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What to do with my den???????

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While I was Cub Master, I had to deal with the "not enough leaders" scenario every year. Its a fairly common problem with most packs, expecially at the end of the Bear year. If you become the CM, you will have to deal with the "not enough leaders" problem again. If you stay as the Den Leader, than its someone elses problem to solve and your life is easier. You probably can understand why I personally believe a good CM should also be a good recruiter. I think you are being tested.



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Well, your pack certainly needs SOMEONE who will develope the skill of recruiting new adult leaders. You need several, a good Committee Chair and Cubmaster at the top of the list.


It usually takes time to find good people for those positions and give them the time to learn the job.


If you take the CM position, you can expect to do the CC job as well until you can find a GOOD person to do that job.


If you take the CM job, your first task will be to find a new Den Leader to replace you. I've already suggested methods to do that.


You also want to be looking among current parents for the BEST person to be Committee Chair, and ask that person to sign on to help manage the pack. A good method there might be to agree to become CM on the condition that a person you think will do the job agrees to be CC.


The first skill needed is to be able to find good people to fill needed positions in the pack. The second skill needed is to be able to persuade people to take the position and do the work, or put them in a position where they will take the position and do the work so that the program can continue.


You may well need to put people on the spot so that they will help even if they would prefer not to.


Another possibility would be to think about whether there is a BETTER person than you to be Cubmaster. If there is, start thinking about how that person can be persuaded to take the job.


Putting out a general appeal for people to step forward and volunteer is usually not recommended. Firstly, it's a weak method and usually doesn't produce results. And even if it does produce a volunteer, it may produce a volunteer who isn't a good person to fill the job, which can be worse than no volunteer.

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Another way of dealing with your Bear Den might be to have one Den Leader who puts together a meeting and outing plans, and Assistant Den Leaders for each den who carry out the plan.



Usually there are more people willing to carry out a defined plan than are ready to design the program.

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Pick one person. Tell them "I know you don't want to be ADL And I know you are busy but I need you and the boys need you. You are the person I feel could do the best at this."


That person will either 1) sign on and fill the position or 2) never look you in the eye again. At that point he owns the failure or success of his sons den.

If #2, move on to your next choice...



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PTA's are generally very hands-off Charter Organizations(CO), and the National PTA organization has also actively discouraged it's member units from becoming a CO for the BSA. The unfortunate upshot is that it is very unlikely your Pack will get any help from it's CO.


Scouting, whether at the den, or Pack level, is not a one man show.


With 45 Scouts in your Pack, there are approximately from 45-80 adults associated with those Scouts. That is quite a lot of potential volunteers. At your Pack's next Pack Leader/Committee meeting you should discuss which adults among all of the families in the Pack would do a good job as Committee Chair, and as Cubmaster. Then each candidate needs to be asked individually until the volunteers the Pack needs are recruited.




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Yep, Scoutnut had it right.


The problem is that the pack has a committee problem. Everyone who is not a den leader should be doing their share. The CM was doing a job that was too big, so no sane person would sign up for that. However you break it up ... derby guy, popcorn kernel, advancement mom, outdoor program, camp coordinator, membership, Blue and Gold family, and finally CC and reduced sized CM. If your parents will not step up for ADL ask each family to take a job(s) that you think they will fill well. No derby guy? Well, no derby.


IMHO 80-90 percent of the value of scouting TO THE boys is in the DEN. If you are good at that you should stay there. 14 boys in a den is too big.


Our pack has had weak CMs and CCs in the past, and scouting has thrived in the Dens.


-- AK

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I too believe that alot of the dynamic depends on what you have as a committee.


When I joined into my pack ( by this, I mean becoming an active parent when my son joined :) ) There wasn't much of a committee. The then CM was also acting as CC, treasurer, and secretary. The ACM did all the stuff the CM was supposed to do, but couldn't because of doing the other stuff.


At that time, my son's DL had a den of 24 boys...which EVERYBODY but the DL knew was way too many.


Anyways, long story short, we had a guy step up to be CC. And a great CC he became. The very first thing he did was find a treasurer. After that, every other posituion either fell into place, or became easier:


DL's would write a name to monet turned in by den members, but bthen turn it over to the Treasurer instead of having to keep track of their den accounts and den member accouts, Instead of running around as a group planning everything, the CC took over the details and delegation.


DL and ADL only had to focus on den stuff instead of ALL the pack stuff.


Basically, if you have a committee that does it's job, then all other leaders can focus on tei jobs.


In my pack, people didn't want to be leaders or assit leaders because they sw all the work involved.


After I took over as CM, I concentrated on program and what the leaders needed to be able to do their jobs.


THis past year, every den had (at minimum) 1 DL, and two ADL's. One dean had two DL's who broke their roles into different parts of the rank requirements ( hey...it worked great, so I didn't interfear ) Most dens had 3 ADL's and a den secretary/ den treasurer.


Next year, 3 of ourt dens are going to split into 2 new dens each ..if the amount of scouts validates it.


Why the split? We actually have adults who can't wait to be leaders.

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  • 1 month later...

just a followup for the folks that took the time to answer me on this post.

Our Den will stay intact. I had a parent (that had previously said they couldn't do it) step up to be DL for our den. I was very happy as he and I think on the same level and I think he will be great.

I also had a parent from another den that I work with very well step up and say they would help me out if I became CM, so I also stepped up to be the CM. Should be a fun couple of years coming up. So much to learn.




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I love being CM; I think it's the most fun job! You get to be the one to sing silly songs, and throw candy (either figuratively or literally). You get to be the one who creates the party atmosphere, but also the one who gets to tell the cool lesson-stories.


The Cubmaster gets to preside over *occasions* ... which is very, very cool. :0)


Congratulations, CubMaster!

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