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New leaders, questions about various organizational topics.


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#1 Edge

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Posted 22 September 2015 - 09:01 PM

We have had a ton of changes lately with our cub scout pack. Almost every leader we had left about a month ago, to go form a new pack because of some questions raised about poor records being kept, mis-truths being told to us as parents, etc. I have a few questions because those of us who are still around just got tossed to the deep end without our water wings. 

We are having a few issues. This pack has existed since well before I was old enough to be a cub scout. I was a cub scout in it for a few years. We have hit a brick wall it seems in communication. Our chartering organization is completely behind some of the changes that were made. 

My first question is this former set of scout leaders told the newest Cubmaster that my family and another family were on some sort of assistance. This cubmaster is a friend of ours and was almost embarrassed to ask us about it so she could fill out the proper paperwork to keep it going. The problem with this is, we have not, to our knowledge, ever received any assistance from BSA or anyone. I don't even know how to go about checking this to see who could have possibly signed us up for it and what happened to any money handed out. My family as well as the other family  in question have never asked for or received any assistance from them. It makes me question what was happening to any money we ever gave them for activities. Who do we contact to find out about this and if there was any wrongdoing, to have that investigated? 

My next question is more for our friend who is the cubmaster. They were told in regards to our bank account that if our account were to grow to over $1000.00 that the BSA would take some money from that. Is this true? Is there a resource we need to find out about topics such as this that we seem to be missing? 

Another question is in regards to communication with our council. The former leader in question of some not so well to do practices is in what seems to be some pretty high regards with our contact people within our council. We are lost on some of these topics and this council will not return any of our phone calls or provide any sort of guidance. We were left right before round up and start up of this scouting year and our council contacts were supposed to have met with us at various points. We cannot get in touch with them or any sort of meaningful conversation with anyone from the council. It was to the point where we had to create our own parent orientation because we were unable to communicate with anyone about what to do with the institution of the new program. How do you contact someone when no one in your council will talk to your pack or your chartering organization? 


Sorry if this was long or rant-ish, but we need to find out some information sooner, rather than later and we aren't necessarily lost but in our positions, we need to get more than we have gotten. Thank you in advance for any contributions and answers. 


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#2 vumbi

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 05:22 AM

Those are a lot of questions but first, WELCOME to the forums. I hope you're able to sift through all the responses and get some answers for all of the questions.  You might want to repeat your questions in the Cub Scout forum because it is possible that Cub Scouters might not read this one.

 

Starting with the account: No, if you have a pack or troop account, BSA doesn't even know what the balance is. This unit often has well over 5-10K in theirs, just before we pay for some large expense for a big trip or something. BSA doesn't touch it.

Fundraising on the other hand: BSA has some fairly strict guidelines about what you can do and how you do it. But those are in the documentation that you can find online, although I don't know the link offhand.

 

Also remember that ALL assets of the pack belong to the charter organization and should remain with the existing pack and not move to the new one. You didn't give enough detail about the 'changes' that were made so I am not comfortable speculating on that topic. (there are probably plenty of others here who would be glad to speculate).

 

It would be fair to expect to be able to see the pack budget details so you can see what happened to pack funds prior to their leaving. As for 'assistance', unless you do find some kind of hanky panky in those records, my advice is to shrug it off and focus on the new leadership and work with your cubs. That's where you'll find real satisfaction.


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#3 qwazse

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 05:48 AM

Sounds like someone filled your BSA experience with a lot of BS.

Assistance can come in many forms, if they didn't specify the source (council, your CO, anonymous), and the pack didn't keep records, there'd be no way of figuring this out.

Communication? Attend your district roundtable.

Edited by qwazse, 23 September 2015 - 05:50 AM.

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#4 Stosh

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 05:50 AM

Welcome to the forum, I'm sure you will get some good communication from the people here, they have all gone through this kind of hassle before and can steer you in the right direction.

 

 

We have had a ton of changes lately with our cub scout pack. Almost every leader we had left about a month ago, to go form a new pack because of some questions raised about poor records being kept, mis-truths being told to us as parents, etc. I have a few questions because those of us who are still around just got tossed to the deep end without our water wings. 

 

This sounds like there were some issues well before so as to break up the pack.  That's old news, don't worry about it.  Of course they're going to be unScoutlike and try and run down your pack in the court of public opinion so they can gather up the new kids for their pack.  Typical politics of a harsh split between groups of people who know very little about the program.

 

We are having a few issues. This pack has existed since well before I was old enough to be a cub scout. I was a cub scout in it for a few years. We have hit a brick wall it seems in communication. Our chartering organization is completely behind some of the changes that were made. 

 

Great, the Chartering Organization (CO) is the only one you need to please.  They are the ones responsible for the existence of the pack.

My first question is this former set of scout leaders told the newest Cubmaster that my family and another family were on some sort of assistance. This cubmaster is a friend of ours and was almost embarrassed to ask us about it so she could fill out the proper paperwork to keep it going. The problem with this is, we have not, to our knowledge, ever received any assistance from BSA or anyone. I don't even know how to go about checking this to see who could have possibly signed us up for it and what happened to any money handed out. My family as well as the other family  in question have never asked for or received any assistance from them. It makes me question what was happening to any money we ever gave them for activities. Who do we contact to find out about this and if there was any wrongdoing, to have that investigated? 

 

I have no idea what kind of assistance this can be.  Unless some scout gets a campership to go to summer camp, I know of no BSA program that gives assistance to individual families as you describe.  This just sounds like more unScoutlike political agenda to discredit the leadership of the old pack.  Again trying to make themselves look good in the court of public opinion.  Running down the reputation of others seldom works in building up the accusers.  I always subscribe to the idea that if these people are telling me negative things about other people that aren't around to defend themselves, what are they saying about me behind my back?  One does not need people like this in their lives.

 

My next question is more for our friend who is the cubmaster. They were told in regards to our bank account that if our account were to grow to over $1000.00 that the BSA would take some money from that. Is this true? Is there a resource we need to find out about topics such as this that we seem to be missing? 

 

Oh, good, I can answer this question.  The information you received on this is a flat out lie, pure and simple.  The money belongs to your CO and BSA can't touch it even if the pack folds.

Another question is in regards to communication with our council. The former leader in question of some not so well to do practices is in what seems to be some pretty high regards with our contact people within our council. We are lost on some of these topics and this council will not return any of our phone calls or provide any sort of guidance. We were left right before round up and start up of this scouting year and our council contacts were supposed to have met with us at various points. We cannot get in touch with them or any sort of meaningful conversation with anyone from the council. It was to the point where we had to create our own parent orientation because we were unable to communicate with anyone about what to do with the institution of the new program. How do you contact someone when no one in your council will talk to your pack or your chartering organization? 

 

Depending on the integrity of the Council personnel, you will need to remember that these people can play favorites with their "good old boys" networks and also remember they are interested in making sure their numbers don't fall off.  They will not do anything to jeopardize their quotas.  In the long run, seek out information on the forum here and ignore the fact that the Council is ignoring you.  That might be a really good thing anyway.

Sorry if this was long or rant-ish, but we need to find out some information sooner, rather than later and we aren't necessarily lost but in our positions, we need to get more than we have gotten. Thank you in advance for any contributions and answers. 

 

Just remember, your focus is ON THE BOYS and your ability to provide a really good program for them.  That is where one needs to focus all of their energy.  The other pack will soon tire of their politics once they realize it isn't accomplishing anything.  Work hard at not getting down on their level of conflict.  Any time the discussion in your pack makes reference to them, simply change the subject and bring it back to what needs to be done to make your own pack successful.  The breakup is old news.  Move on.


Edited by Stosh, 23 September 2015 - 05:52 AM.

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#5 Edge

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 07:09 AM

Sorry I did come off a bit unclear. I am not certain nor do I care what led to the leadership breakup in our pack. I would like to find out about the whole assistance thing but that's more water under the bridge. Where we are as of today, a little over a month of our current leadership being the leaders, have tripled the size of the pack through just a little work of having our boys talking up what they did last year as a pack, a creative poster hung outside our school. We were told we had more than double the kids sign up at round up than any other pack's school in our area. With this large pack, I just want to retain these boys and keep them interested.

What we do need is a reliable contact with someone who can assist us in answering some questions as we are all new to this and just trying to figure things out as we go. We've been told on a few occasions that we would have a sit down with the guy that always comes to us from the council, however that has never happened and we cannot get any answers via phone calls to the council. With this new cub scout program its been slightly confusing to say the least. Is there a way to contact someone directly to BSA that can answer a few questions related to Cub Scouting? There has to be someone you can talk to if the council will not talk to us. Is it possible that the chartering organization may need to get together with them? Part of the problem was the way in which everything was left. The leadership through everything we have except the chartering organization lists things the way they were prior to the split.

 


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#6 Stosh

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 07:31 AM

Contact your District Commissioner and have that person assign you a Unit Commissioner.  This person is responsible for the direct link between your unit and the District/Council.  If that request is denied or delayed, I would suggest having your Institutional Head (IH) make the request, that will at least catch their attention that you're serious about making contact.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#7 T2Eagle

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 08:07 AM

Welcome,

 

My first suggestion to you is to 1) read the books, and 2) take all the training.  You can do both these things without any involvement from anyone else.  The handbooks at all levels have a lot of information and go a long way towards explaining the basic programs, too few adults take the time to sit down and read them.  The training that I'm referring to is all available online.  For Cubs there are three different positions: Den Leader, Cubmaster, Committee Member, and for each position there are three modules: Before the First Meeting, First 30  Days, Position Trained. 

 

I'd recommend both Den Leader and Cubmaster to really understand the program.

 

Good luck!


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#8 JoeBob

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 08:39 AM

If you want to get the attention of your district personnel, find out where the money goes.  Go to the next District Roundtable (A monthly meeting of unit volunteers and local professionals,. Date, time and location should be on the District website.)  Ask the person who acts like they're in charge "Who do I hand the check to?"  Now they're interested in you.

 

BSA expects an annual check in the amount of $25 per boy and registered adult in your unit.  They also want to do a Friends of Scouting presentation to beg more money from your parents.  Withholding those payments unless you get some real support seems very reasonable.

 

If your queries at Roundtable don't gain traction, ask them if they have any contact information for Trail Life in your area.  Trail Life is a startup competitor to BSA.


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#9 Eagledad

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 09:08 AM

I would call the council and ask for the District Executive (DE) of your distirct. He/she will know all the names and contacts you are requesting and the answers to most of your questions. Typically the District Commissioner (DC) is your next best resource. The DE will know the  name and number for the DC and other appropriate district resources to your questions. Hopefully you have a Unit Commissioner (UC), but don't count on it. If you don't, ask the DC if they could find you one.

 

Barry


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#10 5yearscouter

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 10:51 AM

google your council office,

click around and find a contact us list

Do you know what District you are in within your council?

If so you need the District Executive for that District.

If you do not know what district you are in, you can call the council office and talk to the registrar and they can tell you and let you know who to talk to.  If that person doesn't call you back, you can work your way up the chain of command til you talk to the scout executive--or their secretary anyways.

 

At our council all the District Executives stood up and changed chairs/offices and their numbers didn't always follow along and they now are over different units.  We also lost several District Executives and new ones hired, so if I was a confused new leader and tried to call the contact number of the prior person, I would probably NOT get any response. 

I say that just so you know not to assume that council is ignoring you.

 

Now as to explaining the program and how things work in the new cub scouts stuff

yeah you aren't really going to get that answer from the council office.

They aren't the ones who work directly with units to explain or train.

 

Find out from your district executive who is the district trainer and try to contact them to get some help.

unit commissioner is good, but ours doesn't know much about the new cub scout program any more than I do.

Since the program i s new, not many people know any more than what is in the online training stuff

and the books.

 

Go to the scout shop and buy the leader books for all the cub levels and make sure every leader has a copy of the youth book as well.  Look at the options for the Pack leader guides as well. 

 

training is moving from www.myscouting.org to https://my.scouting.org

log in there and take training.

If a unit leader cubmaster, committee chair and chartering organization representative can all log into my.scouting and get a current roster and ensure that everyone has left the unit that was supposed to and that all new cubs are registered.  Make sure if they are new people that they know this information so they can monitor that new scouts are actually getting registered in your unit and not the other unit.

 

As to assistance, in some areas there is Scoutreach dollars that can pay yearly registration fees for low income peoples, or help buy uniforms etc..  When Our pack was started the DE had scoutreach $ and wanted to have everyone in our pack fill out a form--or he was going to do it for us--to get part of the registration fees covered by council, even those who didn't need the $.  So it could be something like that, or could be that the old committee people had some kind of fund and they covered part of pack/registration fees out of that.  If your new people know how it was done, just suggest to them that they touch base with everyone and start over again, as it appears someone was applying for some kind of funds in your name.  it could have been nefarious or it could have been a bulk thing done at some time and everyone involved never actually knew about it. and then if they were afraid to approach people it just continued without any questions. 

 

good luck!


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#11 scoutldr

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Posted 23 September 2015 - 01:22 PM

FIrst of all, are you a registered leader of this unit?  It's not stated in your post, but you appear to be.  If so, what is your registered position?  This is a matter for the Pack Committee Chairman and the Chartered Organization Rep (COR).  They should a) conduct an audit of all Pack accounts.  b)make sure all boys and leaders are properly registered before conducting activities.  These are liability issues.

 

Also, I'm not aware of any "assistance" programs, except camp scholarships that you would have to apply for.

 

Sounds like "one hot mess" as we say in the South.  Good luck.


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#12 Edge

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 09:27 PM

Sorry for the delay in time. Things have been a bit crazy. During the past week, the district people our cubmaster was trying to get in touch with actually finally called back after 2 months of not communicating with us. 

Yes I am a registered leader in the pack and we believe we have most everything we need sorted out to keep us in the right direction, which is all I honestly care about. The former leaders are gone and we finally got some information and we have everything rolling now. There was a lot of questions that we had moving from the old to the new program. Still a few but we visited a scout shop in a different council and they were very good about pointing us in the right direction. We still have a few questions that have risen but the district guy that we talk to(not really sure what his title is) has actually made contact with us twice so it seems to be settling out. 


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#13 cyclops

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 10:12 PM

I'm glad to read that things are settling out. Once the 'adult management' part is squared away, you'll really be able to enjoy working with the boys and the cubs are a LOT of fun to work with.


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