Tuesday, May 3, 2011

100 Days of Scouting - Day 30

Today I made arrangements for the Tiger den to visit our city's fire station.  They'll go in a couple of weeks, and get it in juuuuust before the advancement ceremony a few days later.  This has been a frustrating year for the Tiger den.  We weren't able to find a leader for them.  At one point we thought we had one.  The grandfather of one of the boys had been a Scoutmaster, and had even gone to Wood Badge.  He agreed to take leadership of the den after a planned vacation to Europe, but that's the last I've heard from him.  One of the other leaders and I each have sons in the den, so we're making sure they at least have the chance to earn their rank (which at the Tiger level is pretty simple).  The other guy's older son crossed over last March, and he said he's willing to take over this den when they start on their Wolf rank.  I'm really looking forward to it, because it's is a great den.  I can see these boys sticking with it long-term, as long we can get a routine going!  We've already lost a couple of boys because of all this.  On the one hand, it's hard to blame those families, but on the other, any one of them could have stepped up into the leadership role.

Our current Wolf den had 3 boys sign up, but no one would step up to be their leader, which frustrates me beyond words.  I understand that there are legitimate reasons why a person couldn't be a den leader, but... oh well.  Hopefully we recruit a new Wolf with a parent willing and able to step up.  Or another volunteer comes from somewhere!

I just don't personally understand it.  I'm a den leader for the Webelos I den, kind of running the Tiger den by default, I've just taken over as Cubmaster, and I'm the head coach for 3 soccer teams.  I take personal offense when someone says they don't have time!  I'm committed to some youth activity or another every day but Tuesday.  I'm happy to do it, it's what I choose to do.  But it just baffles when we have a pool of candidates that size and can't find a single volunteer.  When my daughter was in first grade, I "had" to coach two soccer teams because the other team at her school in her age bracket couldn't find a coach.  The parents of 11 girls were told that if they didn't get a volunteer that the girls wouldn't get to play.  Still nothing.  I felt bad and offered to take that team too.  I'm no hero, but what the heck?!  Where are the volunteers???


  1. Years ago, I felt the same way. I knew in our pack that there were leaders that just needed to be diamonds in the rough.

    I got out a poster board and wrote out all the jobs in the pack, even creating fake ones...what did the parents know?

    I got all the scouts to go with a couple leaders and a den chief, into the gym, while I met with the parents in the hall.

    I read outloud this speech...

    'm not a Cub Scout Leader for the easy hours, high pay, parents' gratitude, power or prestige.

    I'm a leader because I want the world for your son and mine, to be a world he can shape; a world of love and laughter, where he can show compassion.

    I want him to be able to look at the stars, a sunrise, a sunset, the work and world of man — and feel their beauty inside himself.

    I want to help him to learn to finish anything he starts and do it well and to guide him to know his worth with a deeper understanding of himself.

    I want to help shape men who have strength of character and are sensitive to others.

    I want them to be the best they can be.

    I’m giving of my time and of myself. I reap rewards far beyond what I give. I receive for my children and future generations a better world.

    I am a Cub Scout Leader because I care!

    I then asked for parents to please step up and place their name on one of the lines, that no job was hard, and that I, as the Cubmaster, would never ask anyone to do anything on that list that I hadn't done or wouldn't do. I finished my speech with "many hands make light work..."

    I put down the marker and by one, 11 parents stepped forward and put their names on the empty blanks.

    Am I kidding? Nope...11 leaders that night, and our pack has been extremely strong since. Hope this helps...have faith, you can do it. If a shlub like me can do it, you can....

  2. That's awesome, Shawn. Now I'm ready to sign up for more! I'm going to try that at our next pack meeting. Plus, we're having rank advancement, so maybe that will help to illustrate all that we can offer these boys. Thanks for sharing that story. I'll let you know how it goes!