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Prepared

Leaving a Pack

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So last night, my wife an I decided to step down from our Treasurer and CM positions as well as pulling our son from our pack and moving him for the last 5 months of his Cub Scout life, all stemming from issues with the CC being disrespectful for the last time. It really makes me upset that issues with our committee chair drove us to leave and affect our son like this. My wife an I took over from the now CC who was the CM almost 2 years ago. The pack was slowly falling apart and the kids were not having any fun. Potential new parents were told to not join the pack and a lot of people were ready to quit scouting all together. My wife and I made a lot of changes concerning the pack meetings, the campouts, and the programs as a whole. The kids started to have more fun, the parents were happy with everything my wife and I were doing, the CC was staying out of our way (although she never did her job or helped us in any way) and things were good. Then all the leaders decided it was time to ask her to retire from the pack, so another parent (who has a kid in the pack) could take over as the CC. This started the downward spiral that eventually lead to us leaving and taking our son out. My issue with all of this is that I do not understand why someone who is so condescending and disrespectful to parents and volunteers would be allowed to stay and ruin the children's scout experience. My son was upset that we left, but understands because of the amount of unnecessary stress that was put on us. At what point will someone step up and address the issue of leaders who refuse to leave a pack when other parents want to step up and be leaders. The CC has been with the pack for, what she says, over 12 years and their son has just graduated high school. I am sorry for the rant, just wanted to get it off my chest somehow. I am really upset about this, I really cared about the pack and the kids in it. I just wanted to make things better for those Scouts and improve their Scouting experience, but was crapped on and told that I made it not fun for people and that they wanted to leave....

 

rant over...

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In any organization it's important to know the rules, formal and informal, that govern it.  When folks are ignorant of the rules, but try to exercise power, it will almost always fail --- and frankly it's the ignorance that is the cause.

 

However well meaning they may be, and however accurate their judgment, it's not for the leaders to ask a CC to step down.  The CC was selected by and reports to the Chartering Org Rep (COR), if the collected leaders wanted to change CCs the way to go was to approach the COR and work with that person to affect change.  Any other method was almost certainly destined for failure.

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T2Eagle -  Yes, that's what is says in the book, but in reality, how many CORs and chartering orgs really pick the unit's leaders?  I've never seen it yet in 40+ years.  We are lucky if they remember they sponsor a scout group and give us a place to meet.  Most units I have seen do their own recruiting and filling positions.  This seems like  a job for the Unit Commissioner.

 

Dale

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In any organization it's important to know the rules, formal and informal, that govern it.  When folks are ignorant of the rules, but try to exercise power, it will almost always fail --- and frankly it's the ignorance that is the cause.

 

However well meaning they may be, and however accurate their judgment, it's not for the leaders to ask a CC to step down.  The CC was selected by and reports to the Chartering Org Rep (COR), if the collected leaders wanted to change CCs the way to go was to approach the COR and work with that person to affect change.  Any other method was almost certainly destined for failure.

We knew that we could not actually make her leave. For us it was not a matter of removing her at that point, it was more of a please step down or we will go to the COR and ask that you be removed because of how you are treating us and the other parents. It was a courtesy to the CC, that is it. Our COR did not appoint the CC, the CC decided they were going to be the CC and the COR didn't argue. That CC also did not communicate with the COR, or anyone for that matter for a whole year. We were certain the COR would have agreed with us, just never got there.

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Are you sure you don't want to give this one more try?  If it is really as bad as you say, with your departure and the CC staying, it's quite likely that this Pack may soon cease to exist.  Even though Eagle90 is right and most CORs do little more than rubber stamp any adult applications handed to them and most Institutional Heads have no idea they evern are an IH, it is possible that the Chartered Org has a desire to sponsor a Scout Pack and may not want to see that Pack disband.

 

As Eagle90 said, if things were really this bad it is probably long past time to call in the Unit Commissioner.  Ultimately the UC has no power to decide who is doing what in a pack, but the UC may be able to bring the parties together and can also engage other District Resources as needed.  At the very least, the UC should know what is going on because the health of this Pack is certainly in jeopardy.

 

Thank you for the time you put in, it sounds like a challenging Pack to work with.  Also thanks for making sure your son continues in Scouting.  I hope you find a resolution no matter which path your decide to pursue.

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Agreed,  Your only course of action is to approach the COR about replacing the CC.   If the COR won't go along with that, there is nothing you can do.

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So, we tried the route of talking to the COR, but they decided that since the CC started acting like they were going to do their job....they could stay. My issue with that is we had so many issues before the CC left and things were better while the CC was gone. Once the CC came back they started doing the following;

 

Micromanaging jobs that I am responsible for

Telling people what to do, when they were doing it already as they are supposed to while the CC was gone

Disrespecting my wife and I about everything

Telling everyone that they were going to do jobs that are clearly my job, which I did while the CC was gone

 

The final straw was this;

 

We received an email from the CC saying that many parents approached them and have said they were scared to say anything to us and wanted to leave the pack because we were controlling and that we made it not fun for them anymore. (even though no one ever mentioned this to any other leader in the pack)

 

The CC then went on to say that an adult stated they wish they had my pack meeting plans (that I work on a lot to make on my own) so they knew what was going on during the pack meeting (even though no one has every said anything like that to me or anyone)

 

Finally, the CC stated that I must use the Pack meeting planning guide and report to them what my plans are before the leaders meeting. (not something I must do, as I said before I work really hard to make pack meeting plans)

 

I piece together various things throughout the interwebs that I find to make the pack meeting. I write out the cards for the opening, closing, and things like that well in advance to give to the den leaders for them to practice before the pack meeting. My wife and I did everything we were supposed to do and slightly more after the CC left, because they just abandoned us. We let everyone do their job and took on things people just didn't want to do, like Blue and Gold committee.

 

Really at this point, my wife and I are over the constant disrespect and it really pains me to be told that I am unapproachable and that people are not having fun, when I am told by nearly every kid that they are having fun and most parents thank me regularly for everything I do for the program. I put in a lot of work to make the pack better and keep it that way and the CC just came back and destroyed everything we did. We tried to stick it out and "deal" with the micromanaging and telling people what to do, but I cannot deal with disrespect.

 

The worse part about it is that if you were to say something to that individual they would say that if you knew them you would know they are not trying to be rude, they are just being direct and things like that. However, telling people what to do and telling them they are making it not fun for people is completely disrespectful and something I cannot be apart of.

 

Oh, and as far as I know the UC is best (wood badge) friends with our CC. I am not really sure if they are our UC, never knew who they were until the CC threw it out there that they were friends with the UC....I talked to the DE and they said they could talk to the COR, but knew it was really up to them and if they were ok with the pack having issues like that then that was their choice. It really is sad that people can take control from the hard workers so easily and no one can do anything about it. The only thing that makes me feel better is knowing karma is something that should not be messed with.

Edited by Prepared

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Since you have already decided to leave the pack and move on, I have no comments or suggestion to make regarding your former pack.

 

If your son has only 5 more months to go as a cub scout, it is now time for you to start looking at Boy Scout troops to determine which unit would be best for your family.  My suggestion is that you learn from your recent bad experience and look for a troop with an active Chartered Organization and a good COR.  

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Wow... thanks for the further details.  While many people think the Cubmaster is the most powerful position in the Pack, the reality is that the Committee Chair actually holds more power than the Cubmaster.  Many don't understand that and don't use the power, but since the CC signs the application for the Cubmaster, it's really the CC that holds the power.  If the Cubmaster quits, it falls to the CC to run the Pack Meetings and carry out the duties until a new Cubmaster can be selected.  If the Committee isn't staffed, ultimately it's up to the CC to make sure the jobs get done until the CC can recruit Committee Members.

 

With that said, you could go back to the COR and say, "Look, you can keep the CC if you'd like, but my wife and I can't work with her.  So you can keep one and lose two, or you can keep two and replace the CC with someone who can work well with me."  I don't know if that would work, but before I walked away from a Pack I'd give it a try.

 

The lesson to be learned here folks is to recruit a good Commitee Chair.  Find someone who understands Scouting, is helpful, and can be a leader (not a manager).  Stosh's posts on servant leadership come to mind - if you can find someone like that you'd be in good shape.  If you don't look for these traits in a Committee Chair you proceed at your own risk.  You might get a good one, or the Cubmaster might need to step up and take on more leadership than they should, or you might end up with a dud.

 

If you've really decided to quit, you might talk to your District Exec to find out if there is a Pack that needs a good Cubmaster.  I know in our District we have Packs that would love to have a family like yours right now, even if it is only for a few months.

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T2Eagle -  Yes, that's what is says in the book, but in reality, how many CORs and chartering orgs really pick the unit's leaders?  I've never seen it yet in 40+ years.  We are lucky if they remember they sponsor a scout group and give us a place to meet.  Most units I have seen do their own recruiting and filling positions.  This seems like  a job for the Unit Commissioner.

 

Dale

 

I don't know of any statistics that show how many Chartered Organizations really pick the units leaders, but I would be very interested to see it if someone actually has that information.

 

Has this forum ever done a poll on this question?

 

I am very surprised that T2Eagle hasn't seen it once in 40+ years of scouting.

 

My Chartered Organization very definitely chooses the leadership.   I think it is better this way, because it stops all of this petty bickering and political in-fighting.

Edited by David CO
  • Upvote 1

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I'm not siding with the other guys, or trying to be mean or anything like that. But, once the dust settles from something like this, you'll want to pull the silk purse out of the sow's ear. So a little introspection:

 

...

I piece together various things throughout the interwebs that I find to make the pack meeting. I write out the cards for the opening, closing, and things like that well in advance to give to the den leaders for them to practice before the pack meeting. My wife and I did everything we were supposed to do and slightly more after the CC left, because they just abandoned us. We let everyone do their job and took on things people just didn't want to do, like Blue and Gold committee.

...

 

This, to me, would come off as extremely controlling. I want a CM who tells me and my den, "You will have 5 minutes at the pack meeting for ___. Got it?"

 

When you find that boy scout troop for your son (which I hope you will do), there's a whole lot of going off script and (within parameters of safety) making it up as you go along.

Could they use a manager like you for certain things? Most certainly.

Will you need to tone it down more than you've ever done? Yep.

 

Think of it as an organizational "trust fall" and brace yourself for occasional bruises when people let you down. But, come up laughing every time.

Edited by qwazse

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I don't know of any statistics that show how many Chartered Organizations really pick the units leaders, but I would be very interested to see it if someone actually has that information.

 

Has this forum ever done a poll on this question?

 

I am very surprised that T2Eagle hasn't seen it once in 40+ years of scouting.

 

My Chartered Organization very definitely chooses the leadership.   I think it is better this way, because it stops all of this petty bickering and political in-fighting.

My CO is distressed. So, they haven't even given me a COR for this year!

My DE basically said, "Pick someone."

Tail wags the dog.

I don't like it, but there it is.

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I've been both a CM and Pack CC.  I'm a troop CC today.

 

One thing I've learned in this time is that a good CM/CC relationship is important.  If those two people are not working together, problems occur.  It seems like I'm talking with or emailing the CM (or in my case SM today) 3-4 times a week.  We're constantly in contact.  Do we always agree - nope.  Do I probably micromanage in some places - I'm sure I do.  However, I know what's important to the CM/SM and he knows what's important to me.  Reading your post, it sounds like that might not be happening here.

 

If things are really bad, then go have a friendly drink with the CC and find out what's up.  Why is the CC doing this?

 

My guess is that it is either:

1- the CC has a view of how she thinks things should work and you're not in line with that

2- the CC is hearing complaints from some families and is trying to deal with it

3- the CC really is a power hungry volunteer.

 

Though I listed #3, I'd be a bit surprised if that's the case.  Sure it happens, but I don't think it's usually the case.  More likely, it's #1 or #2 and the CC is trying to "correct" something.  Now, it's entirely possible the CC is trying to correct something that's not broken.  But if you and she are at odds, then she isn't talking with you about it and can't really understand what you're trying to do.

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We're one ministry in a very large parish, so we're mostly left to our own devices so long as there's not a problem, just like CYO, Men's basketball league, and most of the other non-Liturgical ministries.  But the parish would step in if they had to, and if you're talking about getting a CC to resign you're probably at that point. In other units I've seen Chartering Orgs step in when the unit is struggling, when the COR happens to be a life long scouter who really understands the role, and like in the situation here when the adults fundamentally can't get along.

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My Chartered Organization very definitely chooses the leadership.   I think it is better this way, because it stops all of this petty bickering and political in-fighting.

 

 

For the Pack and Troop, the future leaders are selected by the current leaders.  As Cubmaster, I had to recruit my successor.  The Committee Chair in our Pack was a ceremonial position.  The Cubmaster ran the program, recruited the Den Leaders and was the face of the Pack in front of the boys.  For the Troop, I've been active as an ASM for three and a half years and asked by the current SM and CC to step up and be SM at the end of this school year.  The CC of the Troop is more involved than at the Pack but very much works in coordination with the SM.  The three of us have been engaged in filling the other positions necessary for the Troop over the past couple of years as people's children aged out.  For the Crew, the COR asked if I'd be the Advisor early on in the process of forming the crew and I accepted.  I worked with the COR to put the other adults into assistant advisor and committee positions based on which positions those people wanted.

 

In the 9 years I've been involved, there hasn't been any petty bickering or political in-fighting.  There has always been a core group of adults who "get it" and want to put the needs of the boys (and girls!) first.

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