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Cubmaster vs Committee Chair

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Hi All,


I have a silly question. But what was supposed to be the division of work from committee chair and cubmaster?

So far I'm the new committee chair and I'm in charge of all paperwork, advancements, activity planning (when a den is not in charge), year planning, .... so I'm really not sure what the cubmaster is supposed to do besides presiding the flag ceremony and closing....


Can you give me some examples how do you guys work on? We are a small pack, so our committee is mainly me, cubmaster, treasurer and den leaders. No other parent volunteer - We are still trying to work on that...

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Posted (edited)

ladybug_scout, first of all, welcome to the forum!


My understanding of the Cubmaster's role boils down to:


1, Plan and run the pack meetings;


2, Communicate with, and when necessary supervise, the den leaders to make sure everything is going smoothly with the dens and to make sure the dens participate in pack meetings and other pack activities;


3, Work with the pack committee to make sure all activities receive whatever support is necessary.


The BSA has a more detailed view of the subject, as I found in this training syllabus for Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmaster Specific Training at http://www.scouting.org/filestore/training/pdf/511-503_WB.pdf.  This includes some instructions to the trainer, but most of it is a list of what the Cubmaster's role is:


The Cubmaster’s Role


Inform the participants that they and the den leaders, with the support of the committee members,

are the leadership team that makes the pack go. In general, the Cubmaster is the guiding hand

behind the work of the other pack leaders and serves as the program advisor to the pack committee.

He or she is a recruiter, supervisor, director, planner, and motivator of other leaders.


The Cubmaster’s main responsibilities include:


• Work directly with the pack trainer, den leaders, den chiefs, pack committee chair, and

committee members to make sure that all dens are functioning well.

• Ensure that all den leaders have completed Youth Protection training and Den Leader

Position-Specific Training.

• Work as a team with the pack committee chair and pack trainer to recruit, educate, guide,

support, motivate, and inspire the other adult leaders.

• With the help of other leaders, plan quality, year-round den and pack programs filled with

fun and activities.

• Lead the monthly pack meetings with the help of others, involving all dens in some way.

• Conduct impressive advancement, recognition, and graduation ceremonies. For Webelos crossover

ceremonies, involve Scoutmasters, the Order of the Arrow, and other Boy Scout leaders.

• Coordinate pack membership, recruiting, and transition.

• Maintain good relationships with parents and guardians. Seek their support and include them

in activities.

• Request den chiefs for all Cub Scout dens and, after selection, see that they are trained.

Recognize the den chiefs at pack meetings.

• Establish and maintain good relationships with Boy Scout troops that your Webleos Scouts

may work with and/or join.

• Know about and use the appropriate and available literature (point out the current versions

of those publications, which should be on display in the room).

• Attend monthly roundtables.


Based on your post, it sounds to me like your Cubmaster is probably less involved in planning the pack activities than he/she should be, and that if all he/she is doing at pack meetings is to run the opening and closing ceremonies, there's probably something missing in between.

Edited by NJCubScouter
  • Upvote 2

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I think this is a common area of confusion, and perhaps misapplication of the roles as intended.

In the real world, I think it really boils down to the people involved, and who is willing to do what....and whatever that shakes out to be is kind of ok

To answer your question as to what we did (& I'm not by any means saying I think this is the way it should be, because I do not think that it is.)


Our CC did very little except to call and preside over committee meetings.  Kind of acted like a moderator or mediator in a way.  He never attended pack meetings or events and did not have a scout in the pack (he was also the Scoutmaster of the troop)


As CM, I planned pack meetings and acted as em-cee / clown for the pack meetings

I fielded questions from everyone, did my best to encourage Den Leaders, did my best to solicit help from other parents and scouters to pick-up an outing to run or an event to lead.... tried to encourage the den leaders to have skits or something for the meetings, did most of the paperwork, etc...


To boil down my understanding of how it "should be"

I think of it as
the CC is in charge of the unit.  You are the one that hires the CubMaster and Den Leaders, you direct the program from the high administrative level behind the scenes, and you set the "tone" or "direction"

The CM is more of the face or figure head, and is the entertainment.  The person doing the scouting stuff, and is planning (with the help of others) the "monthly show" & events and seeing them through.

and the DL's are taking that teaching and entertainment down to the actual rank and advancement level on a "weekly show" basis


It's important for the CC and the CM to be on the same page and in agreement.

I think a really great read for you and your CM, even though it's not about pack life but instead in a boy scout troop, is "So Far So Good a New Scoutmaster's Story" by Clarke Green

I like this because it gives a good taste of two things

1) the relationship between the CC and Scout Master (sort of like the CM, but a little bit different)

2) give you a look way ahead into the future to see where these scouts are going towards...the Patrol method.  I wish that I had know more about the patrol method when I was CM.  I think I could have done a better job using parts of the concept at the pack level, and especially helping the Bears and WEBELOS

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Posted (edited)

I did not put in my post how things actually worked in the pack I was a leader in, because it wouldn't have been of much use to the original poster... because we did not do things the right way either. We really had the opposite issue, with the Cubmaster doing that job as well as the job of the Committee Chair.   But in that case, the Cubmaster knew he was doing both jobs.  In ladybug's case it sounds like she is doing part of the Cubmaster's job, because she was told these things are part of the CC's job.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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I had a lot of people ask me this the last time a ran a council Cub Leader training session, so I worked out this list based off of materials from the official BSA site, various training resources, and a survey of Cubmasters and Committee Chairs I knew who were running successful programs - mind you, it's just an overview and not meant to be comprehensive. Also, every committee is going to be different. We have had great success with this "division" of labor in our unit, and naturally there is some interchange between the two roles, but in general you might find the two separated thusly:


The Cubmaster

The Cubmaster is "The Face" of the Cub Scouting program in his Pack. He runs Pack Meetings and oversees the progress and training of the Cub Scouts and their leaders. Some of his responsibilities include:

-        Ensuring that all den leaders are trained and that they are fully implementing the Cub Scout program in their meetings

-        Overseeing the progress of the boys in the pack and helping towards their advancement when needed

-        Leading engaging and exciting Pack Meetings that are impressive opportunities for the boys to be recognized for their efforts and progress

-        Meeting with the Scoutmasters, 11-year-old leaders, and Unit Commissioners to establish plans for the Webelos Scouts’ transition to the Boy Scout meetings

-        Attend district round table meetings to obtain important information on programs and training to relay back to the pack and den leadership

-        Encourage high standards of uniforming, conduct, and advancement progress at the den and pack levels

More information on the Cubmasters duties can be found at:



The Cub Committee Chair

The Cub Committee Chair is "The Brains" of the Cub Scout Pack. He leads the committee meetings and is responsible for the planning and organization of pack activities. His duties should include:

-        Conducting well-planned committee meetings and ensuring that they are centered on the advancement and spiritual progress of the boys and families in the pack

-        Ensuring building reservations for monthly meetings and providing for all pack materials to be ready for every pack meeting

-        Working with the Chartered Organization representatives to help meet the needs of the individual boys and their families through the Cub Scout committee

-        Planning the year, creating monthly agendas, and delegating the responsibilities of each Pack Meeting with the Cubmaster

-        Communicating with families and committee members about important pack events and needs

-        Ensuring that every den and boy has the materials they need to run a successful Cub Scout program

-        Encourage high standards of uniforming, conduct, and leadership at the pack and committee level

More information on the Chair’s duties can be found at:



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@ladybug_scout Welcome to the forum!


I have found over the years that if I lay out expectations before hand goes a long way to keep things civilized.  The reference resources listed above are a great start so that everyone has some idea of what is expected of them.


Just recently I started a new troop.  I as SM have certain responsibilities that need to get done and I'm not a crack-shot ace on some of those requirements.  So I have ASM's to help out.  For example, I do my best to make sure my boys are on-task with advancement.  So I have an ASM that does all the paperwork for this process so I have an idea of what I need to be doing.  Every meeting my ASM shows up with a current report showing where everyone stands with their advancement.  When we do a requirement, I simply circle the advancement the scout has completed.  He then goes to each boy and updates their books and then records it in the membership software.  The report the next week reflects these changes.  It is a god-send to me to have him do this and I can focus my time working with the scouts rather than burn up all my energy doing paperwork.  The recharter shows up on my radar and I take the packet to the CC and ask her if this is something she can handle and make sure all the expectations are laid out to be successful and let her know if there are any bumps in the road, to let me know and we'll work it out together.  After a couple of times, I now just hand her the packet and say thanks!  It works because there are no more surprises that they haven't covered in past years.  Let me know if something has changed and we'll work it out.


It's kinda like everyone is involved, but everyone knows their responsibilities and does them.  If there's a problem, let everyone know and we all jump in to make it work for the boys.


No one gets left out in the cold not knowing what is expected of them and who to turn to when there's a problem.


I don't do their job and they don't do mine.  Everyone tends to be quite happy with this setup.


Now if your CM is having a problem, the CC is there to help and vice-versa.  There's no letting things smolder until someone's reached the end of their rope and blows up.  People know long before they get to that point, who's there to help out in a timely manner.  It also insures I know what is expected of me and if I don't need help, no one's going to jump in and interfere with a whole raft of unwanted assistance.


It's all part of taking care of your people.  I know I can't do it all, but I have a team of people that together we can make it work.

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Welcome to the forum ladybug_scout!


If you have not, I'd suggest looking over the Cubmaster & Committe Chair position descriptions on the BSA website.  Google "Pack Committee" and "Cubmaster".


As I see it, the CC is the leader of the team of adults who together run the pack.  The individual adults who volunteer in the pack are part of the CC's team.  The Cubmaster is part of that team.


Ultimately the Committee Chair is responsible for making sure that all the functions of the pack are covered, getting done, and getting done well.  It's not the job of the CC to do all the tasks them self.  In a large pack, the CC's job is pretty much all leadership and management - making sure you've got sufficient adult volunteers, that those adults understand their roles, that those adults are getting things done.  In a small pack, the CC may do some of those jobs them self.


The Cubmaster is responsible for the program of the pack.  The Committee sets broad goals on what that program is, but the Cubmaster implements it.  That means the CM is responsible for pack meetings, pack activities, providing leadership to den leaders.  It's not the Cubmaster's job to do all the work himself, but the CM leads the effort.

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hHi ladybug_scout,


I wanted to add.  In your situation where you've got: Cubmaster, Committee Chair, Treasurer, & Den Leaders


Myself, I'd look at splitting up the tasks somewhere along the lines of:

Cubmaster - plans pack level activities - pack meetings, campouts, and other pack level activities

Den leaders - plan den meetings and other den level activities.  Provide manpower for pack activities

Treasurer - manage finances and registration of the scouts

Committee Chair - recharter, membership, and volunteer recruitment.


I'd find yourself an advancement chair ASAP.

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I'd find yourself an advancement chair ASAP.


My 2 cents....

I'd prioritize an outdoor committee person over advancement.

Someone to organize campouts or trips.

...because I see that as the core or most fun part of the program and it deserves attention....and the DL's probably track their own advancement anyway


What we did

the den leaders  pretty much handled tracking the advancement and awards for their own dens.  I tried really hard and eventually found a person to be our advancement chair, with the one of her primary roles of buying the patches and stuff and helping the DL's get organized with it.  My approach was that the DL's are among the hardest working scouters and I tried to do anything I could to help streamline for them.

Well the advancement chair would need the info way ahead of the meetings in order to arrange a trip to the shop, but the DL's would almost always wait till the last minute anyway....usually what would happen is A DL in need of stuff would message out 0-1 days ahead asking if anyone is going to the store...sometimes a person that happened by would message out I'm going does anyone need anything. Sometimes it worked but most times it didn't....but the advancement chair would be bypassed 99% of the time anyway so it didn't work.


For outings, we tried to "camp" 2-3 times per "school year" + 1 overnight sleep-in type trip...and would fish for a parent or scouter to chair the event (make reservations, organize the roster, make communications, etc..)  It got to the point where we camped less and did less because nobody would step up to do it.....but I found this sad because this is the thing the scouts enjoyed most and where memories were made.  For us the sleep in events were always the biggest hit  (sleep on the aircraft carrier, sleep under the shuttle at Kennedy Space Center, Sleep with the whales at Sea World, etc....).

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