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Former Den Leader / Parent Conflict

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Hello all. I am new to the board, but not new to scouting.


We have had a nightmarish situation with a now former den leader. Long story short, this person blew up, cussed a lot of people, yelled at the Pastor of our CO, kicked a boy out of her den because she was mad at the parent and held onto some momentos that were sent to one of her den boys from Eagles all over the country. She refused to give them back until her demands were met when she left.


Her demands have been met and we finally received the letters last night. We ended up having to concede on some of her fraudulent (as in money not due to her) receipts just to get the letters back for the boy and to END this horrible situation.


Now, our problem is that she charged her parents $15/MONTH for den dues and she wouldn't return so much as one crayon in den supplies. Their den is now left with nothing and no accountability as to what she did with all of the money.


These parents want to know about all of the money they have paid. (This ex den leader is still saying that two parents owe her!) They have been paying all of this money each month for several years and there isn't one supply to show for it. Granted, the den leader did A LOT with the boys. She was a good leader as far as being active and enthusiastic. She "just" turned out to be someone that rages and is vindictive (against not only the parents but the BOYS).


I have spoken with the parents and have tried to explain that there just isn't anything we can do about it. This person screwed us all in so many ways. We just had to give her the money she wanted to get the letters back so the scout would not be affected any further. They feel we should not have given her ANY reimbursements since she didn't return anything or show what she spent her den dues on. She was legitimately owed some money that she requested but the majority of the receipts were for items she never gave us and we didn't use as a pack, a receipt for money due to someone else, receipts for items going to her den and not the pack and would have been paid for with her den dues. Every receipt had something questionable on it. Including just a note saying she was due $X for X items, but no receipt or even where she purchased the items.


Personally, I wish they would all confront her themselves. But, of course, most don't feel comfortable doing that considering her history of rage. This person has called up people in our pack lying about all of this, denying she did all of these things, even though we have witnesses, etc.. It is a terrible situation and I want it done. She has given our pack such a bad name from her behavior. :(


My question is what do I tell my angry parents? Should the pack figure out a dollar amount and give it to the den?


I am so frustrated with this situation and so hurt by the actions this person took. I am trying to be diplomatic and a good CC, but I am also just fed up and want people to know how she screwed us and the boys so badly! :(

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How did all this come about? What set her off? The fact that the Pack has paid her off means that money will never be seen again. As far as the parents, I don't see any reimbursement there either. My question is was it 15/month per child or just 15/month split between the parents? I wish I had had a budget of 15/month as a Den leader. That almost seems justifiable depending on the number in the den. Also much of the supplies could have been consumed. You di say she was a good Den Leader, so materials and fees could have used up the funds.


My guess is this is a case of lessons learned. Have receipts turned in in a timely fashion before they pile up. Keep a closer eye on Den funds.

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If parents donated ("dues") money to the unit, and the money disappeared, I think they call that "embezzlement". But that's a matter for your CO to pursue, as the unit and money belongs to them. Good luck proving she didn't use it toward the program.


Yes, it was a mistake to give her MORE money, under questionable circumstances. Unfortunately, I think there's no recourse now. Have the CO send her a certified letter stating that there is to be no more contact between her and the unit. If she persists, slap her with a restraining order.



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You need to have a meeting with the pastor and the COR, any action to get the money or supplies back would have to come from them. I would also let your UC and DE know of the situation, not that need to or should take charge, but just to let them know and so they can offer advice.

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I've seen a few similar cases like this as has most of us. First, you must realize that there are 2 sides to every story - I'm sure you present what you feel is the truth as does the other lady.


I would really like to hear the other side as well. We are all to quick to say things like "cussing" and other less desireable attributes to impune the other party.


What's the real deal here and how did it get to this point. There are likely many wrongs on both sides for anything to ever get to this point.

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Although it left a bitter aftertaste, you did the right thing by a young Cub Scout caught in the middle of a dispute amongst adults. Take some comfort and pride in that.


As Scoutldr suggested, your next step should be a certified letter by the Chartering Organization telling this ex-leader that her relationship with the Pack has been terminated. The letter could include a sentence to the effect that should she be in possession of any Den or Pack equipment and/or supplies, they should be turned over to the Pack.


Have a meeting the with parents in the Den. They may be angry now but you need to diffuse that anger - perhaps the Pastor can help you with that. The message should be that it's a new day with the Den, that the members of the Den will still get a great Cub Scouting program (if you haven't already, appoint a new Den Leader)and that it's time to let go and move away from the past. It's time to embrace the future. Perhaps the Pack can help out the Den a little financially for a month or two while the new Den Leader works with some of the parents to develop a more realistic, and frugal (thrifty) budget for Den activities.


Don't get caught in the trap of reimbursing these parents for past Den dues - they can't prove or disprove that the money wasn't spent appropriately, and if they can prove it, they may have cause to go after the former Den Leader.


Then it's time for a "lessons learned" reflection. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that this Den Leader wasn't removed from the Pack for cussing at the Pastor of the Chartered Organization - if that did indeed happen. Talk about a negative impression on the people holding the charter. It might also be wise to create a new Pack-wide policy on Den Dues - it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that the Den Leaders meet at the beginning of the year and hash out a single dues amount for the year so that if the Cub in Den 1 are being assessed $5 a month, a Cub in Den 5 is also being assessed $5 a month. The exception may be Webelos dens, whose expenses may be a bit more - but even then, it could be a function of the Den dues (for example, the Webelos Dens can't chage any more than 50% of the Den dues - if Dens charge $5.00 per month, Webelos Dens can collect $7.50 per month) - and it should also be announced at that initial leader's meeting so that everyone knows what is being collected from the unit's members.

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It's been awhile since I've been involved with Pack management, but is "Den Dues" the custom now? Seems to me that all dues and donations should be routed through the Pack financial records (Treasurer) so that proper accounting can be made. Back in the day, if a DL needed funds for supplies, it was requested from the Pack Treasurer, then reimbursed with proper receipts. All non-consumables became property of the Pack. Have things changed?

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I remember my time as a Cub (a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away), we all brought a quarter to the weekly Den meeting. This was the money used by the Den Mother (a hint on just how long ago) to buy supplies. If we missed a meeting, we were still responsible for paying the dues for the missed meeting. It was part of the weekly routine that the Den Mother, or the Den Chief, would collect the quarter from each Cub and mark the chart showing the dues were paid.


As I recall, part of this routine was to teach responsibility, part to teach citizenship, and part to instill the knowledge that the crafts materials didn't just appear out of thin air.


As I look back, I sense that a shift started a few years after popcorn sales started when the "Scout Account" mentality really took off and migrated down to the pack level. Selling Scout-O-Rama tickets helped raise money for the Council and Pack. We didn't expect money from those sales to be available to individual boys, or to Dens. In Boy Scouts, the "Scout Account" was money we paid into the account throughout the year to put towards the big ticket items like Summer Camp. It was more like the old fashioned Christmas Club accounts many banks used to offer. There was no "share" of the fundraising "profits" that went into the Scout Accounts, it was money from parents, allowances, paperboy jobs.


Today, "Scout Accounts" seem to have more in common with earning a paycheck from the Troop. A Troop holds a fundraising event, and members "earn" a certain amount towards their "Scout Accounts" depending on how much work they put in. I wonder how much of that is driven by parents who expect that their children be "paid" for raising money for the Unit.



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Many dens still charge dues, separate from pack fees, to defray the cost of supplies. This is still an accepted practice, and mentioned in the Cub Scout Leader Book. Even a pack which does well with fundraising may not make enough to provide each den leader with the materials they need.


That said - $15 per month per Scout is exhorbitant!! Most den leaders I know charge $1-2 per meeting. If she had 6 boys in her den that comes to $90.00 a month. I sure hope those boys went on some awesome field trips and brought home some really elaborate craft projects!


The recommended procedure for handling den dues is that the den leader turn them into the pack treasurer (in the Den Dues envelope).


The den leader then submits receipts to the pack treasurer to be reimbursed for the items the dues are supposed to cover.


It is a cumbersome procedure, and most packs trust the den leader to spend what is typically "petty cash" responsibily. However, in this case, considering the amount of money involved, some sort of oversight would have been prudent.


This is one reason the Cubmaster should be visiting every den periodically. If the pack leadership had been aware of how much money was involved, a procedure could have been developed so that the den leader was accountable to the parents. Or the den leader could have (hopefullY) been reined in.


Is the pack on the hook for anything here? Yeah - I think in a way. There should have been some discussion at a leader's meeting about den dues, and "what's reasonable in our pack". That same information should have been communicated to parents at a pack adults' meeting, so the parents knew what the *pack's* expectations were. I can see how the parents feel that they've paid all this money, and there's nothing to show for it.


To some extent, they're right in feeling that way. Who's to blame for the situation? Well, mostly the den leader, but the pack leadership has some responsibility, because they didn't learn enough about how the den leader was operating, and were therefor unable to provide any oversight/guidance for the den leader and parents.


Is there some way the pack could pay for some basic supplies? Markers, etc.? Just enough to get them started again.


Then I'd suggest you have a discussion with all your leaders about reasonable dues, and how to be responsible for the monies they receive. Also, a parents meeting with these den parents would probably be a really good idea, to soothe feelings and make sure all the grievances have been aired.

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Well, I guess a sadder but wiser welcome to the Forums. Right now, the issue is how to make lemonade out of the lemons.


From my experience, a good blaze of the trail was set by CalicoPenn. Getting the DL away from youth is vital. The head of your Chartered Partner and the COR can do that, by informing her she's no longer welcome.


The COR needs to send a copy of that letter to the DE, and ask the DL be removed from volunteer status in your unit immdiately.



As far as den dues go, $15 a week is pushing exorbitant for 8-11 year olds. At that price, she's bought program materials for every Cub and paid day camp AND an overnight camp ... plus a couple museum trips. A modest, 30 week program would bring in $450.


My recommendations on den dues are:

- The CC and the CM get their heads together and set an upper limit, based on reasonable program costs for the year.

- DLs are free to collect up to the upper limit.

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"I am also just fed up and want people to know how she screwed us and the boys so badly!"

"They have been paying all of this money each month for several years"


I can see how you might be upset.

But if this person has gone, the best thing to do is let go of it and move on, wanting people to know is not serving any real purpose.

I'm a little confused.

If this Den Leader served for several years and no one said anything about the dues (Which I do think are so high that they are just silly.)Why all the fuss now that she is no longer there?

The time to fix what was wrong, is long gone.

If you believe that a crime has been committed?

Call the police and report it.


As for what to tell the parents?

Tell them the truth.

Either you are going to do something? In which case tell them what.

Or you are going to do nothing.

If that's the case tell them that it was all very sad and that the Pack is moving on having learned from the mistakes it has made.


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did the committee members not have any backbones??

I would not have allowed the pack to be blackmailed.That is what she did. If the items in question belonged to a pack member then she should have been issued a letter stating they needed to be returned or she would be prosecuted for theft. I would never reimburse any items with no reciepts. Also any items should be apporved by committee or treasurer and not simply let slide. Any lefotvers she purchases back or become property of the pack.

The rate for dues is extrene. This is why there are so many rules around now- it only takes one abuse. In the future all den leaders need to sign somethign about the maximun they can charge in duesand the information given to all parents.

I do like the idea of them paying to the pack and pack reimbursing the leader based on what was spent for the den. However this can be tedious- maybe a den "treasurer" is better idea. The den leader can purchase supplies but ADL will give funds to them. Personally I only charged 10.00 per cub for the whole year. I kept all receipts to show as well in case I was questioned.

This year I purchased items and gave the new den leader my receipt in lieu of dues for my son. When I led a special projectI divided up the toatl cost of materials amongst the boys and they gave me the money for materials at the meeting.

On the side of parents there is no way to tell where thier money went either. Were snacks provided for each meeting and trips covered? Did they do a lot of outings that this paid for? Where patches given out that the pack did not supply? Did this cost cover awards that she purchased if pack had a policy of charging for them??

Best to do is have accountablilty in the future. hope you don't lose the families.

if families are questioning now what took them so long?? If they want to bring a case against her then they need to get together and show they had no benefit from money given and do that as indiviuals.

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Here is what happened to an unhappy Den here:


They felt ignored by the Pack leadership and transfered to a Pack down the street... the WHOLE DEN.... all 8 boys (plus their sibling cub scouts = 12 boys). We lost 1/3 of our pack overnight.


Dont ignore this problem. Have the pack reimburse the parents their money.... and then make sure the Cub Master or Asst. Cubmaster attend the next few months worth of Den Meetings to help, assist, talk to parents, arrange for a fun outing for the boys... basically we're talking about damage control. Convince the parents that the worst is over, and that you're willing to go the extra mile to make them know that they are valued and you are willing to fix the problem.

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I agree with Eamonn. I'd be interested in the parents' perspective. Did they not think that $15 a month was really darn expensive for den dues? If they didn't feel they were getting their money's worth over the last few years, did they ever talk to the den leader or the pack leadership? If not, why not? And if they did feel that they were getting their money's worth, then why the fuss now?


I know it's different for different people, but money is scarce enough these days that I'm not going to shell anything out unless I get some value for it that corresponds to what I'm paying. If I think I'm paying too much, I'll haggle, or go somewhere else.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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I didn't hear much from the parents that are still in the den, but we did have several boys quit because of the amount of the dues. I didn't know this until after they had quit and was calling the families to find out what happened. (I call the boys' families periodically to check on them and see if they have any concern.) I hadn't realized they had quit until the leader told me. I called the families and they told me they quit because of the high costs. I was able to keep one family by transferring them to another den, but I know we lost at least four families over the course of two years because of the cost from her den.


I don't think the parents so much had a problem with how much they paid because she did provide an ACTIVE program. Homework every week, homework every summer, field trips at least twice a month, etc... They are upset because they have seen how she acted this past month and that she says there are not any den supplies (not one crayon, nothing) and that she is still trying to collect $15/scout for April, when she quit the beginning of April.


I don't doubt for a second she spent her own money on her den at times. My husband and I have put out money before as well. But, we have a tote full of supplies and if were to ever leave, we believe those belong to the den. I think it is more about her behavior and her trying to still collect money that angers the parents.


A lot of times we don't find out that the parents have a problem in a den until they quit or something like this happens. Either they are afraid of saying something to someone outside of the den (Committee member) or think they should just keep quiet since that person is volunteering to help their child. By the time we do find out there is a problem, it has grown to huge proportions. Which is a lot of what happened here. We, the Committee, didn't even know she was charging that much until families started quitting and told us.


I don't think she stole the money or went shopping with it, but I do believe she has justified it in her mind to keep all of the supplies. It isn't the actual supplies that are a problem, it is the point someone would be so squirrely with them. And with turning in receipts for reimbursement for supplies she is keeping.


Time will heal this situation. We have paid her and she is gone. I will never understand why she blew up so quickly and vehemently. There was obviously a storm brewing a LONG TIME. The fallout was great though. Hopefully since it is close to the summer, that time will heal hard feelings with the den parents.

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