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New Cub Scout concerns

Hello!

I have been named the Cubmaster for my son’s pack, after another parent moved on to the local area council. After taking the proper training courses, I realized I am not only the Cubmaster, but playing the role of den leader, pack leader, treasurer, along with other duties for Tigers, Wolves,Bears, and Webelos. I have been given little to no help or advice, and it has become frustrating.

Scout Book will not give me access to any scouts, my parents do not use the platform anyway. I suggested an alternate app for communication, but my predecessor shot me down, insisting we only use Scout Book, so at the moment, I cannot post on the event calendar, add achievements for scouts, or advancement, (not even for my own son). Many parents have become impatient with the failures of the program, and I don’t want to chase them away from Scouts. Also, there are about nine scouts that have never attended a meeting on my roster, and i have no contact information for them.

I have been paying for all materials and supplies with my own money, and do not have a way for parents to pay dues, because there is no bank account. If there is any advice to give, I will gladly take it. Sorry for the scattered mess of a topic, but I desperately need help.

Scoutbook primary purpose is to track advancement.

Assuming you are registered as a Cubmaster (CM) with BSA you also have access to my.Scouting Tools to get contact information for both youth and adults.

You can use Member Manager at https://my.scouting.org/ to export 3 different roster spreadsheets: A member roster, a calling roster and a mailing roster. I suspect the calling roster with telephone numbers will be the most useful.

  • To access select Menu > unit name > Member Manager
  • Once in Member Manager click on the help manual button at the bottom right of screen for what you can do in Member Manager and how to do it.
  • The export roster button is the download arrow at the top right of the member list display. You will need to select members and type of roster to export a roster.

@MatthewWoodson, congratulations being named the Cubmaster for your son’s Pack. Cubmaster was my favorite position over the years.

Have you turned in your Adult Leader Application, and has it been processed? Once that has been processed, you should have access to all of the My.Scouting tools, and Scoutbook, for your Pack. If this has not been completed, I suggest asking either the Committee Chair or Charter Organization Representative to log into Scoutbook and add the Unit Admin position to your profile.

Although you have taken all of the online training, I strongly suggest you reach out to your Unit Commissioner or District Commissioner, both volunteers, to sit down with you, and your Committee Chair to create a plan to get you and your Pack up to speed. From the sound of it you need to be recruiting Den Leaders, and your Committee Chair needs to be recruiting Committee members to lend a hand. I also recommend you attend your next District Roundtable in a week and a half. You should be able to find lots of great advise there as well, along with information about upcoming district and council events.

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Non-Scoutbook Issues

I am guessing that the pack committee may need new people and/or training, and new den leaders need to be recruited and trained. That is pack leadership responsibility.

A Cubmaster (CM) is part of the key-3 leadership. Communicate with others on the key-3 team (Chartered Organization Representative and Pack Committee Chair.) I recommend that each key-3 leader get a copy of Cub Scout Leader Book, 33221, 2018 printing, SKU 646725, from the Scout Shop, and read it. It includes the standard list of responsibilities for each leader position in a large pack. It also has a sample organization chart for a small pack.

There is a whole chapter about “Leader and family roles and responsibilities”, pp. 49-74. There is a Parents and Family section on pages 68 ad 69. It also has a good Administration - Membership section including 3 and a half pages (pp. 78-71) related to membership management, a pack leadership and membership inventory form, recruiting events, organizing dens, and revitalizing an existing pack.

Contact your Unit Commissioner or District Commissioner for help. They can put you in touch with district and council specialists and resources, if necessary…

I have posted a number of resources for chartered organization representative in the Chartered Organization Representative discussion topic.

Being the treasurer is not the CM’s job. If there is not one on the pack committee, the responsibility falls back to the Pack Committee Chair. There are tax issues related to whether a pack bank account is set up with a chartered organization or as a separate organization. That is a task for the pack committee chair and chartered organization representative, and chartered organization to figure out.

You should be meeting regularly (at least monthly) with the chartered organization representative and pack committee chair.

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When I took over as Committee Chair for my pack the first thing that we did was communicate with parents that we would be using Scoutbook. That was where we would be posting event information, including RSVP. We also stressed that leaders would be using it, there was no discussion. By switching to using Scoutbook our pack no longer had to pay to use TroopTrack. We also discovered that advancement tracking for scouts was not being done. Knowing this actually helped leaders realize the importance of it.

Parents eventually bought into using Scoutbook. While not all parents check it, the majority do. When they ask questions about events we direct them to see the Scoutbook calendar details (and email sent to them) for details including payment and RSVP dates. Scoutbook is not perfect, but it has it’s advantages.

We too had a list of boys that were registered but either stopped attending, had signed up (online) but had never paid or attended a meeting, and those long gone. We had to do a major clean up. What we discovered was that a previous Cubmaster re-registered everyone without cleaning up the roster, and had done this for a few years. this cost the pack a lot of money. We also learned that council had charged us for boys who had submitted online applications without payment. This was stopped to. Taking the time to clean up the roster is worth the time. As for those 9 scouts, talk with Council. See if they are registered elsewhere, or work with council to have them removed.

You need to collect dues. Work with Council for advice on how to proceed with this. You should not be paying out of pocket, so a bank account for money collection is needed. We stress the importance of paying dues to our families. A once a year payment is requested, but you can do it how ever often you feel is necessary. We accept cash, check, credit card (through Square) for payment. Reminders are emailed in Scoutbook with all of this included.

If your pack does not have basic supplies (craft paper, scissors, glue, etc) post a wishlist and distribute it to parents. You might not get everything, but some. It’s a start.

As for wearing all of the hats, I understand this. I’m Committee Chair, Treasurer, fill in den leader, popcorn kernel, camping chair, event planner, recruitment planner, etc. No one stepped up. Our previous Cubmaster did EVERYTHING himself. At the present our key three are better than previous, but clearly it’s still a work in progress.

Good luck.

For supplies, you can create an amazon wishlist that ships to you directly and name it for your pack. List the supplies you need and send out a link. Parents can buy from the list and send it directly to you or go to the store and pick up wishlist items and you can simply delete it off the list manually. At the end of the year a lot of kids come home with unused or barely used supplies and they get tossed by parents not wanting to deal with them. You can also offer to pick up any unused supplies from your scouts at the end of the year.

Matthew - use all the parents to help you! Have a (pack) meeting for ALL the parents. Use a couple Den Leaders to entertain the Scouts (or put on a movie if needed, I recommend Disney’s “UP”.)

Once you have all the parents, explain to them that it is their pack, not yours, They get to have fun and grow WITH their Scout(s) - not just watch from the sidelines, but that does take some effort! Let them know you will need a few of them to serve in specific roles (Treasurer, etc.) but have some info on what the duties and responsibilities of those roles are and let EVERYONE know there is TRAINING for EVERY ROLE! Remind every parent that at the very least they need to pitch in when needed and support their Scout’s Den Leader!

The smaller the tasks you can dole out the more likely you will get volunteers! I like to remind parents of the BSA Mission Statement, too - “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” Den Leaders need to understand how critical their role is and take that mission statement to heart.

Hang in there - seek out the positive and build on it!

YiS!
John R.
Cubmaster Emeritus

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