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Tips For New Cub Parents

For my Pack, I am trying to put together a few Top 10 Lists for new parents into Scouting.

I am wondering what Tips everyone here would give to parents joining Scouting?

And also Tips for parents that have been in scouting a while also.

And Tips for parents getting ready for a crossover to a Troop.

It’s “one hour per week” times the number of kids in the Pack.

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Well for packs explain AKELA and that the parent can sign off on what is done - then Remind the pack leadership of that LOL

On Troop each one operates differently - here is the second page of what I hand new families for troop

New Family Letter

Boy Scout Advancement:
If you went through Cub Scouts, hopefully your time as a Webelos parent transitioned you from being a parent that could sign off things in your Scout’s book, to the leader signing off things in the book. With Boy Scout’s the Scoutmaster (or their delegates) manage advancement. It is the Scout’s responsibility to control and manage their own advancement. As a parent this can be painful, but it is a needed leadership/personal growth skill Troop 497 wants to encourage. We have posters at the Troop Hut that can greatly help the scout do this.
The exception to this is things to be done with family - ex. Scout Rank 6(a) - With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide. This is perfectly acceptable for you to sign as the book says to do it as a family.
In Troop 497 advancement happens on campouts. Scouts 2 ranks above a rank’s requirement can sign off for other scouts. Ex. - a First Class Scout can sign off on Scout or Tenderfoot requirements. So on campouts you will often see scouts sitting together with books open, and ropes or tools in hand going over requirements for rank advancement. This is a great tool for our youth led troop.
Going to Summer Camp and doing their Trail to First Class will knock out over half of the requirements for the first 4 ranks in Scouts and give them a real leg up.
If your Scout has an interest in a Merit Badge they need to have a conversation with the Scoutmaster to get started.

Youth Led Troop:
Troop 497 strives to be a youth led troop. Our Adult Patrols name is “Ask Your SPL” (Senior Patrol Leader), which is a phrase you will hear often. We want to make leaders, but often leaders have to have a chance to lead. So our adult leaders always try to redirect scouts to their scout leadership to answer questions. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to come to any adult leader to ask.
Youth Leadership can sometimes be a little chaotic, so fair warning, but that is how we have all learned in life. Learning to lead through chaos at 14-15 is much better than trying to learn the skill at 23 when it is needed for a job.

Campouts:
Troop 497 Camps monthly. Rain or Shine. We have Tents for the troop so your scout or parent can use them, or your own.
Sign up forms for campouts are posted in troop hut several weeks before the event. There are also the Flag Route Camp Credit forms to pay for the campout if you are using flag credits.
Like I said before, Advancements happen on campouts so we encourage scouts to attend.
We encourage, and need, parents to camp.

What can you do to help your Troop:
Be involved. Don’t sit in your car during meetings. Don’t drop off your scout for meetings.
We are a youth led troop, but we still need a lot of adult support to keep things moving and to facilitate successful leadership for the scouts.
Our Flag Route Program is a great things for families finances and the troops program. We always need help with that.
Merit Badge Counselors (MBC)- Merit Badges have to be earned through a Merit Badge Counselor, a Scoutmaster cannot sign for a Merit Badge. If you work in a field or have interest in almost any area there is a merit badge for you. You do not have to be an expert in a subject to be an MBC, all you have to do is want to help scouts. You fill out a form and an Adult app for this, leaders in the troop can help. MBCs is one of the few positions where it is ok to sign off on your own scouts achievements.

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  • Your scout’s experience is improved by having you participate in the unit as a leader. Help show them how to make the most of their time in scouting.
  • Everything takes longer than you think it will, and turns out to be more fun than it seemed to be at the time.
  • Do as many of the adventure/rank/merit badge requirements as you can yourself while your scout is doing them. The more you learn about what they’re doing, the more they’re going to learn, and the more fun you’ll both have comparing notes.
  • Take the time to go to meetings and on trips with your scout whenever possible, and watch your scout grow. Try to take off your “parent hat” and put on your “scout hat” while you’re there. You can’t replace time with your kids.
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That’s a really good intro letter. We may steal benchmark it.

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Yeah I developed a one sheeter that I put in a large envelope with a Scout application, adult application and MBC MB sheet, I hand to all parents. The other side has: Brief introduction

Intro

Welcome to Troop 497
Here is a little information we have put together so you can get your feet in the water, rather than feeling like your whole head is submerged.

Then Troop Contacts of importance, Basic info on meetings, Forms of communication, Fee schedule, and full list of years campouts

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Cub Tips

  1. Camping doesn’t need to be overnight. I have a lot of parents that are iffy on this subject especially on the younger side

  2. Put cost per week for your unit membership (national + council + unit dues). It’s easier to translate affordability of the program if someone can see the cost in terms of one week of pay.

For bridging over I ran or co-ran first year programs in four troops across 9 years. I know that list.

  1. camping is a bigger deal. Moving from going on 1-2 campouts per year and half a week of summer camp to going on 6-10 campouts per year and a week of summer camp
  2. parents have a job behind the scenes/more of a advisory role
  3. greater distance to travel for activities
  4. more work at individual pace with greater responsibility. not showing up/doing the work isn’t a parent’s fault and the expectation is to complete the work
  5. great place to start the program, many skip Cub Scouts. Invite a friend to join
  6. fundraising becomes more important and the Scout does the work
  7. often longer meetings. Many packs are 60 minutes, a troop meeting can be 90 minutes and involve showing up 30 early or leaving 15 late

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