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Re: [Scouter_T] Cub Scout Crisis

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  • Dan Kurtenbach
    Ida Lively wrote: Here is my question, how do you get parents to become more involved in their sons scouting adventure? And James Ball responded in part:
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 9, 2002
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      Ida Lively wrote: "Here is my question, how do you get parents to become
      more involved in their sons scouting adventure?"

      And James Ball responded in part: "Kids join Scouting because they want to
      have fun, they are looking for adventure, they want to do things they can't
      always do in the normal course of their lives."

      Well, the same is true for parents. My personal view is that the best way
      to get and keep parents involved in the program is to make it at least as
      much for them as for the kids. Dedication to ideals and values and the
      desire to see your son grow up to be a good man are important, and go a long
      way. But if you have a program where the parents are having fun right along
      with the kids, are enjoying watching what the kids are doing and enjoying
      each others' company, parents will want to participate. Everyone likes to
      do fun things rather than do work, and parents are no exception. Keep in
      mind that almost every hour of a kid activity is an hour of the parents'
      time as well. They need fun and entertainment as much as--actually, more
      than--their sons. On the other hand, if you continually emphasize that it
      takes a lot of work to make Scouting go, and how frazzled you are, how much
      help you need, and you keep begging for volunteers, no one will want to help
      because all you are talking about is hard work. It's simple, really: Show
      everyone how much fun *you* are having, and then ask them to join in. Those
      who can have fun Scouting will join in--and those are the kind of people you
      want as Scout leaders. Of course, that doesn't work if you aren't having
      fun yourself--everyone can see it. And if your program doesn't provide
      opportunities for your parents to have fun as well, change your program.

      In my view, using guilt to get parental involvement is simply not the way to
      go. I can't abide "assigning" parents to tasks they don't want or taking
      the "no participation, no program" approach. I don't like it done to me,
      and I won't do it to anyone else.

      Oh, and by the way--parents who are enjoying Scouting can get the same kind
      of character/citizenship/fitness benefits that the boys are . . .

      Dan Kurtenbach
      Fairfax, VA

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    • wahowland@aol.com
      Ever think that people are loath to help because they think that it s a bigger job than they can handle? I mean, you re obviously so into it and you know a
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 9, 2002
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        Ever think that people are loath to help because they think that it's a
        bigger job than they can handle? I mean, you're obviously so into it and you
        know a lot, and well, gee, I just couldn't measure up, and I don't want you
        to see how dumb I feel, cause I don't really know very much about it, so.....

        I've always found that the best way to get people to help is with the
        boil-a-frog approach. That makes reference to the fact that you can boil a
        frog in a pot of water as long as you don't increase the temp of the water
        more than a little pit per minute.

        By the same token, you can cook these folks, er, um, get them involved just a
        little bit at a time. Give them small, easily done jobs. For example, "I know
        you're always busy on Weds nights, but if I dropped off the advancement
        reports and the pins at your house on Monday, could you just put the pins on
        index cards with the boy's name and den? It would be a big help and it won't
        take you an hour." OK, so I lied, it's more like an hour and a half, but who
        could turn down such a piddling request?
        "With your rotating shifts I'm sure it's hard to do as much as you'd like in
        Cubs with Tommy. Can you look at your calendar and tell me if you're at work
        (note, do not say "free") in the afternoon on Saturday the 25th?"
        "We need some copies made for the pack meeting. Could you get them done at
        your office, please?"
        "We'd like to have a flag ceremony with just adults in it at the next pack
        meeting. Can you stay for just 15 minutes, and then you can go?"
        "We're gonna sell raffle tickets for plates of cookies at the pack meeting as
        a fundraiser. Can you take quarters and give out tickets before the meeting,
        for just 15 minutes?"
        "We have all these quarters. Can you take them to the bank and deposit them
        for us? Gee, that would be great."

        You get the idea.....

        THEN you recognize them up the wazoo--- give them awards they can carry home,
        even silly ones: The Big Hand Award (a stuffed garden glove on a stick) for
        helping with the pins; The Shining Star Award, for participation in the flag
        ceremony; the Life Saver Award for driving, since "we couldn't have gone at
        all without your help!"; get them up in front of everyone and give 'em a

        It won't happen right away, but if you do two or three of these every month,
        people will start being more willing to be asked.... It's amazing what people
        will do for a little bit of recognition.

        Auntie Beans
        Cape Cod & Island Council, MA
        Training Committee Chair
        NSJ 1997, 2001 Nat'l Health & Safety
        Abake Mi-Sa-Na-Ki Lodge #393
        I useta be an Eagle....NEI-188
      • Mullaney, Peter [AMSTA-AR-WES]
        I lead the Committee Member break-out at our RoundTable. This subject has been discussed a number of times. One woman s solution was this: At the first Pack
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 11, 2002
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          I lead the Committee Member break-out at our RoundTable. This
          subject has been discussed a number of times. One woman's solution
          was this: At the first Pack meeting of the year make it clear
          that everyone must sign up for something (leaders, committee,
          Blue & Gold, tours, etc) or they will be assigned something to do
          for the Pack. This may be heavy handed and you may lose some boys
          who need scouting, but sometimes you have to play hard ball.

          I recommend you suggest to this woman to go to her RT and ask the
          RT commissioner to have an open forum on this. Hearing how other
          Packs handle this may not give her the solution, but it may
          give her some ways to start.

          By the way, what is a 'dh'? I know what it is in baseball,
          but here? Maybe 'dear husband'?

          Pete Mullaney

          > ----------
          > From: Ida Lively
          > Reply To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2002 10:52 AM
          > To: Cub Scout RT; Scouter-T
          > Subject: [Scouter_T] Cub Scout Crisis
          > On my pop up camping board, I came across this. Do you have any good
          > advice for her?
          > --------------------------
          > I need some thoughts from you Cub Scouting Parents, I know there are
          > quite
          > a few of you.
          > My Dh is the Cub Master/stand in den leader, I am a Den
          > Leader/Advancement chair/newsletter editior/head runner for our Pack. We
          > also have a Treasurer that handles most of our affairs.
          > Here is my question, how do you get parents to become more involved in
          > their
          > sons scouting adventure?
          > Our family has been involved with this pack for 5 years now. Our oldest
          > is
          > in his last year! But our youngest is only a tiger scout. He is the child
          > who I can see going on in Scouting. However, if we don't get more
          > parents involved in the activites involved with running this Pack
          > there will not be a pack! We have 30 boys in this pack, 4 webelos 1, 4
          > webelosII, 6 Bears, 6 Wolves, and 11 Tigers.
          > We have begged and pleaded since November for help. My dh does not want to
          > be Cub Master any longer. He has been doing this for 4 years and wants
          > to be our youngests Den Leader. I would like to take over as either Cub
          > Master, or Treasurer. But I can not bring myself to come forward and say
          > I
          > will do this because, there are so many parents who do nothing, but drop
          > their son off for the meetings.
          > We have always done a monthly outing, we have done Jelly Belly
          > tours(free),
          > Sprecher Root Beer tour(free), College basketball($6.00 including hot dog,
          > chips and a soda),Hockey game($9.00), Nature Hunt in the local park with a
          > naturalist. Every outing we go to the scout is paid for, but the parent or
          > adult that brings them must pay. As you can see we have done a variety of
          > things and not all of them are expensive. We have very low turn out.
          > In the summer we do a picinic, and family camping this is FREE! Our pack
          > doesn't charge a dime for these two activities. The pack has done some
          > very nice things for the kids. But we can't get any parents to take over
          > a
          > few of these things that need to be done.
          > The excuese we get are "I work full time," "I am very busy" "I don't
          > have time" "Wednesday Night is my Pool night, I can't make a committee
          > meeting once a month" "I am a fire Fighter and work funky shifts, or a
          > police officer". Do you see what I see in this?
          > Sorry for rambeling, but I need ideas how to get more help, Dh and I can't
          > do this alone for 4 more years. Why should we make it nice/easy for people
          > who don't appreiciate it? I could be enjoying my own family instead of
          > making plans for their family not to show up.
          > As you tell I have scattered thoughts. I know I need to organize them.
          > HELPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          > Beth-71,Tom-68,
          > 3 rugrats
          > 99 Expedition
          > 00 Utah
          > May 10- first trip of the year! Hurry up!
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