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pack20cubmom

Struggling cub pack.

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Help! What help should we be able to get from our district? What training should be availabe, and how often, from our council. I feel like our CM is fighting a losing battle. Our council webpage gives little resources. I want to help, but I work fulltime as a nurse and can't devote the time needed. When we started (from scratch) in September, the CM and I were gung ho, ready to have the best pack ever. It's just our CM and two other leaders now that are actually putting their all into the pack, and we're struggling severely. Little help, no organization, clueless on plans, etc. CM is ready to give up. DE says don't quit, do this, do that, etc, but offers no real help. District Commisioner says google it. PWD coming up, and all we have done is bought the car kits. We have no track, no scale, and absolutely NO clue how to do this. B&G will be coming up soon too, and some of our kids are so far from rank that it's nearly unobtainable. Our tigers (the majority of the boys) are behind too, but not nearly as bad as the older boys. Our Webelos scout hasn't done but maybe two achivements, but he just started in November, and we had a month break over Christmas, Anyway. Point is, CM is ready to throw in the towel. Any suggestions would be great!

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My suggestion to focus more on the dens and less on the district. Scouting is about the kids, not the leaders. Scouts are not behind because of a lack of support from above. A good pack could be run without any district support, in my opinion. If your den leaders are meeting regularly with the kids and doing activities and achievements, you'll be in good shape.

 

You want to run a PWD? Find someone with a kitchen scale and a parent with some basic woodworking skills to build a simple track. Scouting teaches resourcefulness, the leaders should be able to model that. Good luck.

 

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As a follow up, the only real resources you need are the rank books every scout has. That's what drives your activities. The District Commissioner is also correct about Googling for help. But to that, I'll add that you should be specific about what you are Googling. Don't search "how to run a good pack." That's far too broad. Rather search something like "Tiger Go See It ideas".

 

And as for being behind rank for the B&G, who says you need to attain rank by B&G? Scouts have the whole year.

 

Hope some of this helps

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If your district has a roundtable, attend. Network with other Cub Leaders. You might find a pack that would be willing to host you at their PWD/B&G. At a minimum you can get ideas on what's next, what's available and where to go from them.

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Welcome to the forum. Take a deep breath and relax.

 

First of all no one said any of this is going to be easy. Everyone has pie-in-the-sky attitudes and think they can just waltz in an plop down a unit already set to go. Piece of cake.

 

I have been part of initiating well over 40 units in my lifetime. Most of them fail within a few years because of the amount of work needed to get them up and going. Look at it as at least a 3-5 year process to get going. My last two units are a venturing crew and a Boy Scout troop. The Crew took about 3 years to get going and I have been working for over 2 years on the Boy Scout troop at this point. I have a full contingent of adults and 5 boys, hopefully a new cross over from Webelos will be joining us in the next month. Was I hoping a dozen or two boys would come in and plop down their application forms with money in hand? Sure. But that's now how it works. Council personnel and UC's are as rare as hen's teeth, too.

 

It sounds as if you have multiple adults, 3/4th's of which should focus on the boys and the other quarter focuses just on getting the unit established. Do not blend the two groups. Once the unit is established, the details worked out, the leaders are all trained, and boys are having fun, then and only then can that organization group step out of their organizational roles and into working with the pack leaders.

 

When one focuses in too many areas at the same time, there's a strong chance that one will get discouraged. They will see things that need to be done and no time to do it. Let the organizers take that on. You will notice that the derby track doesn't exist. Let the organizers worry about that. They want us to do popcorn sales and you have just enough time to make sure your boys are progressing in their awards. That money would be great for the BlueGold, but the DL's don't have time to organize that. You won't have time to do it all, share the load with like-minded people.

 

The CM is ready to throw in the towel!??? Of course, get more adults on-board and focus on small project rather than trying to do everything all at the same time.

 

Stosh

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So my first suggestion is - KISS - keep it simple silly.

 

Next -

Focus on the boys, the den meetings and activities and programs you are offering.

Make sure the den leaders are meeting on a regular basis and they are working on advancements at every meeting.

Make sure the boys are having fun and staying busy.

The boys have until the end of the school year to finish their rank requirements so if they are not done by B&G just keep working with them. And if they don't earn their rank badge it's not the end of the world. They just move to the next level and hopefully they do better next year.

Make sure all the parents are involved in some way. They don't all have to be den leaders but everybody should helping the pack succeed.

Be specific about what you need help with. You need someone to organize PWD. Someone else to plan the B&G. Someone to order/get the awards when boys earn them, etc.

 

If you don' have a Committee Chair get one, now. Too many Cubmasters try to be both and it just doesn't work.

Check with your Chartering Organization (sponser) and see if there are ways they can help.

 

At least 1 adult needs to attend your District Roundtable every month. The Cub Scout breakout session is designed to help people just like you. You will meet other leaders that you can ask questions, share ideas and get suggestions from. Your District Commissioner should be able to tell you when and where Roundtable is.

The Cub Scout Leader specific training is all on-line at https://myscouting.org. Your district should also have a Training Chairman that could tell you when/where any in person training events (like BALOO) will be. He might even be able to arrange a training for your pack leaders.

 

If there are other well run Packs in your area ask if they would allow your den leaders to come visit during a den meeting to see how they should be run. Or would some of their leaders be able to come to one of your meetings and give you some tips/hints/suggestions. We have some packs here that let other packs borrow their PWD tracks. We have 2 or 3 small packs that get together and do 1 PWD together. Other than the track all you really need is a kitchen scale and a dad or two (or a mom) with some experience using hand tools. Make sure the boys stay focused on having a fun activity. PWD is not that hard to run as long as you keep it a fun event. Trying to make it a huge competition or "the best PWD ever" takes the fun out of it.

 

I know running a pack is a ton of work. The key is to keep it simple and get as many VOLUNTEERS to help as possible. Good luck!

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Roundtable.... ask the DE for names and numbers of nearby successful Packs..... partner withthem for PWD and other things..... The Council website should give you names and dates for training and activities..... call the Scout Executive (!) yes, you are going over your DE's head, but his office may be able to direct you to your Districts leadership. Some DEs see it as a loss of face if they can't do everything for you, but that's not right. We are all volunteers, and the District is the area you need to look to for most of your help. Find the DIstrict RT, the District Commissioner, etc.

 

Cub Scout Mantra: (repeat as needed): KISMIF, KISMIF..... keep it simple make it fun......

 

YiS

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Lots of good advice here- especially about Roundtable and Leader Training. But the one thing I will add is to separate the B&G from Rank advancement. That is NOT what the B&G is for. It is a celebration of the birthday of Cub Scouting- period. You may do some awards- when I was CM we handed out the PWD trophies and any earned awards like we would at a normal Pack Meeting. But PLEASE don't dwell on Rank Advancement as a central theme of the banquet- that is NOT how the program is designed. Cubs move up at the end of the school year, with or without Rank. Give them the full year to earn their Rank and have a celebration at the end of the school year to earn anything that hasn't already been handed out- that is Advancement should be celebrated as soon as it is earned, not held until some per-determined date.

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... I want to help' date=' but I work fulltime as a nurse and can't devote the time needed. ...[/quote']

 

Have you asked your supervisor if the scouts could visit your institution? Learn what goes on. If it's a hospital, how the ambulance works. Where the babies are?

Or, have you showed the boys some basic first aid? How to help when someone's sick? How to call an emergency?

 

A fun scouting experience is lots of little opportunities like that, provided by each adult. String them together and your boys will have a riotous time!

 

B&G and PWD are quite secondary to all that.

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I know it's tough. I'm eight years into reviving a Cub Pack that was down to a single boy.

 

You can't do EVERYTHING, which is what your opening post seems to suggest.

 

So what DO you want to do?

 

If you want t5o organize an excellent PWD that's easy to do, I have posts in the Cub Scout forum that describes how to do that. Let me know and I'll find one for you.

 

Or perhaps you want to provide a quality Tiger Cub Program. If so, I've described ideas I've used in my Tiger Cub program if you look in this forum, or ask and I'll find them for you, and talk about what you can do and how to do it. I've been doing the Tiger Cub program the past eight years.

 

Your Cubmaster should be organizing the PWD, and perhaps you should be helping with a Den program. Doing one job will make things a lot easier.to start with.

 

 

 

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Lots of great advice already. Just adding my two cents. You don't have to do it all on your own. As others have said, see if you can get another pack to host you for their PWD and or B&G. Our pack has hosted a neighboring pack two years in a row for out PWD. They were small and didn't have their own track. We invited them to our derby, and we ran them as a separate group and they provided their own awards. Everyone had a blast. Talk to your DE about it.

 

Do you have a Unit Commissioner? Ask your DE who it is if you don't know. They can often be a great source of advice (I know ours have been a great help). As others have said the District Round Table can often be a great source of advice starting out - just remember to ask questions when there.

 

Another thing is to delegate. The CM shouldn't be doing everything. Get a parent to step up and be the PWD chair, another to be the Scout-O-Rama chair, a third to be the Blue and Gold chair, etc. Note, the chair doesn't have to do everything themselves either, they are just the one responsible for coordinating everyone. If you can't get a parent to step up to chair an event, punt and don't do that event. If you need six people to commit to helping run the Scout-O-Rama booth (if you are doing one), and you only get three, then punt. Learn to say NO. Having a handful of adults do everything is a great way to get a handful of burnt out leaders. And no one ever died because they didn't do a PWD. The B&G doesn't have to be a big thing either. It can be a simple potluck, or order pizza and watch a movie.

 

As for training, most councils do a University of Scouting (sometimes called Pow-Wows) usually in January or February. That is usually a great opportunity to take classes on lots of subjects (how to run fun pack meetings, pack committee basics, outdoor games, etc.). If is also a great opportunity to meet follow scouters and find helpful resources (such as this from our local UoS: http://cubmaster101.com/).

 

Also this forum is a great resource. Ask questions (like you are doing)!

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I'm going to have to agree with many of the other posts, focus on the boys! There are lots of resources around to help you with training and to get ideas and to NETWORK. Networking (to me) is such a big and crucial thing. A great place to network would be a local University of Scouting or Roundtable or even training! It took myself about 2 years to really get to know others in the Scouting community and when I started I dove right in. A year into Cub Scouts my sister and I were being Wood Badge trained, Rangemaster trained, BALOO/OWL, etc. And by doing all of that, we met some great people along the way and many have helped us many many times.

 

By networking it can help you with some of your concern such as your PWD coming up. A local Pack might be willing to let you borrow their track and help run your PWD so you can get your feet wet (we actually let Girl Scouts borrow our track since they wanted to put on a district PWD for GS).

 

Also, Blue & Gold is not a deadline for ranks. I'm not sure when your Scouting year begins and ends but ours starts when school ends (June) and ends the following year at the same time, then the next rank begins. If kids don't earn their rank by our Blue & Gold, then they have until June and if they earn their rank they are awarded at our Annual Crossover in June. And no one says you HAVE to earn rank. If the kids are having fun, that's really all that matters.

 

Recruitment is another big thing because (as I'm sure you are 100% aware) you can't do it alone, or a few of you can't do it alone. You need committed parents, other leaders, and maybe even a committee to handle the PWD or B&G for you so you don't have to do it yourself. Recruitment isn't always easy but if you can get into your school to do a Boy Talk, that could be very beneficial to you.

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While not its avowed purpose, I would imagine that the beascout.org website could be used to locate other packs in your area and send them an e-mail about borrowing a PWD track from them.

 

If they are wide awake enough to have personalized their PIN on the map, you can send an e-mail to them directly.

 

What is you zip code ---- I'd be interested in seeing what packs might be in your area.

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