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Concerns about splitting a Den

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Over the weekend I had a chance to talk with our CM again about the lack of a Den schedule in my sons Tiger Den.

Right now we have only one more Den meeting scheduled, its this week, for the rest of the year.

 

So far this year we have had only 5 Den meetings and three trips, with both Den meetings in Dec. canceled.

For these meetings more than half the time or date was changed at the last minute (with in a few hours) of the meeting.

Another 2 or 3 meetings we were given less than a 24 hour notice of the meeting.

On multiple occasions, my wife and I have asked for a Den Schedule.

The DL keeps promising to send us one but we still havent seen it.

 

I discussed this with the CM/CC a couple of weeks ago but I hadnt heard from them from them since.

He said that he hadnt got back to me as he has been trying to contact the DL but the DL doesnt returned his phone calls or emails (and hasnt since September).

The last time he even talked with him was at the Pack meeting the first week of Dec.

The Jan. Pack meeting was our Pinewood Derby, our DL showed up just long enough to run his twin sons cars and then left.

Feb Pack meeting was canceled due to weather.

This DL doesnt show up to Leaders Meetings.

 

When I heard that the CM couldnt get a hold of the DL, as suggested by posters, my wife and I offered to take over as the Tiger DL.

 

Here is what the CM wants me to do:

 

Put a schedule together for the rest of the year and then call a Den meeting and see who shows up.

I can then ask if any of the parents want to switch to my schedule.

If I can then recruit enough boys to have 6 in the Den he will split the Den.

 

What do you think of the CMs plan?

 

The Pack doesnt have a UC and the CO/COR are hands-off so getting help from them isnt going to happen.

 

And I have also contacted my DE and have numbers for a couple of other Packs if we decide to find another Pack.

 

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I think the CM should butt out of the den business. If the CC is willing to accept you as the new DLs, then you should register and act like DLs and begin planning meetings and activities. There is no "old" schedule from which you need to switch, there should only be the new schedule. Whoever jumps onboard is on for the ride (and a fun one it is!). Anyone who does not is no better or worse off than before you acted.

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I think the CM should butt out of the den business.

 

Isn't one the main responsibilities of a Cubmaster is to work directly with the pack trainer, Tiger Cub den leaders, Cub Scout den leaders, Webelos den leaders, den chiefs, and pack committee chair and members to make sure that all dens are functioning well?

 

It would seem to me that this falls under his responsibility.

 

The CM and CC of our Pack are a husband (CM) and wife (CC).

She has told me that she is not going to deal with this situation and is leaving up to her husband the CM.

 

If the CC is willing to accept you as the new DLs, then you should register and act like DLs and begin planning meetings and activities.

 

I wouldn't have posted this if they were willing to accept my wife and I as the new DL's which hasn't happened.

This will only happen if I can convince enough parents to split the current Den and make a 2nd Tiger Tiger Den.

(This is how it was worded to me.)

 

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Sorry, that came across far too strongly. My apologies. I know as a Cubmaster (and later as a Pack Trainer), I did not "interfere" with den leaders. Each den (via its leaders and members/parents) decided upon a schedule which best suited them. For new dens, I would step in and help with one activity at one meeting, giving the DL and parents the opportunity to meet (without the boys underfoot). At this meeting (20 minutes), they worked out a short term schedule and established the relationships to work through the year. With a pack of 50-60, and 1-2 new dens a year, this worked out well.

 

I saw in another (friend's) pack a similar situation as yours about 3 years ago. The den had not been meeting and in fact had not been coming to the pack meetings and was not participating in pack activities. He (CM) tried to to step in and make suggestions, but the den didn't want any interference from the pack. He only tried to rally the parents, but instead it backfired. The 7 out of 9 quit before the school year ended and the other 2 quit the following October.

 

On the same lines, they had an untrained leader who really didn't "play well with others." As I can see that you are eager and willing to do the best (for the boys!), I only meant to suggest that your CM allow you to do your job of running the den.

 

As your den is not meeting, I really don't see this as a "splitting" of a den, but rather as finding a capeable new and willing leader. In this regard, I agree that you should work closely with your CM to involve your den in the pack activities and functions.(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)

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You have a Tiger meeting this week, get there early and talk to the DL. Let him know what is going on with you and the CM. Blindsiding him with "Sorry we are splitting the den, your den is down to X # of boys, I have the other Y # in my den" is not the way to go. Once you explain, he may just admit that he is way to busy to handle the den. Ask the Tiger families to stay a bit after the den meeting for a parent meeting.

 

Get this straightened out ASAP.

 

Dens (& Packs) should have a consistent meeting day and time (mine is every Sat from 9-10AM). Otherwise families are way to likely to forget.

 

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I think if you can even get 2 Tigers you should slipt the Den. What does it matter if there are 6 or 1 in the Den? So if 5 boys want to be Tigers they can't because you don't have 6? What would he/them do at the beginning of the year if only 3 boys want to join? Tell them NO becasue he/they don't match his magic number? If my CM had told me I could only meet if I had 6(7, 2,9, whatever!) I would not have 4 boys almost to their Tiger and 1 who has come back. I would have 5 boys who had to LEAVE Scouting because of this "magic number".

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First, Kudos to you and your wife for stepping up and volunteering. That's definitely a move in the right direction. Don't forget that cub scouting is supposed to be FUN, for boys and for their families too. And DLs have the most fun of all.

 

With regard to splitting the den and communication w/ the existing Tiger DL, I agree with ScoutNut. If at all possible you want to talk with the DL about this in a non-confrontational way. I'd be really shocked if he put up a fight to stay on as DL. In fact he might be relieved and thankful that you are solving a problem for him. (This is based on what you've said in other posts.) But blindside him, or even have the appearance of blindsiding him, and now you have bruised egos to deal with.

 

As for your CM, I understand what he's trying to do but the way he has suggested will inevitably cause problems. Some parents will feel anxiety about "betraying" the current Tiger DL by leaving him for your new den, and some will feel you've "deserted" them and caused a problem by forcing them to choose sides. All a lot of goofiness but adults are not immune to that, in my experience. Anxiety often results in anger, leaving you, again, to manage egos and feelings. Some will take this apparent competition for den members as (yet another?) sign that the pack is poorly run and not worth sticking around for. You could do without that too, I bet.

 

So I guess I'd go back to the CM, let him know you plan to just talk it over with the DL like an adult should do. If the DL agrees, then great, you'll be the new Tiger DLs. If for some reason he doesn't, then either the CM needs to have a meeting of the minds with the fellow (and then you are willing to become the DL) or you'll regrettably need to find a new pack. But ScoutNut's right. No behind-the-back stuff or it can blow up.

 

Oh, and I suppose it goes without saying that once you are a DL (however it happens), no point in discussing past failings of previous leaders!(This message has been edited by lisabob)

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As a CM if I had a parent concerned and come to me about lack of leadership/communication and meetigns and therefore ADVANCEMENT(which affects the whole pack as all these families would be bound to drop out) I'd call and get a meeting with the den leader.(along with the CC)

If this leader could not take time to communicate with us or fulfill his part of leadership in the pack we'd replace him- especially seeing as there is a person willing to take over.

Why "split" the den unless it is too large? Just replave him

As a Tigre Leader I had stepped up at registration adn then found out at fiorst pack meeting another parent did too. I wasted valuable time waiting for him to get back to me and so did the scheduling and put together a prgream myslef. This "co=leader" would never commincate with me adn I had to make sure evryone was informed.

As a wolf it got worse and he left me in the klurch more than once. Luckily I had alternate palns just in case - when he'd show up late or let me knwo the day before he would be away -so I forged ahead on my own adn just ran the den my way. If you dont' hear form someone you need to come up with your own plan.

Great job to you for seeing a void and stepping up and making it your own rather than dropping out.

If somewhere down the line he comes out of hiding be gracious to him and his son and hopefully he will do likewise. More than likely he and son will not continue on anyway.

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I don't see the need to 'split' the den. I find it hard to believe that any of the other parents of your Tigers are happy with the lack of activity.

The CC and COR have the authority to remove and approve Leaders at any time.

They can simply axe the old DL and appoint you and your wife in his place. And as far as 'blindsiding' the DL, don't sweat it. He's not doing his job and should have had the rug pulled out from under him a long time ago.

Fill out your adult leader applications and give it to the CC ASAP. They will process it at the next committee meeting and address your situation then. Make sure you are there to present your side if needed.

Then, get your basic training at the earliest possible juncture.your pack trainer should have a schedule.

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If someone is not doing their job, and there is someone willing and able to take over, don't wait any longer. In our pack, the former Cubmaster was not able to do his responsibilities, but did anyone who wasnt happy try to replace him? No, they all left the pack. The pack was never able to recover, and will likely fold. If someone had come to him offering to take over, he would have welcomed it, as he was totally overwhelmed.

 

 

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