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New user | 30 Years as a Scout something special happened this weekend . . .


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My boy sold his first bag(s) of Popcorn over the weekend¬†ūüė≠¬†quite exciting ... after 30 years as a Scout myself,¬†I'm officially a Leader for our Lion Den here in Glacier's Edge Council of WI. Looking forward to the next 10 or so years with our pack of Cubs (my Lion has a younger brother) and then advancing to Troop leadership as they officially become BSA Scouts.

about me:

  • my Great Uncle was a rare 'wartime¬†Eagle', earned¬†around 1944, continued on as¬† council Official, Scoutmaster, regional exec, etc...
  • my Uncle was an Eagle, earned around 1960, continued on graduating dozens of Eagles thru his troops
  • my Dad and other family members were active scouts
  • I earned Eagle Scout on December 9th 2003
  • Earned¬†AOEX Certificate from NOLS (Outdoor Educator - 30 Day Sea Kayak/Backpacking expedition in Alaska )
  • Camp Manito-wish YMCA - Outpost¬†Leadership for 4 years
  • Earned B.A. and Master of Arts Degree by age 23
  • Traveled to 20 Countries / speak 4 languages¬†
  • Entrepreneur
    • Sat on Entrepreneurship Board at Alma Mater¬†for 5+ years as a Mentor
    • Founded a communications agency which supplied Marketing & Communications support (company is 12 years old)
    • Founded a Software company which is a major Microsoft partner (company is 7 years old)¬†
  • Married into Military family:¬†Wife's grandfather was an Eagle!¬†(and a USAF Distinguished Flying Cross¬†Pilot of 20 + years [WWII thru Vietnam])
    • she has very little Scouting exposure so is really having fun with this seeing it all basically for the first time
  • my Lion Cub has¬†already sold over $500 worth of Popcorn this year¬†‚ėļÔłŹ
  • Most excited because as of 2022, I've been a scout for 30 years¬† (I'm 35 y/o now) and now have enrolled my¬†Son as a Lion
    • that means I may be eligible to be a scout for 100 years before I die, if I live to 105 - lol
       

Looking forward to a long career in Adult leadership as a Scouter.
I am aware I need to pursue Wood Badge.
Not sure what else to consider.
in addition to Pack leadership, there is Local Council leadership - right? - Any examples of what that entails? 

Would love to know:
What is your best advice for Parents who may be 'deeply experienced in Scouts overall, but are new to Pack leadership?

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@ajherkert Welcome to Scouter.com.

Sounds like you have a lot of great experience.  I'm sure others will provide guidance as well.  

As a former leader of a pack, the best way to help a pack is to be a great den leader.  Personally, I think having great energetic den leaders is the most important aspect of a healthy pack.

Perhaps watch how den meetings are run and get a sense of the pack culture.  Find some areas where you may be able and provide some suggestions. If you see a need for major changes, that is a whole different topic. 

In terms council, attend the district meetings.  That lets you meet fellow scouters and allows better local discussions about scouting topics. 

One caution is to be careful of burn out.  Being a scouter is a marathon not a sprint.  I ramped up quickly, den leader, Committee Chair, Scoutmaster and district committee... It was too much and now I backed down to solely Scoutmaster.   Looking back, it is better to do one job great than a bunch of jobs half assed.  it sounds like you can bring a lot to scouting, I would just hate to see you burn out early.

Hope this helps & good luck!  It is a blast to see the kids mature through the years in scouting. 

 

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Good advice @Eagle1993 is it a safe guess to say you earned your Eagle 10 years before I did? Thanks for your input here. It is my hope to draw from my experiences to enrich the local council/region in a way that promotes the Scouting movement.

I am planning to attend my monthly pack committee meetings and monthly District meetings. Plus Pack and Den meetings, of course.
also looking at New Leader Training for New Den Leaders, and Wood Badge in 2023.

You make great points about burn out.

In previous roles volunteering and serving on Boards I have experienced similar over-commitment issues. So I know a bit about what that looks like but hearing your story is an important heads-up. Much appreciated!

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On 9/19/2022 at 12:23 PM, ajherkert said:

What is your best advice for Parents who may be 'deeply experienced in Scouts overall, but are new to Pack leadership?

Agree with @Eagle1993 on burnout and Den Leadership.  Be a Den Leader.  It's awesome.  You get to be with your scout and their buddies.  I miss it so much.  Cubs was such a great time but burnout is real.  Being prepped and ready to meet the challenge of thoroughly entertaining a group of boys almost every week for YEARS :) See how that goes before loading up too much else on your plate.  But it's fun.  And it's hard.  And if you're really into it too - it's like... even better, but also even worse :) 

Use your past knowledge and experience, but man... prepare to be humbled too.  You've probably forgotten about more than you realize and today's scouting is different than "back in our day" so there is a LOT to re-learn.

Take the trainings.  They are pretty good and get you a long way on the re-learning path. 

Accept help.  From every parent.  Heck, expect help.  Some of my best friends are the parents of the Cubs in my Den.  If you set that expectation early, and accept the help offered, it will pay dividends.

Do Your Best applies to you too.  Life gets hard.  Not every Den Meeting's going to be one for the record books.  Don't beat yourself up, you will usually be your harshest critic.

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this is great advice @curious_scouter!! Thank you for the thoughtful and insightful post. I really like the framework you are introducing. It is great to hear what you say about being a Den Leader and I am leaning into this heavily. Having this support network en force thru the scouter.com forum is awesome!! 

I will also be prepared to be humbled as I definitely have lost a few brain cells since I was 17 crossing over to Venture scouts. my guess is that Running a Den of 5 year olds (and growing) is going to draw more from my experience as a summer Camp Counselor rather than my own personal Cub Scouting experience. but the scouting experience will be huge for so many other reasons, not the least of which is taking it seriously.

thanks again for the great feedback. I am really just thrilled to be reuniting with this dimension of myself and so grateful to the BSA for instilling the values of Scouting in me to truly last a lifetime. What a privilege this whole 'leadership' thing is.

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