One of the first signs of trouble in the health of a Cub Scout Pack is that Cubmaster is heavily involved with the parents.
The Cubmaster, like his Scoutmaster equivalent, has the primary responsibility for taking care of the boys and coordinating the efforts of the Assistant Cubmasters and Den Leaders. He is the head of the Operations Department of a Cub Scout Pack.
So who takes care of the parents? The Pack Committee Chair. He or she is crucial to allowing the Cubmaster to provide a good program to keep the boys interested. If the Cubmaster is handling most of the phone calls and emails from the parents, the Cubmaster is going to waste his volunteer time that should be spent on the boys.
The Pack Committee Chair is often a position that is difficult to fill. This is often not because of dealing with parents. It is because there is little parent participation on the Pack Committee. The Chair ends up with too much responsibility.
The most successful Packs make clear to parents that each parent will contribute to the Pack. It is not stated as request or a wish. It is presented as a fact. This contribution is important. Parents who contribute to Scouting with their time, talent, and/or treasure tend to keep their boys in scouts longer. They understand scouting better. They are more persuaded that scouting is a unique proposition for their boy and is not duplicated in any other extracurricular activity.
So the first step in solving problems like difficulties in recruiting is to make clear that all parents have a job. The Pack should have a chart of all of the needs for the Pack throughout the year. Drivers for outings. Treasurer. Popcorn. Summer camp. The further into the future you have duties, the easier they are to recruit. Schedules are not filled yet. Imagined conflicts have not come up yet. The scout starts to get excited that a parent is going to be involved.
So this means, it is best to recruit Pack Chairs by making sure that more adult positions are filled. The job of Chair is then less of a day-to-day requirement to do tasks and more of a communications job. Today that means emails, which many of us handle everyday.
Each position filled makes every other position easier to fill. If a chair can’t be found, fill the positions you can.
Where can you find people who have a vested interest in your Pack and likely the experience that most of your Pack lacks? What about the Boy Scout Troop that most of your Webelos join? Call that Troop’s Chair (or contact your Unit Commissioner or the District Commissioner Jeff Heck). Ask the Troop Chair for someone who can sit on the committee. While that person may be too busy with the Troop to do much of the day-to-day business of the Pack, that person’s mere presence and advice may help recruit other Pack parents. Ask your Chartered Organization Executive Officer if a volunteer can be recruited. In some Chartered Organizations, a call from the principal, president, pastor, or priest, requesting help is very powerful.
If you are still not sure how to proceed, this is what the Commissioner Service is here for. Talk to your assigned Unit Commissioner (if no Unit Commissioner has been assigned an Assistant District Commissioner or the District Commissioner has now been assigned as your primary contact until a Unit Commissioner is assigned).
If you know who you would like to recruit but are uncomfortable asking the person, your Unit Commissioner can assist with how to develop a plan on how to make the request.
In all cases, it is best not to accept an incomplete Pack Committee. During the summer is the best time to handle this problem. Yes, summer camp looks like it takes time, but it is the time that adults are interacting for the longest, uninterrupted time. Take action now. Fill the positions or bring your Unit Commissioner in now. The chair must be filled for Rechartering. Your scouting year will go much more smoothly.