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No more vacancies?

My son and I have been to half a dozen scout meetings attended an overnight camp out and two award ceremonies. We volunteered to help at for a holiday public service. My son earned his bobcat badge durring his second meeting. My question is why has no pack leader, scout master someone in charge attached us or taken us in to a specific pack and a specific group? After 2 award ceremonies we have yet to hear his name called to get his badge. I’ve raised the question in person and I get a bunch of shrugged shoulder. What’s the deal here?

@JasonPhillips3 What grade is your son in?

Hes in forth grade. Btw, we paid for this year next year and have bought all required equipment and uniforms.

Hi, @JasonPhillips3, I guess I’m not quite understanding your questions.

Generally speaking, a pack is the larger group within which Cub Scouts (elementary school-aged youth) participate in the BSA. There are (generally) multiple packs in a district, and multiple districts within a council. The districts and councils are administrative entities that manage scouting for the BSA within a given geographic area. It sounds like you’re already participating in a pack.

Within each pack, there are dens, and which den a scout belongs to is generally dictated by the scout’s school grade. A 4th grader would typically be in a first-year Webelos den. There’s a den leader who manages the program for each den, and a cubmaster who manages the overall pack’s program. There’s also a pack committee that largely manages administrative overhead for the pack. The cubmaster, pack committee and den leaders are all volunteers (often parents of current or former scouts in the pack).

Since this is a national forum, it’s a bit hard to determine exactly what’s going on with your particular pack. Was there someone at the pack with whom you made contact and signed-up? That would be the first person I reached out to with questions.

I’m not sure why there’s a delay in getting the recognition, but again there’s usually someone for each unit who helps with new member orientation. In the units in which I’ve been a leader (or a scout) it was usually the same person who took the new scout applications and payments.

@JasonPhillips3 - I dont follow the issue either. I suppose you have attended pack meetings and perhaps den meetings? At the very least you should have contact info to reach out to. On the bobcat if you informed the den leader and they verify and enter it then the advancement chair should purchase it.

Well thanks for the response. I get all that. Den within a pack within a troop. There is the managers and the leaders at many of the scouting functions we’ve attended. He knows his pack number but not his leader. None have accepted him. He is one year younger than weblos in the pack and one grade below. So most of them will be headed to scouts. So if we cant get any organized effort to include my son then it’s very hard to be excited about this.

@JasonPhillips3 - packs and troops are different scouting units. What exactly have you attended. If you attended district and council functions then those are outside of the local pack. A pack does not operate within a troop. I still do not follow exactly what your issue is. Please feel free to email me at sjhjr@comcast.net and I can try to work through this with you.

Scouts BSA troops are for older youth.

We are just trying to understand what is going on, but Is he is the only 4th grader in the pack? I would recommend talking to the Cubmaster or the Pack Committee Chair to see how best to include him.

It sounds like the pack does not have any/many other 4th graders, and probably doesn’t have a dedicated den leader for the 4th grade Webelos Scouts. I’d suggest you reach out to your Cubmaster and ask who your den leader is. there seems to be a little communication breakdown somewhere.

I noticed you used the word accepted. Did you apply on line? If so the local unit needs to accept you. If that is the case you need to contact your local council.

As @Stephen_Hornak and @JenniferOlinger noted, troops are the organizational units for older scouts, not elementary-schoolers. The troop is not a super-set of the pack, but rather a parallel grouping of older scouts, generally, but not always, with different leadership.

I guess I’m still confused when you say “He knows his pack number but not his leader. None have accepted him.” When you say pack number, that sounds like you’re saying that he is part of a pack (group of elementary schoolers from kindergarten through 5th grade), but doesn’t know what den (group of scouts all the same grade level) nor who his den leader is. Am I correctly understanding this? From the way you’re phrasing things, it’s hard to tell with whom you’ve actually been meeting, as well as who you’ve spoken to, so that we can give you better advice on how to resolve your concerns.

It seems like the questions you need to ask to resolve the confusion are:

  1. Ask any adult in the pack “Who is the cubmaster?” Keep asking until someone can actually point the person out to you. Since the cubmaster is the person responsible for running the overall pack program, he or she should know who the Webelos den leader(s) is(are). The leaders, at least in all of the packs in which I have been involved, will be in khaki uniform blouses. They will certainly know who the cubmaster is.

  2. Ask the cubmaster “Who is the den leader for first year Webelos (4th graders)?” That’s who you and your scout need to talk to about attending den meetings and making sure that his advancement is properly approved, etc.

  3. Ask the cubmaster “Who do I talk to about the fact that my scout hasn’t received the Bobcat badge he completed?” This may be the unit advancement chair, or the cubmaster may direct you back to the den leader.

That sounds very much like what the others have noted: there may not be other 4th grade Webelos, and the pack may not have a Den Leader for that age group. The most direct way to address that lack might be to volunteer to be the den leader for that age group (which right now consists only of your scout). This would involve submitting an application and submitting to a background check. There also is some required training involved, but most if not all of it can be obtained online.Some chartering organizations (the entities that sponsor individual units) may also have their own requirements such as an in-person meeting for the charter to approve the scout.

Since unit leaders are all volunteers, the major source for new leaders is parents of the scouts, as I noted before. I volunteered to be my son’s Tiger Den Leader about 8 years ago, and it’s been a great run in scouts ever since, moving through the pack, and eventually bridging over the troop level with him when he finished his Arrow of Light. It is a time commitment, but I’ve generally found it to be far more than worth the time I’ve invested.

At every meeting I’ve attended with my son. We talk to the leaders and ask; who has the responsibility as scout leader for my son?
Answer; (literally) we dont have a group that you fit into.

Reason; 1 to 2 year age gap and the weblos that are here plan to all move to scouts next year.

We show up, we paid the money, we volunteere to help with community projects and have sold popcorn we provided more food and coffee than was asked from us for a group campout, because other members didn’t (or couldn’t) volunteer to provide it themselves. My point is that we are a good family and wanted to participate in scouting. But this is a semi-closed group I guess. Who are happy to take your money and let you sell products on their behalf and volunteer in their name, but they dont owe you anything in return. Thanks. 4h here we come.

Your other option is saying “I am willing to lead this age group”

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OK, so this sounds like the crux of the issue. Since units are volunteer run, they generally only have leaders for the levels at which they actually have scouts. If your son is the first scout to joint the unit at that grade level, then there won’t be a leader waiting in the wings. Someone has to volunteer to be that leader, and more often than not in my experience, it’s the parent of one of the scouts at that level.

If you’re unhappy with that particular pack, I would encourage you to check out other packs in your area, rather than abandoning scouting altogether. Ask them whether or not they have a den leader for the 4th grade level (they may also refer to it as Webelos 1), and ask to meet that leader. Units are generally quite open to having visitors in my experience, and your council should be able to help you with a transfer to another unit. That wouldn’t necessarily transfer the portion of the dues associated with your current unit, but the national and council fees should transfer.

I should start a weblos pack of 1.

Webelos Den - but yes it is possible and your son could invite friends and get the recruiter award.

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Why should I pay for that? Is BSA just a figure head? Do everything yourself on your own shop at our official store for the required uniform(s) and pay to call it scouting. No. The pack mostly goes to my son’s school so outside groups wont be the same. Thanks.

I might be using this forum to vent with people who may know where I’m coming from. Thanks for the help and concern. Well keep trying, because it’s not about me.

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Jason,

It sounds like you have had an incredibly frustrating experience. I am so sorry to hear that!

I just joined a pack with my son in 4th grade as well and it was challenging because typically dens form at a younger age and they reallly aren’t used to someone coming in at that level.

It is likely that the last two years, others your son’s age also tried and quit because there wasn’t any one else at that level.

I hope you aren’t too frustrated to hear a little background.

The reality is that every one has to pay to participate, and still there literally is no den or pack unless parents of the Scouts fill leadership positions. Everyone, in every meeting, is a volunteer. As I understand it, the den my son joined formed two years ago. The first night all the parents of that age boys were put in a room and told, “we do not have a den leader yet, there will be no den unless one of you leads.” After 20 minutes, one dad said, “Greg will do it” and pushed his friend forward, (and became his assistant).

It sounds like you are already doing a great job helping your son progress as a Webelos Scout, it will not be a big step to continue to lead him. Our schedule conflicts with many of my son’s den’s events, so I have sought ought other venues through our council calendar page and, literally just google searches of nature centers in our area, to take my son to in order to achieve advancements. (Search “Webelos Adventures -insert city name-” In fact, he is the only one in his den who has finished advancements because the den leader is planning on finishing most of them later in the year at campouts.

Please consider becoming a den leader and having your son ask a couple of friends from school if they want to join his adventures. It will likely be a lot of fun for all of you as a result. It is truly worth it, the experience that my older son had through Boy Scouts makes me so motivated for his younger siblings to participate. I ended up volunteering at the Troop level because of how impressed I was with the program, once I got past the learning curve.

Then, everytime you have a question no one local will answer, jump on here and we will chime in.

Hope this helps!

Angela

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Vent any time!!! This is a good place to do so.