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Momleader

Recruitment & overwhelmed - normal?

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Holy moly I think I’m going to lose my mind.   This fall will mark my 15th with our Cub Pack in town.  I’m honestly feeling quite overwhelmed with recruiting, popcorn kernaling and scheduling for program this fall. 

Like the rest of the country we essentially lost half a year of scouting because of the virus now our council will be offering online signups to families where families can pay their new joining fees directly to the council so essentially their September- December fees. Nevermind we the pack will need to be responsible for acting as the collection agency for January - December 2021 (which is due 12/1/20 at recharter).  The fee increases aren’t helping - last year fees increased after our joining event so the pack ate it at almost $20/cub. This year it’s up another $30!  

Thankfulky I have all our required forms (emergency contact, photo releases, BSA health forms and pack info & intro flyer ready to roll out) but we still don’t have a clue of what school will look like in September.  We can’t schedule den/pack meetings because our CO (Church) is debating letting any groups meet there and schools haven’t decided either, we can’t schedule camp outs because council camps are closed and our state still has a limit on gatherings over 25 people.  

We’re have families who feel their kids didn’t get the full experience they paid for this spring and have mentioned it - Because events were cancelled - we honestly tried zoom meetings but a lot of leader/parents were just treading water With jobs, instant homeschooling, The uncertainty - state mandated stay at home orders messed up the last 3 big events. 

We have had district mergers and so far programming committee positions have to be applied for and interviewed for by the appointed new district committee key 3 - at this rate how will things kick off by September?  But we were reminded at virtual Roundtable to enter our JTE stuff 🤦‍♀️ And grow the unit!  

Anyone else feeling overwhelmed and worn down before the race has started?

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I'm Scoutmaster of my Troop, Committee Chair & Den Leader in a Pack.  I find the Troop situation 1000% easier with Covid than the Pack. 

Very few scouts (or leaders or parents) are motivated by the advancements in Cub Scouts (at least based on what I have seen).    So, I think they struggle with the point of remote Pack/Den meetings.  The best Pack/Den meetings were active (songs, skits, games, etc.).  Camping, hiking, PWD would then round out the year.  We had very little enthusiasm for zoom meetings with Cub Scouts.  We cancelled 3 campouts, several hikes and other activities … and now we are supposed to go and ask for higher fees this fall … UGH!  On top of that, our council cash situation is bad and they are pushing FOS & fundraisers.  I have a hard time selling Cub Scouts at this point in time.  We will do our best, but I expect a rough fall/spring.

My Troop has faired better, though it has been rough.  We were able to go to Summer Camp, several are headed to BWCA and we have held 4 Eagle Scout projects since the outbreak.  Remote MB clinics are helpful and we can keep the scouts engaged.  Plus, you don't need to sell scouting to the youth … they know what scouts will be when we return to normal (perhaps some risk with recent crossovers).

I know council is pushing us to keep 75% of our existing scouts then add recruitment on top.  My goal is to prevent our Pack from folding.  

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My suggestion is to tell the district and council to...well...go have a nice day.

Our troop zoomed in the spring and we managed to hold an actual week of summer camp, run by the troop, last week.  Now the challenge is fall.  Schools are on-line, the CO (church) is not meeting so concerned about the optics of possible meeting when everything is shut down.  We have a calendar, but not sure it will be implemented.  Parents want us to go camping.

As for edicts from the council / district, who cares.  Our main concern and focus is the unit.  If you are hoping the district or the council will provide quality program, likely that will not happen.  The summer camp is great, but we do not do the camporees etc.  We are working to keep our Scouts active, have had 3 EBOR's during the pandemic.  Also advancement continues.

Own YOUR program.  Do YOUR best to run a FUN and quality PROGRAM for YOUR members.  That is the focus.  Not JTE, popcorn, roundtables, FOS, district committee meetings, etc.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Momleader said:

We’re have families who feel their kids didn’t get the full experience they paid for this spring

Well of course they feel that way.  They're absolutely right.  They didn't get what they paid for.  They paid for a full year of activities and only got half.  No refunds on the registration fees.

What's worse, if we're going to be totally honest with our parents, is that we can all expect the same thing to happen again this year.  The only difference is that this year's fees have gone up.  

Compare this with the fact that many other youth activities are offering refunds if they get cancelled.  It's very hard to compete with other organizations when they treat their participants more fairly than we do.

 

 

Edited by David CO

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5 hours ago, Momleader said:


Like the rest of the country we essentially lost half a year of scouting because of the virus now our council will be offering online signups to families where families can pay their new joining fees directly to the council so essentially their September- December fees. Nevermind we the pack will need to be responsible for acting as the collection agency for January - December 2021 (which is due 12/1/20 at recharter).  The fee increases aren’t helping - last year fees increased after our joining event so the pack ate it at almost $20/cub. This year it’s up another $30!  

 

Councils are suppose to support units, not units support the council. Focus on your existing Cub Scouts and families.

If your council is offering online signups, make sure someone in the pack STAYS ON TOP OF YOUR COUNCIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There was 1 year where the DE did not coordinate with the packs, he did it all for them, and it was a major charley foxtrot. Compounding that issue was A. a minor hurricane that caused packs not to meet and B. a major district Cub Scout event called Cubmobile. Cubmobile is the first event these new Cubs went to, and no one knew what packs they signed up for. We had Cubs signed up with one Pack, and ended up actually joining another pack they met at the Cubmobile. Charter that year was a mess.

5 hours ago, Momleader said:

Thankfulky I have all our required forms (emergency contact, photo releases, BSA health forms and pack info & intro flyer ready to roll out) but we still don’t have a clue of what school will look like in September.  We can’t schedule den/pack meetings because our CO (Church) is debating letting any groups meet there and schools haven’t decided either, we can’t schedule camp outs because council camps are closed and our state still has a limit on gatherings over 25 people.  

Can you meet outside?  What about dens meeting at folk's home?  And Webelos Dens, with properly trained adults (Pre2019  WeLOT and BALOO or 2019 BALOO) can camp with out the pack, and that is something I recomend: camping by den to get them use to Scouts BSA.

 

5 hours ago, Momleader said:

We’re have families who feel their kids didn’t get the full experience they paid for this spring and have mentioned it - Because events were cancelled - we honestly tried zoom meetings but a lot of leader/parents were just treading water With jobs, instant homeschooling, The uncertainty - state mandated stay at home orders messed up the last 3 big events. 

Most families understand things beyond your control

 

 

5 hours ago, Momleader said:

We have had district mergers and so far programming committee positions have to be applied for and interviewed for by the appointed new district committee key 3 - at this rate how will things kick off by September?  But we were reminded at virtual Roundtable to enter our JTE stuff 🤦‍♀️ And grow the unit!  

FORGET JOURNEY TO EXCELLENCE AND FOCUS ON KEEPING THE PACK ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Emphasis) While JTE  is used to judge qualities of units, districts, and councils, this not a normal year. It is more important that the pack survives

 

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3 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

 

Most families understand things beyond your control

 

That may well be true.  Families might be very understanding about it not being your fault, but they might drop out of scouting anyway.  Nothing personal.  Some other program or activity is offering them a better deal.

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Considering the need for isolation bubbles that folks in some parts feel, would this be a time to switch from age-based dens to dens of nearest neighbors?

Regarding JTE ... so you get bronze or lower. What’s the big deal?

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Are you actually doing recruiting, popcorn, program, fliers, and forms?  Or are you coordinating a committee to do those things?  If the former, it's time to stop and recruit a committee.

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What size unit are you dealing with?  We have been able to hold 1 pack and troop activity each month; but we have a small pack and a small troop (less than 10 scouts in each).  All activities have been outdoors.  

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