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Cub Scout Pack and "busy parents"


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I am Committee Chairman for a pack of about 50 cubs. It has grown through bringing interesting guest speakers to our Pack Meetings. There is not a lot of traditional facets to them. We are planning our Blue and Gold to be held in February and one parent (Assistant Cubmaster) has voiced concern over it. He feels parents are much too busy to provide a dish if we have a pot luck meal. Our meetings are on the second Tuesday of the month. He also feels the Blue and Gold should be some other time.

I'm torn to understand the "busy parents" moniker. Is it possible that we don't do enough of the traditional things during a pack meeting? Should we have a crash course in doing silly things and have funny stories? I wonder if we need an overhaul of meetings.

Thank you for your comments in advance.

 

SR70 in the swamp

 

 

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I'm confused on the issue.  Are you talking about Pack Meetings or the B&G?  For our Pack Meetings, we're still trying to find our stride.  Neither I nor the ACM are extroverts, so we aren't big on singing and dancing.  I try to assign each den a role - usually a skit.  We only have the building for the hour, so we have to factor in set-up and tear down.  I usually find a program online, modify it to suit me, and roll with it.  

Our B&G last year was a cook out at a local park.  We figured out what was needed, created a spreadsheet and asked everyone to contribute.  Did not go over well - some contributed a bottle of ketchup while other brought multiple packages of bratwurst.  Some families RSVPd for 2 people and shoed up with 6.  This year, we approached it differently.  While the kids were making gingerbread houses at the December pack meeting, we pulled the parents together and told them that we needed a chair for the B&G and one for the PWD.  No volunteers, no events.  We now have volunteers.  Our B&G will be on a Saturday around lunch.  No idea what it will look like because we don't have a legacy to match it against.  

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I think your Blue and Gold can be whatever you want. We used to do potluck for this and Red and White but it's true people seem much busier and less enthused about bringing a tray of ziti or whatever. We've done a catered meal and charged a per head cost. Easier, but it's more costly. The most current iteration is unit buys pizzas, people bring their own drinks and the potluck part is a dessert to share, which can be as simple as a package of cookies. Don't get hung up on the food is my advice. Whatever it is that gets you together, is good. Also with covid the less shared utensils, etc., the better.  With pizza, you can almost hand out a box per family and let them serve themselves. 

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I agree with @yknot .  There are no rules.  Do what works for you and your pack. 

Don't create stress yourself or your fellow pack members.  Key thing ... find a way to make it fun for everyone ... with minimal effort (or at least manageable).

Asking parents to bring something to share is a great way to get people emotionally involved. 

For our pack, we did a modified pot-luck.  Pack provided (and cooked) the meat and buns.  Families shared sides or a desert.  Families brought their own drinks.  It worked great. .... There were a few of us dads that liked to hide at the grill.  :)  

Full pot lucks are a great way to build fellowship in a troop.  A troop of 40 scouts would have 30 scouts at the COH and would need to feed an average of 60 people.  Scout are more mature and willing to roll with the punches of you get what you get.  In our troop, assignments were only managed at the patrol level.  Patrols were assigned main, side, desert or drink.  Sometimes members brought the wrong thing.  Sometimes we'd end up with lots of one thing but not a lot of another.  Sometimes we had lots of sides and little main.  Sometimes lots of deserts.  ... It was fun to guess how it would turn out.  BUT, it was always fun.  Always.  Our COHs were always fun.

 

 

 

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@SR70 on behalf of all the non-moderators, welcome to the forum.

There’s no such thing as a busy parent. There are parents with priorities other than scouting.

Pot luck is a common tradition, but if your Pack has built up the funds, there’s no harm in doing it differently.

There’s always a balance between games and songs and skits and guest speakers. Leave that choice between the Cubmaster and Assistants. Your role as CC is hard enough without getting bogged down in those weeds.

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My former pack did a catered main dish with potluck for sides and dessert.  Charged $2 per non-registered adult and $1 per non-registered child, mostly so that people wouldn't RSVP and then not show up.  The important thing is to give people good directions on their potluck contibution.  We used to assign Lions and Tigers to "side dishes" and Wolves and Bears to desserts.  Also, you MUST specify the number a dish should serve or you'll end up with some numbskull picking up a 20 piece chicken nugget box from McDonalds as their "side dish" contribution for their family of 5.  (yes, true story)  I usually told people side dishes should serve 10-15 people and desserts should be 20-25. (but you can portion smaller than normal)

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1 hour ago, SR70 said:

What day of the week was your B&G?

It moved around.  For years, it was same as pack meeting night.  Other years when we had more money and created a really big special event, it was a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night. 

My preference ... again mine, no rule ... is to keep a consistent night of the week.  People often choose activities that align with a night of the week.  If you move nights, you will lose people due to conflicts.  BUT, then again ... it's once a year ... be flexible.  build consensus.  no single right answer exists.  ... You can make it 30 or 60 minutes earlier to feed people.  ... One point though is that some people will view B&G as a really big event.  Others just view it as another cub night.  

Edited by fred8033
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We do the same - monthly except summer.  The Pack meetings are pretty short - a skit, a little talk, and awards.  Flag ceremony to give each den a chance to do one as needed.  Until I get more help in doing them, they will remain short and to the point.  I'm an outdoors person, not a showman.  My ACM is even more introverted, so it's unlikely to change soon.

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Traditional pack meeting were Sept-May.  Summer scouting June, July & Aug.  We still had one big pack-level event each month even in the summer.  Sometimes one big and one small.  

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wow. seems like a lot of pack meetings to me. no surprise then the amount of questions/issues from cubmasters I see here. I wonder if one solution is to extremely lessen the number of pack meetings, move more to the den level.

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5 hours ago, DuctTape said:

wow. seems like a lot of pack meetings to me. no surprise then the amount of questions/issues from cubmasters I see here. I wonder if one solution is to extremely lessen the number of pack meetings, move more to the den level.

I definitely think that may help reduce burden on leadership.  However,  pack meetings are a lot of fun and a way we built up excitement for the program. For us, we had a pretty easy calendar that worked.

Sept - New scout intro, kickoff

Oct - Outdoor  S’mores and campfire 

Nov - Cake Bake (bake cakes at home and vote on each other’s)

Dec - No meeting but went caroling as groups of dens

Jan - Pinewood Derby

Feb - Blue and Gold

Mar - Bear Carnival 

April - Camping/Cabin trip

May -Advancement ceremony 

It seemed to work well.  We would add in a Fall and June overnight most years as well.  Wasn’t too bad.

Note that our den meetings were also only Monthly which I know is a bit unique.  

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