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What's Next? (Volunteers)


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#1 Faith

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 08:21 PM

As I sit here finishing up some paperwork for our upcoming Blue & Gold, which I've been working on for the past month, I have had so many thoughts running through my head. One of them, unrelated to my son ranking (and then bridging March 27th) is what is next for me. I've been his den leader since his Tiger year. I've been a very involved volunteer within our Pack (Pinewood Derbies, cubmobile races, B&G, popcorn kernel, twilight camp, fill in assistant Cub Master when it was absolutely needed, etc.) My husband has been very involved as well (range training, muscle wherever needed, cubmobile builder, etc.) I don't consider myself a helicopter parent but I have always been a part of the program. I learned early on to make sure to distance myself as "mom" and let him grow within the program and I think we've did pretty good with that considering (he'll gladly go camp on a weekend with a friend and leave me behind.)So now, I'm left wondering what will I do. Everyone jokes I'll have too much free time on my hands and I surely hope not, to be honest.

 

So my question for discussion to you all is this. When your son(s) bridged to Boy Scouts, if you were a leader/volunteer, what did you do next? Step back entirely? Help with the Troop? Stay on with the Pack? Dual register to help with both? I'm purely curious and this has always been my place to relate to others, although I haven't had nearly as much time to post this year as I have in the past.

 

I just re-chartered myself as a volunteer for the next year, so I'm good there. Just trying to decide where I would be most..useful or if I need to take a break. He's going to a great troop and his SM has stated they'll always appreciate and take any help from parents. But I know that's a whole 'nother realm as far as volunteering goes (not really sure what to expect there, to be honest.)

 

Thanks as always! 


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#2 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 09:11 PM

Hardest part of moving from a Cub Scout Leader to a Boy Scout adult is to "unlearn what you have learned." You have just spent the last 4.5 years doing training so that you can run Scouting programs, and now you are told to sit back, drink your coffee/tea/hot cocoa, and tell the boys "Have you asked your patrol leader" It's hard to do, even if you know better.

 

When my oldest crossed over, I spent a year as a MC. One reason was that I was also a DL still. Another reason was that I needed to be deprogrammed out of Cub Scout leader mode. I remembered the worst part of getting new Scouts in the troop, their interfering parents, and promised to be like that. Being a MC gave a a chance to deprogram, learn the troop culture, and stay out of my son's way.


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#3 JosephMD

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 09:12 PM

There are so many things.  It comes down to you and your son, if you volunteered with the troop are you ready to step further back even if you are at meetings, etc.  Does he need space to figure out how to do it without a parent?

 

You can take a break, just stay registered and make sure you are trained for your position.  You could stay with the pack in some capacity, committee membership chair, next year's tiger den leader.  My mother took over as cubmaster of the pack I bridged out of.  You could sign on with the troop in a capacity.  If you like to camp, be an assistant scoutmaster, organize things, a committee member.  It sounds like they will have you.  Are there merit badge subjects you think would be a good fit for you?  Be a counselor. 

 

Depending on your council, there are usually district committees that are always looking for help.  Administration, Program, etc.  Whatever you like.  Do you know the program well?  Unit Commissioner may be a role for you.

 

Whatever you do, like I mentioned before, get trained for it too, even if it isn't required, training will get you started in the "what to expect there" category.  Also, if you like training and teaching, councils and districts are always looking for training staff ;)


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#4 qwazse

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 09:18 PM

Last issue first: troops vary widely as to how they integrate their adult volunteers. So watch and learn.

So, your pack is okay with its collection of leaders? Or, is one den having trouble finding a leader? You might feel in there or help train someone who is not so confident.

There are also things tasks your district may need help with.

Is there a coed crew who needs female chaperons from time to time?

And there's also the rest of the world (your sones school, church, sports) who miht be served by the stuff you've learned over the years.
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#5 NJCubScouter

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 10:14 PM

At the time my son was about to cross over, I was Assistant Cubmaster. The Cubmaster's son had another year in the pack and a father in the then-Wolf den had already stepped forward to be Assistant Cubmaster, so the pack was in good hands. (And coincidentally, the pack charter was expiring a couple of weeks after crossover.) So it seemed natural for me to "cross over" as well, so I volunteered to be a member of the Troop Committee, and have been an MC ever since, in various roles. My son aged/Eagled out of the troop seven years ago, and has not been involved in Scouting since, but I'm still there.

In light of your comments, Faith, I think it is relevant to mention here that when I "crossed over" I knew pretty much exactly what it was I was crossing over to. As a youth I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, and after I turned 18 I was an Assistant Scoutmaster, briefly, until I started college. I was a Life Scout, served in all the main-line youth leadership positions, etc. I also think I learned a lot about Scouting from my father, who was one of my Scoutmasters, and a Scout/Scouter for 67 years. So when I "crossed over", I had a pretty good idea of what was on the other side of the bridge. Had that not been the case, the transition might not have seemed so natural and logical.

Edited by NJCubScouter, 02 March 2017 - 10:16 PM.

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#6 Back Pack

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 10:32 PM

Help the troop. Kids with involved parents have a better chance of making Eagle and staying in.
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#7 ianwilkins

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 03:19 AM

Life's too short. Do what you enjoy. If that's staying at cubs, why not?


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#8 jjlash

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 07:27 AM

Suggestions so far a all good - mostly to do what interests you.  

 

I was den leader (and other roles) all the way through the Cub years and have been with the Troop for 10+ years now.  After taking Wood Badge I started becoming active at the district and council levels.  One of the district things that I find very rewarding is being a unit commissioner.  Someone like you with solid experience in a Pack would be a great UC - if you dont really know what a UC does, they are a resource; a friend/coach/mentor to the unit; an advocate for the unit.  You provide Scouting knowledge, you encourage recruiting and training and Pack activities and best practices, you provide guidance and share information.  And, when necessary, you know where to go for additional help with a particular situation.


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#9 Faith

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 07:50 AM

Thank you all for the great suggestions as well as input on what you chose. I'm still deciding of course but I have a lot more to consider now.
We do have a venturing crew here in town, I didn't even think about seeing if they needed help (they do a lot with our troop that we're bridging to.)
I was actually offered a district position a few weeks ago (program chairman) but due to a whole lot of drama among current members I said not at this time. Maybe later on but I'm not willing to take on working with people that have chosen to smear our pack recently over a twilight camp two years ago, that went amazingly well, at that (very long story but after seeing all the emails I said I'd rather now take on more stress and conflict right now.)
We do have a wonderful district commissioner that stepped up about a year ago. His daughter is an assistant den leader and his son in law our new cubmaster in training. They're a scouting family and we all get along well. So that position isn't open ATM and that's fine with me.
One of my best friend's (met her through the pack) is the Pack's committee chairman so I work along side her for all our activities. She has a Boy Scout, Bear, Wolf & rising Tiger scout. So I imagine she will be here for awhile, too. :)
My husband plans to help out with the troop, as someone stated here we'll pay attention and see what that consists of. As for me, I may continue to help with the pack (not as a den leader but as someone who can help at events, etc.) I'm a current member of our committee that meets monthly and attend monthly district roundtables so I may continue both of those to stay in the loop, as well.
Oh and on the note about sports. My youngest, 7, plays soccer. He did not have any interest in scouting and I didn't push it. He's starting his their season next week. I am an active volunteer with our local soccer club as well, although there I don't do nearly as much (help sell items, put on a fundraiser, clean the fields, bring snacks.) So I do know how to sit back (some what, lol) but I love being active and helping as much as I can and is wanted/needed.
Again, thanks everyone for replying. I will choose what's best for us but I greatly appreciate all the first hand experience posted here. It has helped clear my mind a bit!

Edited by Faith, 03 March 2017 - 07:53 AM.

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#10 Faith

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 07:57 AM

In light of your comments, Faith, I think it is relevant to mention here that when I "crossed over" I knew pretty much exactly what it was I was crossing over to. As a youth I was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, and after I turned 18 I was an Assistant Scoutmaster, briefly, until I started college. I was a Life Scout, served in all the main-line youth leadership positions, etc. I also think I learned a lot about Scouting from my father, who was one of my Scoutmasters, and a Scout/Scouter for 67 years. So when I "crossed over", I had a pretty good idea of what was on the other side of the bridge. Had that not been the case, the transition might not have seemed so natural and logical.


That is awesome. Besides my husband being a cub scout growing up, there is no trace of scouting in our families. I didn't even have the opportunity to be a girl scout growing up. So this has been and always will be a learning experience for us.
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#11 Faith

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:02 AM

So, your pack is okay with its collection of leaders? Or, is one den having trouble finding a leader? You might feel in there or help train someone who is not so confident.


I have been the pack trainer since 2015 and can say, confidently, that right now our pack is doing amazingly well leader-wise. We have 34 active scouts that just rechartered (we aren't huge.)
One den for each rank (6 of those scouts are bridging in March.) Each den, minus Tigers, has 2 (or 3) leaders, along with Tiger having all the Tiger parents assisting their one leader. We have had den issues in the past, leadership and otherwise, but are finally in a "good place."
Once we/they recruit for Tigers to join the pack during the summer, then we'll see how leadership goes for that new den.
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#12 gumbymaster

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:19 AM

Like you, I wanted to step away from my son's boy scout career as much as possible (although some recent medical issues have necessitated more involvement than I wanted).  I am on the committee to try and make sure the troop stays functional.  I'm trained as an SM and could step in if needed, but only if it was that or the troop folding.

 

I stayed involved with the pack, because a strong feeder pack is one of the best ways to keep a healthy troop.

 

And I became a commissioner, to help other units.

 

Even if you don't want a district committee type position right now, and that is completely understandable, someone with your experience and dedication would make a great unit commissioner or round table staff to help other leaders and units.  Your help in either role, I am sure, would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you for all you've done and all you will do in the future.


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#13 DadScouts

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:58 AM

1. With your experience, join the Pack committee for a year.  Maybe they need you, maybe they don't, but having you available is an asset to them.

2. Join the District committee.  OK passing on the program chair.  Volunteer for the recruiting/membership committee and tell all those older Troop centric wonderful volunteers that the best way to help Scouting is to do a better job recruiting Cubs.

3. Watch, listen, and learn on the Troop side.  Troops are different than Packs obviously but the big difference is Troops are different than Troops, in addition to being different than Packs.  Learn how "a" Troop operates and then learn how your son's Troop operates.  After a year figure out where the holes and needs are and volunteer to fill that hole or need that you would enjoy doing the work.


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#14 SSScout

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 12:00 PM

Faith:   Just saw you post.   Thank you for your energy and obvious organizational skills.  

 

Something not yet mentioned:   Cub Scout Day Camp.  Being one of the Camp Directors (Program,  Campsite, Prime Director, or however your District names them) can be a very rewarding and fun thing. You can do such as a Commissioner, or Assistant Scoutmaster or just an interested Scout Volunteer.   Being recognized in a neighborhood grocery and having a Boy Scout age (!!)  boy point me out to his parent as "that archery man" is one of my favorite things .

My Good Wife was the CSDC Director for her five year term and I know (despite some occasional word to the contrary) enjoyed every challenging minute of it. 

I therefore became the "First Assistant Everything Else" (my official title !) . Mention Cub Scouts and things happen.  Free or cheap gear and supplies. Special appearances (astronauts, trucks, bulldozers,  hawks, raccoons,  airplanes and helicopters, Egyptian pyramids,  knights on horseback !)  .  And the Cubs eat it up, despite their parent's misgivings.    Contact the District folks and raise your hand and say "I want to take the training and help ".  you and lots of other folks will be glad you did.

 

See you on the trail.


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#15 Faith

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:02 PM

Like you, I wanted to step away from my son's boy scout career as much as possible (although some recent medical issues have necessitated more involvement than I wanted).  I am on the committee to try and make sure the troop stays functional.  I'm trained as an SM and could step in if needed, but only if it was that or the troop folding.

 

I stayed involved with the pack, because a strong feeder pack is one of the best ways to keep a healthy troop.

 

And I became a commissioner, to help other units.

 

Even if you don't want a district committee type position right now, and that is completely understandable, someone with your experience and dedication would make a great unit commissioner or round table staff to help other leaders and units.  Your help in either role, I am sure, would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you for all you've done and all you will do in the future.

 

Thank you ^_^ I agree with the feeder pack sentiment and discussed with my husband today that I really would like to continue to help the pack out. As for District, I will continue to attend their meets and hopefully things will work out (I will try my best to assist with that.) :)


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#16 Faith

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:04 PM

1. With your experience, join the Pack committee for a year.  Maybe they need you, maybe they don't, but having you available is an asset to them.

2. Join the District committee.  OK passing on the program chair.  Volunteer for the recruiting/membership committee and tell all those older Troop centric wonderful volunteers that the best way to help Scouting is to do a better job recruiting Cubs.

3. Watch, listen, and learn on the Troop side.  Troops are different than Packs obviously but the big difference is Troops are different than Troops, in addition to being different than Packs.  Learn how "a" Troop operates and then learn how your son's Troop operates.  After a year figure out where the holes and needs are and volunteer to fill that hole or need that you would enjoy doing the work.

 

I've been a member of our pack committee since 2012. It's one of my absolute favorite "roles", as I've been able to help so much on it. I definitely plan to continue attending those meetings as it was stressed today (while starting setup at B&G) that they could use my help at both our twilight camp coming up as well as a pack camp out. Since boy scouts also assist with the pack camp outs, I could assist along with my son when needed (along with the other Troop scouts that usually help out with the Cubs.)

Thank you, too, on the solid troop advice. I will definitely not take that lightly and will pay attention (and ask questions, which everyone knows I have no problem doing. :D )


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#17 Faith

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:09 PM

Faith:   Just saw you post.   Thank you for your energy and obvious organizational skills.  

 

Something not yet mentioned:   Cub Scout Day Camp.  Being one of the Camp Directors (Program,  Campsite, Prime Director, or however your District names them) can be a very rewarding and fun thing. You can do such as a Commissioner, or Assistant Scoutmaster or just an interested Scout Volunteer.   Being recognized in a neighborhood grocery and having a Boy Scout age (!!)  boy point me out to his parent as "that archery man" is one of my favorite things .

My Good Wife was the CSDC Director for her five year term and I know (despite some occasional word to the contrary) enjoyed every challenging minute of it. 

I therefore became the "First Assistant Everything Else" (my official title !) . Mention Cub Scouts and things happen.  Free or cheap gear and supplies. Special appearances (astronauts, trucks, bulldozers,  hawks, raccoons,  airplanes and helicopters, Egyptian pyramids,  knights on horseback !)  .  And the Cubs eat it up, despite their parent's misgivings.    Contact the District folks and raise your hand and say "I want to take the training and help ".  you and lots of other folks will be glad you did.

 

See you on the trail.

 

Thank you. :) It's funny you mention that camp. We had it my son's Wolf, Bear & Webelos summers. Then last year, we didn't because the camp director left, the other camp (can't think of the position) bailed and we were too late to get anyone else to help. We relied too heavily on the same two people for 5 years to do it (which means years before my time, too) so when they were both suddenly gone, we were in a hole.

 

That being said, we just sent two people last weekend to training for day camp (we do twilight camp.) One of them has enough peppiness & spunk for 50 people, the other is more organized than I am. I think they will both be great for the next few (however many years they choose, hopefully the full 5) but I did offer today to go to the 8 hour training and help when I'm not working this summer in wherever they need me. We have 5 people trained for range officers so this year, we are covered there. My best friend agreed to do the same as far as volunteering at camp and with the pack (she's my current assistant den leader as well) and will be making all their signage, etc. She doesn't even have a cub scout, she just really loves helping out. I've did some training over the past few years but plan to do more.

 

I was also approached about being a merit badge counselor (my area of "knowledge" is technology due to my job) and I plan to maybe do that if time allows.

 

Again, thank you!


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