Planning

Who Plans Pack Activities?

Amy sent in this question:

I’m CC and am being told by the CM that he and the outdoor activity chair are the only two who get to plan the summer activities. This is not how I understood the planning was handled. Shouldn’t it be open to all leaders to contribute to the planning, development, and scheduling of summer activities? Isn’t it the responsibility of the committee to plan the year, and the CM to execute? (A little background – pack became inactive last year, we had to get many new leaders, including myself and the CM, and our year started in January. We’re all learning, but the CM and I are butting heads. I’m trying to keep it about the scouts, but the finger-pointing and personal attacks are getting the best of me at times.)

Thanks for the question Amy. Ideally, you would work cooperatively with the Cubmaster, the activity chairs, and other committee members to deliver your Cub Scout program. It is normal for the Committee Chair to conduct an annual program planning meeting to lay out the plan for the year and figure out how to carry it out.

However, your pack might have a different history of how they have done things. Or it could be that the Cubmaster has been involved with other packs which did it differently. So the first thing is to develop a good working relationship with the Cubmaster. Try to determine what sort of support the Cubmaster is looking for. It is a difficult situation when there are personality conflicts within the pack leadership. If you can determine how to work around those, it will make things run much more smoothly.

Sometimes it is just a matter of the stress of the workload. It is not so much that the Committee plans things and the Cubmaster carries them out. If you expect the Cubmaster to carry out the plans, then the plans must be ideas which the Cubmaster supports. If the Committee wants to add more ideas to the plan, then they should also be prepared to be the ones to carry them out. Cubmasters often get overwhelmed if they are handed a list of plans to execute. So if you want to add additional activities, make sure you have chairs for those activities also. If the Cubmaster just has to attend and doesn’t need to be involved in the planning, he or she might be more open to the ideas.

Readers, what are your thoughts? Add them to the comments below.

4 Responses to Who Plans Pack Activities?

  1. Lisa May 4, 2015 at 4:55 PM #

    My husband and I took over our Pack May 2014. It was on the brink of folding. We had a few very active parents that we recruited for our committee. As a TEAM we discussed issues and came to a solution together. With alot of work on all parts, we now have an active group (parents and kids) and are financially in a better place (we literally started at $0) Our committee has doubled in size! My point being have all leaders/committee members involved as possible. They bring new ideas to keep things fresh for the boys!

  2. Natasha Shrub May 4, 2015 at 5:40 PM #

    We actually find ourselves as leaders not only responsible for our own den activities but also for at least and often two Pack activities. I think it can also swing the other way where we are scaring off potential leaders because they also will have such involved Pack responsibilities.

  3. Heather C May 5, 2015 at 8:48 AM #

    I echo Lisa and is the same in our Pack, we all come together to plan our activities. As Cubmaster (and I can safely speak our our Committee Chair) we love input and ideas from others within the Pack – Den Leaders, Parents, and especially the Cubs themselves!

    We have certain things that we always do – Pinewood Derby, Blue & Gold spring and fall family campouts that we know will go on the calendar. The nice thing about those regular events is that the framework is already there and its a matter of adding details depending on who is available and what ideas percolate to the surface. We will ask the Dens for input on the events – “would your den like to take responsibility for one of the meals? What would you like to prepare? What do you want to do while we camp? There’s hiking, boating, etc. available at this site.” And if there are no ideas, we’ll pull it together.

    We also partner with a couple of other small packs and local organizations on events such as a Raingutter Regatta and a fishing derby. This allows us to do some interesting, broader events. We’ve found these packs by networking at Roundtable or groups affiliated with our charter organization.

    When our Den Leaders have ideas I will, as the Cubmaster with help from our Committee Chair, do the legwork for them. Sometimes it’s activities for advancement, others it’s an interest in something. Nothing makes your volunteers feel valued like having their idea validated and included as part of the Pack’s plans.

    While we do a couple of formal planning meetings a year, I also constantly check in with my dens and families to solicit ideas for activities throughout the year. The saying is true, “Many hands make light work”. People are more likely to get on board and help if it was their idea to begin with.

  4. Cris N. May 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM #

    Unfortunately parents putting their own agendas ahead of the kids is a common issue in Scouts. Its the reason that 2 whole Dens left our 1st Pack for another Pack in town.

    My advice is to go directly to the CM and talk to him/her directly about what you are feeling. Explain that you feel that everyone on the committee deserves to be included in any and all decisions about the Pack. If your COR is actively involved with the Pack you may want to have them sit in on this conversation so they can weigh in. At the end of the day if the situation gets to the point where someone needs to step down, the COR is the only one who has the actual authority to make that happen.

    if things look like they can’t be fixed you should definitely look into switching to a different Pack. All of the parents in my Den agree that making the move to our new Pack was the right choice and is the main reason our Boys have stayed in the program and are looking forward to moving on to Boy Scouts.

    Good luck!

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