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NewCubDad

Looking for a new pack

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I've ranted about the problems with my pack before, and buckled down to do what is best for the boys in my den. Patience and hard work will eventually make the hard wo

 

I've just returned from the monthly 'committee' meeting. Where I found out that the CO doesn't have an interest in the workings of the Pack and isn't interested (so the 'leadership' says) in helping out with popcorn sales, 75th anniversary activities, or pretty much anything else.

 

The 'leadership' is very comfortable in their rut. When I asked about interest in family camping (or even getting a gauge of interest in this from families) I was met with blank stares and the 'new guy' eye roll. I asked about 75th anniversary activities & the cubmaster didn't even know there was a national patch program for the 75th anniversary.

 

The cubmaster & CC are not fulfilling their leadership responsibilities (we're just volunteers) and the boys are missing out on much of the 'fun' things scouts could do because of this.

 

Basically, I've been in scouting 2 months and I don't see that staying with this pack makes much sense. The pack meetings are boring, there's no annual planning (so family camping, summer activities, winter camping, etc. are not even mentioned) and the parent involvement is zip.

 

 

So after looking over the forums I see that some might view my expectations as those of a 'Type A' personality that might not fit in well with scouting or any other organization.

 

I think I should shop around my area to see if there is a pack that has more interest in running a quality program.

 

Any thoughts?

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Happy shopping.

 

Definitely look for a new pack if the present one is not meeting your perceived needs. Better to do that now after only a couple of months then delaying for a year or two and getting more frustrated. It is suggested that Webelos visit more than one boy scout troop to make a better decision, cubs and their parents should do likewise.

 

 

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I would "shop" by contacting my District Commissioner (or District Executive if you don't have an active Commissioner Corps) and explain the situation and ask for suggested Packs that more fit the model you are seeking (the BSA model). This will do two things...it will get you a new Pack and will alert the District staff that there is a unit in trouble with unhappy members. What they choose to do with that info is up to them, but at least you did the right thing. Good Luck!

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I guess I own the Type A tag for the last two weeks, so I offer up a response.

 

You dont seem to be having personality problems with your scout parents or the other adult leaders, thats good. You simply want more program for your boys. Thats great! Some people are very happy getting by with the bare minimum, face it the boys dont know any better, while others want the boys to experience the whole world of scouting. Thats you.

 

So, make the program come alive for your boys. You can do many of the 75th Anniversary activities with your den. You can start an outdoors program in your pack. Get trained and start the program. As long as its offer to the pack you can have the outing, even if it ends up being only your den. The new CS Outdoors Award is a great thing to do. If your boys wear the pocket flap, I guarantee that others in the pack will want it.

 

Lead, follow or get out of the way. Your committee people will get out of the way when they see your boys thriving with a robust program. The other leaders in your pack will follow, and you will lead.

 

By the way, you can't go winter camping with Cub Scouts. But there are lots of other outdoor activities you can do with them.

 

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There are some things that just work better as a pack. Plus, with only 5 (maybe 4 - one family's just barely involved) kids in the den, there's not a real economy of scale for some of the things.

 

For example, I could line up someone to speak about changes in their profession over the last 75 yrs., but for 4-5 kids that seems a bit excessive. (though I could work out a fieldtrip where the guide could do this. Hmmmm) Maybe that's not the best suggestion, but there is a point where larger numbers make more sense.

 

Anyway, the boring pack meetings aren't going to change because of me & I don't know that it makes much sense for me & my son to suffer with a bad program until the pack catches on.

 

Perhaps I'm being a bit selfish, but time is pretty tight these days & just committing to scouts in the first place was a big deal. Putting the time in for a poorly led group doesn't see like a rational decision & I can understand why some Tiger families bailed out last year (before my time)

 

So I'm thinking that looking for a pack that's already got their "stuff" together and is at least conveying the sense that they are on speaking terms with their CO is probably a better solution since the majority of the pack seems satisfied with a de minimis approach (or don't know any different?)

 

PS I'll check the winter camping I referred to, it's being run by another council, but I'm pretty sure it's a family camping arrangement at an approved site so Tigers & Bears are going.

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Hi,

 

It sounds as if the Cub camping program is alive & well in you area. If I'm not mistaken Cub Scout Winter camping restrictions are set by council or region and apply to Tent Camping. You can still visit a council camp, stay in a bunk house or cabin and enjoy winter activities in a different setting.

 

I was very interested in a comment in another thread that related how much less work was involved in being a scoutmaster instead of a den leader. Perhaps the Pack leadership needs to be shaken up a little, where are the COR or IH in this picture -- its their unit not the Comm Chair's or Cubmaster's.

 

Perhaps, there is a Cubmaster's hat in your future with one of your den's parents becoming DL while you assist (strongly.)

 

Bob

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That's the beauty of scouting, one can choose another if one does not like the current unit! This is an idea that a lot of scouts and parents don't understand. A Pack/Troop may be ideal and great for some, but not for others. The scout does not need to drop out of sight simply because he is not having fun! You're are doing it right!

 

Bob58, there is no "perhaps" in this. If you and I look underneath his hat, the word Cubmaster has already stitched on the inside as well as imprinted on his forehead. This is the energy that any Pack could use!

 

Good luck in finding a happy scouting ground.

 

1Hour

(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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Jeez - if being a cubmaster is typically doing what my pack's cubmaster is doing, it's far less work than DL.

 

Though I'm adding on to my own outlined responsibilities because I basically did my own orientation and went to training on my own - where I discovered people who are interested in scouting and saw what scouting could offer, beyond den meetings, pack meetings and uniforms.

 

The COR is MIA(mostly) and I have no idea what an IH is.

 

As I was informed last night, the CO is a 'CO of convenience.' Apparently the pack was 'self chartered' (friends of pack ###) and got some grief from the council. As a result they found this CO. (a fire district) But apparently no one has developed much of a relationship with the CO so the interaction between the CO and the pack is almost nil (though I did see the COR when she was pulling together the charter information at the last pack meeting.)

 

You should have seen their faces when I asked how much popcorn the CO purchased. Complete shock.

 

Onward & upward. Again, you folks have helped me keep things in perspective.

 

Thanks

 

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NewCubDad, be careful, I got burned out by being a CubMaster for two years, doing everything for a Pack of 132 kids. It depends whether or not you have a good supporting casts, including a good Committee. I didn't have a strong CC. I had a "silent" CC. I ended up functioning as both, burning candles at both ends. There is a happy medium, one thing that another thread mentioned and well worth noticing ... learn to say "no" and pace yourself while having fun. Your CM sounds as if he is there as a figure head only for the convenience of filling out the recharter.

 

 

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It's funny that your post is the first one I came across, I am in the process of joining a new pack as well.... for the EXACT same reasons you are!! I just wanted to wish you the best of luck. Personally, I found a pack that will better suit me and my 7 bears much better and all my parents are on board w/ switching packs.... if it means my boys will have more fun and enjoy scouting.... I am all for it... it's scarey to switch... and I hate making my CM mad, but I am doing it anyway... for my boys!

Best of luck to you.... and you are such an awesome scouter!!!!

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Well, I've contacted another pack (they actually have a membership/leadership committee person who called me back the same day!) and am going to visit their pack meeting this week and talk with the cubmaster. I also got in touch with the DE to see what feedback he might provide regarding my experience (if I'm expecting too much or if there are other packs in the area with better programs).

 

I'm also encouraged because the cubmaster and his wife are from Georgia and have experience with scouting back east. Sometimes us people in the Northwest are a bit too laid back (said the WA native who lived in CA for a decade)- they have experience with a large pack that was well organized and have scheduled out a lot more activities than my current cubmaster is willing to even consider.

 

Regarding burnout - I feel like I'd be less inclined to burnout in a better run pack than I would carrying the load in the pack I'm with now. Rather than being forced to do everything because the CM won't rally the troops, I'll get a chance to assist within a well run pack and hopefully learn something so the pack will continue on strong when the current cubmaster moves on to a scout troop.

 

So I'll see how things go this week and see what the other parents in the den want to do after I make my decision (who knows, I might end up staying put after all). So far they're not aware of my frustrations & rants - they love the program & have even said things like 'was born to be a cub leader.' Hopefully they'll be open to switching packs....

 

 

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"You should have seen their faces when I asked how much popcorn the CO purchased. Complete shock."

 

 

I must have missed something. Why would the CO purchase any popcorn?

 

We have been chartered by the same CO for over 50 years and as far as I know they have never purchased any popcorn from either the Pack or Troop. I would not expect them to. One of the guiding principles handed down from Lord Baden-Powell, is that boys earn their own way in Scouting. In both our Pack and Troop it is up to the boys (with help from their families in the Pack) to sell the popcorn.

 

 

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Well, I was working under the assumption that the CO provides support, financial and otherwise to the Pack. So I was surprised that someone, either an enterprising young scout or a pack leader, had not contacted the CO to set up a popcorn sale stand or at least to post a flyer at the fire station to sell some popcorn.

 

Why wouldn't a pack make such arrangements? I would think the CO would normally be happy to let the scouts solicit their employees or patrons and be proud to be associated with the boys.

 

What am I missing?

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NewCubDad,

 

In preparation of your upcoming meeting with the other pack, consider making a list of the top ten things you would like to see happening in the prospective new pack. This would give you focused talking points during your time with the CM.

 

I think sharing it on this forum may be very helpful to others who are facing a similar situation.

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