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How do you get more dads involved in Cub Scouting?

Tuesday-TalkbackMoms do Cub Scouting, and dads do Boy Scouting.

For the longest time, that was mostly true. Just look at the now-defunct position of Den Mother (there was no “Den Father”) for proof.

Fortunately, times have changed.

At roundtables and camporees these days, you’ll see dads wearing blue epaulets and moms wearing green ones. And that’s a good thing.

But there are still some dads out there, many of them Eagle Scouts, who prefer to wait until their son crosses over into Boy Scouting before getting involved.

“I was one of those Eagle Scouts,” former Scoutmaster M.K. says. “I was waiting for my sons to enter Boy Scouting so we could do the ‘real’ stuff. But my smarter-than-me wife reminded me that if my boys did not enjoy Cub Scouting, they probably would not become Boy Scouts. … I became a den leader, Webelos leader, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster and father of two Eagle Scouts”

For today’s Tuesday Talkback, let’s figure out how to find more men like M.K. We already know there are countless examples of outstanding women in Scouting; you’ll find them in every pack, troop and crew in the country.

But today I want your ideas on how to get more dads involved earlier in the program.

Share your thoughts below. For inspiration, read this 2012 Scouting magazine piece called “How to get Eagle Scout dads to help Cubs” that shares tips including M.K.’s idea I pasted above.


Photo from Flickr:  Some rights reserved by Jim Larrison

52 Comments on How do you get more dads involved in Cub Scouting?

  1. I think a lot has to do with the culture of the pack. Do all the dens traditionally meet after school? If so, you’re going to have a critical mass of stay at home mom den leaders. And that’s going to perpetuate the expectation that it’s a “mom job.” My pack has overwhelmingly male leadership top to bottom. The dens all meet at night or on the weekends when parents aren’t at work. To a certain extent that reinforces for us that den leaders are dads, for better or for worse.

    I agree that there’s an element of “I’m a man, I’ll only do BOY scout work” involved generally but that’s old fashioned and fading. But it can only fade proportionally to the pack’s willingness to support evening meetings and otherwise support volunteers who work demanding jobs by day and can’t run a den meeting at 3:30pm.

  2. Keep it Simple, Make it Fun! Duh! The Dads are kids at heart after all. Find something fun and ask them to help out.

    • I totally agree with Jennifer. I am a dad that participated with 2 sons all the way from Tiger to Eagle. It was a great experience of “Guy” time. I think unlike sports, I was not on the sideline, I was in the game having fun with my boys.

  3. Daniel Clinker // February 25, 2014 at 10:36 am // Reply

    I find it extremely hard to find parents to do anything period, moms or dads. I received next to no help from my parents preparing for our blue and gold banquet; at the end of the banquet I requested help cleaning up and almost all of them hauled butt out the door. Its very frustrating to spend all that time preparing so the banquet is nice and runs smoothly then to be left to clean it up too…..HUUUUUh

    • That’s a shame Daniel. It needs to be a group effort. I would recommend assigning jobs ahead of time so that they know what is expected. I’ve found that if you ask someone to do a specific job in front of other adults they are more likely to do the job. No one wants to look bad in front of other parents. If the lack of effort continues then it’s time for a serious conversation with your UC. Sometimes an “official” can get better results. Good luck.

    • Our pack had a great system (IMHO) for major events.
      –Tigers ran the May picnic (a cross-up picnic
      where everyone got their neckerchief and
      book for next year’s rank)
      –Wolves ran the Pinewood Derby
      –Bears ran the Blue and Gold
      –Webelos 1 ran the Webelos 2′s Cross
      Over Banquet (where just Webelos 1 and 2
      attended)
      –Webelos 2 ran the major overnight trip to either
      Space camp on even years or USS
      Yorktown on odd years.

      Now even though the Wolves were “running” the Pinewood Derby, other ranks might be asked to help run concessions, crafts, etc. Or the Bears might be running the B&G, but other ranks might have to bring food. But the Wolves were in charge of getting the track ready, car check-in, decorations, food, trophies, etc. Bears were in charge of entertainment, food, decorations, activities, etc.

      This gave the responsibility to each rank for one main event each year and everyone knew what was coming up for them next year. Wolves were encouraged to watch the B&G this year so they could do it next year. Tigers were to watch the Pinewood Derby for their duties the following year. This also let the other ranks “relax” a bit during that event so they could enjoy it more.

      The Committee would support each rank’s event with finances, ideas, support, etc. but the Committee didn’t run it. If they B&G didn’t go well, it was the Bear parents responsibility.

      Treat your dens like patrols. Let them sink or swim on their own. If the B&G doesn’t go well one year, well maybe the Wolf parents will notice and do better next year. The parents will feel the pressure to do their job from the other parents. No nagging needed. :)

    • Thad Hatchett // February 25, 2014 at 11:47 am // Reply

      I suppose I was lucky to have been part of a pack that had a spirit of volunteering. We had a tradition that the Webelos I den was responsible for decorations for the blue and gold banquet for the Webeos II. The den would make centerpieces and plan the decorations. The night before the blue and gold the webelos I den would come in and decorate. Having the kids vested in the planning and decorations got them excited and the parents usually followed suit. Knowing that the favor would be returned the following year for them by the up and coming webelos tended to make them more apt to try and outdo the last years effort.

      Recognizing their efforts during the banquet will also go a long way to increasing the spirit of volunteerism. You are not only acknowledging the efforts of the webelos I, you are setting an expectation into the bears and their families for next year.

    • One of the big keys to this is the PACK planning meeting in June. We invited the Boy Scout Troop to come and play games with our cub scouts; had hot dogs, etc. (Simple menu) and boys played while adults planned. Had a list of activities-every activity needed one adult leader and an asst. If no one volunteered, we cancelled the activity…till someone stepped up to lead it. HAVE Committee Chair do their job. Charter Rep and Comm Chair are supposed to help find adults to assist Cubmaster. We liked to brainstorm, then personally ask the parents we thought would be great den leaders, etc. Many parents responded so much better to being asked directly and personally. Many didn’t volunteer because they didn’t realize they had the ability. We supported leaders with Round Table and Program helps too…. Key is to involve all the familes and adults. Everyone needs to know that every family will be expected to contribute somehow… Have families fill out the talent sheets when they first come to a Pack meeting and find out what their strengths are. It’s much more fun when all are involved. :) Cheers!! Keep it fun and simple. :)

  4. There may have been no position of ‘Den Father’ but there was a ‘Den Dad’. Just looked it up in a 1954 Wolf Book. My Den had a Den Dad in 1969. A Den Dad assisted the Den Mother with certain tasks, that in that era, were more male associated tasks, beyond what a Den Chief could do.

    • Interesting! Thanks for that bit of education, Dave.

  5. I agee with Nutmegger in that if the Den meetings are right after scholl, the Den Leadership will be dominated by the parent that is available during that period. But I also think that this environment can change. With so much after school activities in todays’ society in the U.S., I think that it is appropriate to ask when “should the dens’ meet” at the beginning of each year.

    You can also remind the “men” that just because you are in the cub program, there should not be any criteria that is holding them back to take all of the training that they want (including outdoor skills) while waiting to move up through the program. I did this as a Den Leader and loved all of the training to bring my skills back upto speed. This also made for a better program for the boys because it reminded me of all of the program appropriate options. We are the only den that ended the cub program with 2x the members between the start of wolf and end of Webelos.

    Also keep in mind that any registered adult can reactivate their enrollment into OA & Firecrafter.

  6. Our Pack has used the “baby step” method. Have a dad help in some small way with an event. Make sure he is somehow involved with his son during the event. Once he see’s what an impact he had on his son’s experience he is more apt to volunteer for bigger jobs in the future until he is doing enough that the “shirt” just becomes a formality.

  7. Ask the dad in question to look at the problem…in Boy Scouts the BOYS are supposed to do the work: the planning, the execution, and the clean up. Do you expect younger boys, who have not yet learned the patrol method, to take on these responsibilities without a significant amount of help from their parent(s)? Young leaders need to receive Explanations, Demonstrations, and Guidance before they are Enabled. Who will ignite and keep the spark of Scouting alive in your son? Will that spark still be kindled and alight when he has completed the 5th grade? Take the journey with your son, and walk the path together, you won’t regret it.
    Eagle Scouts are not born, they are made. Piece by piece. Over a long time, at the hands of many experienced craftsmen. The process requires good source material, hard work, and time. But it’s worth the effort. Because those Eagle Scouts become the craftsmen that shape tomorrow.

  8. Dustin Tarditi // February 25, 2014 at 10:48 am // Reply

    We have a good balance of male and female adult leaders in our pack. I think much of it comes from the expectations of the program – is it just work (wrangling younger kids, arts & crafts & snacks, etc.) or will it be fun? Cub Scouts certainly don’t get to do a lot that older Scouts can, but the program can be a lot of fun for Scouters too. Cub Scouts can hike, camp (family camp and pack overnight), and do a lot of age-appropriate outdoor adventure. We can dispel the notion that you “wait until Boy Scouts to do the cool stuff” by our own example. If you think Cub Scouting is just PWD, sock puppets, and “ants on a log” you need to get to reassess your program.

  9. Nutmegger has hit the nail on the head… many Cub Scout dens meet right after school, and the traditional family (please excuse my over-generalization) is that Dad was at work while Mom was free to adjust her schedule for Cub Scouts.

    Meeting at night is a great idea since Dad can usually make the time.

    I don’t know the statistics, but with so many single parent homes, maybe the mothers tend to have the kids more of the week than the fathers do.

  10. If you’re looking to get Dad’s involved earlier in the program, then you should start recruiting them rigth at the onset – Round-Up.

    When my son and I joined the Pack, the Round-Up was nothing but a few Leaders and their sons talking about what they liked most about Cub Scouts. Thankfully I had already sold my son on the program, because he barely paid attention to what was being said.

    After 1 year as the Tiger Den Leader, I stepped up to Cubmaster. One of the first things I changed was the Round-Up. I asked a couple of the Den Leaders to come up with some fun games we could play with the Boys during the meeting, and had 1 leader do a quick demo on how to pack for a camp-out. I wanted to show the Boys and Dads, some of the activities they could look forward to. I especially wanted to show the Dads that its not just Arts&Crafts.

    We had a good turn out and picked up 2 dads who were ready, willing, and able to sign up to be Den Leaders.

  11. I do think some dads think it’s beneath them. There is one dad who was a Scout and Explorer that really doesn’t like the Cub Scout stuff, so I know where this is coming from. I tell other dad’s it’s exactly like being the coach or assistant coach of a baseball team. You follow the rules and the curriculum of Cub Scouts and the norms of the Pack, but you have the latitude to teach the boys and fun with them any way you want. There is camping and woodworking and other things you will like. The surprising thing for me was stuff you may not like – the kids do, and that makes it worth it! And, make no mistake, being a Den leader will make you even more your son’s hero.

  12. I think the person who suggested culture as impacting this as right on the money. The first Pack our family was in, had a lot of single moms, and some grandmoms There were only a handful of nuclear families, and volunteering in general was always a hard thing. We met once a week in an evening during the week, and for whatever reason, the whole unit meeting at the same time caused some synergies and problems as it took our dens to get through most programs slower than I’ve seen possible.

    Fast forward, a few years ago we moved to Christiansburg, and the Pack there has dens meet one Sunday a month for about two hours or so. We were getting so much more done there, because there were fewer distractions and the reduction in the common openings and closings of meetings.

    I wanted to be involved, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do the den leader thing because I worried about relating to the younger boys. Initially I talked my wife into working a den together, but her health went south so I ended up stepping in. I think I did okay, but there were some structural issues to how our unit worked that limited how much I could cover in a short amount of time.

  13. I think you need to be upfront with the parents even before they sign the paperwork that Scouting is a volunteer organization and that you’ll expect the parents to be involved in some capacity … registered leader or otherwise.

    BSA isn’t baseball or soccor or an after school program (or even a Sunday school program) where you drop your kid off and bring snacks every once in awhile. It’s a program that incorporates the family, parent leaders, planning, and time from both the children and the adults.

    There will be some adults who do more (CCs, SMs and CMs) and some who do less. One of the parents may do all of the work, while the other who has to travel for work will hardly be there. But it should be the exception, not the rule that parents are expected to volunteer and run things.

    Do this up front, and your pack, troop and team will run a whole lot better.

  14. The simple answer is to ask them.

    It has been increasingly more difficult to get any parents to help. To ask them enthusiastically and them them know how much they can get out of being involved with the Pack may be enough to get them active. It is much easier to sit back and be passive than it is to say no when someone asks you outright.

  15. That is definitely not the case in our pack. I am one of only 3 female den leaders compared to the 9 male leaders or assistant den leaders. My assistant den leader is male as well. Our den meets on Sunday evenings, and most other dens meet in the evenings. In general, though, the membership and awards leaders are female (not necessarily den leaders) for whatever reason. The guys seem to be allergic to paperwork!

  16. I believe it comes down to setting the expectations when the family joins the Pack.

    When I was Cubmaster, during the recruitment time we separated the boys and parents. We explained that Joining Cub Scouts is just as important for the parents ans it is for the boy. We had all of the “tasks” on a board of the various positions which needed to be filled. This would not only include the major positions like Den Leader but other spots like Pinewood Derby Offical, Blue & Gold Ambassador, Popcorn Kernel and Service Project Organizer. We would have all these positions and the month(s) they were needed. We expected every family to take on one “task” as a requirement for their son joining the Pack and that is was just a one time commitment. For those that liked doing the role, we would put an “assistant” position on the board so we always had a stream of volunteers to help. We also set the expectation that every parent must go through Youth Protection Training and it was conducted at our Unit meeting location the following week for all the parents. This way they not only received the Training but they met all of the other parents as well.

    We had struggles initially like most Units with parents not wanting to help, but over time these principles proved to be very successful.

  17. I don’t know what I do different than anybody else but I always can get parents grandparents even aunts and uncles to help. I tell the adults what needs to be done and then I ask what they can do. I had one single mom who had 4 smaller children I asked what can you do she said I can bring paper towels OK she brought paper towels to every meeting event whatever for the entire time her two sons where Cubs she was the paper towel lady. Every body can do something you just have to find what they can do.

  18. We need to be aware of who-does-what-best. If we see a Mom who would be a great crew advisor, nudge her into venturing while finding the Dad who would be a great den leader — still giving occasional opportunities for them to be with their kids. One limitation of the BSA program as it is, is that the typical organizational chart has committee chairs with differing agendas for each unit under the same roof. Let’s face it, how many of you pack leaders would be content with a mom who drops her youngest boy off while he goes advise a crew? It’s sad to say, but how many who might go off to help the high-schoolers would trust an older dad — even given YPT — with their Tigers?

    If someone’s not helping you see the “big picture” of scouting, you’ll be wanting to bolster one program at the expense of the other.

    • Oops ” mom who drops her youngest boy off while *she* goes advise a crew.”

  19. I am fortunate in that all of my Den Leaders are fathers, not that we wouldn’t accept a female Den Leader, our moms are awesome! Most of our moms encourage our dads to get more involved. Our families understand that Cub Scouts is a great opportunity for father and son to bond as well as the family as a whole.

    One dad was reluctant to step up as Assistant Cubmaster, and I had been working on him for about a month. Then I mentioned it to his wife at a Pack Meeting. She filled out the paperwork for him that day.

    I agree with Cris N. and mikemenn, if you let the dads know from the first meeting that you need their help they are more willing to step up. I’ve gotten a few dads in “shirts” just by describing how my son’s face lit up when he saw me in uniform along side him. Talk about an ego boost! It made my neckerchief feel like a cape!

  20. Our Pack met on a week night yet we had only one male Den leader, the rest were female. I think the husbands “assumed” the females were in charge because there were so many. The dads would definitely help if I asked, but they weren’t volunteering to be Den leaders.

  21. Actually, in the era of Den Mothers, there were also Den Dads. Each den was supposed to have a Committee Man (yes, that was the title – apparently only men could run a committee ;-) ). The Den Dad’s job was to be a liason between the Pack committee and the den, since Den Mothers didn’t meet with the committe, but rather with the Cubmaster.

    But I digress. One way to involve family members is to try and recruit at least one family member from each den for the pack committee. This spreads the load amongst the whole pack, rather than concentrating all the work. I have seen pack struggle when all the involved parents are in one or two Webelos dens and they all leave the pack at the same time.

  22. I think the round up idea is a good ne. Tell all of the parents at the yearly start up what they want to do to help out. Don’t give them the option of a free baby sitting service. Each person has various talents and experiences and definitely can offer something to the pack dens. Any one can buy a pack of cookies and a drink if your den does snacks.
    I have seen in some packs and troops that a parents does decide to help out and the existing leaders makes a hasty exodus leaving the new volunteer holding the bag. Not a good start for a good leader. If a person is being trained and mentored by a seasoned scouter, things go much better for a unit.
    I scouts, we fed the dad’s lots of dutch oven cooked food on camp outs. Coffee was always brewing and the events were fun. The troop also formed an adult patrol. The same could be done for the packs. Sometimes you will notice a parent sitting around doing nothing at a meeting – put them to work! Ask them nicely if they could help out and when they do show them gratitude for doing so. What you reward will be repeated.

  23. Back in 1975 I joined cubs a year earlier tan was allowed because they needed leaders so my dad voluntold my mom as denmother for wolves. Mom then offered dad to be cub master a t leader meeting. Mom stepped down after a year dad stayed with the pack for over 8 years. This is the best way to recruit leaders/helpers volunteer the person who isn’t there ;)

    Seriously the best way was one pack I worked with in San Diego. Evetpy year they gave each parebpnt a hand book. The first section listed all leader positions in the pack who held that position and when position would be vacant. In addition they set expectations like 1 parent from each den must be registered member of the pack committee, each den must have parent on the fundraising committee, each den must have a parent on the membership/advancement committee, and all parents must volunteer at least X hours helping with special events outside the den/pack meetings.

    If a family went over the minimum hours the pack put more money into the scout account, families under the minimum had a choice to donate X amount to the pack or were assigned higher fundraising quotas.

    I will say that the families that participated had almost 100% retention while those that didn’t usually left after a few months. Also know this was back in the late 80′s and early 90′s so some of this may be against some current rules.

  24. In our pack we have about a 50/50 ratio of moms and dads den leaders and volunteers. We pride ourselves in being family based and include younger siblings and sisters in our activites if they want to. This has helped to make our pack family oriented and we get many more people to step up because they see ALL their children having fun! I cannot tell you how man times we here from the girl siblings “I want to do cub scouts too!” I think we have a HOLE to fill somehow. But thats another discussion. By being geared to the entire family dads have stepped up into helping along side the moms. (We also see it helps to strengthen the family bond when its the whole family having fun on Friday nights together) The boys have a lot of pride in what they do and can show their parents right off because they are there! The only den who’s parents no longer attend all den meetings (and pack meetings) are the Webelo 2′s because we are prepping them for Boyscouts where Mom and Dad will NOT be there. We also have these older boys help the younger boys as often as possible. We are not a huge pack and this works to the family based pack we have.

  25. Our pack leadership has been dad-centric since the pack started. Moms happily pitch in and help when they are asked but since the pack was started by dads, I think we’ve had the opposite problem: while we would benefit from the unique and valuable female perspective, our moms have the rare opportunity to take a welcome and deserved break when it’s time for Scouts since the dads have it under control and are doing it well. It helps that in an academic community, dads may have more time flexibility, and the dens mostly meet on Sunday afternoon.

  26. I am a 1st year cubmaster and 3rd year den leader. I have major issues with getting parents to volunteer. Noone helps clean up after events, during camp outs, nothing. Next year, 2 of my 4 den leaders are moving into Boy Scouts with their boys and I cannot get any of the other parents to volunteer. I wanted to get some assistants in there to learn and train this year so they didn’t just get thrown in next year.

  27. I had posted earlier, but in seeing the suggestions that other leaders had to host a Round-Up, I couldn’t agree more. Identify and recruit the potential leaders early on, and demonstrate that Scouting can be a family affair. We always host a Tiger information session during which we entice the potential Tiger Cubs with games and fun (with a purpose), but also host a Q&A session with the new parents. The Cubmaster and CC can use this time to distribute Pack rules and fundraising information, as well as identify new leader candidates among the incoming parents.
    Every year, parents use the “I’ve got so much going on right now” excuse. We all have a cornucopia of responsibilities, but (borrowing a page from Wood Badge) this is a great time for the “Big Rocks” demonstration. For those who haven’t had the Wood Badge experience, look up “Jar Of Life – Put IMPORTANT Things FIRST!” on YouTube, and you’ll see what I mean.
    The trick is in selling the fact that Cub Scouting is something to be considered important. Given that you only have so much that you can do, your “jar” can only hold so much. Put what is important to you in first, and the rest (the little rocks, the sand, the water) will find a way to fit in. Put the little rocks in first, however, and your jar overflows.
    Given the return on Scouting (reference the Baylor study) is very high compared to alternative ways to spend your time as a family, the decision is simple. Make Cub Scouts a “big rock” and let the rest of life settle in.
    Do something positive with your time. Enjoy it in the company of other adults and families who find value in God, country, community, and personal growth.

  28. How do you identify talent to be a leader. Simple. So simple I will share you the most successful trick into finding the right people to help you. I should trademark this…but I can’t. So here it goes… I call it the Oreo Test.

    Pre-Step: I am the COR. I speak with the Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, etc and see who they may think would be a great help or asset to the Pack or Troop. Then… I get my game face on…

    Step 1:

    Walk up to a person who shows interest in helping out. Chit chat with them. I used to be a special investigator for the USG, so… you learn a lot about people in a simple conversation (micro twitches and all), but I digress.

    Step 2: I’m very personable and I love telling jokes…so I’ll admit, I am a bit of a clown and I get them laughing about some of the fun anecdotes of Scouting (1 hour a week and all, that one time at Scout camp where Rickey the Raccoon at the Nutter Butters, waking up each Saturday to the forest and smell of burnt pork butt, etc).

    Step 3: After a little chit chat, I ask them to do a simple favor for me. I ask them if next week they would bring in a pack of Oreo cookies to share as a snack (for the kids, leaders meeting, etc.).

    Step 4: I let the test begin..

    So why this simple task? I can tell you that 100% of the perspective leaders in our Pack/Troop have been asked to bring in Oreo cookies. They look at me puzzled and I politely say, “See you next week.” You are probably thinking I’m losing it…especially if you have spoken to my wife lately.

    By now you are probably wondering why Oreo cookies right? So I’ll explain…

    1. If they come back next week without them… they will probably have an excuse. I have no use for excuses, I only need solutions. We all work, go to school, have disabilities, have sick kids, etc. Adapt, overcome, find a way…just like all the other dedicated adults in the pack that on top of life remember the craft, or the Scoutmaster who stays two hours after the meeting helping Scouts and he still has to get up for work at 4-5 am.

    2. If they come back with the snack size two cookie pack, they did what was asked, but the bare minimum. Bare minimum does not = good leader quality. Who wants to work with folks who do the bare minimum? It’s only a matter of time that their work ethic will be dipping into that less than the bare minimum and the program will suffer which means the boys will suffer.

    3. If they come back with a thing of Oreo cookies that is the normal pack…they have followed directions, met the challenge, and sacrificed $3.50 of their own money and time shopping to get it. They might just be worth the leader conversation.

    4. If they come back with Double Stuff…now we are talking potential… They exceeded expectations. They get the leader conversation that night. Usually these folks walk in with a smile holding them up. You get a laugh, they get a laugh, we all get a cookie! Steven Covey would be proud with the Win-Win-Win!

    5. If they show up with Nutter Butters… I’ll make them a Scoutmaster or Cubmaster only if they were paying attention to the anecdotes from Step 1. I always joke 2 things: 1.) It’s not a campout without burnt pork butt involved (Scouts burning bacon) and 2.) It’s not a campout without Nutter Butters.. Don’t really know why the second…but they always make the backpack trips.

    More than not…the folks never show up again. They self eliminate the time I have to spend with them as a leader and more than not… the folks that come back the next week with Oreo cookies bring more than one pack…which is the final test. See if they bring back cookies to me, who cares… If they thought it through to make sure each and every boy in the Pack or Troop has a cookie, their heart is in the right place from the word go. See I can train you in Scouting… you either have the right heart or you don’t. I surround myself with leadership who has their heart in the game for the boys. The boys come first always…

    See a simple test of Oreo cookies gets me quality leaders who have the right heart, stay the longest in the organization, attract like minded others, parents, and Scouts. Who would have thought all that from a cookie? End of the day… I don’t care if you are Dad Eagle Super Scout… or brand new single Mom, just bring in Oreo cookies next week… and lets see where this goes. Plus, you can see the entire room smile that next week when someone walks in with Oreo cookies because no one but the leaders ever know why, and the kids will eat anything chocolate! So … win-win…again!

    • I’m just … um … wow. That is just … man. That’s good. Wow. I’m just … wow.

    • I love this! Can I use it in a post, giving you credit of course?

      • Yeah, can I use it, too?

    • Kelly Horton // February 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm // Reply

      If you can’t trust them in a little thing, you are not going to be able to trust them in larger things. Good vetting.

      • Kelly Horton // February 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm // Reply

        I did a similar thing in Royal Rangers. The formation position for the 2nd in command is at the end of the formation line from the 1st leader. It is called “Hedging in” So we were heading out on a trip and I asked an adult to be the caboose in the convoy line of cars. I was the only person that knew how to get the destination. The man did not accept a the map or directions. We started to drive and the man pulled out front because he wanted to be the leader. He ended up going the wrong way leading several parents as well. My group of cars got to the destination on time and his were an hour late.

        He called me for directions and I asked him where his map was. I asked him how was he to follow if he was in front of me and that he should have been on my 6. I then quoted the bible passage about the “blind leading the blind.” The other parents were not happy with him either.

        He was grumbling about this and one of the other leaders told him he blew it since I was placing him 2nd in command by being the end car. I told him that I wouldn’t make that mistake again. He never proved himself worthy of a leadership position no matter how small it was.

  29. Eagle Cooking Merit Badge
    Just Inquiring:
    My young man trying to earn his Eagle Rank got approved to start the Eagle Project 12/12/13. At the time this Cooking Eagle Badge was not required, (at least to our knowledge), he had met all but two merit badges. His focus, with obstacles, was on his approved Eagle Project completion. He has accomplished this, finished his required two badges. His next round table with Eagle Advancement Chairman is on 3/13/14. He will age out one day before they could meet again (4/10/14) I would think he should be granted a waiver to be grandfathered in since his approval to start was with the understanding (from Eagle Advancement Chairman) he only needed the two other badges was before this went into effect on 1/1/14, (this is what they informed him of at this meeting) I would think the Eagle Advancement Chairman should of made him aware of this change at that time, looking and themselves only seeing two required badges left to do, to which they did inform him of these two, that he also knew of these two and has earned them. I would think that he, under these circumstances should be granted a “Waiver” and grandfathered in, from this Newly Implemented Eagle Cooking Merit Badge due to the fact that His age is a major factor, that if they inform him of two, they should have been knowledgable enough in their position, to also have informed him of this and any changes for an Eagle Rank. Thus giving him the knowledge to accomplish this. The Boy Scouts of America should want to see sucess from these young men if they have so dilegently made it this far.
    The paperwork (adding this badge) were very vage and unclear as to the dates to meet and finish all Eagle steps as well as handing in of the paper work before this other came into effect.
    I feel as if he has slipped through the cracks while the Boy Scouts of America were changing the guidelines to meet Eagle Scout. I need some positive feed back on this issue. We have very little time left to get him to what he has worked hard for and earned. Money was generously donated for his Eagle Project not to mention man hours.
    This is to say the least, very disheartening.
    Cindy Loveless

    • I say you read the Advancement Manual…section..9.0.1.1 Complete All the Requirements

      Confi rm all requirements have been completed before
      the 18th birthday: merit badges, service project, active
      participation, Scout spirit, position of responsibility,
      and unit leader conference. Note that the unit leader
      (Scoutmaster) conference need not be the last item
      accomplished.

      The board of review may be conducted
      after the 18th birthday. For details, see “Boards of
      Review,” 8.0.0.0. A candidate must be registered
      through the time he is completing requirements but need
      not be registered thereafter or when his board of review
      is conducted.

      Now let us dip to 8.0.0.0 BOR section…

      8.0.3.1 Eagle Scout Board of Review Beyond the
      18th Birthday
      1. An Eagle Scout board of review may occur, without
      special approval, within three months after a Scout’s 18th
      birthday. If a board of review is to be held three to six
      months afterward, the local council must preapprove it. To
      initiate approval, the candidate, his parent or guardian,
      the unit leader, or a unit committee member attaches to
      the application a statement explaining the delay.

      So to specifically fix your problem…
      1. Have him make a choice to finish cooking… or not.
      2. Have him make a choice to process his applicaton…or not. If he gets the Council to certify it saying all his requirements are done (including his Cooking MB) on the day before his 18th bday he is now he is eligible to do a BOR… you have extra time.
      3. No waiver needed. Just some good old hard work ethic by the Eagle for himself. Seems if Eagle is as important to him as it is you…he might actually follow through.

      Just my two cents…take it for what it’s worth…two cents.

      Eagle…class of 89.

    • Cindy, I have a hard time with this. Who exactly is earning the Eagle, you or your son? He’s 17 and in high school, isn’t it about time he scheduled himself? When he made Life Scout, he should have received his Eagle Packet. I am in Eagle Scout and I tracked myself and got it at 16. At that time, 24 merit badges were needed and the Cooking Merit Badge was required, yes mine has a silver border.

      My son joined Cub Scouts starting in Webelos I. He knew that to get his Arrow of Light, he needed to get through all the requirements if he wanted to get his Arrow of Light with his classmates. He tracked himself as a 9 year old. When he went to Webelos II, he had caught up with everyone and got his Arrow of Light. Now, after being in the Boy Scouts for one year, he is 2nd Class, and has over half of 1st Class done. Three requirements left. He consistently tracks himself and has his path to Eagle set. He’s 11 and in June he’ll be 12. He said he’ll get his Eagle at 15 to beat me. He has enough merit badges to make Star and almost enough for Life. He got his Cooking Merit Badge this year so his is silver bordered, but he started last year.

      The Cooking merit badge becoming required again, was announced around Spring of 2013, your son has had nearly a year to get it done. The guidelines were very clear. If the Life Scout had everything done except the Eagle Board of Review, by 1/1/2014, Cooking would not be required, to earn Eagle. If any other requirement was not fulfilled by 1/1/2014, Cooking would be required.

      Mr. Don said to read the Advancement Manual. But I disagree, your son should. Bryan had also covered this a couple of times.

      Is this the correct place to be? The topic is how to get dads involved with Cub Scouting.

  30. Kelly Horton // February 25, 2014 at 6:18 pm // Reply

    Can he do his cooking at home, on a hike, and on a camp out soon? If he is old enough to age out as a scout he must be 17 years old. He should have enough leadership skill to plan these two events over two weekends. The cooking at home could be done anytime. A young teen ager is different than a 17 year old. I am only saying this as an encouragement to dig in and get it done in time. If you wait to hear an answer from someone in the troop, district, council, region, or national, you will be wasting valuable time since the clock is ticking. He should be able to do the Cooking MB written requirements in a couple of hours, I hope this works out well for him. I wouldn’t let the Cooking MB get in the way of earning his Eagle.

  31. You create and do the activities that the dads and lads would want to do together.

  32. My kids mother refused to do anything related to Scouts. I did Joey’s (we lived in Australia) and Cubs with my sons. Moved back and one son (now an adult) and I are still doing BSA

  33. Perfect timing for this video to come out: Persuasion mind trick …

    http://www.wimp.com/persuasiontrick/

  34. In the first pack we were in, the den meetings were held at night. All the dens met together for flag ceremony and then split off to separate dens. The male/female leader ratio was about even.
    The next pack, den meetings were held in the afternoon on the day when most of our schools get out early for “teacher prep”. Those den leaders were mostly women, with committee and Cubmaster more likely to be male.
    Now that I’m a den leader, I do it in the afternoon as well on the day the schools let out earlier. I suppose I could do it in the evening but that means that some cub scouts would be going home in the dark during the winter. I prefer to let the kids that walk home go home in the light. Our pack is female with a male cubmaster.
    I think it boils down to “who is home without toddlers to take care of”.

  35. I am an Eagle Scout. I earned my Eagle at age 16. When I turned 18, I just filled in the form and I was an Assistant Scoutmaster. I was never a Cub Scout, but I did want to join, but my parents were unwilling. We moved to a different State (my parents’ home state) and my father’s classmate happened to be a Scoutmaster of a Troop not in our area. As chance would have it, I went to a private school and quite a number of the boys were at the same school, so I knew quite a number of other boys. We went, I joined. Later we moved to where it was close.

    Fast forward a few decades, I tried to get my son into Cub Scouts for quite a while. Finally, his best friend, who joined as a Tiger, got my son to join. He got in when his age and grade would put him into Webelos I. I re-joined and became Assistant Cubmaster. Later I moved to become the Chartered Organization Representative, so I had to also connect with the Troop since I was a board member of the PTA who was our Chartered Organization. For the Crossover camp, Webelos I are invited to the camp, but focus was on Webelos II, so the first year of joining, my son and I went. I had a got to know the leadership. There are 14 ASMs one of them a mother. For our pack we had three fathers as Den Leaders, the other two were mothers. After the Cubmaster’s son got his Arrow of Light, and crossed over, he left since he was already ASM because his older son is a Boy Scout. Since I had only about a year, and not a good cutoff time, the Bear Den Leader became Cubmaster so she was getting ready to take over, but now needed another Den Leader, who would be taking them to Webelos. A mother immediately stepped up. When my son got his Arrow of Light, the Cubmaster remained, everyone except the Tiger den leader moved up with their Den. The Tiger Leader stayed as Tiger Leader for her next son. This left Wolf with no leader, but a father quickly stepped in. No void. We are really lucky. Did it take a while to convince him, not really. But when he was a Tiger Parent, he took over when the Den Leader could not be there. So, he already knew how to run a Den. So, we lost one father when his Den crossed over to the Boy Scouts, but we gained one a father for Wolf. So, net, three fathers and two mothers. That father said he’d be willing to follow his son, as Den Leader all the way to Arrow of Light.

    Except for the “field activities” we have the Dens meet once a month on a Sunday and we have the Pack meeting right after. So, parents meet other parents. So being a Den Leader is actually not a difficult position to fill. I attribute this to having the Pack meeting right after the Den meetings. So the non Den leader parents are there and the socialize during the Den meeting times, but need to be there for the Pack meetings where we do our announcements. The Den Chiefs get the Cubs moving in some kind of activity, so we meet with the parents. The only position we have a hard time is Cubmaster. We had someone who was willing to be, but he goes out of state for three months of the year (he is in the military) and has to go to Virginia. We were all set, until, he now has to spend 4 months of the year away, so he rescinded his offer saying he cannot commit to the duties of Cubmaster since he is away so much. I can’t take that position in the Pack (nor the Troop) since I am the COR. So, we are actively seeking a Cubmaster as the current ones term ends this Summer. Her husband is an ASM for the Troop, we just had our Arrow of Light, so the Cubmaster’s son is now a Boy Scout. We also have parents who have sons in the Troop and the Pack. So, Pack/Troop ties are very strong. Although my son is the Boy Scouts, I still go to all the Pack meetings.

    Also, I really liked being an ASM, so I rejoined the Troop where I got my Eagle as an ASM, but not the same troop that my son is in (where I am COR). The Pack of the Troop where I am ASM was floundering, so I became it’s Cubmaster. I am starting the monthly Pack meetings with Den meetings preceding the Pack meeting just like the other organization. Here we have huge problems finding Den Leaders because the Pack meetings are few and far between, everything is left up to the dens. This leaves anyone who could or would be Den Leader if they felt like they had some help. Instead they feel left to their own devices, but the strength of the Pack where I am COR, is in the constant, at least once a month on a Sunday late afternoon, Den then Pack meetings, so no one has to offer up their homes for Den meetings, also you meet with other experienced Den leaders who help out the new leaders. Pack meetings drive a lot. We have had a National Yo-yo Champion, Police, Fire and once even had a police SWAT team give presentations to the Pack, on what SWAT does and what they use for equipment (not just the guns, but the electronics). A father (my son’s Den Leader) is a First Aid,CPR, AED trainer as his job, we always have several doctors (MDs), engineers, contractors they all help with belt loops. Thus we miss out these opportunities when we don’t do so much as a Pack. Sure Pinewood Derby, Rain Gutter Regatta and Space Derby (we also do rockets), but parents are virtual strangers to each other. Not having regular Pack meetings makes it hard to nail down the charter, because everything feels disjointed.

    I think regular Pack meetings are the key, but they must be interesting and fun. Get the parents to meet one another.

  36. I ask them to come to the meetings and help out. We typically have 2-3 dads come to our Webelos 1 meetings still. I say “When they turn 18, you won’t regret having spent an hour a week with them in Scouting.” I see sons hug their dads all the time and thank them for coming or spending time with them. I have never seen a dad frown when that happens.

  37. H. David Pendleton // February 27, 2014 at 1:33 pm // Reply

    I don’t know if it was because my den had a lot of active parents, but I was able to get parents of both genders to volunteer a lot. While I asked for a Talent Survey from the parents, I did not always get them back but found out what people did for a living thru various methods.

    Once then, I asked for help in particular areas. I asked the Bike Riding Fathers (2 of them) to lead our Bear requirements for bicycling. With a dozen Scouts, we set up 4 stations with the 2 parents, the Asst DL & myself at them. The Scouts were in twos or threes & rotated through the stations to complete the requirements–hands on–of course.

    I ask the Engineering Dad to help out on the Webelos Engineering Pin. I had the physical fitness Mom who worked out every day take the lead for those activities. Whatever their talent, I made sure I ask them to help out. People like doing things that they do for a living or for a hobby.

    My asking went even further than the parents. I ask the local state legislator to come in to help out with my Citizenship requirements, a local music teacher for the Showman Webelos pin, the principal for scholar pin, and several of my friends to take care of many of the other requirements.

    I don’t think I ever had anyone say “no” but sometimes had to adjust my schedule to fit theirs for their activity. That was no problem as I did something I was good at & swapped it on the calendar for the date my expert was available.

    As the video suggests, ask for something small and then move up from there.

  38. I am the Cubmaster of a Pack with 38 boys (we have 27 families, as some of the cubs are brothers).

    Within these 27 families there are 9 with both a mom and dad in the kids’ lives (either mom and dad are married, or there is a step-parent, or the parents are divorced/separated but both are local enough and connected to the kid’s life with shared custody or involvement). There are 13 single-moms, 1 single-dad, 2 families with same-sex parents (who aren’t welcome to be leaders in the BSA); 1 cub being raised by his grandmother (his parents are both decided), and 1 cub in the foster care system.

    Out of 38 boys there are only 10 dads…and 8 of them are registered and engaged volunteers in the pack already.

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