Scouting magazine

Positive ways to help correct pack meeting problems

Answer the next question and your advice could appear in an upcoming issue.


Scouter D.K. visited a pack meeting with no Pledge of Allegiance, no parent recognition and no standing for the national anthem. He asks for tactful ways to mention these shortcomings. 

SHOW THEN TELL
The first thing I would do is stand for the national anthem, especially if I was the only one standing. Then, if I knew the leader of the unit, I would confront him or her. If I didn’t know the leader, I would seek advice from either the district commissioner or the district executive.

Cubmaster B.A.
GARDEN RIDGE, TEXAS

SUMMON THE COACH
Find that unit’s commissioner and talk to him about it. It’s his job to be the friendly coach to the unit leader. There may be a reason those elements have not yet been implemented, and he may already be working on it.

Pack Committee Member E.F.
CHICAGO, ILL.

EXPLAINING TO DO
I think certain parts of a meeting can be skipped if there is a time constraint; however, the Pledge should never be skipped. As for parent recognition, maybe a couple of the boys did not have parents present, so the pack did not want to make them feel left out by having everyone else’s parents come up for the award. If you were really upset by it, talk to the leader after the meeting and ask his reasoning.

Assistant Scoutmaster M.R.
KEESEVILLE, N.Y.

IN MY COUNCIL …
I would take aside the Cubmaster and the pack committee chairman and begin a friendly conversation with, “I know different councils do things differently, but in my council … ” Mention that it is customary to say the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of a meeting and to stand during the national anthem and that rank advancement takes the Scout as well as their parents, so we should recognize both.

Troop Committee Member D.H.
LEE’S SUMMIT, MO.

HELP WANTED?
I would ask to meet with the Cubmaster and committee members to offer to help them conduct a better pack meeting. A pack meeting should include these elements, and I would explain to them why.

S.G.
AUSTIN, TEXAS

ALL THAT JAZZ
Was it a friend or family member’s pack? If the friend or family member is a leader, ask if he or she would be open to some help to “jazz up” their meetings. (If not, drop the subject.) Ask if they know about the position-specific training online; it’s helpful in making for great meetings. The risk is that you don’t want to get uninvited in the future because they feel like you’re “grading” their kid’s pack.

Pack Trainer T.S.
BRISTOW, VA.

STAY OUT OF IT
I would simply mind my own business.

Scoutmaster K.B.
O’FALLON, MO.

SET THE EXAMPLE
First, set the example by standing up for the Pledge and clapping for recognition. Then, speak to the Cubmaster afterwards. Encourage him to have his pack set the example. Have the Cub Scouts stand up and clap for each other to set the example, and encourage other parents to do the same. It’s all about starting the trend. If no one does it, nothing will change.

OA Troop Representative S.C.
OREFIELD, PA.

GO UP THE CHAIN
Assuming that you are not this pack’s unit commissioner, bring it up to the district commissioner or that unit’s unit commissioner. It is not your place to tell how it is supposed to be done. Let those people who have volunteered to help that unit do their job. If you don’t know the district commissioner, you can contact the council office and they will direct you to the council commissioner who can relay your concerns to the right people.

Assistant Scoutmaster D.H.
PIKEVILLE, KY.

TELL THEM WHY
This is poor leadership, plain and simple. The solution is to talk with the leadership privately and suggest that they fix the problems. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance creates a sense of patriotism. Recognizing the parents shows they are important. Mentioning that these are the values we are trying to instill in our kids/Scouts would be helpful, and offering to help is a good idea.

Scoutmaster D.C.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA


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