Kickstarting Your Pack (WAS Re: Introduction)
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 00:49:23 -0500
>I am a cubmaster on a military base. Unfortunately, we have several
>problems that our due to our location.
Where are you at (as in which base)?
> Absentee parents is the biggest, or
>second biggest. Another problem is that the base does not support scouting
>the way it use to, leading to charter problems and leadership problems. I
>and most of the other leaders in the pack are suffering from burnout.
Why doesn't it support it the "way it used to", Dee? Who charters your Pack
right now? Have you considered getting a new chartered partner (you CAN,
>We have problems getting support from the charter partner (which is a
>partner in name only.) We have problems getting support from the parents
>and the local community. Many of our boys cannot afford uniforms, which
>unfortunately can't even be found at the local thrift stores anymore.
Three problems, two solutions.
The first is your chartered partner in *name only*. As a military Scouting
Programs Liasion Officer, I can symphaze with that plight. By the way,
who's your SPLO? You DO have one, no matter how large or small the
installation is. I betcha he or she doesn't even KNOW you exists!!
The second ties with the first one, Dee. How can your parents get behind
something that your Chartered Partners' not behind? Don't worry about the
community...they will come around when your Chartered Partner and your
fellow Scouters come around!
The uniforms...yeah...it's a BIG PROBLEM and as I've faxed off a letter to the
Program Group on Monday, is a problem that cuts across all communities and
all backgrounds. Hopefully, some bright professional Scouter at the Irving
Center will respond and forward the information to the Program Group, where
they will have to deal with loss of membership because "we've made the program
too expensive for the average kid to belong to anymore" (my words).
In the meantime, there are some resources that you should try (if you haven't
tried them already):
* Your local Council has a listing of "uniform banks" either in their Council or
an larger one. Ask them to assist you in getting shirts.
* Take out an advertisement in your local paper (this could also help the other
problem), asking parents of former Cub Scouts to consider "selling" their shirts
to your Pack (don't say "donate". Unfortunately, Dee, many adults don't respond
to the words "donate" and will do a double-take to the words "sell" or "buy").
* Send a letter to ALL of the churches in your community (even the ones that
are "fringe" or "untraditional"....they have Cub-aged family members in
as well!) asking the same things....
* Go door-to-door in your community and ASK for used Cub or Scouting uniforms
to be donated to your Pack. Most adults don't really know the difference,
this with a local Troop (idealy the Troop that most of your Cubs graduate
agree that those Boy Scout shirts go to them and the Cub Scout shirts go to
>I have made a very difficult decision that I will not do this next year.
Please reconsider, Dee. By your asking here in this forum, you've told us
all that you
REALLY want this to work out, and you're REALLY excited about being in the
part of Cub Scouting...you just need some help with "kickstarting" your Pack
why I renamed your subject line). This is the place to get that kickstarting.
Another place to get that kickstarting is right there among those in your
Pack. Do this
for us: Have a cookout, JUST FOR the leadership of your Pack. Have fun.
Dance. Be silly. Don't TALK ABOUT Cub Scouting, or do any Cub Scouting
(I'll let you in on a secret...you won't be able NOT to talk about Cub
Scouting!! It's what
got all of you folk together!!)
After the cookout, wait a week, and then call each person and thank them for
cookout and thank them for their participating in Cub Scouting. Then, drop
the bomb on
them: "We're going to have a DYNAMITE NEW PACK come this summer (or fall)
and I want
you to know that I'm getting a LOT of help in making this happen!!" Don't
tell them how,
just let them add to your enthusiam.
Much of what we do, Dee, in Scouting, is based on enthusiam. Part of the
reason why I spend
so much time answering personal mail as well as "group mail" is because it's
opinion that we as Scouters are a special lot. We need that occasional
confirmation that we're doing
the right things, for the right reasons, and to justify our separation from
our families and some of
our friends. We also get to a point whereby we just don't feel that we can
keep going...it's become
no more fun for us or those around us.
This group provides a lot of that "confirmation" that somehow we don't
provide them at the local
Roundtable meetings...many of the meetings are so caught up in "getting and
giving information" that
we've forgotten sometimes that the program depends on the efforts of our
volunteers...you. I do the
same thing every day (or every day I can manage to get to my wife's
computer....) to do the same
personally as well. Other Scouters here in this forum and on other related
forums do the same every
day, working as hard as we to keep our fellow Scouters "pumped up" and
continually enthused about
the program and the people in the program!
I can feel the feelings you have and I'm here to tell you that the feelings'
real, and that YOU have the
key in whether you are going to KEEP or DISCARD those feelings. Hopefully,
after you have read
our collective encouragement and ideas, that this will allow you to DISCARD
those feelings in favor
of some positive others.
Your cookout will help much to discard those feelings as well.
Note, Dee, I did NOT say "ignore" those feelings...like I said earlier, I've
been there where you are
and there's many other Scouters here that have felt the same way....what
makes us (and you!)
able to move FORWARD is the fact that you've expressed how you felt to total
we're not anymore!!!) and we're all working with you...and others in the
same boat.....to get you the
assistance you need (and want, or you would not have posted here)!!
Yes, volunteering takes money. It takes a lot, or else the BSA and other
youth agencies would have
to hire "youth workers" at $7 to 12 a hour to do what we do "for free".
While your hubby's overseas,
you REALLY need to stay active in SOMETHING...why not something that will
help that ONE Cub
Scout in your Pack? However, what you and others do is very important to
the lives of others in your
community...you don't see it, because you're frustrated right now. Given
some time, you will, though.
Tell us who charters your Pack now, how they don't help and what kind of
help you are looking for
from them. Also tell us where you're at....I betcha that there's at least
ONE Scouter here that is close to
where you are, and are willing to provide some more localized resources than
the ones off the top of my
head... Finally, tell me what military installation you're at, so that I can
"burn a fire" under whomever it
is that is "on paper" as your Scouting Programs Liaison Officer. Nah, I
won't mention that you wrote...
I don't even know who you are....but I do have a "little pull" in those
>So, I'm sorry this was a long introduction. If anyone can give me advice on
>how to prod these people out of their living rooms and excuses...I'm willing
Sorry for bending your eyes the first time around, Dee.....welcome and
please find a place around the
fire...and load your printer up with paper, because the ideas we exchange
here are for everyone...and that
But, as the commercial states, "you can't win if you don't play!" Stay with
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