As part of some notes sent and posted in December, about improving Cub Scouting through “Bobcat Activity Plans”, “Put All Den Adventure Plans Back Online for Free”, and “Restore Camping Activity to the Requirements”, I’ve been thinking with others about the elephant in the room, the problem no one function of a Council or District can solve:
We Can’t Get Enough People To Be Leaders.
Everyone “does their best” in their lanes or functions: Membership mentions it. Training wants to train, but isn’t tasked to recruit. Same with Commissioners.
The problem in part is that the way the BSA describes “what Cub Scouting is” -- a result of which is that being a Den Leader or a Cubmaster is an enormous job description.
Like a Den Leader is told about “weekly” den meetings and monthly pack meetings and monthly roundtables and monthly pack leader meetings and then probably another activity and training and prepare for your “weekly” meetings … that’s a lot.
-- So of course few people want to do all that …
-- … or if you don’t deliver as described by your DE you feel like you’re letting kids, families and the BSA itself down.
But I think we can make progress by changing how we describe “what Cub Scouting is” in our Websites, parent handouts, training, etc., by paring down that description … to make it clear that:
-- If you don’t meet every week, you’ll be fine … do fun activities.
-- If you don’t have Pack Meetings, you’ll be fine … do fun activities instead.
-- (Pack Meeting Fans: Not that Pack meetings are banned or bad … but if it’s not fun in your Pack, why do it?)
So I’ve put together two thought pieces on this struggle with suggested website changes, to help us re-think how we describe “what cub scouting is”:
one about “Lighten Leader Loads”, focused on the Den Leader, and how we might help them, at:
also posted with hyperlinks at Lighten Leader Loads
the other is about “Why Pack Meetings” or “Minimize Meetings, Accentuate Activities”, at:
also posted with hyperlinks at Why Pack Meetings?
Now, I’ll grant that sometimes the ideal model works, usually in the perfect pack in the unicorn district of utopia council where everyone volunteers and follows through. But that’s rare.