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.