Question: The Eagle Scout dads in Cubmaster S.C.’s pack prefer to work with Boy Scouts, not Cub Scouts. An Eagle Scout himself, S.C. wants to persuade these men to get with the younger-boy program.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
I was one of those Eagle Scouts. I was waiting for my sons to enter Boy Scouting so we could do the “real” stuff. But my smarter-than-me wife reminded me that if my boys did not enjoy Cub Scouting, they probably would not become Boy Scouts. She told me Cub Scouting is the “minor leagues” for Boy Scouting, and you don’t go to the top level without quality time in the minors. Reality hit me. I became a den leader, Webelos leader, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, and father of two Eagle Scouts.
Former Scoutmaster M.K.
Johns Creek, Ga.
SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
Lead by example. When other parents see that you are comfortable with helping and are having a good time, they are more likely to join you. Don’t focus on the fact that they are Eagle Scouts but on the fact that they are dads whose sons need them. You may find that the other dads (and moms) who don’t have a Scouting background will be the ones who help the Cub Scouts the most.
Troop Committee Member A.B.
FIND THE RIGHT JOB
Encourage them to take advisory or supportive positions within the pack. Helping with camping or pinewood derbies or helping teach Boy Scout skills to Webelos Scouts would be a start.
Park Hills, Mo.
NEWBIES NEED YOU
Our pack has lots of enthusiastic, hard-working, and talented parents, but a lot of them are new to Scouting. It takes experienced parents, like Eagle Scouts, to make sure the program is strong. The best way to get Eagle Scouts active in the pack might be to point out that the pack needs their Scouting experience and skills and that their work in the troop will be that much easier—and more rewarding—with new Boy Scouts who come well-prepared from the pack.
Pack Committee Chair L.H.
SEEK THE SCOUT INSIDE
Eagles love to help, but many are afraid to commit to a position because of professional obligations. I’ve found that by giving them Boy Scout-related tasks with clear goals and defined ending dates, the Scout inside reappears, especially when they work with their own Cub Scout. Before long, they broaden their sphere of influence to include the other Scouts and shortly ask for an adult application.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
I have been in this position. What I did that worked was to find a specific task that needed doing and ask them directly to do it, one on one. It’s much easier to say no when you hear “would someone” than when you hear a direct “would you.” From the initial task, slowly ask for more—reeling them in!
Chartered Organization Representative S.T.
TIME OF YOUR LIFE
In my area, a lot of the dads’ work involves travel, so they are not there a lot. I travel massive amounts, too, and share that with the dads. I explain that I use Scouts as a way to schedule time with my son and, for many activities, with my daughter and family.
PUT THE OUTING IN SCOUTING
Ask them to be in charge of a pack camping event, a Webelos activity badge like Outdoorsman or Readyman, or maybe a belt-loop activity such as Hiking or Map and Compass for a couple of dens. Also, an older son might be a choice to be a den chief. This extra family involvement could get the Eagle Scout dad more involved with the pack.
Pack Advancement Chair C.H.
THE NEW ORDER
Depending on when they were active as youth, they may still believe that Cub Scout leadership is a female thing. Prior to 1989, or thereabouts, most Cub Scout leaders, except the Cubmaster and Webelos den leaders, were females. They may not be familiar with the modern program. As to how to get them involved, find out about their interests and skills, and then see how you can incorporate them into meetings and outings.
Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner J.J.
PAY IT FORWARD
Remind the dads that 25 or 30 years ago, somebody was there for them. Today’s youth need their own mentors, guides, and role models as they first begin to explore Scouting. Active Cub Scouts become active Boy Scouts, and disinterested Cub Scouts become uninspired Webelos Scouts. Then, they drop out of Scouting altogether.
Menomonee Falls, Wis.
TAKE THEM OUT
Make Cub Scout events fun. Go camping. It amazes me how many Cub Scouts go through several years of only spending one night outdoors—and some don’t camp at all. Our Eagle dads help with den and pack events.
Round Lake Beach, Ill.
BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION
Make them realize that Cub Scouts are the life-blood of any successful troop. What may be wonderful today can go away very quickly if a strong foundation is not set beneath it.
Pack Committee Chairman M.A.T.
TRAINING’S THE THING
Invite them to do online training. They will see how gender roles have evolved since their Cub Scout days, and hopefully they will gain more open minds about leader gender roles.