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littlek

Cubmaster Tenure

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I would like to get your opinion on Cubmaster tenure.

 

In Troops it is usually well received and common to have a Scoutmaster for 10, 15, even 20 years. I have been sharing my thoughts that packs could have the same type of tenure, but some have expressed 'concern' that it would not be a good situation for the pack to have a single Cubmaster for that long.

 

The argument doesn't seem to center around the fact that most parents leave the pack when their boys do, but a fear of the Cubmaster setting up 'fiefdom'.

 

My argument is that longevity brings stability, IF a strong and active committee is present, and any intelligent Cubmaster desires this.

 

I have three sons, a bear, a 5 year old, and an 11 month old. I will be in cubs for at least another 10 years. Do I do a disservice to the pack by remaining as the Cubmaster for these 10 years (with committee and CO approval of course)? Do I take away someone else's opportunity to lead their son's pack?

 

Any comments?

 

 

k

 

 

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My first opinion would be that if a pack has an enthusiastic Cubmaster who's doing a great job and wants to continue on, they shouldn't force him out due to arbitrary limits.

 

But my immediate thought for you is to try doing the position for three years and then see if you're still so eager to continue on. You may find that you become repetitive, or perhaps not as energetic as you once were. Maybe some pack politics will develop and you'll want a break from that. Or maybe you'll still love it and want to keep going. But I wouldn't plan that far ahead just yet.

 

Still, I think it's an admirable thought and I wouldn't worry about those counter-arguments that you list. But I wouldn't go around telling people that I'd plan to be the Cubmaster for the next 10 years. Just do it for the first year, and let them decide if they want you to stay on.

 

Oak Tree

 

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Our pack has an understood term limit (2-3 years) and rightfully so. I have 3 sons as well and the Pack thought that I would be the CM for 10 years, but I'm glad that I was able to use the "term limit" to excuse myself and nominate my successor. Oak is correct. After a while, it becomes routine and the job becomes less exciting. Burnout is also a factor as well. I enjoy working with the current CM with all activites more than when I was the CM. Now, I don't have the burden of being CM. I can actually let the rest of "my hair down" and be as funny and crazy to the kids as I need. Also, I found that when I was the CM, my sons lost out to the Pack. I found that I was too busy taking care of pack business and all the kids that my sons were doing stuffs by themselves at times (when my wife is not there). You can always help the Pack several ways. The work will always be there ... just you will support it at a different capacity ... committee member, committe chair, Den Leader, actvity chair, etc. The important thing ... you can still have fun with all of the boys, including your sons!

 

1Hour

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10 years is a long way to plan in the cub scout world. Many things could happen in that time period. Do it for a couple of years. If you still want to do it, and they want you to continue,then do so,

Talk with your assistant(s) and other parents if they would consider being CM. You can't take away an opportunity for them to lead if they don't want it

If your ACM(s) is interested in the cubmaster training knot, they will need to serve a year as Cubmaster.

The cubmaster is the program officer and in a proper organized pack should not be able to set up a "fiefdom". I would be more concerned about the committee chair :)

Longevity does not always bring stability. It tends more to be "thats they way we have always done it" mentality.

You could be CM for a couple of years, let someone else do it for a few years while you are helping the pack in other ways, and then come always come back as a CM with another son(s) if needed.

 

 

 

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The best long term CM I have seen is one where the CM is grandfather to a couple of boys in the pack. Lets the parents be closer to where the rubber meets the road and gives a stability to the pack. This is a large pack with active committee and plenty of den leaders available so the job is not too onerous.

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I'm not a fan of people holding the same position in a volunteer organization for 5-10-15 years.

 

First I think it robs the organization of depth in terms of leadership experience. What if that one person suddenly has to leave for health or other reasons? No one will be prepared (mentally or in terms of experience) to step in. You may have people in the group who could be developed into excellent leaders (for your pack but also for future troops, crews, or district service) who will not have that opportunity if the same handful of people fill those key positions in perpetuity.

 

Second, I think it does lead to a fiefdom mentality even when the intentions are good. It becomes known as "Mr/Mrs Smith's pack." This is a bad thing because then other people do not feel so much a sense of involvement as they should when it is "our" pack. And so they just say, well let Mr/Mrs Smith deal with it.

 

Third, every leader has their own style. In all probability you are doing a great job! But there are inevitably going to be some kids that you just don't click with or some things that you don't do, that someone else does, or does differently than you would. I'm not in favor of a revolving door either but giving other people an opportunity to lead might mean that some aspect of the program and/or the relationship between adult and scout changes in a way that works better for some of your members. Although I think this is more true in the context of troops than packs, I still think it is worth considering for a CM.

 

As OneHour and others have said - there are always things to be done in a pack and seldom enough people to do them! So there will be plenty of ways for you to be active. But I think you do the pack the best service in terms of stability and longevity by helping develop others as leaders, rather than by you simply staying on in one position the whole time.

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My original approach to this situation was to take the long-term view. My boys, separated by two years, would mean I would spentd roughly 7 years in the Cubmaster's role. I am now in my second year and fully intend to make next year my last as Cubmaster. Why the change of heart? Easy:

 

- I have responsibilities to be a Dad as well as a Cubmaster. Unfortunately, being Cubmaster often takes me away from being there for my son, particularly at Pack events. When my younger son enters Tiger Cubs next year, I'll have two reasons to be in the audience rather than at the podium.

- I've come to believe that a Pack (or any Scouting unit) should foster a Culture of Leadership within its adult ranks. This means that positions are regularly rotated within the organization in order to (1) bring in new talent with fresh perspectives (2) Allow for new approaches and traditions to emerge from a broader leadership pool.

- If people see an individual occupying a particular position in a Unit for a long, long time, there are three common (mis)perceptions that can arise: (1) 'S/he has it covered and doesn't need my help' (2) 'S/he must have a great deal of experience/training, and I could never hope to live up to that level of expertise'

- I believe that we, as Scouters, have a moral obligation to bring out the best in the boys and adults with whom we travel this road. This means letting others rise to the call and challenge of leadership, letting others mature and grow based on these experiences, and letting others develop their own leadership styles.

- And candidly, there are other things I want to do in Scouting. I want to be the camping coordinator, the Pinewood coordinator, recruitment chair, the Unit Commissioner or more. I'm getting broad experience as a Cubmaster, but due to the nature of the position, it's not necessarily deep.

 

I also recognize that there may be a day somewhere down the road where there is nobody who is willing to step up as ACM or CM, despite all attempts to find someone [cut to visual of parents staring around the room, looking at their shoes, noticing fingernails need a trim, but not raising their hands]. The good news is that, should that day come, I could step in if needed. I'd love to think that a Pack could have one or even two Cubmaster emeritus (emeriti?) to fall back on should this situation arise.

 

And if none of this makes sense, think of it this way: What manager of an MLB baseball team would ever, ever, ever rely on the same pitcher game after game, night after night? Not only would that athlete wear down/lose his edge, but in time, his approach to the game would become predictable.

 

I wish you luck on your journey and nothing but success, no matter which road you choose.(This message has been edited by ChuckSt8er)

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Our pack had three CCs in three years. All three committed to the job for several years, but unexpected events force them to move on. The pack didn't suffer from the changes because all our leaders train an assistant. Whatever you decide, always train assistance as if you might not be there next year.

 

 

 

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Seems I'm a little out numbered!!

I'm all for someone who enjoys doing what they are doing and are good at it being allowed to keep on doing it.

Especially Cubmasters!!

I took the CM position when I did because it was the least demanding job/position in the Pack.

One of the best CM's I knew served for 26 years!! The Cub Scouts seemed to look upon him as a Grandfather, many of the Dads in the pack had him as there CM. It worked just fine.

Ea.

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I was CM for five years. For the first three years I really loved it, but burnout was settling in around the 4th year. I did not have a functioning committee and that was largely due to my own error. I'm a take charge kind of person, highly organized, and it became known throughout our Pack that I would take care of things (I have since gotten over myself and have learned as SM to rely on our Troop Commitee, our ASMs and more importantly the Scouts to take charge of things - wish I had done so back then). We had over 120 boys in that Pack and I did have wonderful Den Leaders. At the 4th year mark I let everyone know that it would be my last year and we needed someone to step up to CM. Our Asst. CM did not want the position. No one else did either. So, I continued on into the 5th year. During that year I laid back more and began handing over the "reigns" to the Committee and other interested parents. Finally, one of our then Tiger Leaders stepped up and I retired. He has now just finished his 4th year as CM but his son is now finishing Webelos and he will move over to the Troop. He does not yet have anyone willing to take over as CM.

 

In his case and in mine, a sort of complacency set in among the leaders and parents in the Pack. Yes, we had a wonderfully sucessful program. So, they figured, he/she is doing such a great job, no one else could do so well. He and I have talked frequently at roundtables and we have both admitted that in a way the Pack was something of our "fiefdom" - we meant well in wanting to continue the strong tradition of the Pack, but unfortunately that led to difficulty when it was time to step down.

 

One thing I regret about being CM: For the first five years in Cubs, I was Den Leader to my older son - really enjoyed that. But, as CM while my younger son was coming up, I didn't get to have the enjoyment of working and play one-on-one with him. He had a great Den Leader so I don't think he ever felt short changed, but I sure missed the interaction.

 

I've been out of Cub Scouting for four years now and often think that when it's time to find a successor as SM for our Troop, I'd like to go back and work with the Cubs.(This message has been edited by gwd-scouter)

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littlek,

 

Your enthusiasm for scouting is commendable. The trick is to make that enthusiasm infectious so others will be waiting in the wings to take over when you decide to change positions. Volunteer for your position one year at a time. One year may turn into twenty!

 

Once your oldest son crosses over to Boy Scouts, your whole world may (will?) change.

 

There is lots of adventure out there to explore.

 

Have fun Scouting!

 

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I'm finishing my fourth year as a Cubmaster. It has simultaneously been the most rewarding and most frustrating job I have ever had. I would serve in this capacity for the rest of my life but it is time to move on. Every year, when we announce open positions, I make it known that I will gladly step aside for anybody who wants the job and would be very happy to assist them from the back of the room (out of the spotlight). Never had any takers.

 

My son is a Web1 now and will bridge next February. Last week at the Pack meeting I took aside four parents, told them that they all had what it takes to be CM and that it was time for me to move on. Offered to give them the brand new position binder I created, with all my resources, and would serve as Unit Commish (from the back of the room) for two years to help get them going and make them look good. No takers yet. But it is time. I want to follow my boy to his troop.

 

Will I serve as Cubmaster again in the future? You bet. When the boy leaves home and goes his way, I will go mine and come back. A little grayer but hopefully still able to lead action songs in front of a campfire. That age is so critical, and you can make such a difference in the life of a boy.

 

A good cubmaster will serve for at least two years. It is not one of those positions that should change yearly. Besides, it took me one year to figure out what I should be doing in year two! Serving longer? As long as you keep the door open for a new parent who wants the challenge and can adhere to KISMIF, serve more years. But think of it like a stage performance- always leave while they still want more.

 

CMM

(This message has been edited by Cubmaster Mike)

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Hey Eamonn, I'm with you! My SM held that position for 30 years - it fit him like a glove! As a Scout, it was very comforting knowing Mr. McCord was there, year after year. We always had a strong committee to back him, but he had the vision and made it happen. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. We always had a handful of ASM's to help out, many of them didn't even have sons in the troop. Mr. McCord was just a magnet that drew people to him, partly because they knew they were always going to have an exciting, challenging time.

 

littlek,

As Aquila calva mentioned, when your oldest son gets to Boy Scouts, you are probably going to want to get involved with the troop. Being an ASM and a CM would probably kill most mortals. I'm about to start that duo, but it will only be for two months (finishing up CM), and those two months are already planned on the CM side. I would not want to continue at both beyond that. CM is a great challenge and a lot of fun, but just wait until you get to Boy Scouts - then the real fun begins!

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I have been the Cub Master of my pack for going on 5 years now. My wife is the C.C.

 

We have great respect for anyone who wants to step up and become a leader. If someone is excited to the point that they want more we introduce them to ACM position.

 

At the present time my wife and I have no intent to step down from these positions. We have been told by our U.C. and the C.O.R. that we are doing a great job and to keep on going as long as we want.

 

Our son has moved on to B.S. 2 years ago so we have no vested interest in the pack except for the fact to make sure that the program is great and the boys best interest is on the front line. Aside from that all the leaders would not let us leave. We both enjoy working with the younger kids, and setting up the best possible program that we can.

 

Lifer EKM

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Somehow I lose the logic of this argument!

 

A SM can effectively run a troop for 5-10-20 years.

 

A CM can't make it beyond 2-3 years before burn out.

 

A healthy pack turns over their leadership every three years, but that would basically harm the continuity of a troop.

 

How can it be both ways?

 

I vote for longevity. If the SM or CM begin to harm the program the CC visits with him/her and they work out a solution. Until that point, the SM or CM stays on as long as they wish.

 

I've been an ASM under the same SM for over 15 years and our program is excellent. Do I aspire to be a SM? Nope. Everyone has their niche. Find it and stay there as long as you wish. By the way, the CC, ASM, CM's and SM of our troop no longer have boys in the program. We do it because we enjoy it. If a pack has a person that falls into that category, go for it! I would rather have a CM who enjoys it rather than a CM who "has a kid in the program" who's doing it for his kid.

 

Stosh

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