Re: Pack Problems...
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 18:33:26 -0500
>From the sound of your post it appears that your Pack's leadership have
failed to plan, thus planning to fail and are succeeding admirably.
While we wouldn't expect a group of highly energetic boys of Cub Scout
age to be completely angelic and without a peep at a meeting, the scene
you describe is a formula for disaster that has an impact that goes far
beyond your Pack right now. And unfortunately, it would seem that
problem is a problem with the adult leaders.
You may not feel much like it is your place to be confrontational, but
consider what the results of this situation are likely to be. Sooner or
later the school and or church are going to decide that they don't need
the headache of property destruction and are going to get worried about
liabiltiy if they think there isn't proper adult supervision. This could
end up in the chartered organization deciding that it will not renew the
charter. And for years to come many young boys would be deprived of the
best that Cub Scouting has to offer because of the parents that allowed
their children to run wild.
This level of chaos is not fun for the boys either. Sooner or later many
of them are going to decide that Scouting isn't offering them anything
and lose interest in a big hurry.
At the earliest opportunity the Pack needs to offer apologies to the
folks whose property was destroyed and make resitution. Later the Pack
should assess those costs to the parents of the children who were
responsible. It should not come out of the Pack treasury and end up
penalizing the kids who were well behaved.
Consider having a chat with the minister who is the Institutional Head of
the chartered organization and ask for his/her assistance in working on
the leadership problem. The Chartered Organization is ultimately
responsible to provide quality leadership. If the leadership is
inadequate, the Chartered Organization can and often will make changes.
This may mean giving the boot to a few people that are no-loads. Sadly,
they may have to go in order to cultivate a better leadership for the
group. They obviously are not doing the job and apparently the training
they had didn't take.
Another resource is your District and/or Unit Commissioner, if you have
one. Talk to them and enlist their help. They can get involved and do
some of the talking that you makes you uncomfortable.
In the meantime keep up the good example with your den and its exemplary
behavior - who knows maybe it will eventually catch on. :-) Talk with a
few of the parents that have been standing to the side and ask them to
organize opening and closing gathering activities. Make 'em fun and see
if some of the energy can be channeled. Consider a parents meeting.
Perhaps the parents would agree to some sort of monitoring to make sure
that all the Scouts stay in the room unless escorted by an adult.
When I was an Assistant Cubmaster we had some parents who were disposed
to let their kids run wild. A few got out into the school during the
meeting and destroyed a number of posters. We made them stay and make
repairs to the posters and later write notes of apology to each student
whose poster had been damaged as a condition of staying in the Pack.
After that we always had a parent stationed at the door to usher any
would be wanderer back into the room. And there were always a few that
would try to slip away during ceremonies or skits.
There is an old saying in training that if you don't have a fun program
for the Cubs and leave it up to them, they'll invent their own fun.
Often it ends up like what you described.
Sounds a lot like your Pack needs new leadership and a lot of program
planning and development to come up with a lot of fun things for the boys
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
Dep.Dist.Commissioner-Training, G.W.Dist., NCAC, BSA (Virginia)
U. S. Scouting Service Project FTP Site Administrator (PC Area)
ftp1 or ftp2.scouter.com/usscouts E-mail: email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City