PACK ADMIN HELPS
Pack Committee Meetings
Every Roundtable represents one key element that you all are doing right – planning for your next den or pack meeting. Why is it then that so many pack committee meetings are run with no planning and without an agenda? If you don’t walk out of your committee meeting feeling like you really accomplished something – then something is missing. If you aren’t having any committee meetings – then it is time to call 911 and have your Unit Commissioner help rescue your unit.
A meeting agenda is your friend. It keeps the meeting on track, lets everyone know what order things will be covered, and if they have questions on a subject – when it will be addressed. They are also handy reminders to make sure the group covers everything that needs discussed and that nothing is forgotten or overlooked.
How do you plan your first agenda? Well start by thinking of all the things that you do in a Cub Scouting year. Jot these down in columns with the month that you do them as the column name. When should you discuss these things at committee? Some things need arrangements made 3 months in advance; some items need covered the month before. Make sure that your committee agenda covers all the special programs too, like hayrides, holiday parties, blue and gold, etc.
A meeting should include the following five parts according to the example on page 24-6 of the 2005 printing of the 2001 Cub Scout Leader Book (3321C)
- Evaluating the Previous Month
- Finalizing the Current Month
- Planning ahead for (future months)
- Unit Leadership Enhancements
- Social Time and Fellowship
It could include the following elements:
- Welcome/ Call to Order – Committee Chair
- Review - Evaluating the Previous Month
- Last Month’s Den activities and attendance – Den Leaders
- Advancement Submissions – Den Leaders
- Last Month’s Pack activities and ways to improve – Cub master
- Current Month’s theme and Den/Pack program – Finalizing the Current Month
- Confirm assignments for Pack Meeting – Cubmaster
- Current month’s Special Events – Special Committees
- Turn in dues and other monies – Den Leaders and others
- Treasurer’s Report – Treasurer
- Planning Ahead
- Theme and activity badge ideas (from Roundtable, Program Helps, Webelos leader Book, Pow Wow Book, experience, …), assignments for next Pack Meeting – Cubmaster
- Upcoming month’s den & pack meeting plans – Den and Webelos Leaders
- Pack Program Progress Reports for upcoming special events and Pack Meetings (Hayride, fund raiser chairs, blue & gold chair, etc. report here) – Special Committees
- Pack needs, problems and progress – Committee Chair
- Make administrative plans – new dens, pack-troop relations, financial matters, improving family participation.
- Training - Unit Leadership Enhancements
- Chartered Organization Relations – Chartered Organization Representative
- Upcoming Training Opportunities – Unit Training Chair
- Unit Leader Enhancement Topic – Committee Chair
- Closing - Social Time and Fellowship
- Follow-up Needed for Next Meeting – Committee Chair
- Have time to enjoy refreshments and fellowship. Get to know your fellow leaders.
If you fill in this format to meet your needs every month – your committees will be successful and more effective to make them worthwhile. The key is to get everyone to attend. Let them know they have to come. Only take advancement reports at the committee meeting. If program chairs miss – ask them for a report in advance for the committee chair to present.
Who is in charge?
That is easy – the Committee Chair. Although sometimes, the Committee Chair is often a name on the charter instead of a working member of the committee. The Cubmasters should be focusing all of their energy into making the Pack program the biggest and best it can be. The Committee Chair’s job is to prepare for and run the pack committee. If the Cubmaster has time to make committee agendas and follow-up with program areas – that time and energy should be spent into putting even more Pizzazz into the Pack meeting.
Don’t skip reviews of last month
This can often be an early indicator if a den is struggling or losing boys it will come out in the quality of den program ideas and attendance at den meetings. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to ask how would you have made it better? Also, by asking what people are doing for next month’s theme – this gives the Den Leaders a chance to hear other great ideas to make their programs better too. Sharing best practices is a sure sign of a successful pack.
Unit Leader Enhancements
These gems can be found in the Cub Scout Leader Book on pages 5-9 through 5-24. These help the committee understand the program, how to work together, and improve the program for the boys. This is a valuable source of supplemental training especially for those leaders that do not get to roundtable. These can give valuable insights and ah-ha moments for the little time that is invested.
Chartered Organization Time
Your charter partner should look at you as a valuable extension of themselves. Take time each committee meeting to check on the relationship between the unit and charter partner, and to see if there is any services that the unit could do to help. Often a strong relationship here is the key to the unit’s long-term survival.
Saves Leaders Time – no extra phoning, meetings, and struggling to sort details out. One meeting does it all
Encourages Teamwork and is an efficient way to pool talent. When all leaders are brought together regularly, abilities and talents can be exchanged in a way that cannot be otherwise achieved.
Provides in-service training with new ideas for all leaders. – Time is available for leaders to share problems and learn new techniques.
Makes the pack strong and healthy by involving everyone in the plans and using them to help implement the program.
These simple elements might seem too fundamental – but the reality is, too many committee meetings have no written agenda. That is like navigating unfamiliar woods without a map. You will reach somewhere eventually, but you may miss things you wanted to see along the way, and you might not end up where you wanted to go.