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Troublebetween our Cubmaster and myself.

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Background: I am an Eagle Scout and have 23 years in the Scouts. The past 5 years, I have been involved with our son in Scouts (I signed up early as a Committee Member). I am currently the Webelos 2 Den Leader.


1 year ago, we got a new Cubmaster. He and the Assistant ramrods what they want through the Committee. It's basically "This is how we are going to do it, ready to vote?" No discussion. The committee is mainly Tiger Cub parents with little or no experience. When I try to explain to the parents the proper procedures, I get ignored by the Cubmaster. They have gone as far as having meetings without notifying me.


That part is hard enough to live with. The Cubmasters son is in my Den. The Cubmaster gets involved in how I run my meetings. Several times I have asked him to not help. I have even offered to let him take over the den. When he starts taking over, I originally tried to stop him but he wouldn't back off. Now when he starts, I just move to the side and let him go.


I am fairly ticked off at this point. I am hanging on for the boys sake, I do not want to abandon them. It is starting to become obvious to other parents that there is a problem. The last thing I want to do it creat an issue that would harm the pack.


My next step is to take it to our Unit Commissioner.


Any other ideas?




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There is no hope working with this guy and you won't be able to change him. Nor will a chat from some Unit Commisioner change his ways.


You are in Webelos 2 so you have about 6-7 months left. Get him and his boy out of your den and 75% of your problems will go away. Flat out ask him not to attend den meetings. Get the boy to transfer to another den. Form a new den, change the meeting night so that he can't attend.


He will create havoc as you plan your arrow of light and cross over ceremonies. You should be looking at Webelos only campouts over the next few months. Take charge of these campouts and do what is needed not what he wants. Take charge of the Webelos and Boy Scout troop meetings reviews. Let him run the pack and you run the webelos program.







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I guess I'd take a different tack - you only have 6-7 months left, so how bad can it be? I'd get an ally in another Webelos parent, and get the Cubmaster to shut up during den meetings. Take him aside, tell him that you've got the den meeting covered and don't need his help, and actually find his comments a bit disruptive. Then when he starts to comment, say "Mr. Smith, thanks for your comments, but I'd like to get the focus back on X. Jim, can you and Mr. Smith go have a conversation outside while we focus on the topic in here."


Or heck, you can just do what you're doing. Let him do his bull-in-a-china-shop routine, and just roll your eyes and shake your head. And look forward to crossing over.

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CC: We are basically a military pack with a high turnover. The Cubmaster basically forced the CC (7 years with the Pack) out. He and the Ass't Cubmaster came to the last committee meeting and said: "Either I (the Cubmaster) or the Ass't well become CC, which way do you want it?" I spoke up and said that isn't the way the Committee works and attempted to explain proper procedure. Those two didn't want to hear what I had to say. I really fouled up the works when I volunteered to become CC.


COR: We are sponsored by the Americal Legion. Very hands off. I've talked to the COR before. Knows very little about Scouting.


I do not have another Webelos Den to send his son to.


My two strongest allies left the Pack over the summer due to military transfers and retirement. Both were full bird Colonels (Cubmaster is enlisted).


Cross over: There is another pickle. I've told him Arrow of Light and Crossover need to be ceremonies all to them selves, not lumped into a Pack Meeting. Nope, the last Crossover, Arrow of Light, other awards Pack Meeting went on for almost 3 hours.

My first den meeting is tonight. He'll be there and I'm going to tell him if he attends any of my meetings, to sit quietly unless he is called upon. If he speaks up, I'm going to our Unit Commissioner.


If that doesn't get me anywhere, I've got two choices. Leave or suck it up until March. Don't like either option.


Thanks for the input.

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While the idea that all of us Scouter's are nice people who always get along with each other is nice.

Sad to say it isn't always the case.

I know that there are some people who can't stand me and some people who really don't have to try, but will somehow manage to get on my last nerve.

If I were in your shoes, I think I'd take the time to sit down and make a list of my options. My own little brain storming session with myself. Think long and hard about what they are.

Your list might be very different than mine.

But as I see it you can:


Do nothing.

Try having a real heart to heart chat with him and telling him exactly how you feel and what you want to see changed.

Talk with someone who might be able to help or fix the situation.

The list could go on.

To be very honest, I think from what you have posted that the two of you are like oil and water and no matter what will always end up getting up each other's noses.

So with that in mind; - What is best for the Scouts that you both are supposed to be serving?

I'm a little bit puzzled why the Pack Management Committee is playing a role in the running of a Den?

Maybe if you look up the job descriptions of who does what as they are listed in the Cub Scout Leader Handbook and share this information everyone will come away with a better idea about what role they are supposed to play really is.

When I look at the options, I think if it were me (And I know it isn't.) I'd go for meeting with the CM, far away from any Scouts (They have selective hearing and tend to hear everything that they shouldn't.) Maybe over an adult beverage? Then I tell him exactly how I feel and why what he is doing is upsetting me and harming the Scouts. I'd be very careful not to make any threats or promises that I wasn't willing too follow through with. (No -"If you don't I'll have to quit.") I'd make sure that everything I said was in line with what the Cub Scout Leader Book has to say and I'd make it clear that I wanted what is best for the Scouts in the Den.

This might all be a waste of time!!

He might not listen or hear a word that you say.

If that happens you then have to reevaluate the situation and think about what your options are?

Maybe you would be better off serving in another Pack?

The worst thing for everyone is allowing this situation to continue.

Deal with it as quickly and as quietly as possible and get back to providing a program for the Scouts.




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Why is Pack Management involved in running my den? His son. Dad wants to control every aspect. Like I said, I've tried the talking aspect, even volunteering to let him have the den. Wants to stand on the sidelines and direct from there.


I see two options:


Do nothing: An option that would benefit the boys, up to a point. If I take this option, I have to be willing to take what he dishes out for another 6 months. That is going to cause a festering wound that might or might night open into something that could possibly hurt the pack.


Leave: This is already our 2nd pack, the first folded after a year. If I leave, there is no one to step up as a Webelos Leader.


I think my last option is to have a sit down with him, the Ass't Cubmaster and our Unit Commissioner. I'm going to ask them "Are you or are you not going to stay out of the operation of my den?"

Their answer will determine my next move.



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Nah, you can't base your next move on their answer. Who knos? Maybe they'll sing you a song of wine and roses and still act like they do ;) Besides, you're giving up your personal power when you decide to only react to what they do. You need to make your decisions regardless of what they say or do.

So, step one, is to write down concretely what your motivations and goals are.

For instance, your goal might be to help 90% of your den to arrow of light. Or, your goal might be to Sleep Well at Night. Now, you might then have totally different options depending on what your goal is, or....you might do the same thing for either goal ;) But you do need to get clear about your goals, because it will reveal that the goofiness with the CM is just clouding things up.

So, act based on your goals, rather than reacting based on others' behavior, okies? :)

Anne in Mpls

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Sorry, don't agree with that but I do understand what you are saying.


This is not about personal power. My goal for these boys has never waivered. This is about getting them to the finish line. Getting them crossed over with their Arrow of Light. Every last one of them. Therein lays the rub.


Personally, these guys will have very little long term effects on me.


Scouting wise, I am now at the point of not being sure I can do tolerate them and maintain my Scouting Spirit.


I think I'm answering my own questions. I have a meeting tonight with our ex Committee Chair.


Thanks for the input.



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Yah, there's another option that might be available to you, eh? On military bases, there's a back door through the military command structure. You alluded to it with your two old birds.


Do yeh have any other parents who are officers (or senior sergeants)? Folks who the CM is less likely to try to run over? Use 'em. It might also be possible for the gents CO to congratulate him on his volunteer work and get him some release time for training. Hard to avoid gettin' trained under those circumstances. Then tip off da trainer to the issue ;).


You've got W2's, so yeh can be more active than parlor meetings, eh? Take the boys away into more active settings where you can manage your troll better.


And o' course, hold on for Boy Scouting! Just alert da troop to the issue so they can Be Prepared for Sgt. Dad.




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Standerson, there are control freaks everywhere. Everywhere. I think your approach to sit down and discuss the problem with him, the ACM, and your UC as a third party will help to lay the issue out in front. Don't let it get personal, don't take cheap shots, keep the focus on the program and the boys in it.


When it's time to cross over into a troop, what are the local options? are you going to be stuck with this guys later in a troop? if you roll over and let him walk all over you now, what's going to happen if he follows you to the same troop? It will all happen over and over again if you don't stop it now.


Good luck.

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When the CM "takes over" the Den Meeting what happens? Do the activities that were planned for that meeting get accomplished? Does he go on at length about nothing so that nothing gets done? Does he confuse the boys? Do the boys learn anything? Is it still a good meeting?


You need to look at these questions from as unbiased (you obviously dislike him a LOT) a point of view as possible. Look at it from the boys perspective if possible. It might very well be that while he buts in and pushes you to the side (and in the process upsets you) he is NOT hurting the program or the boys, just being unbearably (to you) pushy.


If he is truly not hurting the boys program you need to decide if you can put up with him for the next 6 months.


Do you have an Asst Webelos Leader? If you could sign up one of your parents for that position it might help.


If you decide you can not put up with him at meetings, simply let him (& all other parents) know that as 5th grade Webelos, the boys need to start transitioning to a more Boy Scout mentality. That would include no more parents at meetings. Let everyone know that the ONLY parents who should be at any meeting are the parents who are presenting an Activity Pin to the boys. Let them know that the boys have to start becoming much more independent from their parents because in 6 short months they will be on their own in a Troop.


Line up mostly outside help to do their remaining Activity Pins so that you do not need to use many parents. Using area Merit Badge Counselors would be a great introduction for your Webelos. Getting a Den Chief might also help.


As for AOL & Crossover, the only way he can interfere is if you let him. There is nothing wrong with having AOL or Crossover at a Pack meeting. In fact, they should be done in front of the whole Pack. Three hours is rather long, but we have had B&G dinner, awards, crossover, entertainment, & after event clean-up that went from 6-9pm. Of course most folks were out of there by 8:15/8:30.


Have you considered splitting AOL and Crossover into 2 different months Pack meetings? Your boys could be finished with their requirements for AOL by December or January. You could have your AOL ceremony at your January Pack meeting and Crossover at February's B&G Pack meeting. Or do AOL in Feb and Crossover in March. It is up to YOU. YOU are the one to contact the SM's of the Troops the boys will be crossing to. YOU will be coordinating the ceremony with the SM's. YOU will be requesting the AOL for the boys from your Advancement person. YOU will be telling the Committee that AOL will be at this Pack meeting and Crossover will be at this other Pack meeting. If the Committee decides to do it a different way simply tell them NO, that you have everything in hand and all ceremonies are already planned.



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The only senior officer we have left is a one star. His son is a Bear. I am not on good enough terms to get him involved.

I would never back door this guy, as much as I don't like him. My two full birds stood guard at the gate while I tended to the horses. Now, I'm trying to watch the gate and keep the herd together.


I retired from the Navy (enlisted) about 10 years ago. So far, I have not used any of my Boy Scout emergency words/Navy language on him. I haven't chewed real hard on someone for a long time.


I've let this guy have his way to keep from having problems within the pack. That decision itself has caused problems. Tonight, the resolution will start to form.


If he follows us into a troop, I'm liable to tie him to a tree and forget which one. :)

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Please understand, I'm walking a fine line as to what is best for the boys and the pack. If I take total control of my den and destroy the pack in the process, I've accomplished nothing. The reverse holds true. The term "being dead right" comes to mind.


An organization can only take some much internal strife before it implodes. Ever seen a pack or troop go up in a ball of flames from something like this? You lose boys forever to Scouting.


I've already contacted troops we want to visit. I'm in the early stages of setting up a weekend camp with a troop. I know what I want to do for AOL and Crossover and started planning it.


Our Committee is very green, mostly Tiger parents. They are not seeing a pretty sight right now.


Will he follow us to a troop? I'm thinking of doing a bait and switch to keep that from happening.


Thanks for the input.

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