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Committe Responsibilites and My Responsibilities

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I signed my son up for CS a year ago, and was recruited as a TDL. I sure many of you have been there, done that.


We had a bad CM. Really bad. Would skip committee meetings, not return phone calls, abuse pack funds, pack meetings were a sea of kids running around without ANY ceremonies, you get the idea.


But the biggest problem was with the committee. They wanted his blessing on everything (although they are not required to have it), and if we can't get a hold of him, the boys ended up suffering.


We do not have any written by-laws. We have one the expired in 1992.


It was then that I refocused myself to give my Tigers what the pack wasn't.


Over the summer his job changed, and it interefered with all of the pack and committee meetings.


The CC spoke with him, and he aggreed to be ACM so I could be the CM. I talked with DE to see what we had to do. We do not have a UC - and that may be why we have problems. DE said to just submit both of our apps again with the new positions.


I submitted mine, and he did not. So council added me as ACM, and kept him as CM. But he NEVER gave anyone their Scout ID cards, or gave the mail that got sent to him to a person to follow up on.


I got DE to fix it for me - and we reacharted with out the former CM.


I have been trying to empower the committee to do their job, and directing parents to the CC when they ask me something that I don't have the power to decide. When the committe asked for my decison on things, I always told them that it was their decision and 99% of the time I didn't have a problem with what they wanted to do.


I have done my best to get people to do their job - but now I have done something wrong, and I feel bad.


I stepped on the CC's toes. I am not mad at her (maybe disappointed that she didn't come to me sooner), but I am mad at myself.


I have been preparing written agenda for the committee meetings, without asking her. She didn't do it, and we never were able to cover everything because we ended up forgetting things. The meetings are lasting too long. But I really didn not want to start talking about B&G at the February Committee meeting.


I invited guests, and she didn't like that. I know it would have been common courtesy for me to do that.


I also gave the pack leaders flyers for an event. One den (my son's) had interest, and they bought tickets. The other leaders didn't ask their boys, and they are upset that no one called to follow up. A few parents got upset, and blame is being directed back at me.


The CC has the right idea to want to have someone to do this task, maybe a parent. But no one will step up.


This leads me to my problem: Do I let the boys suffer and lack in activities because the committe won't take it on themselves to organize it or find someone? Activites are going to have a direct impact on the Centennial Quality Unit Award.


I do not want to step on anyone's toes, but what should I do now?


I can go to the committee and talk about things, but they seem to be clueless. I always get the deer in headlights look when I talk to them about my WoodBadge ticket, the Centennial Quaility Unit Award, and other awards that the boys are not doing.


And I am the only one that has gone to roundtable in the past two and a half. Should I share info on events and how should I do it?


I have no problem doing my job by the book, but do I just sit back, and what to see what happens?


I feel like I'm driving the car from the backseat. I'm upsetting people, and I feel so bad about it.

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Has your CC been trained? That would help things along.


What kind of Committee Members do you have? Do you have a Secretary? The Secretary, along with input from the CC, should be putting together the meeting agenda. An Outings Chair Committee Member would be the one who event notices go to & who would be responsible for things like sending in event registration & getting Tour Permits.


Folks don't just generally walk up to the CC or CM and volunteer for these positions. Making blanket "we need volunteers" speeches rarely works. Your CC should be asking individuals, one-on-one, to do a needed job. When making a face to face request of a specific person about a specific job you get better results.


You need to have a face to face talk of your own with your CC to straighten out both your, & her, issues. A Committee & the Packs den leaders should work TOGETHER as a TEAM.


If you do not have enough Committee Members to have an Outings Chair then I do not see a problem with everyone working together on activities. If you hear of an interesting opportunity (at Rdtbl or where ever) for the boys, get the info, make enough copies for all the leaders & Committee Members & present it at your Committee Meeting (there should be time for additional questions/issues to be addressed, maybe at the end of the meeting). Find out if anyone is interested. If you all decide to make it a Pack thing, & one of the volunteers present would like to be the point person for that specific event then great! The leaders are responsible for distributing the info to their boys and forwarding registrations to the Point Person. If there is minimal interest, or no Point Person, then leave it as a Den or individual event. The leaders are still responsible for distributing the event info to their Dens. If they decide to make it a Den event, then the Den Leader is responsible for the follow up & registrations. If they do not want to do the event as a Den, the families still have the info & can attend if they wish, but it is up to the individual families to contact whoever is running the event to sign up.


If the Den Leaders are to lazy to even present the info to their boys, then they have no one to blame but themselves if their families find out about it after the fact & are upset that they were not informed. Once the info has been presented to the families, the ball is in their court to contact the appropriate person. I can see a few Pack wide reminders, but to expect ANYONE to personally chase after each & every family in the Pack is nuts.

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All potential actions have advantages and disadvantages. Don't beat yourself up about what you did in the past, and about anyone's feelings that may have inadvertantly gotten hurt. What is important is what to do going forward.


First, definately go talk with your committee chair. Explain why you did what you did, and extend appology if that encroached on what the CC thought she was supposed to do. Then set up periodic meetings and or calls with the CC above and beyond the monthly committee meeting. Maybe a standing call every Sunday night where you tell the CC what support you need from the committee, and ask the CC to get back to you with status in an appropriate time frame (could be next committee meeting, next phone call, or next night, depending on your need and the CC willingness to accomplish what you what you need.)


Specific to the complaint about the event for which you distributed flyers to all of the pack leaders, but they neglected to pass the message on, - stand firm - you are CM, and provided the appropriate info to the DL's, and it was THEIR responsibility to follow up with their boys, not yours. Leading a cub pack is a team activity. Each player needs to do their part. What you should do now is to use this as a learning experience for all the parents - you are the cub master. You pass information to den leaders. You will NOT be taking the responsibility to assure that each den leader uses that information - the DL is perfectly capable of doing so without you being a micromanager. You could give the suggestion that the DL appoint a parent of one of their scouts to be the follow up person for their den, if they so choose, but it is not a CM role to tell a DL how they must distribute information.


If you step in and start to do so, because of a few complaints, you may perhaps benefit a few in the short run, but in the long run, you are making the pack weaker rather than stronger, and I encourage you to look towards the long term because the pack needs to outlive you, and it will be tough for that to happen if nothing gets done without you doing it.


I am a new unit commissioner, and one of my packs has developed a great culture of parent involvement. They do a lot via email, and kindly copy me. Any request that I see sent out by the CM or CC gets a number of favorable responses. If your pack isn't there yet, then you may want to consider an all parents meeting, where you and the CC tell the parents your plan for the next year to 18 months - i.e., what you are planning for pack meetings over that time; then ask for vounteers, and thirdly assign families that dont volunteer to an activity. Make note that cub scouting is a family activity, and (while this may sound harsh), explain that family whose idea of participation is to slow down their car while they drop their son off - invite them to enroll their son in baseball or soccer instead. There should be multiple sub committees of your committee - B&G, PW derby, August family campout, June fishing derby, etc. Then let the CC birddog those committees to deliver.

If you have weekly calls with the CC, then you should see a report from the B&G at the December and January committee meetings, because you have asked for it to be there. If it isn't, then raise the topic during the "new business" portion of the meeting.


It will take time to get there, but once parents see that it isn't 4 people doing all the work, they won't be quite so scared to pitch in.


Definately share what you get at round table with the CC and DL's that didn't attend. Then let them take any appropriate steps for those things that they should be responsible for, just as you will take appropriate steps for items you bring back from round table that you as CM are responsible for. Sometimes, you will need to have the conversation with the CC as to whom should do what - and don't be afraid to ask for assistance.


good luck. And keep repeating to yourself that doing everything yourself is bad for the pack. Perhaps some activities don't come off as well as you think they could have if the sub committee had done some more advanced planning - note it as a suggestion for improvement next year, and move on. Baby steps are more effective than giant leaps.

The scouts may not even realize that there is a problem with, for example, only having cake because the B&G committee didn't begin planning soon enough to make arrangements for chicken.





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ScoutNut: Our committee is: CC, Secretary and Treasurer. Yes the CC is trained, but she is also leaving.


CC is trying to replace herself. We have approached other parents on doing specific things, but they are not interested. Some are understandably too busy, others just don't want any responsibility.


I do make paper copies and email copies to the committee and den leaders. I had the comment that I send out too many emails, and I don't think they even look at the paper copies beyond at the committee meeting. I personally feel that without a chair or parent to organize these events, the the den leader is left to do it on their own, and that's what I did.


Next time, I will ask if the committee wants to do it as a pack let them choose someone, and if not, suggest that the den leaders do it as a den if they want to.


I think I also need to stress to the committee that I work with them, not make their decisions for them.


One thing that I hate that is done to me is that I present something, and I hear "I ALREADY heard about that" and they refuse to discuss it further.


Venividi - I have apologized to her. I told her that I am in no way upset with her. We had bad leadership before that instead of moving on, got upset and did nothing. I do not want that at all. I don't want the boys to be affected by any ill feelings.


I will give the CC weekly calls, that's a great idea.



But I do have one question. How much of the pack meeting am I responsible for planning? We do not have enough time to cover the pack meeting from beginning to end in the committee meeeting, nor do we have the meeting like in the Cub Scout Leader's Book page 24-6 (Second 2005 printing).


I pulled this book out the other night and I was apparantly the only one who knew the book existed (even though mine is not the current edition). No wonder why people don't know who is responsible for what!


One thing that does bother me, is that the CC insists that we give the boys their rank patches and "graduate" the boys in May (even the second year Webelos). IMHO, it is wrong to hold back on advancement when the boy has earned it. Which makes things even more complicated for the Tigers and first year scouts. They have to get their Bobcat BEFORE working on their Tiger/Wolf/Bear etc. It doesn't make sense to me to "hold" their badges.


And, we don't maintain advancement records (no chair for it so den leaders do it themselves). I still am getting resistance from them about filling out the Advancement report. I tell them that the badges cannot be purchased without one, but they don't believe me. I guess I will have to let them find out on their own when they drive ALL they way out there.


I feel like I do so much suggesting and reccomending that it is intrepreted as commanding and I'm ignored.

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You are right on the money about holding back badges. You never, never, NEVER hold back presenting a badge to a boy who has earned it.


You mentioned that the CC is trained, and I do not doubt that she may have at some point attended a training, however just from what you have mentioned, it appears she is not following the program. First of all, it is not the CC's job to tell you how to run a Pack meeting or when to present badges. That is completely wrong and she needs to stop doing that. The CC's responsibility is the Committee. Your responsibility (assuming you are the Cubmaster) is Pack Meetings. The way this works is the Cubmaster lets the committee know what is needed for a given Pack Meeting and the Committee provides the necessary resources.


If the CC will remain in that position for any further length of time, she either needs to be RE-trained or else she should turn over the position to someone else instead of continuing to operate the Committee incorrectly.


Eagle Pete

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She is leaving in May.


I am a firm beliver that Webelos II's should crossover in February (unless there is an unusal circumstance), but her son is a Webelos II and she wants all of them to wait. Two UC's even confirmed that B&G time is a better time to do this.


So if he crosses over in late May, joins a troop in June, he goes to camp for a week with people he barely knows, or more importanly a troop that barely knows him.


Some days I question her training, but I have seen the pack's adult leader training report, and yes, she is. The CC and CM before her were married to each other, so I am assuming that some "planning" was done behind the backs of the committee and leaders, and she just isn't aware of the committee's and leader's full responsibilities. Which now makes me a believer that the CC should not be married to the CM or SM because those replacing them don't have a full understanding of the committee process.


Another huge drawback on withholding advancement is that you eliminate the peer pressure for the others to want to finish their requirements, and it also makes the parents unaware that their son is behind. Can you imagine a May pack meeting where 7 of 8 boys get to advance, but the last one is in tears because he doesn't have anytime left to finish? To me that is a completely backwards ideal of the whole CS program. It hurts all of the boys.

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Let me restate this... the Committee Chair CANNOT tell you how to run Pack Meetings.


Change your presentation schedule to meet the needs of the boys. Do not seek the CC's approval, as you do not need it.


A committee member should normally be assigned to fill out advancement forms. The position is called Pack Advancement Chair. If the Committee does not have an Advancement Chair, it falls on the Den Leaders to fill out their den advancement forms. I would have the Den Leaders do this until an Advancement Chair is selected. Let them know it is part of the den's responsibilities. Keeping track of these advancements keeps the den leader aware of any boys who are nearing completion of a rank. You need to know this information.


You may also want to take a look at http://www.geocities.com/~pack215/cub-tracker.html

This site has several advancement tracker tools fully updated to current requirements.


Eagle Pete

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"How much of the pack meeting am I responsible for planning?"


Everything is subject to negotiation, but use the cubscout leaders handbook and the monthly program planning helps as a guide. Other resources are other CMs that you meet at round table, and cub leader training events.


Here is one possible scenario based on our packs culture that had developed over time.


The pack meeting with pinewood derby:

a PW derby subcommittee should be responsible for organizing, setting up, and running. CM serves as MC. (In our pack, Webelos-2 parents were responsible for the PW derby - everything from soup to nuts).


B&G - CM responsible for program for recognizing rank advancements and volunteers, and serves as MC. B&G committee responsible for reserving a site(if different than the normal pack meeting site), decorations, meals/refreshments, hiring and paying for special speaker/entertainer, if any. CM may want to pass on names of desired speakers to the subcommittee, or volunteer to reserve the speaker. CM gets/makes fun type recognition gifts to present to leaders of various activities - (cub scout literature is full of these types of awards). Making such awards could be delegated, but as a former CM, recognizing others was my favorite part of B&G.

Advancement Chair - update records and get the appropriate scout badges /awards to give out. Note: This should be a part of every meeting, with the CM preparing some fun way of presenting the awards (example: Oct pack meeting I dressed as a mad scientist, and pulled awards from a black pot that had some dry ice and water in it - had a funny scripted banter with my ASM to lead into it). Our DL's and scouts typically targeted B&G for completing all requirments for badges, - in our pack only a few scouts completed requirements soon enough to be awarded their badge earlier than B&G.


A theme I recall: Magic was the BSA specified theme. For the pack meeting, we had a magic show, where each den performed a magic trick. Dens practiced magic tricks at den meetings in preparation for the pack meeting.


Overall Planning: CM would take the lead on preparing an annual plan. We did a plan for 18 months out - September of this year through December of the following year, and then presented to the committeee and den leaders. Much of each year looked the same: Christmas party was always in December, and was the responsibility of the Wolf parents. PW-derby always in January, and was the responsibility of the Sr Webelos parents. For months that didn't have a traditional standing activity, we usually used one of the monthly themes - used the BSA provided program helps showing exactly how to set up a fun pack meeting. In summer, we would have activities such as a pack bike ride, a pack fishing derby, etc., each assigned to sub committees (typically 1 to 3 people - most individual activities aren't all that difficult to plan and run, and are a nice, consice item to ask an individual to take on - it has an end date, so not so scary to volunteer for.


Pack Meeting Plans: CM prepares a high level plan for each meeting that includes the following items:

Set up: assigned to a den responsible for the month

Opening ceremony: ditto

Awards: CM (I would meet with my ACM beforehand to prepare something in keeping with the theme for the meeting).

Skit: assigned to a den in advance

Program: - could be activities planned by CM as outlined in the program helps, and then delegated to select parents; or a speaker such as a fireman that brought his firetruck, etc.

A Run-on (short skit): assigned to a den in advance

Closing - retiring of the colors: assigned to a den in advance

Goal: All dens have a part in each pack meeting

Before the start of every year, prepare a spreadsheet showing each month, and which den is responsible for each activity, and rotate them through the year, so each den gets a chance to do everything. Then den leaders can plan appropriate meetings for their den to practice flag etiquette, or a skit, etc. in prepartion of the pack meeting. You may need to add more skits each month if you have a lot of dens - the scouts love to do skits. Toss in a skit done by the den leaders once in a while - The kids love to see their leaders up having fun. There are collections of short skits all over the web, many linked from scouter.com, I believe.


I highly encourage you to start using the themes and program helps, if you are not already. After some additional experience, you may run across some other material to supplement, then involve parent volunteers in the program.


I think you will find this consumes sufficient amount of time that you will want to continue to push the committee chair to recruit and provide the support you need.

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OK, a few things.


Den Leaders, even Webelos Den Leaders, should know where all of their boys are in relation to earning their rank award (rank awards, except for AOL, have nothing to do with advancing to the next level). It does not matter if you have an Advancement Chair or not.


The Leader of the 5th grade Webelos Den is responsible for making sure the boys all earn their AOL and move to Boy Scouts, not the CC. There is also no way that a 5th grade Webelos could reach the end of 5th grade and not be able to cross into a BS Troop. He might not have earned his AOL, but at the end of 5th grade he can still become a Boy Scout.


I can understand that if the CC is staying in the Pack until May, that she wants her son to stay with her. However, that is not fair to either her son or any of the other boys who will be ready sooner. You need to explain this to her AND the Webelos Den Leader ASAP.


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I agree with eagle-pete that your CC is over-stepping her boundaries a bit. On the other hand, my experience with cub packs has been that, more often than not, they are loosely organized and loosely run. This isn't ideal and sometimes it causes a lot of problems that would have been avoided if everyone just knew and stuck to their job. But it is reality. And keeping in mind that the level of experience with the BSA among adults in a typical pack is usually much lower than in a typical troop, and that leader turnover is typically much higher in a pack than a troop, one needs to be careful not to alienate the adults who are willing to volunteer. Suggesting they get RE-trained or get out may well do that! If she is leaving in May anyway, at this point the best strategy is probably to wait her out, work with her where possible, adjust around the edges where possible, and start looking NOW for a new CC with whom you can build a better relationship.


As for the debate about when to cross from cubs to boy scouts: Back when I was a webelos DL and had no experience with the troop side of things, I reached the conclusion that it made a lot more sense to do cross over in April/May than in Feb. The major reason had to do with the readiness of brand new scouts to do winter camping right off the bat; in Michigan Feb/March can be very cold. There is also a strong case to be made for separating Blue & Gold - which should be about ALL of your cub scouts - from cross over, which is really about your Webelos II den. Some B&Gs I've attended get so drawn out that by the end the younger boys are either dropping off to sleep or getting extremely rambunctious.


We didn't end up changing our cross over, but we talked a lot about doing that for future years. So I can understand where your CC might be coming from on this.


However: Now that I've been involved for a couple of years on the troop side, I am glad we didn't make this change. As others have suggested, doing so would've slowed down the integration of the new scouts into the troop, made summer camp seem more of a challenge, and let's face it, by Feb. of their webelos II year, many boys are a little bored of cub scouting and ready for something new. Holding onto them longer might increase their drop out rate. Two or three months is a long time in the eyes of a 10 or 11 year old. But again, from the perspective of a cub leader who has little or no familiarity with the troop aspect, this may not be apparent.



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Two things, pack meetings are your responsibilities (CM) to entertain the boys. You do as you see fit! Crossing over late will not allow the Web to acclimate to boy scout world before summer camp! Chances of extreme homesickness at summer camp are high! Cross over in February will give the Web at least 2-3 campouts with the troop before that long, summer camp!


Committee meeting is her playground and you are there to represent the program side!


Committee (including the CC) is there to HELP YOU and the other den leaders to make the Pack go!


... and "the Pack helps the cub scout grow!"


Hmmmm ... that's ... that's part of the Cub Scout Law! ;)



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She is not the one deciding when her son crosses, although she may have a large part of the decision. Her and the WDL want to make to boys wait. Maybe February is a bit early, but I think that end of May is really too late. I was actually a bit shocked when the WDL told me that the Webelos II's were getting their Webelos Badge at B&G next month. It seemed very odd to me that they didn't earn it last year. She seems to run her den to cover every aspect of most of the pins, but my belief was that the Webelos rank is a transitional rank where boys are expectd to show a little independence by doing some pin requirements on their own, and getting WDL's sign off, much like how a Boy Scout does merit badges.


The WDL and CC say that the advancement has always been done that way, which is not true. The two years before my son was even in the pack, the CM did not do any ceremonies for badges of rank. The den leader just passed them out at den meetings. But the CC neglected to tell me this until last month. The way I see it, "we've always done it this way" doesn't make it right. Maybe if we had committee by-laws, I'd consider it, but we don't. I only consider it from the boy's perspective, not what makes it easy for the adults.


Last year, I did an advancement ceremony as a TDL for my Tigers at B&G. I knew I could not rely on the CM to do it, so I did it myself. The same with the "graduation" ceremony in May, but this time, we had a dinner and cake and I ceremoniously changed their neckerchief infront of the Tiger familes (with their adult partner behind them).


This year every boy who earned their Bobcat has had a ceremony infront of the pack. The parents are a part of the ceremony, because it's their fault their son earned it! I don't know if anyone in the pack has objection to the ceremonies, as no one has said ANYTHING.


I am desperatly trying to get acquainted with the four troops in our city. I have been bugging the WDL to get these boys to visit some troops, but my requests are falling on deaf ears. I even had one troop come to a pack meeting, and show the boys how to do things (first aid, camping, knots, etc). The boys loved it! The parents were amazed at how quiet and interested the boys were in listening to Boy Scouts.


Once CC is gone, I hope to establish a better relationship with our chartered org. I feel that with her out of the way, I can get things done (meaning the responsibilites outlines in the CS Leader Book) without stepping on her toes, and show my new CC the right way according to the book. The relationship between a chartered org and the unit should be a mutaully beneficial relationship. Not a "see you at recharter and B&G time".


Our pack is loosely run, and I don't have a problem with that until it affects the boys, and we are on that edge. The Wolf den maintains advancement records, and I have been training the TDL to do so as well, the problem is with the Bears and Webelos boys (from their Tiger/Bobcat rank on up). They do not maintain records on these boys, nor have they filed any advancement reports at council. I have asked several times for the leaders to submit them or just give me the names and dates and I will do it, and they just don't see the point. I gave them a memo from SE about it, and they don't want to do it. I feel bad for any of those boys who ends up making Eagle Scout. The leaders are short-changing them.


At a district meeting last night, I talked to someone and she suggested a great idea. Rather than finding a new CC, I should take it and find a CM instead. The big roadblock in that is the perception that the CM runs the pack and has the busiest job, which is not true. Den leaders are the busiest.

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That last point may be a good idea if it fits with your strengths. The CM is the most public face of the pack because s/he runs the pack meetings and appears to be the "go-to" guy or gal. But really the CM's job is to make things fun, to be a little bit of a clown, showman, etc. THe CM is also the one to keep track of the den leaders and offer guidance, assistance, etc., to them as needed. The CC is the behind-the-scenes detail person. If that suits you better then yes, maybe you should serve your pack in that capacity. Just be aware that even the CC isn't a "power" position in reality. By that I mean, unless you want to end up doing everything yourself (bad idea) then even as CC there's a lot of cooperation with, and sometimes accomodation of, other people and their ideas about the pack. So think carefully about what you prefer, and also about the strengths of anybody in the pack who you might recruit to help you fill one or the other of these two important positions.

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"The Wolf den maintains advancement records, and I have been training the TDL to do so as well, the problem is with the Bears and Webelos boys (from their Tiger/Bobcat rank on up). They do not maintain records on these boys, nor have they filed any advancement reports at council."


Unless your council is VERY lax about Cub rank badges, the only way that any of the boys could have gotten the rank badges they currently are wearing on their uniforms is if SOMEONE (den leader, CM, CC, friendly neighbor, etc) associated with your Pack has been bringing a filled in Advancement form to your council shop. The rank badge awards are restricted items.


As to den advancement records, they are nice to have & keep from year to year, but they are NOT really necessary. The only time they would come in handy is if a family transfered to a different Pack. You could then send them to the family for reference. Even then, the boy would have the badges on his uniform & his signed Handbook.


Den leaders should be keeping some kind of records for themselves of what their boys have finished Scout Year-To-Date on rank & electives. It makes it easier to keep track of where everyone is, what everyone still needs, what they need to tell the families they still have to work on, & what awards they need to tell their committee to purchase for the upcoming Pack meeting. These records do not really need to be kept from year to year.


The dates a boy received his various Cub Scout Rank Awards have no bearing or impact on a boy earning his Eagle Rank. Except for Arrow of Light, many councils do not keep Cub Scout rank award records.


Advancement in Boy Scouts is VERY different.

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