Baloo's Bugle

September 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 2
October 2007 Theme

Theme: Down on the Farm
Webelos: Citizen & Showman
Tiger Cub
Requirement 1


Recruit Every Parent.

·         Why that’s important,

·         How to do it!

Bill Smith, the Roundtable Guy

A Home and Neighborhood Program

The Cub Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America stresses the relationship of the family to the Scouting program and importance of the family in the development of the Cub Scout age boy. Cub Scouting gives families sets of age appropriate activities structured so that parents and other family members have considerable control of how the Cub Scout grows.

In Cub Scouting, boys and their families have fun and adventure in a program that builds character and instills values. Cub Scouting embraces the values of citizenship, compassion, cooperation, courage, faith, health and fitness, honesty, perseverance, positive attitude, resourcefulness, respect, and responsibility. These values come to boys in all parts of the Cub Scout program—all while they're having a great time with their friends and families.

The Cub Scout program of the Boy Scouts of America is unique among the various Cub programs in the World Scouting movement. Our method is based on activities a boy could do around his own home or in his immediate neighborhood with members of his family.

Family involvement is essential to Cub Scouting's success. When we talk about "family" in Cub Scouting, we're sensitive to the realities of present-day families. Many Cub Scouts do not come from traditional two-parent homes. Some boys live with a single parent or with other relatives or guardians. Cub Scouting considers a boy's family to be the people with whom he lives.

Without the support and involvement of a boy’s parents, Cub Scouting becomes more or less another form of child care with some entertainment value.

Getting Parents Involved

There's no magic bullet for getting parents involved. It takes dedication, persistence and a commitment by all the pack's leaders to make it happen. All the key pack leaders must agree that parents are going to be involved in their sons’ Cub Scouting.

Several tactics do work.

1.       Start early. As soon as the boy shows up to join, let the parents know that they will be expected to do all the things in the Parent Agreement - NO exceptions.

2.       Parents must not only buy into the system but also feel that they have ownership of how the pack and the dens operate.

3.       Parents must be aware of the purposes of Cub Scouting and want these values for their sons.  Parents who don't care will most likely never cooperate.

4.       Parents must appreciate how Cub Scouting fosters close and valuable family relationships and how important it is that they are their son's role model.

Parent participation must be the top priority of every pack leader. It is essential for the success of the pack.

The Parent Agreement

When a boy joins a pack, we ask his parents to sign the Parent Agreement on his application. The parents agree to help their sons in several important ways:

1.             They agree to attend all pack meetings with their sons. The parents of Tiger Cub agree to attend all his activities including den meetings and Go-See-Its. Parents should be there to share in a boy’s activities and recognition.

2.             They agree to work with their sons on the achievements and electives in the Tiger and Cub Scout advancement programs. Parent should be involved in developing character, teaching citizenship and encouraging fitness.

3.             They agree to help.  Every parent must do something for the pack or den. He or she must be the role model for their boy to help make the pack go. Every boy deserves to see his parent be a Cub Scouting Hero. The longer I do this, the more value I see in parent participation:  for the pack, for the family and for the boy.

At joining night, I tell parents to read that Agreement carefully and I explain the reasons why it is necessary and tell them that if they don't intend to follow those points they should take their boy home and don't waste their time and money. Their boy is not going to get a first class Cub Scout experience if they won't cooperate.

Now I did not learn these things when I took the basic training for Cub Scout leaders. I did learn some of it later in Philmont Training Center, but what really brought it home happened at my first Pow Wow.

I attended a session on Ceremonies. The leader demonstrated all sorts of elaborate props including the Career Arrows his pack presented to graduating Webelos. These were spectacular, gold with broad-head points mounted on mahogany plaques. When questioned on how much work all this entailed, he replied that it was easy when you have sixty people on your pack committee.  It seems that his pack required each family to supply an adult leader or a committee member in order for their son to join.

Doesn’t that keep boys from joining?  He then explained that their program was so good with all that help that they ran out of room and had a waiting list.  More boys wanted to join and more parents wanted to help than they could handle.

Since then I have seen a number of Cub Packs that took similar hard lines on parent participation. In every case the packs provided top-notch programs that attracted more families and retained more boys.


Don’t think of your Cub Scouting job as being “just for the boys.” Your job is to work with other adults to help boys.

Being a leader is a great example for your own kids. They really benefit from seeing what it takes for their pack to work. It doesn't happen by accident: someone has to plan, gather the stuff, drag it all to the meeting place and then tell everyone what to do. Then pick it all up afterwards.

Yes, you can overdo it - you can take on so many jobs that your own kids are forgotten or even neglected and they may resent what you're doing. So, don't over do it. Do one job and do it well.

That's why I preach that all leaders should be selfish. Do it because you want to show your own children how to live. If you want to help other kids in your community, tell their parents that they had better get involved and be just as good a role model as you are. Kids of Cub Scout age are learning how to live by copying their parents. If the parents are lazy, and break the promises they made when their boy joined the pack then their kids are learning to be the same kind of turkeys. You can't change it by trying to be some kind of pseudo parent for the whole neighborhood.

One of the most important tasks a Cub Scout leader does is to convince other parent how important it is for them to get involved in their sons' Cub Scout program and how this helps their families and their boys' development.

Never, never do anything that you can possibly get another parent to do.

Many parents attend their first Cub Scout meetings ready to be involved as leaders in their son's pack. All it takes is for us to find out why they want to, and then tie that reason to our invitation. When you sell your pack’s Cub Scouting program to prospective parents, make sure you tell them why they would like to get involved.  Here are some of the important reasons why parents in your pack may want to be leaders or help in other ways:

ü  LOVE - Most parents love their children and want to express their love in tangible ways. Getting involved with their son's Cub Scout program is a very special way of showing him how much they love him.

ü  CHILDHOOD MEMORIES- Many adults have fond recollections of their own good times with youth organizations like Scouting. They want their children to have similar opportunities and are willing to work to make it happen.

ü  AIMS AND IDEALS - We want our children to grow up to become good citizens with strong character traits and to be physically and mentally fit. Giving Good Will, Helping Other People, and Duty to God and Country, are important educational goals.

ü  STRENGTHEN THE FAMILY - The Cub Scout program is designed to strengthen communication and respect between family members.  It is structured so that even the busiest of us with the most stressed family structures can take advantage of the achievements and electives to build strong bonds between ourselves and our Cub Scout sons.

ü  RESPECT OF FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS  - We all like to look good in the eyes of our friends and neighbors. It is important that parents are personally invited to help by someone in their community whom they know, trust and respect.  They should feel that they were selected, not recruited.

ü  BE A ROLE MODEL- Parents are role models for their children. Taking an active part in their son's Cub Scout program is a way of teaching boys how to make things happen. Every boys deserves to see his parents doing something important for his pack or den.

ü  COMMUNITY SERVICE - Most Americans expect to perform some service to their communities. Scouting offers an ideal way for busy parents to become involved in making their communities and their neighborhoods better places in which to live.

Some helpful items to involve parents:

Parent Information Form – Colonial Virginia Council

Parent Guide – Sam Houston Council

Have any Comments for Bill just click right here!

ü  Also, be sure to visit Bill’s website

to finds more ideas on everything Cub Scouting.



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