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Useless Den Leader


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#1 RachelMasen

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:00 PM

I need some advice on how to deal with my son's den leader.  He's a nice guy, but he doesn't do anything.

 

The meetings are completely disorganized.  They hardly ever do anything.

 

They have an event scheduled for Sunday, but he neglected to include the time in the email. He never responds to my emails, so my son will miss Sunday - which is the first time something has ever been scheduled!

 

When I signed up my son, I purchased the bundle - which included a t-shirt, the Book Scout book and belt.  I also purchased at an additional price, the Boy Scout monthly magazine.

 

I never received the t-shirt, the belt or even one issue of the magazine.

 

I have told this den leader for months.  He always says he'll get back to me, but he doesn't.

 

After 6 months, we're just ready to quit, but I would at least like what I paid for!

 

Can someone help??  I don't know what to do?  I'm so aggravated!


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#2 qwazse

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:25 PM

Welcome to the forums! So, is your scout a lion or tiger cub? I'm sorry to hear of your negative experience.

 

You should talk to your Pack's cubmaster. The Boy's Life subscription should have been ordered when you filled out your son's youth application. Your cubmaster should be able to double-check if the paperwork went through and your son is on the roster.

 

Some people just don't do E-mail. So, you're just gonna have to settle for a phone call or face-to-face.

 

Now, are you in a position to volunteer to host one activity for your son's den? Sometimes, by you or the boy's father offering to contribute an activity, and a couple of other boys' parents offering something else on a different month, you all will be able to work up a fun schedule and work around your den leaders' foibles.


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#3 RachelMasen

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:39 PM

My son is a Weblo.  Several families have left and went to another troop which I'm not going to do so late in the year.

 

The parents who I have spoke with have had the same experiences with him and are frustrated.

 

He never offered to check the paperwork on the Boy's Life, just said he'd look into it.  The following week when I ask him about him, he acts like it's the first time he's hearing about it.  This has been going on for 6 months.

 

In the time I emailed him to clarify about the time, I received another email about another Cub Scout related issue.  But he never responded to my email.  

 

I've already filled out the paperwork to be a volunteer.  He just never asked me to do anything.  Trust me, I've offered and plenty of the other parents have as well.  We're desperate for the boys to do something!  He always says he'll get back to us and never, ever does!

 

Like I said, I think we're done.  We won't be going back.  But it's not fair that I paid $50 for items, and an additional $12 for the Boy's Life, and gotten nothing but the book in return.

 

I either want my items or a refund.  It's just not fair.

 

I don't want to get him trouble, so talking to the Cubmaster, I don't even know who that is, may not be the best course of action.  I live in a small, cliquish town.  But if that's my only option...how do I find out who the Cubmaster is?

 

I'm just frustrated, especially for my son who has had a terrible experience in what I thought would have been great for him!


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#4 JosephMD

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:02 PM

Wow, quite frustrating.  Every pack is run by volunteers with different roles, some are better at it than others.  It sounds like yours has some disfunction somewhere. 

 

It seems like in your pack the application, other paperwork, and money was given to the den leader to handle, but he is probably just the interface, and just delivers it all to someone else.  Most of my experience, that sort of thing is handled by the commitee. 

 

The magazine, Boys Life, should have been included in the application and your funds transferred to your local council, if they didn't do this, I'd be worried that he is even a registered scout (did you get a membership card?).  The rest of your fee should have been kept by the pack and the additonal items purchased and since every pack does this differently, nobody here will be able to tell you exactly how it works.  I'd try to talk to the committee chair who should have an idea of how they do it and who would be the best person in the pack to look into it for you.  The committee chair runs the pack's administration side of the house, although sometimes that duty is left up to the cubmaster who runs the program side of the pack.

 

It does sound like the pack could use some help, although, I would say that getting involved in a troubled pack can be more frustrating than just being a parent in a troubled pack, but if you can help make it a little better, more boys have a better chance at a good experience.


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#5 Stosh

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:17 PM

@RachelMasen  Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like a real mess.  I would start with the CubMaster and enlist some assistance with him on board.  Right now it would seem to be nothing more than he said, she said and without some backup, it will only increase your frustration. 

 

I would seriously wonder if your son is going to be getting any assistance from this DL.  Better to check everything twice! and then do it again.  If your son is not getting Boy's Life, it may mean his registration might have "gotten lost" too.  Check with the Council registrar right away.  Then make sure your boy is up-to-date on his requirements for Webelos and Arrow of Light.  I'm betting there is no record of that as well.  Visit with the other parents of the boys still in the den and make sure they are all squared away as well.  Then if everything is kosher, then the parents can step up and be ad hoc DL to make sure the boys get what they are working for.  No boy should suffer due to the ineptitude of an adult.  If he's not stepping up, then the parents have every right to do so en mass.  Make sure you have the backing of the CubMaster if this is the route you wish to pursue.


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Stosh

 

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


#6 RachelMasen

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:20 PM

How do I find out who is the committee chair??  Or the cubmaster?? Or the council registrar???

 

No, I don't recall ever receiving a membership card.

 

I don't even know what the Arrow of Light is.  

 

This has been going on for 6 months!!!


Edited by RachelMasen, 03 March 2017 - 08:24 PM.

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#7 Stosh

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:29 PM

Wow! 

 

Your boy must have a council patch on his uniform.  Do a google search on that council and get a phone number for the council office and start asking whoever answers the phone these questions.  Explain what is happening giving them the unit number and have them provide you with the CC and CM contacts.  If you don't have a DL doing anything and after 6 months there hasn't been any Pack meetings, then the problem goes a lot further than just the den.  The council needs to know about this and have a Unit Commissioner come in and sort things out for the pack.  That's what a UC is supposed to be doing.


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Stosh

 

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


#8 RachelMasen

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:42 PM

Thank you, I do know his pack number at least.

 

We do have regular meetings, it alternates between den, pack and parent.  But when it's den and pack meetings, it's not organized.  It's like he just thinks of what to talk about while he's standing there.  They've never worked towards any goals.  They don't even use the Boy Scout book.  

 

They were given ropes, but never taught how to tie any knots.

 

Anyway, I'll find the numbers and call.  Thank you for listening to my rants!  


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#9 Stosh

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:43 PM

Thank you, I do know his pack number at least.

 

We do have regular meetings, it alternates between den, pack and parent.  But when it's den and pack meetings, it's not organized.  It's like he just thinks of what to talk about while he's standing there.  They've never worked towards any goals.  They don't even use the Boy Scout book.  

 

They were given ropes, but never taught how to tie any knots.

 

Anyway, I'll find the numbers and call.  Thank you for listening to my rants!  

 

Not a problem, keep us posted, and if you need more help, we're here.


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Stosh

 

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


#10 clemlaw

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 12:40 AM

If you look in the phone book (or electronic equivalent) for Boy Scouts of America, it should have the number of the local council.  Or, you can just Google "Boy Scouts of America" and your city and state, and you'll probably get the name and contact information of the council who covers the area.  If you call them with the pack number, they should be able to tell you the name of the Committee Chair (the person who is supposed to be in charge of the pack) and/or the Cubmaster (the person who is supposed to be in charge of the activities for the scouts).

 

If you don't hear back from them, call the council again and ask to speak to the "District Executive" for that pack.  Each council is divided up into smaller areas called districts.  If you don't know the name of the district, they can look it up from the pack number.  The District Executive is the staff person who is in charge of all of the units in that area.  They should be able to resolve the situation.

 

Is your son in 4th grade or 5th grade?  If he's in 4th grade, this is year 1 of the 2 year Webelos program.  If so, the best option might be to find a good pack for the next year.  The Webelos program usually ends about March or April of 5th grade.  If he's in 5th grade, depending on exactly how old he is (and I'm always confused by the age requirements, but it's basically 5th grade), then he's eligible to join Boy Scouts right away.  So if he's in 5th grade, he might be eligible to start Boy Scouts right away, and bypass the whole mess.  If you decide to go that route, visit a few different troops, and feel free to ask here for advice.  

 

If the Boy Scout troop--as opposed to a Cub Scout Pack--looks a little bit chaotic, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Boy Scout troops are supposed to be boy led, and sometimes that looks a little chaotic.  But the adult leaders should be on the ball enough to make sure paperwork is sent in relatively fast, items that are paid for get delivered, and phone calls are eventually returned.  It sounds like those things haven't happened here.  Everyone is a volunteer, so you have to expect the occasional problem, but what you described is far beyond that.


Edited by clemlaw, 04 March 2017 - 12:43 AM.

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#11 qwazse

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:41 AM

Wow, it looks like you drew the short straw.
Once you know who the Cubmaster is (he/she should be one managing pack meetings) do not hesitate to give him/her a call.
The buck stops at the Cubmaster, so he would like to know if things aren't working in a den. He certainly would know if your paperwork got processed, because he signs the membership applications.

You're not getting anyone in trouble. It's not like someone's pay is gonna get docked. Someone might just get the assistance they need to run a successful den.
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#12 mashmaster

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 10:09 PM

Good luck!  I am not sure if there are any other packs in your area but you might want to ask around.  As said earlier the person who is actually paid by BSA is the District Executive.  He or She is the person that can help you get some clarity with your Committee chair and Cubmaster if you can't make any progress.  He has a vested interest in keeping your son in scouting. 

 

Everyone here on the forum is here to help you as much as we can, we believe in the program.  It is worth it and sadly you are getting a bad start.  It is a great program.  If you are willing to volunteer as you said, you can get all the training you need to become a leader yourself .


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#13 perdidochas

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 11:33 AM

I need some advice on how to deal with my son's den leader.  He's a nice guy, but he doesn't do anything.

 

The meetings are completely disorganized.  They hardly ever do anything.

 

They have an event scheduled for Sunday, but he neglected to include the time in the email. He never responds to my emails, so my son will miss Sunday - which is the first time something has ever been scheduled!

 

When I signed up my son, I purchased the bundle - which included a t-shirt, the Book Scout book and belt.  I also purchased at an additional price, the Boy Scout monthly magazine.

 

I never received the t-shirt, the belt or even one issue of the magazine.

 

I have told this den leader for months.  He always says he'll get back to me, but he doesn't.

 

After 6 months, we're just ready to quit, but I would at least like what I paid for!

 

Can someone help??  I don't know what to do?  I'm so aggravated!

Volunteer to help.  IMHO, (and I say this as somebody who has been a volunteer for over 10 years), the only complaint form is an adult leader form. Fill it out, and step up.  I hope you have a receipt for the money.  Sounds like ti got lost. Talk to the Cubmaster and the Committee chair. The Cubmaster is the one who runs the Pack meetings. 


Edited by perdidochas, 06 March 2017 - 11:35 AM.

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#14 fred johnson

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

Sometimes you need to just move on.  Scouting really doesn't last that long.  Unless you want to dig deeper to get involved and fix the issues, look at other packs or look at another den in your pack, if your pack has multiple dens at that rank.  

You can find other packs here:  https://beascout.sco...eAScoutMap.aspx Choose cub scouts, enter your zip and click the symbol next to the zip.  It will show you other local packs.  

 

The other option depending on your son's age, move him early to boy scouts.  It's a great program.  Sometimes you can participate as a friend of the troop until of age.  


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#15 Ankylus

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 11:18 AM

I am sorry for your negative experience. Have you considered stepping up and offering to help? You could be his assistant Den Leaders and start scheduling things yourself.


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