Committee

What Is the Role of the Pack Committee Chair?

A reader sent in this question:

Hello! I am new to the role of CC and have been told my only purpose is recharter. However, on this site and the BSA site the CC role is much more in-depth. Do I follow the role as outlined by BSA or what the CM has stated? Who decides CM or COR? I would prefer my email address not be published. I have a strong feeling our CM would not appreciate me questioning his authority. Our former CC resigned due to his “contolling” behaviour. Thank you!!!

Thanks for the question. The role of the pack committee chair is normally much more than to just fill out some paperwork each year. Typical duties include

  • Recruit adult leaders for the unit
  • Work with the Chartered Org Rep to coordinate activities which align with the expectations of the chartered organization
  • Encourage parents to be active members of the Pack.
  • Attend monthly roundtable meetings.
  • Provide support to the Cubmaster to ensure that a quality program is delivered to the youth.
  • Work with other unit leaders, including the Treasurer, Pack Trainer, and activity chairs.
  • Hold Pack Committee meeting meetings several times throughout the year so adults can come together and discuss the program.
  • And yes, fill out the recharter paperwork

It can vary from one unit to another, depending on the size of the unit and which committee positions are filled. But an active Pack Committee usually requires an involved Committee Chair. And I have never known a unit not to benefit from having an active, trained committee.

My first instinct would be to talk to the Cubmaster and tell him you are interested in being a more active Committee Chair than people who have filled the role in the past.  I don’t know the history or the Cubmaster though, so this might not improve the situation and could even make it worse.  I get many of these types of questions where one person wants to control the whole unit. Scouting needs to be a collaborative effort though.

The Cubmaster, the Committee Chair, and all adult leaders must be approved by your chartered organization. If you think the unit is suffering because the Pack Committee is not being allowed to function as it should, talk to your chartered org rep, possibly the head of the chartered org, and the unit commissioner. The unit commissioner might have some helpful suggestions and be someone who is not directly involved in the situation. There is no guarantee that the Cubmaster will change.  If the Cubmaster wants to run the whole show and the chartered organization is not going to intervene, then you have to decide if you can live with that as a Committee Chair.

Readers, what do you think? Have you ever experienced this type of situation in your unit?

One Response to What Is the Role of the Pack Committee Chair?

  1. Rob R August 23, 2015 at 2:54 PM #

    The good news is you have a very active cubmaster. The bad news is the cubmaster is running the show which is great but what happens in his or her absence, what if that person steps down? I am a very active COR, more active then many but I say, “I am the guy to blame, if there is a problem call me, if you have praise call the others.” This problem is not uncommon, it doesn’t always happen but it is not uncommon to have a pack that one or two do a lions share of the work. This is not ideal by any means.
    I would highly recommend that you speak with the cubmaster and say you want to be involved and build an active committee. I would state is as, “I have noticed that you work very hard to help our program be so successful, I would like to help build an active committee to help support what you are doing.”

    In many of these cases the person whether in the cubmaster shoes got there by others before you not stepping up and accepting responsibility. In other words, John or Jane Doe said, ” cubmaster, I will do task X” and then when the time came Sometimes it is not the message but the messenger that is important.

    Another avenue you have as a cc is to encourage if not require all leaders be trained. An engaged leader may be very excited to learn that the committee wants them to go to wood badge, scouting U, etc. Do not just suggest it but rather set a plan in place to pay for a large percentage of the tuition. If the leaders go to such a course they not only care but they will come out a better leader and also be happy for you to do the job of the cc.

    We has something similar in our unit, all though we did not have a controlling CM. Before I made decisions I gathered the facts from parents, leaders, etc. What was learned in the process really benefited everyone concerned and everyone involved is now happier and a better leader.

    Another thing I do, whenever I catch myself thinking, I cant wait for X person to leave. I always ask myself, what will we do without them? Many times the answer turns out to be, how can I help x person to do a better job? In most cases the answer is to get that person more help. In very rare circumstances would I advocate to remove a leader. If it had to do with safety of the youth then that is a no brainer and would happen very quickly. However, in an operational sense, I would encourage you to take a position of, how did we get here and what is the permanent solution to prevent this in the future. Then get all the training you can to help you lead others to a more sustainable path.

    Hope this helps. Sometimes the lessons we learn in scouting are not easy but are none the less beneficial.

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