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Communication with the pack parents

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I'm working on our plans for next year (we follow the school year for the most part) and I am thinking about communication. What is your primary means of communicating with the pack parents? Newsletter, emails, handouts? Have you added texting to the list? What works best for your pack and your leaders?


We do a monthly newsletter but I'm not convinced it is effective, and it takes time to put together. And we have to email it and hand out paper copies to cover everyone. It does seem like a good way to share information that doesn't fit well in another format. Events are handled primarily through Scout Track emails. We have several families that have limited internet access, and texting would suit them better I think but it adds another step for the leader sending out the information. Among the leaders, we've shifted to Facebook messaging as everyone has an account and it is easier than email.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!



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Our pack uses email and we give out fliers to upcoming events at meetings, but our den meetings are all in the same place (basically a church gym).


I've thought about using text as well, and may set up a text list for my den next year. Texting is a great way to do last minute messages.


Somewhere on this forum, they had the below link in text form. I can't find it, but googled up this link.


This link goes to a page that gives email addresses to most mobile phone companies. You can send a text by sending an email with the 10 digit phone number as the address.




For example, 0123456789@txt.att.net would send a text to (012)345-6789 on the att network. The downside is that many of these have a character limit (one company has an 80 character limit), as it's a text, not a true email.


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Our primary communication tool is our website, from which weekly "eBlasts" launch automatically to let families know what is upcoming in the next week and next 30 days, what is "open to signups", and what parts of the website got updated in the last week, with new Announcements highlighted in that eBlast email.

-- Thank you Soar!

-- This cuts down on the ping-ping-ping of different emails about different things zip-zip-zipping around the inbox, leaving those for items that are emergency or need more emphasis.

-- Then, if folks need the detail, they find it on the website, in one place for all, and easily "recreated" the next time you do the event.


That website also allows for group email lists to be created and updated as the Roster changes (or event leader alters a list), so that emails can be sent just to selected dens (e.g., R U Goin to Webelos Camp), and then selected groups (e.g., the single email address for those who R Goin to Webelos Camp).


And yet . . .


. . . we tell Den Leaders over and over that you'll need to figure out how people absorb information. Some don't have email, some have it but don't check it or the website, some check it but don't read it, some read it and don't absorb it, so . . . for critical stuff, we've tried to get each "rank level" to have a communications person who will (a) figure out who absorbs emails and the website, (b) teaches those who haven't figured it out, and © for those who can't/won't, calls them about key stuff that they need to attend to or prints out stuff to put into their hands.


Related to that, one other problem we have is non-responsiveness from Pack Parents (e.g., are you going to the campout, derby, etc., when the multiple choice answers are "yes", "no" or "maybe"). This problem is also known as "I'm sorry, but my clairvoyance is not reading your telepathy . . . could you please let us know your plans?". That led us to add "Communicate" as one of the three prongs of our "Every Parent Leads" requirement to participate in the Pack.


Bert Bender

Pack Trainer


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We use E-Blast too. Yeah bbender, Soar is great! It is througfh our websight, The recipients can break down thei stuff by pack and den too. I can seperate info by committee/leaders, dens, packs, scouts or parents.


We also have e-mail aliases for all leadership, specific den leadership, CM and ACM, and the entire pack ( all scouits and parents)


We used to have the phone tree setup, but for around $100.00 a year and no more than we used it ...we let it go.



WE also announcre at the begining of pack meetings and recap at the end. We hand out flyers at pack and den meetings.


This upcoming year ( we follow school calendar too) I am putting up a 3'X 2' dry erase board in the foyer of our CO for every den and pack meeting so everybody has to walk past it when going in.


After all this...If somebody doesn't get the info...well, it's not like we didn't try!

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We are looking at SOAR, thanks for the recommendations! We've also started working with Google groups, setting up a group to see if it fits our needs.


It sounds like we all struggle with the same issues - too many ways to communicate, no single effective way to reach everyone.

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THis is what we do for our troop.


Primary: email. We encourage scouts with email accounts to sign up for this.


Secondary: website


Late Breaking News (Meeting cancelled, etc.): Calling Post.


We don't use text but that's a good idea for late breaking news.


We also have the SPL run thru weekly announcements at the troop meeting.(This message has been edited by knot head)

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I'd love to see more replies on this thread. We struggle with communication in our Pack despite all of our efforts. I (CM) launched a Blog shortly after taking the position and update it often, but only a handful of the parents actually read it routinely. We also have recently added a Facebook page but again, we have several parents that don't have anything to do with Facebook.


I'm at my wit's end with trying to keep the Pack notified. I've put SOME of the responsibility on the Den Leaders to notify but I think that can be a tall order and one that I hate to assign. Sitting down and making 10-12 phone calls with the same information (which, with our group seems to be the only foolproof way of getting the message across) is very labor intensive. Multiply that by ALL dens (35 phone calls or so) and it's unreal.


I'd love to have access to one of those "auto dialiers" that the schools use to notify all parents but that seems a little "much" for a Cub Scout Pack.



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As much as I hate to say it...you won't be able to get to every parent....so don't waste your valuable time trying to. What I mean is , you can make an effort, but don't go so far that you are bending over backwards or jumping through hops! Know what I mean?


The scouts get to the meetings, and get home afterward? Somebody drove them. Sure, some might carpool or whatnot, but most are driven by parents.


The thing to remember is this: Scouting is a family active activity!There is an expectation that the family is involved.


Some parents don't care.


My brother in law for example - 3 months in a row ....3 MONTHS!.... before our Blue and Gold - We announced before and after each opack meeting, had DL'ds announce before and after each den meetings, sent out reminders every week by pack blast, e-mails and even phone tree (hub I suppose). The ACM even mentioned it 7 times during the pack meeting 5 days before the B&G.


I called my B-I-L the day before the B&G to make sure he showd up a few minutes early.


1 hour before the B&G, he calls me and askes what his den is supposed to bring because.......NOBODY SAID ANYTHING TO HIM AT ALL! :o


Somehow, around 100 kids and their parents knew about the B&G, cooked many dishes, prepared displays, make cakes, brought nickles, brought tokens and rehearsed their parts of the presentation...and my B-I-L had no idea?


He didn't care. I guess his mind glazed over at every meeting or he was daydreaming? Neither he or his wife paid any attention to the e-mails?


So it would be nice to be able to tell each and every parent, but reality is this: You could go dor to door, tell every parent, get a signed afadavit from each parents swearing that you told them....and somebvody would still say they didn't know about whatever you were trying to tell them!

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>>>>>Sitting down and making 10-12 phone calls with the same information (which, with our group seems to be the only foolproof way of getting the message across) is very labor intensive. Multiply that by ALL dens (35 phone calls or so) and it's unreal.

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Our packed used to use www.onecallnow.com


This is an automatic dialing - message service. We imput the phone numbers of parents, and then record the message. The service computer then calls everyone and plays the message either to the parent personally, or the parents message machine. Its the same thing as those political phone calls that are pre-recorded...


It was a bit pricey... we only did it one year.


We now rely on e-mail, and DL's to call their parents...


Yes.. we also can send out 3-4 emails, just to have a parent say "Huh ? We never got any messages".



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I think that our Pack uses everything except texting, facebook, and carrier pigeons.


We use OneCallNow for urgent announcements and reminders. In addition, we have a calendar, monthly newsletter (in print and e-version), website, email, e-blasts, and pack meeting announcements (for activities).


I've come to the realization that with some parents (and even some leaders) you could staple it to their forehead and they would say that you didn't tell anyone!

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Just wanted to post a quick update...


I used callingpost.com for the first time the other day. I purchased 200 calls for just under 24 bucks (plenty for our pack of 34) and sent my first automatic call just a couple of days ago. IT...WAS...GREAT!! 30 phone calls in one! EVERYBODY was notifed and the service will even notify you if it was unable to reach someone. The best thing since sliced bread I tell ya.



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