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Cubmaster Transition Out

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I'm also confused, how is this different from teaching the scouts to take care of their patrol or team members. (scratching my head on this one)

 

Barry

 

Absolutely no difference.  Now if Council/District would teach their adults appropriate leadership we wouldn't be having this discussion.   Seriously no one will step up to take on CM?  That's like having a patrol where no one wants to step up at be PL unless forced and one can't force adults, they're volunteers is the excuse.

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Absolutely no difference.  Now if Council/District would teach their adults appropriate leadership we wouldn't be having this discussion.   Seriously no one will step up to take on CM?  That's like having a patrol where no one wants to step up at be PL unless forced and one can't force adults, they're volunteers is the excuse.

I have recently seen two pack fold simply because of parent apathy. The CMs announced their departure (more than a year out), put together a transition plan, documented the role and calendar, completed all open issues, etc. During the last 6-9 months out they had several meetings encouraging parents to step up. Five months out they had a "come to Jesus" meeting where they told the parents if no one steps up the pack will fold. The had that same meeting three more times. Two months out they told parents they needed a replacement within two weeks or the pack would fold. No one stepped up.

 

District and even council got involved, albeit late. They were invited when the CMs announced they were stepping down but I guess the DE had more important things to do. The packs folded. Now the DE has to build two new packs AND 4 other new ones to meet his membership target.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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I have recently seen two pack fold simply because of parent apathy. The CMs announced their departure (more than a year out), put together a transition plan, documented the role and calendar, completed all open issues, etc. During the last 6-9 months out they had several meetings encouraging parents to step up. Five months out they had a "come to Jesus" meeting where they told the parents if no one steps up the pack will fold. The had that same meeting three more times. Two months out they told parents they needed a replacement within two weeks or the pack would fold. No one stepped up.

 

District and even council got involved, albeit late. They were invited when the CMs announced they were stepping down but I guess the DE had more important things to do. The packs folded. Now the DE has to build two new packs AND 4 other new ones to meet his membership target.

 

We had four packs fold at recharter last year for the same reason.  Two of them had been around for over 60 years.  Very sad.

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<<

yeah, 

problem one is that we really don't have a committee.  Acouple folks are registered, but they have left the building.  The CC is basically past the place I am with his son long out of the pack and he's ready to go. 

 

I've already marched that road a few times, trying to identify candidate number 1, and so on.... for ASM, and some others....  Got me nowhere except out of some time and energy.>>

 

 

 

Well,  it's not necessarily easy.  I've been developing a pack that was down to one boy nine years ago.  We continue to struggle but have about fifteen or so boys that are active any any time.

 

We have never had a Pack Committee Meeting that has been a failure.  The one we had last night had about 7-8 adults present and participating in planning our pack overnight and summer activities,  including two newly recruited families.

 

 

Our registered leaders are active leaders,  not place holders.

 

I usually wind up being the one to ask people to serve as leaders.  As Chartered Organization Rep that's not NECESSARILY my place,  but I do it because others are reluctant to do so. When some declines to serve in a position I suggest,  I listen to their objections and often suggest another position more in line with what they seem comfortable with  ---usually they'll accept position number 2,  and often people accept position #1.

 

I try to observe NEW PARENTS carefully,  and to ask them to do things early,  before they get in the habit of doing nothing.  Also,  when you recruit a leader who is new to the program,  they are a lot more likely to stick with the program long term,  which reduces turnover and means you have a leader for several years.

 

I don't claim to be especially skilled at doing this,  and I don't especially like doing it either. But it is the most effective way to recruit new leaders that I know of.  Open ended requests for people to volunteer are a formula for failure,  in my experience.

 

Of course,  that's my pack.  Packs vary a LOT.

 

But the real key is inviting NEWLY RECRUITED FAMILIES to help with an activity,  and see what they do.  If they do a good job,  I'll go back to them again and start devekloping nthem as Cub Scout leaders.

 

As an example,  I had an excellent Den Leader who agreed to be Cubmaster.  But they did a poor job as Cubmaster.  When I asked him about that,  he was just limited out in terms of the time he could spend on Cub Scouts.  That was perfectly understandable and fine with me  ---- I went on to choice #2 for Cubmaster,  who has done an excellent job for 2+ years now.  Choice #1 has just bridged his Webelos boys into Scouting,  and has done an excellent job as Den Leader and Webelos Den Leader.

 

That illustrates that you need to keep communicating with new leaders,  to help them understand the job and to see if they are willing and capable of doing the job.  If they aren't find someone who is and find something else for that person to do.

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What people fail to realize is that people today are very mobile.  Pack A is a 5 minute drive and has a waning corps of volunteers.  They want me to step up.  Well, I'm not going to pay and work to have my kid entertained.  That's why I pay for him to go.  So, that group folds.  No problem Pack B is a 10 minute drive and has a few more dedicated volunteers so I don't have to lift a finger.  When this Pack folds, there's always Pack C that's 15 minutes down the road.  Once I run out of Packs and Troops, there's always the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club just down the street.

 

A world of community working together has been replaced by a generation of: "What's in it for me and my kid?"  If it isn't worth it, we'll find something that is.

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A world of community working together has been replaced by a generation of: "What's in it for me and my kid?"  If it isn't worth it, we'll find something that is.

And here is what you said earlier:"Absolutely no difference.  Now if Council/District would teach their adults appropriate leadership we wouldn't be having this discussion."" You basically said "It's not my problem".

 

It has to start somewhere stosh, how about at home instead of waiting for someone else to tell us what to do.

 

Barry

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@@Stosh, @@Eagledad I suspect you both mean the same thing to a degree. Correct me if I am wrong, but sounds like Stosh agrees that parents need to step up and help, so yes, it does begin at home. I think what Stosh is advocating is that more parents don't step up because of the lack of training from district or council. Were better training and transition in place for units you'd see less issue with people stepping up. Of course that assumes there's no apathy among the parents with regard to parenting and being role models; a completely different issue, and one which I think is the real basis of the lack of volunteerism.

 

I think you both have valid points. I think you are coming at the same problem from two different ends. Of course, I may be totally off base. ;)

Edited by Bad Wolf

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And here is what you said earlier:"Absolutely no difference.  Now if Council/District would teach their adults appropriate leadership we wouldn't be having this discussion."" You basically said "It's not my problem".

 

It has to start somewhere stosh, how about at home instead of waiting for someone else to tell us what to do.

 

Barry

 

In an attempt to help more people than just those in one's own unit, it would be better if the adults were trained on a larger scale to fit into units rather than relying on individual units to try and figure it out on their own.  

 

I've already started and don't seem to have much of this problem in my unit so I'm happy, but it doesn't sound like others are.  A scout is helpful to more than just those he/she has a vested interest in.

 

It's rather stupid to train adults only to have the individual units un-train them and correct the problems as they go.  If National wants all their leaders trained, one might want to consider that training important enough to do it right the first time.

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@@Stosh, @@Eagledad I suspect you both mean the same thing to a degree. Correct me if I am wrong, but sounds like Stosh agrees that parents need to step up and help, so yes, it does begin at home. I think what Stosh is advocating is that more parents don't step up because of the lack of training from district or council. Were better training and transition in place for units you'd see less issue with people stepping up. Of course that assumes there's no apathy among the parents with regard to parenting and being role models; a completely different issue, and one which I think is the real basis of the lack of volunteerism.

 

I think you both have valid points. I think you are coming at the same problem from two different ends. Of course, I may be totally off base. ;)

 

Barry was trying to differentiate between adults not taking care of those they are responsible for as I would direct the PL to do for his boys.  Well, I don't think we do very well in taking care of our adults.  We expect them to step up and take on a job they know nothing about and the younger generation I don't think wants to take the time to figure it out as we had to along the way.  In a success/failure culture we live in that's more than just taking on a job of "helping out with the unit".  It's a big commitment and the training that is provided by National is rather weak in getting a decent program going or maintained.  It's kinda like feeding the lambs to the wolves kinda thingy.

 

I don't mind being a scout leader,  I've done the Cub stuff as a MC and Webelos DL, I've done the Boy Scout stuff as ASM and SM,  I've done the Venturing/Explorer stuff as a unit organizer and Crew Advisor.  I've done the UC thing which allows me to see beyond a myopic version of just my world.  So one can ask me to do anything and I'd have a pretty good idea what to do.  I turn to one of my parents and say, "Hey, do you want to head up this unit as a CM or SM or CA?"  Yep, they're going to be all over that like ugly on a monkey.  NOT!  They're going to flat out say, "No way!"  Well we'll give you a weekend of training.  Sure, that great, sign me up!  NOT!  They're going to look at me and say, "You've got 30+ years at this, you do it."  End of discussion.

 

I was 7 years as MC watching how things worked before I became a Webelos DL.  I was 13 years as ASM watching how things worked before I became a SM,  I organized 42 units of Exploring before I took on CA of one of them.

 

So where's the ACM in all of this?  Well we didn't need one.  So who's watching and learning along the way?  So where's the ASM in all this?  Well we have them so busy with other stuff.  So who's watching and learning along the way?

 

We have dysfunctional committees, Lone Ranger CC's people not trained for this own position rather than second training for a possible move "up" in the unit's needs.

 

So ask yourself how many ACM's and ASM's have done an activity from scratch to learn what a CM or SM does?  I'll be out of town next month, Mr. ACM, you've got the Pack meeting to cover for me.  Thanks.  Let me know what you need help on.  I'll be out of town next month Mr ASM, you've got the camporee to cover for me.  Thanks.  Let me know what you need help on.  @@Eagledad This is how the adults take care of their people and some supplementary help from National along these lines would be helpful.

 

Like I said, my ASM's have all been trained to take over the unit if necessary.  It's called "grooming your replacement".  If you ever want to be doing something else, you had better have someone to take over.

 

A friend of my rocketed up in his job and within a few years had a pretty cushy job.  I asked him how he did it.  He said it was simple.  Always have someone else trained in your job so they can take over when an opportunity for you to move up comes along.  If you're too important and no one can do your job, you'll be passed over.

 

How many training programs put out by the BSA promote this in their training sessions?

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In an attempt to help more people than just those in one's own unit, it would be better if the adults were trained on a larger scale to fit into units rather than relying on individual units to try and figure it out on their own.  

 

I've already started and don't seem to have much of this problem in my unit so I'm happy, but it doesn't sound like others are.  A scout is helpful to more than just those he/she has a vested interest in.

 

It's rather stupid to train adults only to have the individual units un-train them and correct the problems as they go.  If National wants all their leaders trained, one might want to consider that training important enough to do it right the first time.

Come on Stosh, your troop has four scouts with you and your wife as the leaders, it's not typical. And it's not about whether or not adults were trained, it is about doing the right thing for group, which includes future replacement leaders. Trained or not, advising adults to not take responsibility for continuing a healthy unit is self-serving and a contradiction to servant leadership. It's just selfish.

 

Also, training replacement leaders used to be part of training syllabuses, I'm assuming it still is. So we don't know if the trainers or the unit leaders failed. But the point is the same, take responsibility for present and future health of the unit. It's just the right thing to do. 

 

Barry

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@@Stosh, I think you've pegged this one pretty good in tacking it to training.

The info is there if you have the energy to look for it.

I took the online training, did a lot of reading

attended U of Scouting classes

in person leader specific (well that was a flop, but I tried it)

participated in this scouter.com round table

etc....

 

But the average parent doesn't.

Even the average active veteran leader doesn't even do this much.  They think they know... but do they really?

 

Most folks are too frightened

but of the folks I find that have been reluctantly willing to help such as the Den Leaders I have recruited for our younger dens

are very intimidated by the idea since they know NOT of what is required

and IF they are courageous enough will step up and mostly wing it.

 

Better training

more frequently offered training

easier to take training

more consistent training

would all help

 

and I would add that

better job definitions would help

and program definitions would help (boy led & patrol method are a good example of something that is relatively simple has countless variations in practice)

 

Short

clear

concise

is needed with all of this

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Come on Stosh, your troop has four scouts with you and your wife as the leaders, it's not typical.

 

Come on @Eagledad I have 6 scouts and my wife is not a leader.  Not keeping one's facts straight is not typical either.  I have been involved over the years in more than just my current unit as well.

 

And it's not about whether or not adults were trained, it is about doing the right thing for group, which includes future replacement leaders. Trained or not, advising adults to not take responsibility for continuing a healthy unit is self-serving and a contradiction to servant leadership. It's just selfish.

 

At the present time, every scout family has at least one registered parent signed up from ASM to COR in my current unit.  When we lost the one scout a few months back, we also lost our treasurer.  That position has been replaced by another parent.  We take care of our own.  And it has not been assisted one bit by any training provided by National.  By the way, the new dad of the new Webelos boy is the only untrained adult leader.

 

Also, training replacement leaders used to be part of training syllabuses, I'm assuming it still is. So we don't know if the trainers or the unit leaders failed. But the point is the same, take responsibility for present and future health of the unit. It's just the right thing to do. 

 

A lot of training "used to be part of the training syllabuses", that aren't there today, so generalized blanket assumptions probably need to be checked out.  And if the trainers didn't think it was important it might not have been stressed or even mentioned if it was.  Maybe National should do a better job of training the trainers.

 

Barry

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Nothing you said changes my point of taking care of the team and the members of your team. You write a lot of words excusing personal responsibilities, but it's as simple as the life motto of, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."

 

Barry

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As I read through this thread I am reminded of how we sometimes discuss the different factors that contribute to loss of membership. To me, this aspect/problem with the program (Cub Scouts) that feeds more boys to Scouting than anything else, is a strong candidate to explain the decline. When I was CM I attempted to alert the district and the council to the importance of cubs to the future of scouting. I was talking to the hand it seems.

One more thing...as I read these very last responses, the finger of fate is starting to itch. Play nice.

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It's been a long week, & I feel like a deflated balloon.

I've been flanked and undermined

 

So after our poorly attended parent meeting where we discussed the possibility of drawing another deadline in the sand, and my staying through crossover next year....

 

I figured in the mean time, i would reach out again, individually to the parents in the younger dens that are the best candidates for the job.... making another recruiting attempt on my own

and I started to prepare for the beginning of next year either way....

But my goal was to leave the position "formally" open as long as possible so that someone might feel the need to step into it knowing that I was there to support them.

 

So I attend the round table last week, primarily for two reasons

 

1) to find out the dates for the sign-up night training... for the parent who expressed interest in helping with recruiting, and

2) to put a bug in the ear of our Field director/DE &/or the district commish about our problem

 

I barely get in the lobby with the commissioner yells across the room.... "I'll be there at your meeting tomorrow night!".... "who, me?... we're not having any meeting?".... so he looks at me puzzled, and he pulls out his smartphone.... "Yes, tomorrow night..." and goes on to name our CC and one of the dads who has resigned from the pack committee some time ago to take a more active troop role....

interesting....

So I called the CC who was unaware that the commish was invited.  Now he's ticked. 

& I'm put off that I'm getting end rounded and the CC is going along....

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