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amg4814

Looking to move to a new pack, need advice

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I need advice, I don't know if I'm being petty or if should move to a different pack. We decided to sign up my son with pack that's associated with his school. After the first recruitment meeting I seriously considered choosing another pack to join because it seemed as if they were disorganized. This is the third year they have been a Pack. The Cub Master is new to the position as well as the Committee Chair member. They are a fairly small pack and does not appear to be very active. I spoke to some other nearby packs when I was deciding if we should join elsewhere they were more than willing to take us. I ultimately decided to stay with my son's school because most of the mothers in the Tiger Den felt it would be better if I just stayed with the school. I should also mention that I am The Tiger Den Leader and my husband has his Eagle, so he's familiar with scouting. He wasn't too impressed either but we just decided to give them a try.

First issue: I jumped right in and for trained as a den leader for my den. I found out later after attempting to turn in Scout and Adult applications that the new Cub Master has not been trained yet therefore, he was unable to sign any of our new applications. We had to wait 2 months for the former Cub Master to sign everything.

Second issue: The Cub Master has missed several pack meetings and a was extremely late to our first Leadership meeting of the year. I do understand that this is a volunteer position, so I know he probably won't be able to attend everything but so far he's missed over half of our meetings.

Third Issue: I signed up to be help the person over activities. Every idea I have had has been shot down. "Oh no, we can't do that!" I shared some ideas with the Cub Master regarding ceremonits which I heard about at my training and he said "He didn't have the time do any of that." The Cub Master who came up with the ideas must not have a job or a family, which is untrue. I've spoken with other Pack Leaders in my area and they very active. And the suggestions I made to my Pack which were shot down when other Packs have gotten approved by Council. I don't understand how they assume they would be told no?

Fourth Issue: The Pack vigorously promoted a council organized Halloween Camp Out. We signed up to go. Come to find out, we were one of two families who signed up. The Pack scheduled a fundraiser on the same day as the camp out and everyone attended that instead. We went to the Halloween event and the other parent who attended commented that he didn't know what to bring to the Halloween Camp Out because he has never camped outside before! The father and his son has been with this pack for 4 years!!! Isn't camping part of Scouting?!

Final Issue: Awful Communication! The Committee chair seems to always be confused about what's going on. He's really nice guy but seems overwhelmed because he has had to take on Cub Master duties in addition to Committee chair duties. They gave everyone a calendar at the first meeting and several Pack Outings have been cancelled without notice. Leaving myself and the other parents in my den confused.

I am thinking of moving to a well established pack that better organized and has more activities and outings. Am I being petty or is it time to move on?

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Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your service to the boys.

 

Here's the test: are your boys smiling?

 

The trick to cub scouts:

Most of the boys activity is in the den. If the den is proceeding smoothly, that's 3/4 of the program.

Cub scouts really isn't about camping. I spent a lot of time helping other parents my sons' ages get up to speed with camping. We had a great time. On the other hand, other parents helped get my kids up to speed in other areas (stock car racing, trucking, search and rescue). We had a great time.

 

Sounds like you're gonna have to listen closely to your pack leadership. If they keep brushing you off, you may want to look elsewhere. If the boys are still smiling, you might rather put up with their shenanigans.

 

I'm sorry if what I'm saying is not validating your desire to move on. I'm not calling you flat-out petty either. Just remember: smiles are your paycheck. Some folks would say that opinion of mine is kinda petty too. But, it's carried me through a bunch of crap-throwing over so-and-so's "incompetence."

Edited by qwazse
  • Upvote 1

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Welcome to the forum.  And thanks for helping out.

 

I have found out over the years that many times, what appears to be greener grass on the other side of the fence still needs as much mowing and if it's greener probably has had more intensive work to keep it up. 

 

With that being said, I would focus on the boys one has been given responsibility for and let the others tend to their tasks.  No. It's not idea, but it can be for the boys in your den.

 

I have been a commissioner for a Pack that has a CubMaster.... period.  He holds a pack meeting once a month and has other adults work with him to get the boys out of an activity of some sort.  No dens, no awards, nothing but those two meetings.  The parents seem to like it because it is no commitment on their part and their boys seem to be having fun. 

 

I'm thinking that what people want is what they make of it.  If one is going to rely on others to make it, they need to be able to accept it as is, or work to make it what they want out of it.

 

I was gone 5 weeks this summer with another commitment.  I run a boy-led, patrol-method Boy Scout troop.  I have 8 boys so it's only one patrol.  When I left things were running pretty smoothly, but when I returned the ASM's had basically turned everything around.  The boys were told to take 10 minutes after flags for their "patrol meeting" then come back over to where the adults were for the troop meeting that the adults would be running.  It took a few glaring stares on their part, but they all seemed to accept the consensus of the boys that the "troop" consisted of the one patrol and the SM says they are to be running the show.  At the end just before closing flags, the adults were given 5 minutes to make their brief announcements.  I know that as soon as I step down as SM, the troop will revert back to adult-led, but until then, we're boy-led.

 

Have I had people not want a boy-led program for their boys?  Yep, they transfer out to high-profile adult-led programs all the time. What boy in his right mind wouldn't want the adults to cater a high adventure experience at no effort on their part?  This is why boys from these kinds of troops can't start a campfire.  :)

Edited by Stosh

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I think you are getting some misinformation, particularly in regard to who can, and cannot, sign application forms.

 

I am not aware of any rule that would prohibit an untrained leader from signing a document, such as an application form.

 

I'm also pretty certain that the former CM can't sign anything.  It doesn't really matter how much training he/she has had, or what positions of responsibility he/she has held in the past.  

 

Of course, if the former CM now holds a new position of responsibility, such as CC or COR, that would be different. But in that case, you should probably refer to him/her by his/her current POS, and not as the former CM. 

 

In my unit, the Chartered Organization (COR or IH)  reserves the right to approve and sign off on all adult applications.  

Edited by David CO
  • Upvote 1

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Hi David,

 

I was told by the Committee Chair that the current Cub Master was unable to sign off on any of the adult applications because they had to go through the former Cub Master because the new Cub Master had not completed the required training. Previous to that I tried to give my application to the CC several times and he said just hold onto it, we have to find time for the former CM to sign it. So maybe the CC is confused?

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I forgot to say, I don't know what the "former Cub Master's" position is now. I know that the current CM and CC refer to him as the "former Cub Master". I do know he moved on to follow two of his son's who are in a Boy Scout Pack now. One of his son's is still in the Cub Scout pack. He was the founder of this pack three years ago whwn he decided to split off from an existing pack and form his own Pack. From what I've been told things ran smoothly under him.

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Some volunteers in scouting will hold more than one position and do more than one job.  This might be OK if you are an experience scout leader and you have the time.

 

If you are a new scout leader, I would strongly advise you to limit your involvement to just one job.  Den Leader is a great position for a new scout leader.

 

Let someone else plan pack activities.  Let someone else worry worry about pack leadership. You have a big enough job with your Tiger Den.

 

I know that it is tempting to get more involved in the pack, particularly when you see that things aren't being done right.  Try to resist that urge.  

 

I have seen many new scout leaders become overwhelmed and discouraged because they took on too much too soon.  Some left the unit.  Some left scouting altogether.

 

I very much hope that doesn't happen to you.  

Edited by David CO

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If the "former CM" is no longer registered as a Cub Scout Leader in the pack, he/she shouldn't be signing anything.

 

I would check with the DE to find out what's really going on with the pack and who signs what.  It's not going to be a good thing to get down the trail a bit and find out one isn't even a registered scout leader and you're driving kids around on a regular basis.

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Yes, Stosh that's what worries me. Sone thing seems off. I've never met the "former CM" but the Pack has to have him sign everything. It seems weird to me. The only explanation I've been given is that the current CM has not completed the required training to "officially become the CM".

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Yes, Stosh that's what worries me. Sone thing seems off. I've never met the "former CM" but the Pack has to have him sign everything. It seems weird to me. The only explanation I've been given is that the current CM has not completed the required training to "officially become the CM".

 

He is "official" the minute the CM's registration form is turned into the council.  The "Old CM's" position officially expires when he is removed from the BSA for some infraction or his registration expires at recharter time.

 

I don't know what happens to his pack registration during a $1 transfer which may have occurred when he moved from pack to troop.  Someone with a pay grade higher than mine might know what the policy on that is.  My "guess" would be on a transfer, the registration from unit A ceases when registration to unit B is finalized in the council office.

 

As far as training goes, that has no bearing on a person's registration.  If one needed to be trained BEFORE their position was official, then a large number of scouters around the country would be in a heap of trouble.

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So then why would CC tell me that? I'm so confused now! I think the Leadership is confused too. I guess it comes down to do I want to wait it out and see if the Pack Organization improves or move before my son gets really into it. If I ultimately decide to move I'm not exactly sure how to tell them we are leaving. I feel bad because I'm the Den Leader and the Co-Den Leader is not very involved.

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Maybe the new guy isn't registered yet. I know some units just hold new applications until recharter.

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If I were to guess, the former CM is now Charter Organization Rep (COR). That's why his signature matters. He probably wanted to be sure that the new CM had his ducks in a row, because at the end of the year, if he's not trained the charter gets kicked back from BSA national. Keeping leaders trained has been increasingly challenging, and some councils are more demanding that this happens than others.

 

If I were you, I would line up fun things for your den. Look for help from each of the parents, not just your co-leader. Ask each one to take on "leading" the special activity.

 

Boys invest quickly in any friends they make. Leverage that investment. Pack events then become a side show.

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As a unit, what the pack does is pretty much irrelevant to the general operation of the den.  If the pack activity sounds like your boys would like it, go for it.  If not, ignore it.  My boys just got back from an out-of-council activity that sounded like more fun than what the council was offering.  No big deal.  If the council doesn't like it, improve the program and my boys might reconsider next time.

 

Run your den the way you would like, if the pack comes up with something that sounds like fun for your boys..... go for it.  Otherwise if one is going to put a lot of energy into some activity, make it a den activity and let the pack committee worry about the big pack activities.  If one signs on as a den leader, then be a den leader.  Period.

  • Upvote 1

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I think you need to talk to your Unit Commissioner (if you have one) or the District Executive (a paid, professional Scouter) for your District.  In most cases, training should have nothing to do with signing applications.  The BSA is starting to push in that direction - that only trained front line leaders can be registered (Cubmasters, Den Leaders, Scoutmasters), but in our Council that won't start until we recharter for 2018 (about a year from now).  It was supposed to start for 2017 but was pushed out a year.  We'll see whether it really happens next year.

 

What will prevent someone from signing an application is them not being properly registered in their position.  Every time you change a role in Scouting, you must fill out another Adult Application.  So changing from Den Leader to Cubmaster requires a new application.  If the Cubmaster didn't turn in an application when he assumed that role, then he isn't official in the BSA system.  In that case, the previous Cubmaster might still be in the system.  Your Unit Commissioner or District Executive should be able to check this.

 

It sounds like your unit may need some friendly coaching from a Unit Commissioner.  I wish to say it is rare, but sadly many Cub Scout packs have inexperienced leaders, many of whom haven't been properly trained, and they try to do too much without asking for help.  If everyone did their role - Cubmasters running Pack meetings, Den Leaders running Den Meetings, and Committee handling finances and the backend stuff, our Packs would all run great.  Yet out of 50 Packs in my District I'd bet less than half are functioning well, the others have one issue or another.  Commissioners like me try to work with these Packs, and it is probably better if they jump in to help now while the problems are small(er) before the Pack starts to fail.  Fixing a failing Pack is a lot harder than fixing a Pack that just needs a little coaching and direction.

Edited by meyerc13

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