk with their boys and determine if they truly wanted to remain. Fast forward to this past year. We went from 16 to 12. One was a transfer to another Pack. One had too many activities going on and decided to drop Cub Scouts. The other two were a couple of the boys who I didn't expect to continue. Of those two, one in particular didn't get much help at home with requirements and I'm sure that's part of why he wasn't enjoying Scouts. Despite all of my efforts to keep his parents up to date in the end I couldn't force them to do anything. Of course I didn't want to lose the Scout but in the end I knew it was best for both him and the den. Family involvement is still part of the expectations and zero to low involvement is generally a sign that, unless the boy is an independent achiever, he probably won't make it to the end. As a Den Leader you just have to recognize and accept it.