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Kimble

Starting from scratch?

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HI all,

 

I'm a 3rd year parent who is just through his first full year as Cubmaster. My son joined as a Wolf - but I was not involved then as we had a two year old I needed to watch. Two years ago I became the Bear Den leader in January when the then leader disappeared (he asked me to help for a month or two. never saw him again). Last year I became the Cubmaster.

 

We have a very small unit of a dozen Cubs. I don't want to be the Do Everything Cubmaster, but I find myself wearing _every_ hat.

 

The Scouts AND Parents like me as Cubmaster. We've done things. We've had real Pack meetings with costumes and skits. We had a Blue & Gold that wasn't pizza.

 

Personally, I have a hard time asking for help; perhaps I'm afraid parents will say no. Perhaps I don't know really how to ask.

 

I *want* to have a quality program. I *want* involved kids and parents. I *want* parents to have a vested interest by sharing the work. I want this for my own son an the other kids. I had a great Cub Scout experience when I was that age.

 

At this moment, we have me, the Cubmaster, two Den Leaders and a Chartered Org Rep / treasurer who I think wouldn't mind retiring. That's it. No Committee.

 

My question to all is: Could I ask my Chartered Org to appoint a new Rep who would have an interest in the program? Could I ask members of the Chartered Org to help serve on the Committee at least temporarily?

 

Who can I ask locally for help? Is this the area of responsibility for the Unit Commissioner? This thread (http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=357794) seemed to tell me that.

 

Thanks in advance for all your replies,

Rob Carignan

Cubmaster, Pack 3

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Honestly, the best thing you can do is recruit. Get more boys in your pack, and you will expand the pool of available parents to act as leaders. Simplify your job (even if that means Blue and Gold Pizza), so the other leaders don't get intimidated by it. Make sure they see the distinction between "Cubmaster" and "Den Leader" and "Committee Chair" in what you do, so they can take over one part of it.

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Hello Rob,

 

 

Yours is a common tale. It was my tale four years ago when I undertook to rebuild a Cub Pack that had one Cub Scout and a Cubmaster.

 

 

Twelve Cub Scouts can be a reasonable number. Which dens are they in and which dens have den leaders? Are the den leaders doing a good job with the program?

 

 

>

 

 

Asking for help is a learned skill.

 

The first step is usually to ask people to do a small task ---any small task. Bring cookies to the den meeting!

 

Calling people to remind them is a good practice. Thank them sincerely when they do what they say. Then ask them to do another task.

 

Also, avoid asking for volunteers. The wrong people can volunteer.

 

Identify the BEST person for any job that needs to be done and ask that person.

 

In the nearly four years I've been building up my pack, I've never had a failed Pack Committee (parent) meeting. some of the secrets of that are:

 

1) Have meetings scheduled most months as part of your regular schedule of meetings and activities.

 

2) Meeting last no longer than an hour. Meetings start on time and quit on time.

 

3) Remind people once or twice about meetings. E-mail works for me.

 

4) Make meetings a vital part of making your pack program happen. Not a lot of talk, talk ---- discussion vital to your next month program, in most cases.

 

5) Try to do something FUN for parents. Wine tasting after the meeting is over? Some snacks or treats as part of the meeting?

 

 

Do you have plans for fall recruiting? The real time to get your committee going is to develop the habit of attending among new parents.

 

Who is the BEST person to be Committee Chair? Recruit a good Committee Chair and they should see to it that most of the things you want done get done. Hardly any of the things you've mentioned are the job of the Cubmaster!(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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I too was in your boat not too long ago. I took over from a Cubmaster that did it all. Essentially 100% of the Cubmaster role, and 100% of the Committee Role. Needless to say, she was burned out.

 

I have dissected the various jobs as best I can into manageable pieces.

 

For Any Critical Roles I Hand Pick. (Den Leaders, Cubmaster, Committee Chair, Treasurer, Popcorn Kernel) I'll detail out exactly what responsibilities there are, Identify the best candidate for them, and go to them one on one. A Mass Announcement of "We need Help" doesn't work. Email doesn't work. Phone might work, but face to face is best.

 

Sit down with them, and explain why you need them to do the role, and why you think they are well equipped to do that role.

 

Pretty much every other job, I open it up at the Parents Meeting at the beginning of the school year. I have a Board with Note Cards for each event, and each position that is unfilled. I tell them that if nobody signs up to do it, the role will go unfilled. That doesn't mean that I'll pick it up, that just means it won't get done.

 

I Start with the Latest calendar events (For example, Our May Camping Trip is most likely the last thing on the calendar)

 

If nobody volunteers to organize it, I take the card down, and inform them that event will be removed from the calendar. I Keep going backwards thru the calendar, and then onto the positions, like Awards Chair, etc, again starting with the smallest ones.

 

The tough part, is being willing to let something drop. I'm always thinking "Someone needs to do X..." And since I'm "Someone" I start to pick up that task.

 

 

Approaching the Chartered Org would be ideal, if they are receptive to it. It ca be very tough to do. I'm Chartered Org Rep / Committee Chair for our Pack, and trying to get volunteers for a full year from other church members is like pulling teeth, but I have been able to get them one or two at a time for specific events.

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