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How do you counter "I'm too busy to be involved" in Cub Scouting?


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2 minutes ago, Cambridgeskip said:

Silly question but why not? Again I know I type from another country but whats wrong with an adult without a kid in the unit? My troop doesn't have any parent leaders at all, in fact I don't even have any kids of my own at all. Is this a specifically BSA thing not to have non parent leaders?

Bylaws state that all adults must have a child in the pack.  Only exception is the COR.  There's a big difference between a troop and a pack.  

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Death is a strong word. Worst case scenario is the pack will be dissolved. Let me rephrase: Your family didn't fund the entire program, you all enabled a co-dependent relationship.

Not really.  For the bulk of the small committee jobs, there's no need to become a registered leader.  Any parent can be the popcorn person.  Any parent can find places to go for outings.  Any parent

We have it in our by-laws, with some exceptions - spouse deployed, single parent family with no supporting adults.  It's just really insulting when a stay-at-home parent tells 4 people who work full t

30 minutes ago, qwazse said:

There's a whole lot going on at the cub level. Just being a parent doesn't qualify them. They've had at least five years to find out how talented with kids they are (or not).

  • As @David CO points out, the best some parents/guardians can do for the unit is bring their child and hang back. It's not merely a matter of them having an adverse history. It's that they know they aren't up for the task.
  • Other parents/guardians have not learned that they may have a lot to offer. At the very least, they could hold the rest of you accountable. You really need them to surmount that training hurdle. If you've identified one or two folks like this ... it's time for you to become a cheerleader and let them know you think they are the right person for the job.
  • Other parents have just said "yes" to too much. And this isn't just kids' activities. They've committed to some American dream with a house too big for them to clean/repair a lawn too big for them to maintain, vacations too far from home, and a financial profile that precludes hiring laborers. If one of them is right for your team, you're gonna have to convince them that they can say "no" to other things and do something that will yield biggest return on investment they have ever experienced.

Sort through your parents, get to know a few a little better, and see if anyone seems to click.

If nobody's available, some of your program will have to be curtailed. It really is just that simple.

It's not a question of curtailing some of the program - the entire thing will die.  My family funded the entire program last year - bought the PWD cars, paid for the B&G facilities, bought all of the adventure loops and rank patches.  My wife has had enough of working 50 hours a week and then doing all the CC work, plus part of the fundraiser, membership, and major events chair jobs.  She's done at the end of the year if we don't get people helping out. 

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1 minute ago, Armymutt said:

It's not a question of curtailing some of the program - the entire thing will die.  My family funded the entire program last year - bought the PWD cars, paid for the B&G facilities, bought all of the adventure loops and rank patches.  My wife has had enough of working 50 hours a week and then doing all the CC work, plus part of the fundraiser, membership, and major events chair jobs.  She's done at the end of the year if we don't get people helping out. 

If it is recharter time, write what you just wrote here in an email: if we fail to get additional parental support we will not recharter this year and explain the above/why. Sometimes people don't understand. But make it clear. BSA does not stand for Baby Sitters of America.

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##1   The Work Is Done By Whoever Shows Up.

##2   If you do not have a connection with your  kid by the time they're 12, you will not have one when they are 18 or 19. Scouting, especially Cubs can give you that connection.

##3  It ain't that hard. It is fun.  You will meet and make many new friends along the way.   

##4    It is the trail, the journey that is important, not necessarily any particular "goal".  Those are just there to mark one's progress along the jpurney. There will ALWAYS be another mountain to aim for. 

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4 minutes ago, Cambridgeskip said:

Can bylaws be changed? It seems so strange to me to turn away willing and useful volunteers 

It varies from location to location, but some parents are wary about why a grown man with no children (anymore) wants to hang out around with scouts. I had a ASM (30+ years of scouting) switch to committee/administrative because parents were asking "Why is Mr. So-and-So camping out with kids?" It is just a sad reality amid the BSA sexual abuse scandals that some people see older men camping out as being "he's got to be a sexual predator".

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5 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

It varies from location to location, but some parents are wary about why a grown man with no children (anymore) wants to hang out around with scouts. I had a ASM (30+ years of scouting) switch to committee/administrative because parents were asking "Why is Mr. So-and-So camping out with kids?" It is just a sad reality amid the BSA sexual abuse scandals that some people see older men camping out as being "he's got to be a sexual predator".

So sad. I don't know what it's like in the states but a child in the UK is orders of magntidue more likely to be abused by someone in their own household than anybody else.

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2 minutes ago, Cambridgeskip said:

So sad. I don't know what it's like in the states but a child in the UK is orders of magntidue more likely to be abused by someone in their own household than anybody else.

Same here, but it is the PERCEPTION that old man hanging around kids = creep. And again, having news stories about 80-90 THOUSAND child sexual abuse claims doesn't help the perception.

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25 minutes ago, Armymutt said:

It's not a question of curtailing some of the program - the entire thing will die.  My family funded the entire program last year - bought the PWD cars, paid for the B&G facilities, bought all of the adventure loops and rank patches.  My wife has had enough of working 50 hours a week and then doing all the CC work, plus part of the fundraiser, membership, and major events chair jobs.  She's done at the end of the year if we don't get people helping out. 

Death is a strong word. Worst case scenario is the pack will be dissolved. ;)

Let me rephrase:

  • Your family didn't fund the entire program, you all enabled a co-dependent relationship.
  • Your wife doesn't want to give up her 50hr/week job for the sake of some scouts' smiles. We all have priorities.
  • You did more than the adults were asking you to do. It's not fun to have your work go un-appreciated.
    • The best favor you could do for everyone involved is for one pack meeting, announce "Sorry folks the kids will not be getting their patches because we couldn't fit in time to order them. We're just going to announce what they've earned."
    • If nobody complains, you know you don't need that as part of your program.
    • If someone does complain, you might have just found your next volunteer.

I'm not criticizing your enthusiasm. But, enthusiasm needs to be channeled or burnout ensues. Let everyone know that your Mrs. ArmyMutt is done with extra jobs now. A family emergency is brewing and you all need to handle it. Ask your kid(s) what is the most fun thing about the program and commit to that. Everything else should be handed off to someone else or dropped.

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2 hours ago, Armymutt said:

We have it in our by-laws, with some exceptions - spouse deployed, single parent family with no supporting adults.  It's just really insulting when a stay-at-home parent tells 4 people who work full time that they don't have time, but expect a quality program, and then they sit and play on their phone during the meetings.  

I could easily imagine that many parents might feel annoyed and insulted if they are being pressed to donate their time because the unit is rejecting other willing and qualified volunteers.  

 

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@Armymutt, we do something similar to what you want with a few exceptions. We ask that every family does something for our troop. It can be a couple of hours once a year, it can be quarterly or monthly. We make a list and have a sign up night. If we get half the families to actually help out, it's a win.

Some (many?) parents are shy because they don't understand what it is they're asked to do. So we try to pair them up with someone that's done it before. 

I saw another pack that was one of the best run in the district. They did such a great job everyone was afraid to fill their shoes. It folded right after that group of leaders all aged out. They couldn't find anyone to step up. 

So, I'd suggest two things. First, think about every parent and identify those that could help, given the right circumstances,  and get them together.  Then, ask them what they need to be successful after you leave. Don't give them the option of bailing. The pack will continue, here are the jobs that need filling, find multiple people per job and find out what their fears are about doing them. Tell them it doesn't need to be perfect. If the scouts have fun then it's a win. If you invite everyone and only ten parents show up then you're in a better position than you're in now.

Make it fun. Do your best. Nothing else matters. 

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I have two memorable memories of Cub Scout Day Camp.  

1)   I am "Scout Skills".   First day is "Flag Ettiquette"   The Cubs learn about the US flag 's history, symbolism and how to respectfully do things with it, notably th traditional folding.  With twenty some Cubs in each session, and three Boy Scout Assistants,  I always had a large number of flags of various sizes to play with.  I always handed a few to the accompanying Den Walkers, much to their surprise, and required (not merely invite them !) to participate. WOw, the reactios I got sometimes, but they got into it eventually.  Moms and Dads folding flags.

Then, second day was Rope and Knots.   Got'em tying bowlines too.   "No, I can't do this"...  Yes you can, and they did .

2)   Nature Pavilion....   Leave No Trace/ Outdoor Ethics day....   at the end of the session I send the Cubs out , buddy(ed) for five minutes with the instruction to "pick up anything God didn't put there". Always surprised at how much trash one can find in a "clean: park".  One session one year, lady in the back was on her cell, ,,, ".... Well, I can't believe how much WORK I'll have to catch up on monday... Yeah, well I really don't know why they couldn't find SOMEone else for this week. My kid's no problem.  I don't need to be  here...." and she went on for those five minutes.  I could only think, poor kid....

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5 hours ago, David CO said:

I could easily imagine that many parents might feel annoyed and insulted if they are being pressed to donate their time because the unit is rejecting other willing and qualified volunteers.  

 

You're assuming there are other willing and qualified volunteers.  The church barely realizes that we are part of their ministry.  The diocese is slightly better.  Church - can't sell popcorn at the bazar.  Can't sell outside after Mass.  Got the last one rectified with the new CC.  No one in the parish is tripping over themselves to spend time with the scouts.  Even the KofC is hurting.  

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