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Anita1216

Recruiting Leaders

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I'm sure this has been posted here before and I apologize for reposting if it has been... But here's my Pack's situation.

We are a thriving Pack and have changed the Pack so much over the past 5 years. Our Cubmaster (who has been CM for 5 years) is leaving in February when his son goes to Boy Scouts and I am taking over. His Webelos 2 Den Leader/Unofficial Asst. CM is also leaving with his son. Now we've expected this as I'm sure many Packs do. But our Webelos 2 Den Leader's wife is the Wolf leader and she's leaving on not-so-good terms. AND our Tiger leader just quit because he's moving (he was a past Venturer and took on the role). Now it's myself, my sister, and another mom who has been our third musketeer and is awesome!

 

So now we have to find a Tiger and Wolf leader. Then next school year, a Tiger leader again (Since the Tigers and Wolves will then be Wolves and Bears).

 

Does anyone have any tips on recruiting adult leaders? We've approached a mother who seemed interested and actually said she was. And when we approached her and offered to help her wean into it she said "No." and walked away and that was that. We have tried many different approaches in the past to recruiting leaders and it's really difficult for us. We can get the boys but not the parents.

Also, does or did anyone have this problem? I'm sure it's a common problem but it'd be helpful to know we're not alone here!

 

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You have to play hardball. At some point you have to tell the den-leaderless Den parents that if nobody steps up, their kids won't be able to be Cub Scouts. Tell them the Den is closing down due to lack of leadership. It's why I coached soccer for a season. I volunteered to be Den Leader--I figured I was there anyway, might as well do something useful. It's now my 8th year as a Scouter.

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Our pack was short on Den Leaders this year so we have been using "shared leadership" to run den meetings. So for example when the Tigers signed up last fall each parent was told they would have to "help" by taking turns hosting den meetings. The Cubmaster planned and hosted the first den meeting to show parents how it was done. Then each family signed up to do 1 of the next 6 den meetings (6 boys in the den). Each parent was given the den meeting plan for the meeting they signed up for and told they were responsible for the entire meeting. The Cubmaster worked with each family to help them make sure the meetings were being planned and carried out. Now that each family has hosted at least one meeting the parents are planning meetings on their own. We have also identified the next den leader and most of the parents attend committee meetings and are helping with pack activities as well. The Wolf and Bear Den leaders have also adopted this method and have parents "helping" with some den meetings. The Webelos leader also got a couple of parents to "help" with certain activity pins, set up field trips and get "guest speakers" at their den and pack meetings.

 

It was a lot of work for the Cubmaster in the beginning, and I will admit not every meeting was a success. We lost a few kids because their parents didn't want to "help". But it also gave new parents time to see what the program is and how it is run before they made a huge commitment of time. And we have spread out the workload so people don't feel like they have to do everything themselves.

 

About 9 months ago this pack had 10 kids (mostly Webelos), 2 burned out den leaders and a group of parents that just wanted to do enough to get their kid to the next rank or the into the troop. Now we have more than 20 kids, a CM, a CC, 4 Den Leaders and a core group of parents that are all having fun in Cub Scouts.

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Shame on parents who would rather pull their son, rather than spend a couple of hours doing a little work and a lot of good. Unfortunately, those kids won't get the benefits of Scouting so they don't wind up being as selfish and lazy as their parents.

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Our pack was short on Den Leaders this year so we have been using "shared leadership" to run den meetings. So for example when the Tigers signed up last fall each parent was told they would have to "help" by taking turns hosting den meetings. The Cubmaster planned and hosted the first den meeting to show parents how it was done. Then each family signed up to do 1 of the next 6 den meetings (6 boys in the den). ...

 

I think this is an EXCELLENT approach. To succeed, you need to do it right away when the kids first sign up for Cubs. But if you do that, I think it's an absolute great idea !!!!!!! And if you lose a few, well ... On the flip side, it gets more invested earlier. Being invested increases retention. So, any change is going to keep some and lose some. I think on the whole, this is a big big gain. Nice approach. I think BSA should strongly think about developing an approach like this.

 

 

You have to play hardball. At some point you have to tell the den-leaderless Den parents that if nobody steps up' date=' their kids won't be able to be Cub Scouts. Tell them the Den is closing down due to lack of leadership. It's why I coached soccer for a season. I volunteered to be Den Leader--I figured I was there anyway, might as well do something useful. It's now my 8th year as a Scouter.[/quote']

 

Overall, this is what I've seen that works. You need to have a need of the type that "If no one steps up, then it doesn't happen."

 

Our pack has a related issue. We've got a good set of leaders that have been helping for years. We want new leaders and want people to step up. But, every time I look, all the key jobs are staffed and all our events are happening. So, why should anyone step up? If you really want things to happen, we need some of our long time helpers to STOP stepping up to help.

 

Example: Tell parents we don't have a leader for the Christmas party. Unless someone steps up, the holiday celebration won't happen.

 

Example: We need a Scouting For Food coordinator. Unless someone steps up, our pack won't be doing Scouting For Food. The local shelters need the food, but a large group can't do something without a contact point.

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Have you ever see anything like this parent participation form? You could base one on your packs needs from this form. The idea is that it is required that every family contributes 100 points annually as a condition of their sons membership in in the pack.

 

http://www.bsa-sjac.org/filestore/do...FormSample.doc

 

​Click- This is a great concept, though I was a little nervous clicking it... Glad to see I'm over 100 points!

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I like the form. It's an interesting idea. But I have to ask what the down side is for coming in under 100 points?

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I like the form. It's an interesting idea. But I have to ask what the down side is for coming in under 100 points?

 

 

There are a number of ways to potentially address this.

 

1) 100+ earns the scout some type of "family participation patch"

2) Committing to 100 points at the beginning of the scout year earns a reduction in dues

3) Guilt from falling short

4) ???

 

My take is such a plan wouldn't necessary be to penalize families who fall short, but rather to encourage more participation. The reality is 100 points from every parent might actually be too much help.

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Each year, do you have the parents re-negotiate their numbers? That's the main issue I see. First time you can get people to help but the next year is harder. I am not saying it won't work. Just never seen it done.

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In my observations groups always get by with the minumum amount of volunteers this isn't unique to scouting. I have been in packs of 50 and 150 and dens with 4 - 10. The 150 scout unit did not have a exceess of parents waiting to be tasked with something.

 

How big are the dens? You said that it is a thriving pack. My guess is that the each den is 6-10 scouts? My guess is if you say without a den leader the scouts cannot continue one of those parents will step up. If the den is on 3 or 4 it may be harder in my observation a 3 or 4 scout den is not as much fun for the boys and they and their parents are more likely to walk away.

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I have described a process to guarantee a program for a year using volunteers. It works and it works well. If sign-up sheets for every activity planned are not filled up with volunteers, one will know right from the git-go, whether or not an activity is even needed. If no one signs up for anything, then it's time to shut the unit down, there's not going to be enough help through the year to make it successful. Better to know that up front than struggle throughout the year thinking some kind of miracle is going to happen and then being disappointed when it doesn't.

 

Stosh

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You have to play hardball. At some point you have to tell the den-leaderless Den parents that if nobody steps up' date=' their kids won't be able to be Cub Scouts. Tell them the Den is closing down due to lack of leadership. It's why I coached soccer for a season. I volunteered to be Den Leader--I figured I was there anyway, might as well do something useful. It's now my 8th year as a Scouter.[/quote']

 

 

This has been our plan since we found out the Wolf leader is leaving. We figured we have to just let them have no leader and someone will take over, but our fear is that Cub Scouts isn't important or meaningful enough for any of them to step up. The current leader wasn't the mot amazing leader and has limited interactions, so we're afraid we'll just lose them all.

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Have you ever see anything like this parent participation form? You could base one on your packs needs from this form. The idea is that it is required that every family contributes 100 points annually as a condition of their sons membership in in the pack.

 

http://www.bsa-sjac.org/filestore/doc/CubScoutPackAdultParticipationFormSample.doc

 

 

We actually did do this! It worked great with the parents my sister and I have in our group and the 2 groups above us. The Tigers, Wolves, and Bears... not so much. We didn't do the point system though because sometimes we can't reply on the same parent coming to meetings, etc. We also tried a sign up and saying "Okay, let's make this a group effort because we can't run all these groups alone.." and all the parents just sat there and offered nothing.

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>>

 

 

 

Well, that's an effective strategy to close down at least a third of the Cub Packs in our district. And since Cub packs often go through up and down cycles, probably another third would close in a few years as well.

 

 

The other third have a strong enough program and leaders to continue --- usually because they are in upper income and upper education level areas. So that formula would help make Scouting even more of an isolated, elite activity than it already is.

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