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dlw73078

Can I quit mid-year?

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I am ready to quit. I took the post as Cubmaster because no one stepped up to do it. I am new to the area and have only been with the pack for the last year. I have been in other packs that worked together so muck more smoothly. (I applaud Pack 215 in Racin, WI who had it together and had leaders that were willing to give their all.)

I am trying to follow the examples set for by Pack 215, because I had nothing to follow here. I have no committee, my den leaders aren't enthusiastic and come at me with pissy attitudes.

I'm done, fed up, and wanna quit. If this were a job and I was treated like this I would have some recourse, but in this "volunteer" organization I have nothing.

Who can help me write a nice resignation letter to give to my leaders at our next meeting in 2 weeks.

My New Year's Resoluition is to quit my job as a Cubmaster and not look back.

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Why do you even need to write a letter, dlw? This is not a resignation from a job ... a simple "See ya!" would be suffice! But all seriousness aside, why the long face? If I were you and I was, I would call an all parents meeting and tell 'em about the situation. Give them the ultimatum to roll up the sleeves and pitch or find a new CM. Get the opinions of the peeved off leaders to see what gripes them. Erect a committee out of the remaining parents (I'm assuming that you have a good size pack ... 30?). Solicit the help of the COR, CO, or your friendly neighborhood Unit Commissioner or even the District Executive. The way it sounds ... the pack is on a dive pattern. Once you get the infrastructure group up ... get 'em trained. Finally, act silly and have fun with the kids, because that's your job and only job! That's what I had to do. Now, the Pack is thriving with about 102 boys strong and about 30+ parents helping out. Tonight was our cake auction. There were 7 moms from one den ran the auction. Our CM just sat back and enjoyed the show! We had a live auctioneer as well. If you have other questions, feel free to PM me and I will share with you our experience.

 

1Hour

 

ps: welcome to the forum. Quitting shouldn't be the only answer. When you quit, the only ones who lose out are the kids. Of course, switching to another pack can also be answer as well.

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dlw,

 

 

Please go ahead and quit. A phone call to someone(whoever that might be) will work and be appropriate. That gets you off the hook. And sure, if you don't want, or can't make a phone call, just don't show up anymore. That gets the message across loud and clear!!!!

 

sst3rd

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I hope things will improve, parents will come to their senses and start helping more, and that you'll change your mind.

 

But if they don't, please don't just quit out of the blue on them or stop showing up like someone else mentioned. You don't deserve to be treated poorly by your pack but at the very least they deserve a little advance notice from you.

 

The positive side to staying on in a situation like this one (and I've been there myself, though as a DL and committee member, not CM) is that you'll often get a small core of dedicated parents who are really neat people to work with, who emerge as leaders and want to make things work. Together with them you can re-shape the pack and have a much stronger program. It's a matter of surviving long enough to get to that point though and it is a commitment. I looked at it as a commitment to my own child though - for a variety of reasons, switching packs wasn't much of an option for us at the time so I was either going to have to roll up my sleeves or else pull him out of cub scouts all together.

 

If you decide to stay...are these other leaders trained for their positions (are you?)? Are there any parents at all in the group you feel you could work together with? If so, personally invite them, as individuals (not as a group) to do something specific on the committee, keeping it positive of course. Especially seek out a Committee Chair because it is the CC, not the CM, who should be dealing with the daily hassles of running the pack. Then get everybody signed up for a training session so they know how things are supposed to work. Your UC or district exec. should be able to help you locate training sessions in your area. If there isn't one soon, ask the UC to do a special session at your pack's upcoming committee meeting night.

 

Good luck, I'm sending positive thoughts your way!

 

best,

Lisa'bob

A good old bobwhite too!

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Thank you everyone for all your wods of wisdom. I have been trying to revitalize this pack after several years of lax leadership.

We have about 40 boys right now (we had a bad recruitment year - so we are lacking in Tigers) but it is still a good size pack.

I am trying to have fun with the boys. I try to instill skits, audience participation, and fun activities for the boys.

But, how am I supposed to work with a den leader that send me this message when I give him available training dates"

"I will not be attending the Leader Training in December. It is my understanding that one leader from each Den needs to be certified for Recharter and my assistant has already attended training. She and I have worked together very well with our Den and are splitting up the time requirements."

So I have a leader who absolutely refuses to get training.

I had several boys who did not sell popcorn for the pack, so I am charging them for Boy's Life, charter, and dues. It is only fair, because these items are paid for by popcorn sales. Instead I get this:

"I see that one of the items we will discuss at the next Leader's Meeting is about the scouts that did not sell any popcorn. I don't think we should punish anybody for choosing not to sell in our fundraiser by charging them dues or other fees. We all work as a Pack and have different strengths to contribute." I don't see this as penalizing them, if their parents would have put forth a little effort and sold some popcorn or even bought some, this wouldn't be necessary.

Lastly, how am I supposed to work with a den leader whos wife gets upset, and calls and e-mails me repeatedly, because I will only hand out awards and prizes at pack meetings.

I am trying to instill the things I have observed at a Pack my son was a part of a few years ago that I felt really knew what they were doing.

I am holding on by a very thin thread, and the only r4ason I stay is for the kids.

I am tired of having to do everything and getting crapped on by the bystanders while I do it. All this negativity has me saying "I'm Done!"

Someone, help me deal with this, so, maybe I don't have to quit.

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"how am I supposed to work with a den leader whos wife gets upset, and calls and e-mails me repeatedly, because I will only hand out awards and prizes at pack meetings."

 

What awards does the Den Leader NOT want given out at Pack meetings? When & where does he want them awarded?

 

Instant recognition is a big part of Cubs.

 

 

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Okay.

 

Step One - Relax. As CM, you play a big part in the Pack program, but not the only one. There is only so much you can do, and so much influence you can have over den leaders.

 

Step Two - Find a friend. You have no committee and so I assume no Committee Chair. Find a friend in the pack that you respect for their willingness to help the pack succeed. Get that person appointed CC by the COR. Have a nice long chat with him/her about the future direction of the pack. Together, you can achieve more at less personal cost to your time and energy, while having a shoulder to lean on when you each get down.

 

Step Three - Focus on the boys. Let the CC deal with adults that don't want to sell popcorn or pay dues, and den leaders that don't want to get trained, and the myriad of other adult issues. Your role is to develop and carryout the pack program, infuse scouting enthusiasm for the boys and help prepare them for boy scouts.

 

Step Four - Have fun. Even when you are not having fun, pretend that you are and soon you actually will be. Likewise, pretend that you like the difficult adults and sooner or later they will no longer be as difficult as they may now seem.

 

Step Five - Grow that epidermis. As the big dog, you will always have some adult making negative comments. Consider, these are not necessarily aimed at you but generally come from jealousy. Learn to ignore the crappy stuff while keeping an open mind that perhaps there is a better way to do something than you originally thought.

 

Step Six - Training for all. A committee could decide that all leaders need to be trained to continue in their role.

 

Step Seven - Turn off the e-mail. Have all pack business conducted at committee meetings where people need to attend and explain themselves in a public forum.

 

Step Eight - Empower others. You don't have to do it all. Empower teams of adults to put together the PWD, Blue & Gold, Picnic, etc. Let them have some fun.

 

Step Nine - Wait. I have seen my share of old den leaders (Webelos II for example) that give no credence to the new Cubmaster. They will be gone shortly. Sometimes, you just have to let time take care of problems.

 

Step Ten - Share. There are many people that have walked the dark valley before you. Talk to grizzled scouting veterans at roundtable and district events, this forum and elsewhere. They will assure you that what you are going through is pretty common. They will encourage you to continue in your efforts, because what you are doing is important.

 

Good luck.

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You seemed to have walked into a trap.

 

To make the necessary changes you need clout, and right now you don't have any. A call to your District commissioner or district executive is a good start. Depending on how active the charter is, the CO is also source for clout. You need to demonstrate that you are a principal connection to all that is good in scouting. By bringing in leaders from the Charter organization and the district to reinforce that you are indeed implementing a scouting program you will gain clout. Right now they are managing you.

 

No you can't quit in mid year. Give it to the end of the year and if you can't turn it around by then, go ahead and quit but give at least a month notice.

(This message has been edited by Its Me)

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My advice to you would be to take Semper's post above, print it out, and stick it on your refrigerator.

 

Yes, you can quit whenever you want; this is a volunteer position, but you might consider the "all parents" meeting someone above suggested. Just lay it on the line for them. No support, no you as CM. Give them a couple of days to think about it, but give them a date. If no one steps up by then, you respectfully resign.

 

Remember that we're in this for the Scouts. Give the pack every chance to regroup, but remember also that you are only one person. Been there. You need to build a small core of people that are interested in making the pack successful. Get that and at least you can survive. Then, what you really do, honestly, is wait for new parents to join as Tigers, and get them involved. The existing group will eventually fade away. But don't get yourself so buried that you're not enjoying it. You're supposed to be having fun, too.

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Sorry...quitting is never an option...not now, not ever, especially if you have a scout involved.

 

Semper has some great suggestions that I think you need to carefully consider.

 

Don't compare one pack to the other...every pack has their own personality. Find your pack's "positive" personality and grow it. If the other Den Leaders or their spouses do not agree with your decisions, they were afforded the opportunity to step into the CM role and they declined...you stepped in, it is your Pack and you need to lead it with confidence and conviction. If anyone calls and complains, assign them the new task of resolving their complaints within BSA guidelines - ie if they do not like awards at Pack meetings and they want to hand them out every day of the week, then that person needs to be your Awards Leader and track every den and every scout - if they have time to complain, they have more than enough time to resolve.

 

Out of 40 families, you aren't able to garner any additional support??? At your next Pack meeting, get some Boy Scouts to hold an outdoor or separate activity that will move all of the scouts to another spot in the building or outside and request the parents to stay behind and have a quick "town hall" discussion complete with AGENDA! No complaints, just important topics (volunteer leadership, training, awards, etc.) that need to be discussed and resolutions found. You will quickly find out that you have more allies than adversaries than you think, but be ready with your thick epidermis.

 

If all else fails and you simply can not take it anymore, think of your son and the example you would set by quitting now, rather than finishing the year. Then simply announce two months prior to the last Pack meeting that you will need to step aside as CM to fulfill family obligations and that someone - anyone should approach you to fill your position. Offer to be asst CM if you still want to be involved.

 

I applaud your efforts in stepping up into this role and I am sorry to hear that you have some leaders and parents that think they can push, bully and manipulate the Pack in to doing things their way...but hold your ground, keep doing the great job you are doing, and DON'T QUIT! Gauge your success on the scouts actions and not the parents reactions.

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If your Pack is like ours, it has two seperate "years" that it runs. The Charter year is Jan to Dec, but the program year usually ends up being Sept to June. I'm retiring as CM at the end of this charter year (December) and the Pack will have to forge on without me. They have known a new CM was going to be needed since Sept, 2004, so the parents have had plenty of time to step up to task set before them to conduct a program for their boys as I did when mine was in the Pack.

 

Good luck and keep plugging away, as frustrating as it may be, being part of your Scouts Pack will be some of the most rewarding time you spend with him.

 

YiS

Michelle

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Semper - great advice.

 

dlw - I understand your frustration. Leading change is really difficult. Be careful, though, about assuming that everyone is against you because they haven't immediately bought into the changes you are trying to implement. These things take time.

 

Whenever you seek to change things, you need to prioritize. Reality is, you aren't going to succeed in making a ton of changes quickly so pick a couple of things and be patient.

 

Implementing change requires buy-in on the part of other leaders. It doesn't sound like you have that right now. Especially as someone new to the group, you can't force it down their throats and expect it to work. I'm sure you don't see it that way but maybe they do?

 

To get buy-in you need to present a clear vision of how your proposed change is going to improve on a current deficiency. It almost doesn't matter whether you're right about the changes you want to make. If you can't convince others to work with you, change isn't going to happen the way you want it to, no matter how good your ideas and intentions are.

 

You may need to slow down a little and spend some time sharing ideas with the other leaders. Be open to theirs too. Once you all have a more common vision of where you want the pack to go, you'll run into less resistance.

 

Right now I know a pack in my town that has a new family, very gung-ho about scouting. However, one of the parents in this family has managed to alienate pretty much everyone in the pack because, at every turn, she is heard to say (loudly!) "well in MY OLD PACK..." The implication is the "old" pack was always right and the folks in charge of the current pack must be idiots. Sadly, nobody in the current pack is going to follow her just now, no matter what great ideas she may have.

 

Some people will never change no matter what you do. Semper's right, they'll probably move on of their own accord in the not so distant future anyway. But be careful that you don't write people off as dead wood just because they disagree with you or don't react exactly how you want them to.

 

Most of the complaints/comments you mentioned in your post are NOT the CM's job to deal with (fund raising, dues, leader training, awards, running leader meetings, etc.). You can and should side step these problems. If you start trying to solve all of them, some folks will rightfully complain that you're overstepping your authority and anyway it'll only give you a big headache.

 

Perhaps the biggest and most useful change you can suggest to this pack is that you/they develop a working committee. If the CM is expected to do all of this other stuff too, no wonder nobody in the pack wanted to be CM! But be aware that the CM has much less influence in a pack with a functional committee. Smart committees will seek input and work together with their CM, but in the final analysis, the committee decides pack policy (within the BSA boundaries of course), not the CM.

 

Before you make any decisions, Semper's post is worth re-reading.

 

Lisa'bob

A good old bobwhite too!

 

 

 

 

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I used to say that I became den leader and cub master because no one else would step up but that is not true. I was lying to myself and to others. The truth is I became cub master and den leader for my son and my self. Take a breather and give it another chance without the stress. Just do the job you have, not every other job in the pack. If the den leaders wife has a problem with the advancement and awards then have her call the advancement chair, no advancement chair? Offer her the job. Have a den leader who doesnt want to get trained, offer him the training chair. If you can, get the training person to come do training at your co for your, it is harder to turn it down when it is delivered. Have parents who don't want to do fundraising, put them in as fundraising chair. It is easier to offer positions of responsibility to people than to try to change their way of thinking.

my 2 cents

Also, attend Woodbadge, it will help you see the fun you are missing.

Kristi

I used to be an Eagle

SR-725

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Hi DLW73078,

 

First off, i'm glad your looking at all your options. I used to be a Cubmaster for a pack your size for about 4 years.

 

One item i used quite successfully was "the Wall of Shame".. ok, so i only used that term to myself. I took a large display type poster board that folded in half so i could prop it up on a table (like a book). I made a bunch of fleur de leis with each family name on it. One half of the board was titled something like "Helping the Pack Go!" families fleur de leis who were already helping the pack were placed with their function below their name on that half of the board. The other half of the board had fleur de leis with open jobs for people to do (no job is to small!).

 

After my little speech one pack meeting i filled many positions, and more importantly (i think) got parents involved. Parents came forward to take the easiest job available before they were taken. The thing is, most jobs are easy broken down the right way (i.e Blue and Gold clean-up NOT Blue and Gold chmn.)

 

Hang in there, and educate your volunteers gently... sounds like you have some untraining and re-training to do. Remember, you catch more flies with honey ;)

 

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