Scouting has created a stronger online presence in recent years, and this allows the program to provide resources to units, leaders, and members more quickly. The ability to view activities in multimedia formats helps to address different learning styles. Providing resources electronically reduces—but does not replace—the need for hard copies of Scouting materials. Here are some official online resources for Scouts and Scouters:
- The main BSA homepage: www.Scouting.org
- Cub Scouting: www.scouting.org/scoutsource/C
- Cub Scout Learning Library: https://cubscouts.org/learning
- Boy Scout resources: www.scouting.org/scoutsource/B
- Troop Program Resources: www.scouting.org/scoutsource/b
- Venturing: www.scouting.org/scoutsource/V
- The BSA’s official online store for purchasing materials, uniforms, and equipment: www.scoutstuff.org
- CubCast and ScoutCast (online podcasts for Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders providing timely information and guidance: www.scouting.org/scoutcast.asp
- Boys’ Life magazine: www.boyslife.org (If you, as a leader, do not get your own copy, you can access Boys’ Life materials online and see how they tie into advancement and Scouting opportunities. The magazine has two versions; one written for Cub Scouts and one for Boy Scouts.)
- Scouting magazine (online version of the magazine all leaders receive): http://scoutingmagazine.org
Here’s a fun one. The official Pinterest Board of the Cub Scouts: https://pin.it/gumr5tbtuzi7wv
Leader Recruitment and Succession Planning:
Leader recruitment is an ongoing process for every unit. The den leader is one of the most important volunteer roles we have since the den leader will determine the quality of the experience each Cub Scout has. Sometimes it is a challenge to find the right person for the job, to find enough people to fill the positions, and to retain them. Remember, every leader is a recruiter of another leader so that the pack will continue to grow and remain healthy.
Change of leadership is to be expected in a Scouting unit. Often, leaders move up in the program with their child. It is extremely important that every unit has a succession plan. Succession planning is an ongoing process of systematically identifying, assessing, and developing talent to ensure the leadership continuity for all key positions in an organization.
For every unit position, there should be someone preparing to take over that position at a later date. The newest members can observe and help. Experienced parents and leaders act as co-chairs and co-leaders. Almost everyone has something to contribute, and may only be waiting for you to ask. A good place to begin is by asking a parent to help in a small way. If they do well, they can be asked to take on a larger responsibility in the future.
Create a culture of volunteering in your unit! When you sign up new Scouts, be sure the parents understand that once their child is registered, they are encouraged to help, even if it is a small responsibility.
You can give future leaders a head start by speaking with them early about the possibility of them taking on a volunteer role with the unit. This will give them time to observe what is currently being done in that role and begin to get training.
Sample Succession Planning
What are your leadership roles? Every unit has leaders (Cubmaster and pack committee chair), assistant leaders, and key committee people such as the treasurer and coordinators for pinewood derby, the blue and gold banquet, etc. Assess the likelihood that those people may be leaving over the next year or two. Determine which den leaders will need to be replaced.
Evaluate your resources. List the adults in your pack who are not currently in a leadership role, including new parents.. Try to determine their talents and abilities, and the job for which they would be best suited. Make certain that the parents of the youngest members of your unit are tapped early for small jobs that can lead to positions of greater responsibility.
Vet your prospects so that you are selecting the very best person for each job.
Approach the prospects. Once you have confirmed an established leader’s intent to depart at some future date, invite your prospects to consider the first steps toward taking over. If you plan ahead, the new leader could shadow the current leader for several months, receiving on-the-job training in the position.
Set a final date for the transition. If the parent of a second-year Webelos Scout is moving with her child to a troop, her position (as blue and gold banquet coordinator, for example) will likely open up sometime in late winter or spring.
Agree with all parties on a transition date. Don’t forget to have all your new leaders complete Youth Protection Training and ask them to complete basic training for the position.
Selecting Cub Scout Leadership: www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf
Family Talent Survey Sheet
Have all parents in the unit complete the Family Talent Survey Sheet at the link. www.scouting.org/filestore/Cub
New Leader Orientation
The information contained in the BSA publications listed below will acquaint new leaders with the job for which they have been recruited:
• So You’re a New Tiger Cub Den Leader, www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf
• So You’re a New Cub Scout Den Leader, www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf
• So You’re a New Webelos Den Leader, www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf
• So You’re a New Cubmaster, www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf
• So You’re a New Pack Committee Member,www.scouting.org/filest
• So You’re a New Den Leader (English/Spanish),www.scouting
Sample Closing: Leader Appreciation Ceremony
Materials: Four candles
Scouting is made up of many things, people, and ideas. Tonight we are going to take a few minutes to reflect on some of the more pertinent aspects of Scouting.
(Lights the first candle.) First, Scouting is a program. As depicted by our first candle, it is a program dedicated to the development of character, citizenship, and the mental and physical fitness of our youth.
(Lights the second candle.) Second, Scouting is for the youth of our community. Young people who are learning expect to gain recognition by advancement. But, most of all, they expect to have fun with others their age.
(Lights the third candle.) Third, Scouting is for the parents of our Scouts. Without parents taking an interest in the activities of their children, taking them to meetings, and fulfilling their part of the Scouting program, we could not have Scouts.
But, as you can see, this leaves one lone candle. This candle represents the leaders of Scouting. As I call your name, would you please come forward? (Calls each of the leaders receiving appreciation.)
(Lights the fourth candle.) Leaders, I light this candle for you, for you have been a faithful leader to us and we want you to know that your work, dedication, and tireless effort are greatly appreciated. Without your leadership and the leadership of ALL Cub Scout leaders, the first three candles—program, youth, and parents—would be meaningless. Thank you!