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This question is for Commissioners although others will ring in. I am at odds with a Cubmaster. We had a civil relationship until recently. There are no throwing chairs and such, but lately there have been a few arrows coming my way.


My children attend school in the Pack's area, my wife works there also. So I do know many of the families and talk to them.


There are Council and District events the Pack does not participate in. Recently I was talking to a few parents while at school and discovered the families are not being told of events. Therefore, they are not getting getting the opportunity to attend activities that the Pack is not directly involved in.


I made it a point to invite those families I was talking to, to an upcoming event. I was soon approached by the Cubmaster about this (one of the families must have asked her for more details about the event). She stated that she felt the event was too expensive for the families ($9 event fee) and therefore decided that the Pack would not participate. I am 100% behind her on the decision to organize and participate as a Pack, or not. However she is not giving the families the chance to make up their own minds to attend individually, because she's not telling them about it.


A very tall fence was thrown up at this point. She flatly told me that she did not want me talking directly to any parents in the Pack, and that any information I had to share should be directed through her. It is a Cubmaster-led pack with a paper committee only. The Cubmaster is the only one from the unit who attends R/T regularly (although as I write this out, I wonder if anyone else in the unit is aware that R/T exists).


As a Commissioner, would you honor the request to not contact anyone in the unit besides the CM? Knowing full well that there may be boys or families who want to attend other events, but will otherwise never get the information?


Or would you press the issue and determine some other way to feed information to the families, outside of the Cubmaster's influence?


There is a slight connection between the Pack and the CO, but the CO recently changed leadership and I'm still rebuilding that relationship. I'll be meeting with them sometime in the next few weeks, though. I will probably be asking to arrange for the CO to post information directly to the Pack families.




I will post another issue separately.


(edit for grammar)(This message has been edited by BluejacketScouter)

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My council publishes a periodic email newsletter (monthly, or more often if necessary) with all kinds of information, inlcuding district and council events. Anyone can opt-in...even parents. Might be a good way to ensure that the flow of information reaches those who need it.

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Thanks Papadaddy, we do the same weekly email blast in our Council. The tough part is getting the parents to opt-in. I've done data-mining for email addresses and contact info directly from unit rosters, and the percentage of parents who actually submit real email addresses seems pretty poor. But, there's no reason why I can't look over the list again.


Additionally there is a monthly newsletter that goes out to the mailing addresses of registered youth.


I've heard there was a study that showed people had to see the information in front of their eyes 7 times before becoming aware of it. I suppose an effect of the "instant information, instant gratification" age. Too much data so we filter only what entertains us.

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Since my goal is to make sure that scouts have as many opportunities to have fun as possible, and since Cubs have their families tag along, and since council events tend to allow both pack and individual registration, I would


keep on promoting Scouting.

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Seems to me to be a high probability of winning the battle but loosing the war. I think you have to honor the CM's request. I've never served or been trained as a commissioner, but doing an end-run around unit leadership doesn't seem to be a good way for a commish to earn the trust of the unit leaders.


I would even point out that it is not the purpose of the district or council to develop programming for individual scouts or their families. It is the responsibility of the unit to deliver programming and the responsibility of the district and council to support the unit's program. If the unit leadership decides their program is sufficient and meets the needs of their Scouts without taking advantage of the district/council activities, that is their judgement to make.


On a practical level, it's pretty easy for a unit leader to feel as though these district events are being forced on them. Yeah, I know it's a popular now for councils to push a Cub Jamboree or Roundup in the fall as part of the membership effort. Supposedly these are events for the individual, but somehow all the phone calls keep coming back to the CM, and the expectation develops that "someone" in the pack needs to coordinate registration, then "someone" ought to organize transportation, and some kid's parents are working that day "someone" needs to take them..... It turns into a defacto pack program. And did I mention this is the week before the fall pack campout we've been bustin' our humps to put together and all of a sudden a third of our families have been siphoned off to the district event. And since your pack had umpteen Scouts attending, you really need to step it up and run one of the stations next year.


Been there, done that, got the hat, patch, t-shirt and scars.


I'd cut the lady some slack. Try to see it from her point of view. Maybe she overwhelmed and this is one more fire to put out. Or maybe she's had a bad experience with these programs, or just doesn't like other people messin' in her nest. She may not be the most tactful in the world, but give her the benefit of the doubt that she's doing what she believes to be in the best interest of her unit.(This message has been edited by Twocubdad)

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New CM planned a huge summer calendar....


1st event $5 per head

2nd event $9 per head

3rd $10 per car

Well ya get the idea.


I tried to council her and suggested more free events.....Attendance was herself and one other family. Then she whines about attendance, I tried to keep a poker face.



Our Pack picks a couple council events and attends, $5 per scout event. We do not promote the rest, generally they are $30 per family kinda of events.....


If you want to add more activities to the Pack level. Take it up with the Pack committee or the Pack activity chair.....


Right now the CM thinks your going behind her back......You are......You are deserving of the arrows.....


Your a Bear den leader, your with in your right to promote the council activities with in your den....but out of line promoting it with in other leaders dens, with out the permission of the den leader.


So is the CM buddies with the COR????? If so you could be treading on thin ice.

(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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As a Commissioner, deal with the Pack leaders. You invited some families to an event, good idea and not wrong to do. But you now know the CM's position. Do not contact parents. You should give the Unit leadership your best arguments for Den and/or individual attendance at District & Council events.


One of my peeves is receiving unrequested emails, usually with info that does not apply to me. Im surprised your Council has enough new info for a weekly blast. I seem to recall there may be State or Federal law(s) about this. Do not data-mine and add parents email to the list without their permission. Besides your Council mails a monthly newsletter to Scout' homes.


Strengthening the relationship between the Chartered Organization and Scouting is a more important issue. The CO may not be cognizant that the Pack is their program. Focus on that.



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"As a Commissioner, would you honor the request to not contact anyone in the unit besides the CM? Knowing full well that there may be boys or families who want to attend other events, but will otherwise never get the information? "


I would be greatly offended if a Commissioner was out soliciting my unit without my knowledge, my request and MY APPROVAL. Way, way, way over the line, IMHO. Where in the book is that a responsibility of a Commissioner? I may have overlooked it.


Families may opt-in for emails and news. Put a flyer in the scout shop advertising that, if there isn't one already.


How can doing an end around the unit leadership ever be helpful? You are poisoning the well. And Blue Tabs turn Green in a few years. You need a new strategy.


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Been a while since I posted, but gonna throw my $.02 in anyways...



Screw the CM's wishes! THis isn't about the CM, This isn't about stepping around somebody's authority ( which doesn't exist in this particular issue) !


This is about scouts and their oppertunity/ ability to do a scouting activity!


My pack used to have two pack campouts every year( before I became CM) . The funny thing was that they were held at the same time the council held it's parent/son weekends and at the same time as Resident camp.


Seems the current CM thought council events were boring, over rated and too expensive. And the truth be told, they were overrated and kinda expensive.


Problem is, she made the decisions for the families without ever giving them any chance to decide for themselves. Families were not aware of the events.


When I became CM, I posted and advertised every council and distict event that was held wether I planned on going or not. It did not have to be a pack function. I did not have to personally like or enjoy the event myself.


Wether a district fun day, council fun day, or even a non scouting event like an air show, festival, childrens museum event, etc.... - I posted it on the pack website and facebook page.


A funny thing happened: Scouts, scouters, and parents started going to council events, district events, AND pack events. Scouts had more fun. Parents started helping out at events and planning meetings.


Then you also had the families that couldn't make a pack event due to scheduling conflicts. Could be out of town that week, have another event they had to attend or even a sick scout. Guess what, they kept up their scouting intake by going to council/ district events also.



So a scout/ parent doesn't make a pack event.


What then? Scout has to wait til the next event whenever that happens?


So, here's the deal.....Thwe issue here is a CM on a huge egotistical power trip who has taken it upon herself to make all decisions for the pack's families.


Decisions that she does not need or have the right to make.


So as a DC from another district, you may be overstepping the line going around her with recruiting, but as fas as making events known to the parents...I think you are doing the right thing as a scouter.


The parents and scouts deserve the right to know about these events and make attendance decisions for themselves. Thy also have the right to decide what they can afford or not.


The CM is not responcible for making these decisions. The CM is not Big Brother.


That IS NOT the CM"s place to decide.

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As Twocub says, district and council events are optional for units - they are great for filling in calendars but individual units decide which events, if any, they will attend.


Your job, as District Commissioner, is to find and train Unit Commissioners to interact with the leaders of the units, not to datamine for direct parental contact, nor to undermine the planned program of the Unit Leaders with your own suggestions directly to the parents - unless you want to sew dissension amongst the parents and perhaps create more problems, like the potential loss of a unit.


A unit that is "Cubmaster-run" with a "paper committee" should actually be a bigger red flag than whether the unit calendar includes district and council events. It can signify either a willful leader not delegating, or it can signify a leader stepping up to keep things afloat because of a lack of interest among the parents to step up to leadership roles. Are you even sure you know on what side of that coin this unit falls?


The Cubmaster has told you not to undermine her program - your job now is NOT TO UNDERMINE HER PROGRAM. If she's operating that unit without a committee, with just a program staff, things are probably pretty stressful if she's got no one to delegate the routine administrative tasks to - and you've just added to her stress. Your job is to have the Unit Commissioner invite the Cubmaster out for a cup of coffee to see how she is holding up, and carefully (without insulting her) finding out how the unit is being run. There is a Unit Commissioner, right? If not, get your own house in order before trying to run other people's houses. For all you know, the Cubmaster is the only person who can make the Roundtables, is taking on yet one more task to keep the staff she does have informed and that the program staff is making the decision not to participate in these events as a Pack. If the Cubmaster is telling you that $9 is too big of a fee, you might want to consider that she probably knows more about the economic situations most of her families are facing then you do, even if you know some of the families, and that she is trying to keep Scouting affordable for everyone without creating a have/have not divide within her unit.


As a Commissioner, if the top leader(s) in the Pack said "don't contact my parents directly and contact us only through the Cubmaster/Committee Chair/COR, then you need to respect that. In fact, that's what you should have been doing all along. The reality is that DC's/UC's have no real power - walk into a Pack Meeting unannounced/uninvited and you can quickly find yourself back on the outside looking in through the windows. If you're told specifically not to come to meetings and you show up anyway, you can find yourself being escorted out by officers of the law if you refuse to leave. Sure, you need to handle charter isses - but no DE is going to let a unit fold because the DC/UC is in a whizzing match with the unit leaders - they'll take care of it themselves without your support.


I take that back - the DC/UC does have some power - they have the power to royally hack off unit leaders who decide to say the heck with it and leave causing the units to fold. I've seen it happen - it's not pretty.




(This message has been edited by calicopenn)

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"Families may opt-in for emails and news. Put a flyer in the scout shop advertising that, if there isn't one already."


While this is indeed true, you have to recognize that with most families, 98% of any scouting info the get ( at the pack level) comes from pack leadership.


We as scouters tend to forget what it's like being a non scouter parent, or a new to scouting parent.


With most things scouting related...you are not aware of it's existence if not being told by your leadership.


G2SS? WHat is that? Never heard of it til I became an ADL and took ADL training. IT wasn't something the leadership at my pack ever brought up and I certainly didn't know you could buy a copy of it at the scout shop.


Emails? Everything you do anywhere at anytime wants to sign you up for e-mails. I think we tend to check no on the boxes out of subconscious habit.


My council wil not put you on the flyer mailing list until after you attend a camp event.....so what you have is a "Catch 22" situation: You won't get on the flyer list unless you go camping, but you won't ever go camping if you don't get a flyer announcing the events.


Parents also tend to assume that the leaders know what they are talking about and trust those leaders.


If the CM was to tell the parents that standing up in a moving canoe while shooting a bb gun at glass jugs of gasoline next to a bon fire is okay...then the parents will think it's okay even if a bad idea.



So anyways, my point is this: A flyer at the scout shop may not ever bee seen by the average parent. E mails ( if even sent)may end up in a spam folder without the recipient even knowing about them.


Benn there - done that!






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The job of the District Commissioner is to hire Assistant District Commissioners, ensure they are trained, and organize and leader the Commissioner Staff Meeting. Your job is to make sure everyone gets a commissioner, and that the commissioners are helping units and the committee deliver district program to youth.


The assistant district commissioners job is to recruit unit commissioners, see that they are trained, and monitor the service given to units.


The unit commissioners job is to help units recharter, help with recruiting, and encourage, guide, inspire, and help unit leaders. You are a mentor for unit leaders.


Nowhere in there is it any commissioner's job to contact parents. It is never the commissioner's role to serve as event promoter. That is the district committee's job - specifically the communications chair's job.


You are out of line in multiple ways here. The unit leader has warned you. I would heed that warning. The unit leader can ban you from their pack meetings. You have no right to attend them. You are invited to them as a privilege. If you start stepping on toes, and I have seen this, you will find everyone who wears the silver loops unwelcome and unable to find out what the unit's activities even are. Then your FOS, popcorn, and JTE from that unit will disappear. Then they will start rechartering late just to teach you who is boss.


Make no mistake, you work for the unit, they do not work for you or for scouting. They work for their boys and their chartering org. You are there to help them, not to help BSA.


TL;DR: The commissioner works for the unit, not the other way around. If you make them angry, they can punish you and the district leadership.(This message has been edited by bsa24)

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Your advice is valid, BUT


This situation is completely different.....Old Blue is on some sort of a power trip. In his thread title HE is a District Commissioner and the lowly CM isn't listening to him.


I am guessing this is only two of a laundry list of things that are going on. His accusations. Paper only committee, not telling the other leaders about roundtable, not telling the families about council or district events.


Now he is going to go to the CO and ask to post a calendar in the CO.....



Blue you are so out of line....


You need to resign as a District Chair and become CM, just that simple....But your not gonna do that because there is no glory or good old boys club in bein a CM. Your pretty much on your own. Then you have busy body parents, exactly what your doin now, telling you how to run your program.


What kind of screwed up district recruits a DC with only 2 years of Adult scouting experience???? This is clearly a case of an inexperienced district commissioner..(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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The CM, her assistants, pack committee and DLs set the pack's program. No where in that equation does the DC fit in.

Maybe the leadership spent a lot of time and effort setting up an event that you just stepped on with your invitation.

If I were you I'd apologize to the CM and stay out of her business.

Consider yourself lucky that the CM attends RT, keep meddling and I'm sure that will end.

DCs oversee the commissioner service, not pack activities. I'm assuming all your units have fully trained and active UCs. If not maybe your focus should be there.


Probably not what you wanted to hear.


Just an opinion from a retired CM. Good Luck(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

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First of all, thanks for all of your service and hard work!


I think you need to work to regain that civil relationship. Explain that your previous efforts were all in good faith, but overeager, to make the district work better for her her families and her boys.


Then focus on other packs who would welcome you letting their parents know of district events. If your son wants to invite a buddy from that pack to an event, that's the only parents you should talk to.


You could certainly invite every den leader and CC to roundtables, but that's it.

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