July 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue
August 2008 Theme
S'MORE SUMMER FUN
Forester & Naturalist
Bill Smith, the Roundtable Guy
Since its inception, about a year
National’s Cubcast has steadily improved as the hosts, Robert and Kristen
along with their various guests settle into an effective routine. These monthly
podcasts make great additions to Roundtables and can be a great help for all
Last month their program featured
some important tips on internet safety that all parents should listen to and
understand. The guest expert was Linda Griddle, author of
Look Both Ways, a guide to online safety measures. It was a valuable and
effective presentation that should be recommended to all parents of kids who go
for something completely different,
Scout packs have good leaders.
Leaders who have the
enthusiasm, the dedication and the skills to make the program successful are
essential to getting a good Cub pack. All the training and planning in the world
won’t help unless there are quality people to lead the dens and the pack.
So, how do you get the right
people to be leaders in your pack? What are the secrets to find them and then
get them to sign on? It takes a bit of planning and hard work, but it can be
done and it is worth the effort. If your pack is going to continue to put on a
great program for boys then it’s up to the current leadership to make sure that
only the best people be recruited.
It starts by
determining the needs of your pack. Take an inventory of pack leadership to
determine the numbers of quality leaders needed based on the numbers of dens
needed. This can help ensure that a pack maintains good membership. The
inventory should be taken in the early spring so if you haven’t done it yet, you
are running late.
A common mistake of many packs is
to fill needed positions with people already responsible for other leadership
jobs. Overloading a good leader is a sure way to weaken any pack. It usually
happens when it seems easier to take on another job than to find someone else to
do it. That often indicates that we really don’t have a cohesive plan to find
and recruit a new leader.
Being a good
Cub Scout leader takes more than just running the meetings
- that's the easy
Interacting with other adults - especially parents - is the essential job
quality of Cub Scout leadership.
we take on another job that could be done by a parent who is not performing as a
role model for his/her son we are admitting that we have failed. Instead of
sharing responsibility we have opted for the easy work around: do it ourselves
instead of teaching others that it is better that they do it
Worse, we have hurt two boys. We
have hurt our own sons because the time it takes to do the second (or third and
so on) job often comes from the time needed to fulfill our duties as Akela to
our own sons, and also, we have deprived another boy the chance to see his
parent be a hero - doing something important in his Cub pack.
Never, never do anything that you can possibly get another parent to do.
Recruiting adults—A few tips
Understand that very
few adults will volunteer to help; most will wait to be asked.
Make use of the
“Parent and Family Talent Survey” form
Many adults will be
hesitant to help if they weren’t Scouts as kids. Remind them that some of the
best Scout leaders in our Council weren’t Scouts as kids and that the training
offered will fill in key knowledge gaps.
Call your monthly
“Pack Leader” meetings “Pack Parent” meetings to eliminate the stigma that the
meeting is just for pack leaders.
Mention key open
leader positions during your pack meetings
Try to recruit 2 den
leaders for each den
Work hard at all
levels to make adult leaders feel that they are part of a team and appreciated
Conduct an annual
pack planning meeting in the summer and encourage all pack families to be
Selecting the right prospects
What do you know about
the parents of boys in your pack?
Try to match people with jobs.
Have you had all the parents fill out a Parent Talent Survey Sheet? Some years
ago I found a great Personal Information sheet on the internet. You can download
a copy from:
make the best leaders. It may seem that the best prospect for the job is too
involved in other things to take on your request. Never say “No” for someone
else. If the job you propose is important enough, they will find a way to do it.
Choosing a recruiter
Who knows the prospect?
Is there someone in your organization who commands the respect of the one you
hope to recruit? Someone to whom they might answer, “Yes.” Pick someone the
prospect knows and respects to do the recruiting. It could be anyone in your
community – not necessarily from your pack.
Why are you asking?
Tell the prospect up
front, why the job is important and why people think that he/she is the best
person to make it a success. If you have done your selecting job correctly, you
should be able to give a whole list of reasons why that person is the right one
for that job.
What is the job?
Lay out precisely as
possible what the job entails. How much time, what skills will be needed. What
training and support is available. Be as honest and accurate as you can. If you
tell a person that it will be easy and take only an hour a week when you know it
will be much more than that, the disappointment you cause will come back to
Closing the Deal
Never attempt to
recruit over the phone or standing up at a meeting and asking for volunteers.
The key factor is asking them
personally. This should be done in a face to face situation, preferably while
you are wearing your uniform. If you ask someone personally to basically give
what you're giving, it is much harder for them to say no.
You may have a list of two or
three prospects for the same job and the top candidate just can not take on the
responsibility. Then you might ask the #1 candidate if he/she would be willing
to help the next person on your list if they were recruited. If so, you will
have some added ammunition when you approach the second candidate. “Marge (who
has talent for this) says that she will be glad to assist only if you will take
on this job.”
Provide Training, Recognition and
Make sure that your new
Cub Scouters have all the training, the materials and the help and cooperation
they need to do their jobs. Recognize them regularly at pack meetings, in your
newsletters and on your pack website. Ask for their comments, advice or reports
at leaders’ meetings. It can be frustrating to be asked to do a job and then to
be totally ignored.
we are in serious competition
with a host of adversaries:
We compete against intolerance,
violence and hate;
We compete against neglect, deceit and abuse;
We compete against drugs and street gangs;
We compete against rejection, loneliness, and humiliation;
We compete against illiteracy, ignorance and despair.
going to do now?
get ‘em. We need all the help we can get.
The best gift for a Cub
......get his parents involved!
Also, be sure
to visit Bill’s website
to finds more ideas
on everything Cub Scouting.
Comments for Bill
just click right here!
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