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major pack issues with leadership, need to remove AC-help!

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Our pack is 2 years old, going into our 3rd year. 8 of us left another pack and started this one in our kids' school so the school could have their own pack.


We now have about 26 kids. We have 1 Tiger den, 1 Wolf, 1 Bear, and 2 Web. 2 dens. Here's the issue...


The leadership in the pack has been falling apart lately. My husband (CC) and I (COR)are the only people left on the exec. comm. Our Cubmaster resigned about 2 weeks ago. Mostly due to having 4 kids being in the pack this year and not having much spousal support with his volunteer efforts. (He was also the Bear Asst. Leader) My husband, myself, and our treasurer all have W2s and will be crossing with them in the spring. My husband also helps as an ADL for the W2s and wants to continue that position, but would like to leave the CC role. I would like to stop the COR position b/c our own son is telling us that we run too many things and can't spend time with him at events. This is mostly due to the fact that my husband and I usually end up planning all of the events and then have to run them also. Other parents and leaders are very uninvolved, even after giving hints or directly asking for help.


Anyway, our AC (and Bears DL) has been consistently doing things this past year to purposely go against pack policies. His den suddenly showed up one night with just t-shirts on and no uniforms. They all have the shirts, but they were told not to wear them that night. When I talked to him about it and asked why, he got in my face (he's 6'7") and told me flat out that I couldn't tell him what to do and he'd do whatever he wanted with his den whenever he wanted to do it. It became a big enough problem that my husband had a meeting with all leaders and they voted on whether or not he could continue doing it. They agreed he could.


He's also done other things more recently that offended parents of the Wolf den. When he did this, he went directly against what our committee voted on and decided to do months earlier. By doing this, he again went completely against what we decided as a pack and leaders/comm. members. I am now trying to clean up the mess and make it up to the parents in question.


This weekend was our fishing derby. We didn't have money to buy prizes (which he thought we shouldn't have-no competition he thought), so I contacted a wonderful group who offered us 10 fishing poles and small tackle boxes to be used. The group is under the understanding that 3 sets would be given as awards (biggest, smallest, and most fish)and the others would be put into our pack inventory for families w/o poles or if a family wanted to borrow them for a weekend or something. There are also times when dens need poles and this way the leader would have them. After explaining this to the AC and another leader, my husband and I couldn't stay at the derby due to out of town family. We brought out everything they needed from us ( a lot), stuck around for about an hour, and then headed home.


I found out Tues. night that the AC gave away all but 2 of the poles! He was giving them to parents and siblings even. Some weren't scouts. He thought that b/c they came to the derby, they should get a pole and tackle! I couldn't believe it. So, I called to talk to him about it and find out his reasoning. He said that he didn't agree with what we told him originally and "they" decided to use all of the poles for prizes and everyone got one. (There were 8 families there, incl. his!) When I told him that I worked hard to get those donated with the understanding they were given in goodwill for kids to learn how to fish and appreciate nature and aquatic life, he said, "too late now". He was very smug about it and very rude. It basically came down to me letting him know how disappointed I was that those poles weren't there and now I had to find a way not to upset this generous group. I reminded him that the committee decided there would be 3 awards and the other poles were marked with numbers b/c they were for the pack, not awards. He suddenly "snapped" and started yelling at me in the phone. He was so loud and rude, I was speechless. He ended up swearing at me a little and told me that if I wanted to remove him as AC, "be my guest". After the call, I was very frightened b/c this man is 6'7" tall and ex-Air Force MP. He talked to me as if I was someone under him who disobeyed him or something. I now understand why some of the other women in the group have mentioned his talking "down" to them and addressing their husbands more than the wives.


So, I've been told I can have him removed but need to write some kind of letter to inform him of this. Anyone have any samples?


I know the council is freaking out b/c now we have no CM, no AC, my husband wants to leave his position of CC, and I would like to leave COR. I am agreeing to stick in until this can be settled. I'm so afraid the pack will fold. I feel like when we talk to parents about helping us, they'll give the usual no time, too busy, work too much, etc. excuses. According to my DEs boss, he said that I need to let them know that the pack will dissolve without parents beginning to help. I don't want the pack to fold b/c we've all worked so hard to get it where it is and the kids' happiness means a lot to us. We're just tired of doing it all and having no life. Our own son is upset and doesn't want to attend activities anymore b/c my husband and I are always organizing it, setting it up, cleaning it up, and running the whole thing that he doesn't get to spend quality time with us. He asked that we give him the last year of scouts and not be leaders. He's been doing this since he was in Kinder., so how can we tell him no?


Please give me some advice if you've been in this position or if you know more about removing a leader. I keep getting advice from Council, but sometimes I feel like they don't know what the other is doing. I've tried unsucessfully to get a hold of our DC for a week now (even about other things). Haven't heard from him at all. My DE barely answers emails or returns phone calls. I feel like I'm alone in all of this. HELP!



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Leader 1118: I assume when you say AC, you are refering to the Assistant Cubmaster. As I read your post, I sense that there are several issues here. The obvious issue is with the ACM deciding that he is in charge of everything and it does not matter what the committee decides. You do not mention how many parents or others are invovled on the committee which some may think is not important but I suggest that it is an easier problem to deal with if you have the support of your committee members. The second issue I "hear" between the lines is the sense of leadership burnout that is common when few people do the bulk of the work. After three years, it is not uncommon for leaders to be feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated. That coupled with the fact that your boys want more face time with MOm and Dad rather than sharing them with the other oys and adults and you have a recipe for leader fatigue. Believe it or not, by correcting this problem you will in all likliehood solve the problem with your ACM.


The advice you are getting form council, if I am reading correctly, is right on. You need to engage more adult leadership if you, and the pack, are going to survive. I can suggest that you be extremely selfish but in a positive way. Call a parent meeting that invovles all your current leaders and those parents that are not invovled. Call it your annual planning meeting if that is what it will take to get them there. Enlist the help of a local Boy Scout troop to have someone their to keep the kids busy while you meet. OPen the meeting with a statement that you are their to plan the pack activities and calendar for next year. Then announce that because your son is a Web 2, you and your husband will be crossing over with him to a troop and in order to continue to provide a viable pack, every parent that is not crossing over will need to assume some role and function starting in August. Hand out a sheet of paper that lists all of the positions that will need to be filled - even those that are currently filled - along with a brief job description for that position. You can find this on the BSA website or on any number pf other websites. Add any task specific roles that your pack utilizes such as treasurer, camping chair, pine wood derby chair, blue and gold chair, etc. Tell everyone thatthese these are the roles that need to be filled in order for the boys to have a program and that before they leave the meeting you need to know who will take on each of them. After that - shut your mouth and wait. Nature abhors a vacuum so if you stop talking, someone else will and the jobs will either get filled or the pack will fold after you cross over. Either way, your problem is solved - It is not your responsibility to ensure the continuation of the pack - it is the chartered organization and the committee's responsibility. As COR you simply represent the CO but if your committee and parents are not willing to step up - you cannot force them to.


When enough parents get invovled (there are never enough parents invovled) the ACM will not be able to function as an independent entity. Invovlement equals commitment not the other way around. Every leader starts out as a reluctant leader if they really got into scouting for the right reasons. Get everyone trained so they are deliveringthe program the way it is meant to be delivered and the ACM cannot hijack the program to deliver his own agenda.


Good luck

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Wow, what a situation. If you were not in such a leadership issue, I would say get rid of the ACM and do it now. I probably would anyway, he is doing nothing but damage to the Pack and not properly performing his duties. That said, you now have the issue that you need to get people to step up. The above suggestion is a good one. Also make sure to tell people that it is not going to be just dumped on them, that you and your husband will still be around the next year for "support" if they need it. Something else to consider is that people don't responst well to group pleas for help. Identify likely candidates for positions and approach them one on one about it, maybe over coffee. It is amazing how many more volunteers you get that way, especially for the posisitions higher up than Den Leader.

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Who is your Charter Organization? As COR, you are the link between the CO and the Pack. How does the CO feel about the issues in it's Pack?


As COR it is part of your job to provide quality leaders for your Pack. You also have final say on who is, and is not, registered with the Pack. A letter is not really necessary in order to "fire" someone. Although it is a decent gesture. All that is really needed is for you to invite him for a talk. It can be at your meeting place, your home, or anywhere you would both feel comfortable. Then talk to him about his behavior, and how it is affecting the Pack. Before you start firing him, see if things can be worked out. If he refuses to change, or even to try, then you can let him know that his services will no longer be needed by the Pack, and the Charter Organization. However, you had better make sure you have a replacement Bear den leader in the wings when you let this man go.


I would also STRONGLY suggest that the CC, and your Pack's Unit Commissioner, both attend this meeting too.


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Sticky situation. You'll get lots of advice, and here's mine.


#1 talk to the IH about the situation and get his opinion. While you can make the decision to remove the person on your own, the IH is the only person who can overrule you.


#2 before you consider removing them, think about the entire situation, is it worth him being removed, esp. sicne you are in a leader crunch and you will be leaving soon.


#3 If you do remove him, get a replacement in ASAP, him send him a certified letter saying thank you for your service btu they are no longer needed, and tell the parents As soon as he is notified. I would even make an announcement that so and so is stepping down and give a small token of appreciation for his services. I would also contact the council office and inform them that he is no longer aleader.


#4 Another option would be to hand over everything to him. make him responsible for leader recruitment, program etc. Don't advise it, but it's an option.


#5 FINALLY no matter what you do, as COR your #1 responsibility now is to recruit leaders to take over from those leaders who will be leaving soon AND get more folks in leader roles. The more folks involved, the easier the job.

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Remove him. Make sure your charter org. actually understands what you are doing, and why, so the charter org backs you if this guy tries to go above your head. There's no reason you or any other leader or parent should put up with verbal abuse. This man is also not providing a good example to the scouts. I would not stay in a pack if someone like that were my son's den leader or pack leader.


Have an all-hands parent meeting. Have a list of the key positions that must be filled in order to have a functional pack and a short description of what each position requires. Be sure to keep it from sounding overwhelming. Remind them about why they all want a pack in their sons' school, in the first place. Point out that you have plenty of boys to have a functional pack so the demand is clearly there. Make sure they understand that nobody - certainly not you or your husband - are being paid to do your jobs (you'd be amazed at the assumptions people make!).


As for this obnoxious den leader - make sure to thank him for his service to the pack and just announce that he has moved on to other endeavors. No need to have a public blow out. The letter you can send him should basically say the same. "Dear Mr. Blow-Up: This letter serves to inform you that as of this date, Cub Pack 123 is no longer in need of your service as a registered leader. Thank you for your many efforts, and best wishes for the future. Sincerely, Mrs COR."



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The behavior that you described from this man is not acceptable - in scouting or anywhere for that matter. What you have described is bullying and there is no place for it here. With your position (COR) and your husband's (CC), come certain responsibilities. The most important responsibility is to maintain safety for all involved in your unit, especially the scouts. Who serves as leaders in the unit is your decision. Sorry about the inconvenience, but that's the job. Go to the council office and have this bully removed from the roster today. Inform the head of the charter org, because loser guy is going to be heading over there next.


You didn't say how your husband felt about this situation. Personally, if this guy went after my wife in the way you have described, this would be over in a minute. This board is full of stories about guys like this. They don't get better. Lose this loser today.


OK, so the loser is gone. Relax, take a deep breath. Remember, it is scouting - supposed to be fun. Now, let's get to work building something.


At the next pack event, have an outdoor activity for the scouts. A great approach is to get some boy scouts to help run the activity. Have a parent meeting and tell them that new volunteers are needed for the CM position, and for the CC position that will be vacated when hubby moves on to a troop with your Webelos scout. It might be helpful to have your unit commissioner or district leaders on hand to help explain the roles.


If nobody accepts the roles, remember that you are in this for your son. You have done your best and owe the unit nothing further. Concentrate on your son's final experiences as a Webelos scout and do a good job helping him select his troop for crossover.



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Wow! Thank you all so much for your words of advice. It's amazing how I think I'm reading too much into this mess, only to have most of you agree with what I'm saying. I appreciate your help!


My UC called last night and left a message (we had tornadoes going through, so I didn't answer the phone). I'm supposed to call him back and talk to him also. I just hope he doesn't tell me something beyond what the council person told me last night. When I wanted to remove this leader/ACM last year in the spring, he told me to hold off until summer, write bylaws (no, we don't have any b/c I didn't know we were supposed to until that moment-I'm trying to figure all of that out now), and then hold him to them this year. Honestly, I just want the guy removed from ACM. I really don't want him as a Bear leader, but the kids in his den think he's "awesome" and I doubt any parent in that den would step up to help if he had to step down. With my luck, he'd leave with his son and go to another pack and they'd all follow. I hate confrontation, so none of this is what I want to happen!


My husband is upset about the whole thing and I thought he'd be more upset when I told him what the jerk said to me. My husband just started a new job and has to drive 100 miles w/o AC every day, so he's pretty exhausted when he gets home. He just told me not to do one more thing for this pack and that we "are done". He's had enough of all of it and I think he's disconnected himself from all of it a few months ago when this same ACM went directly against something the committee agreed upon w/o anyone's permission at a meeting my husband wasn't at (son was sick). It's almost as if the ACM is daring us to either leave or remove him. I believe he thinks we don't have the guts to do it because we're known as the "nice family" and we are usually able to take care of things w/o big issues. This man almost wants the drama. Since so many kids do like him, I feel like they'll all hate us (and maybe my son) when this is all over with. He's definitely the type of guy to make snide comments and jokes at our expense around other parents when we aren't there to defend ourselves. What a scout, eh?


Either way, I guess I know he has to be removed. I hate that I have to do it though. Like I said, his yelling occurred over the phone, but it's put me in the position now that I'm scared to see him in person due to aggressive nature. I'm about 5'10" and he's 6'7". I could just hear the fury in his voice the other night and it was just over fishing poles! What happens when I have to tell him he's being removed? The council guy who talked to me last night said that maybe I should let him be a bear leader and just remove him from ACM. However, that means I still have to see him once meetings start up and at outings in the summer.


I agree that a parent meeting is needed. We just have to figure out when. I was told to give the parents until xxx and if we don't have the needed positions filled by then, then I will give them info about other packs they can move to. I would like to think they care enough about the pack to help save it, but most of them are so caught up in their lives and work that Cubs is just a place to leave their kid once a week so they get a free hour. They all don't mind helping with "little, once-in-awhile things", but nothing permanent like CC or CM.


This whole thing has me so upset. My son didn't want to attend the fishing derby b/c we had out of town guests, but also b/c he just wants to go to Boy Scouts and forget about this pack. He told me he just wants his parents back. What do you say to that? I couldn't think of anything.

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1118: Excellent post; you're doing fine.


Sorry, but you need to remove this guy from all involvement with the unit. I sense that you already know that is what is necessary. If he takes his son out, OK. If others are dumb enough to follow him elsewhere, that's their decision. We cannot make up for stupid parents. The way your son gets his parents back is by you removing the antagonist.


You're right, this guy wants the drama. It's a tool. He seeks to make people feel uneasy so that they are easier to manipulate.


I feel for your husband because I have had long commutes and full time travel jobs before.


Go to the council. Remove Loser from the roster. Send a letter with registered mail (signature required). All it needs to say is: "You have been removed from the unit leader roster with Cub Scout Pack xxxx." Tell the head of the charter org that you're doing this. Some charter orgs will also seek a restraining order to keep Loser off the property and away from events. And yes, this guy has earned that.


Please let us know how this goes...

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Your husband and your son are right. Take their advice.


Remove the volunteer. Then have a parents meeting and let them know people will need to step up for the pack to continue. Then leave it up to them.

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You can't lead from a position of fear. Think of it this way - what power does this jerk really have over you, except the power that you give him? In contrast, as COR, YOU have the power over HIM. I have a job where I frequently need to deal with people who are a) bigger than me and b) angry about something (which they may perceive, rightly or wrongly, as being my "fault"). So I get where you're coming from but the reality is that these situations are nearly always within your control as long as you know what you want to have happen in advance, and you keep your own temper in check.


Anyway, you do not need to have a face to face encounter with this individual - that's what the registered letter via the US postal service is for. Once that letter is sent, you are also under no obligation to get drawn into debates, arguments, conversations, or shouting matches with the guy over the phone, via email, or in any other medium of communication. By refusing to participate further in the drama, you can effectively end it.


I think you may find that, with this fellow out of the picture, it becomes easier for people to get along and get things done within the pack. So let him go and let whoever chooses to follow him, go with him. Then you can work with the people who actually want to be there and who want to make positive contributions.



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Here's one armchair psychologist's input on the situation. Could it be that this guy felt that since he was the ACM, and there was no CM, that he was actually in charge? I mean, that's one of the jobs of the ACM, to step in when the CM's not available. Might account for some of the escalation in his behavior, if he felt suddenly empowered or thought he was going to rise to the top spot by default.

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You still have not said what your Charter Organization's take is on this. Do they support the ACM? Will they support you if you have to let him go?


You should realize that the odds are that if you fire him as ACM, he will probably leave his den leader position as well, and possibly even the Pack.



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