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DC vs Cubmaster - Grudge Match

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Imagine you're an elementary school teacher who's a Cubmaster.


Imagine you're an elementary school teacher who's a Cubmaster that lives in school district A and your Pack is in school district A, but you work in district B and your children attend district B.


Imagine I'm a District Commissioner and my wife works in district A and my children attend district A.


And the Recruiting / Membership Chair calls me and says, "Your wife works in A, do you know when they're doing their 'Back to School night?'" And I pass along that information; and also the names from your Pack of adults who helped run the Scout table last year. Because Membership chair is trying to make sure that recruiting is covered at all the schools in the District.


But the adults who helped run the table last year haven't been asked to do it again this year, and they aren't aware of any Pack plans to do school recruiting.


So I call you on Friday and leave a message, "are you planning to do recruiting at 'Back to School night?'" And you don't respond Saturday or Sunday.


Imagine I've left you a message again on Sunday night. "I'll be at the School with my children getting their class schedules. If you have a Pack Flyer, my son and I would be happy to wear our uniforms and pass out flyers in the halls. Send me whatever you have, and I'll take care of getting it printed up". And you don't respond.


So imagine on Monday morning, I'm making up a simple flyer for your unit - Pack X, United Methodist Church, meets blah blah, Cubmaster name and phone number.


And imagine that Monday afternoon I put out a text message to all the parents in the Pack that I have contact info for (yourself included) and ask for all boys to wear their uniforms and meet at the flagpole to pass out flyers.


So I print up handouts, and my son and I put on our uniforms, and we go to Back to School night, and we meet our new teachers, and we pass out flyers. And there you are with a table, no banner or flag, not in uniform, some handouts and applications tucked into a manila folder but not displayed, not talking to anyone - and you're shooting arrows at me with your eyes.


Why? Because you weren't planning to do school recruiting, and threw something together last-minute, and I made you look bad?


If I'm trying to help recruit for your Pack, why not take what help you can get?


Sorry for venting.




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You're on the proverbial road to hell paved with good intentions. You should have dropped it after giving the contact info to the membership chairman. Offering to pass out the flyers for the pack was really nice and helpful, but you REALLY should have stepped back when your offer wasn't accepted.


Going to the school in uniform representing the pack without the permission of the CM was over the line. Yeah, what you tried to do was a great thing and should have at least been acknowledged with their thanks, but did I mention the road you're on?

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I am a bit fuzzy over a few things -


Are you the District Commissioner for both school district A, and B?


Is your son a member of that Teacher CM's Pack?


Which school district is the school you were handing out fliers in?


Is that the school that is the primary recruiting grounds for Teacher CM's pack?


Do any other Packs recruit from that same school? If so, did you pass out fliers for them as well?


As District Commissioner, did you ever contact the Unit Commissioner for Teacher CM's Pack to find out what was going on?


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Imagine you're the leader of a pack with parents that are too busy or can't be bothered to assist in the running of the Pack so you do everything you can to provide a program to the BOYS in the Pack.


Imagine that you're already overwhelmed with the numbers of boys in your pack as it is and that while you may want to recruit, you feel that having an influx in Sptember is just going to be too great of a burden.


Imagine that the District Commissioner gives the Recruiting / Membership chair the names of people who helped man the booth last year instead of the UNIT LEADER!!!


Imagine that the District Commissioner calls you on a Friday asking about Back to School night on perhaps the last weekend you've got available to go somewhere with your family before back to school and Pack meeting craziness starts and takes up a lot of your time.


Imagine you get a call from this same District Commissioner on Sunday who announces that since he hadn't heard from you, you'll be there with your son, from a completely different Pack, to recruit for your Pack when you didn't ask for any help.


Imagine if that same District Commissioner then went behind your back and texted members of your Pack to come help recruit.


Imagine if you've developed a different recruiting strategy than attending Back to School Night because you want parents, like yourself, to be able to attend Back to School night as parents and not workers and now you have to put something last minute together because some guy from District can't take the hint and is now undermining the planned recruiting effort.


Arrows? I'd be doing much more than shooting arrows your way - in fact, I'd probably just be done with it and walk away from the Pack, maybe by not showing up the night of the first Pack meeting without telling anyone - just because that's the vindicitive kind of person I'd be if some guy from the District was doing this to me and let the District Commissioner, who apparently wants to by my Pack's Cubmaster, deal with the fallout.


Yeah - you stepped WAY over the line. You are NOT the Cubmaster for the entire District. You have been told NOT to contact members of the Pack and have done so anyway. You were NOT asked for help.


Let me explain something of the reality of Scouting - see those silver tabs on your shirt? They signify that you are a SERVANT leader. Your job is to serve the other leaders. See those ladies and fellows with the Cubmaster/Scoutmaster/Advisor patches on their sleeves? Those are the TOP adult leaders in Scouting - your job is to serve them.


Where is your Unit Commissioner for this Pack? Don't have one? Why not? That's your job - to find Unit Commissioners to work with the units. It seems to me that you're trying to do everyone's job but your own.


DC vs Cubmaster? If it's got to the point where it's a X versus Y relationship instead of a collaborative relationship, you've screwed the pooch big time on it. You need to step back, you need to apologize, you need to stop interfering, and you need understand that you may have started this Pack on the road to total destruction. In my view, in a DC vs Cubmaster struggle, the DC loses, every time.


(This message has been edited by calicopenn)

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Your job as DC would be to discuss this with the UC for that unit and the DE. It is NOT your job to try to do the job for the Unit.


If this was a District recruiting item and had been scheduled for a while, you might have had a chance for empathy, but if it was a Unit recruiting, you stepped WAY beyond your job.


If you feel the Pack is that poorly run and that the UC & DE can not handle it, I suggest you change Packs or else let go. Let your son have the fun as the stress from this will bleed over to your son and ruin his enjoyment.


Fair winds and following seas mate.


My $0.02



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And that's a shame because his heart was in the right place. Taking on district roles requires a new mode of thinking - and I think he'll get it. Unfortunately, I've seen way too many people take on district roles and think it means they outrank unit leaders, especially at the commissioner level (sorry, that's just my experience). I think I may have come across as harsh which wasn't my intention, and for that I apologize - but I stand by my advice - go apologize, stop trying to run other people's programs, and to add to it, everyone is going to run their own programs their way - it may not be your way, but that doesn't make it wrong for them.

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If you prefer being responsible for Pack level decisions and actions, why not seek a position as a Cubmaster rather than DC?


Except for urgent safety, moral, or legal matters, it may be best not to undermine your Unit Commissioners and Unit Leaders by assuming for yourself tasks and decisions within their purview.


You took action the unit leader had decided not to take and/or asked you not to take based on their awareness of their unit's particular situation. Even if you did a better job in that moment than they'd done, in doing so you signaled that you don't trust their judgment or commitment, and you undermined their morale and already limited sphere of influence. Even IF (and one assumes that's a big IF) they deserved that, doing it undermines your own interest in developing and growing leaders and units across the District.


In a volunteer organization, the consequences of ignoring or undermining you are not intimidating. You win this grudge match by admitting defeat and pleading for mercy.


If a talk along those lines with the Cubmaster doesn't set this on the mend, you may have created an interesting challenge for yourself.

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BlueJacket - Despite what you've been told by Cubmasters, know that other DC's have your back ;).


The mission for the District Committee, Commissioners, and professionals is to grow Scouting. This means that a District has to take advantage of every opportunity to do so. School Open Houses are too great an opportunity to pass up, and if a Cubmaster doesn't want to do it or cannot do it because they need to attend that night as a parent, it's definitely your job to be there helping them grow Scouting.


The Cubmaster who is overwhelmed is the Cubmaster who lets new parents off the hook too easily. It would be helpful for someone like a District Commissioner to help with recruiting to set higher involvement expectations.


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I think if you're looking for ways to promote scouting you could be generic. Hand out council flyers pointing people to beascout.org to find packs in their area. Have council events listed and tell them that more exciting events awaits them with your chosen pack.

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