Recruiting Leaders


Leader Recruiting Topics on this Page (click to jump):

Turning Parents into Helpers, and Helpers into Leaders

Packs Need Adult Leaders – Most Need More. Yes, a fully functioning Cub Scout Pack must have the following: (1) a Cubmaster, (2) Den Leaders for each den (of 6 to 8 Scouts in the same grade), (3) a Chartered Organization Representative, (4) a Committee Chair, (5) several Committee Members performing key support functions, and, ideally, (6) Assistants for Cubmasters and Den Leaders.

  • Many Packs don’t have all those roles filled with engaged active leaders.
  • Or some Packs have enough now, but if there is a big influx of new Scouts, a Pack that used to have 45 Scouts with 6 Den Leaders and now has 90 Scouts may need 6 more Den Leaders and more help overall.
  • Every Pack and Den needs help doing parts of the leader jobs and the support of Den and Pack operations and activities.
  • And if you have a fun Calendar of Activities and adventure (you should), it should be fun to do the activities – and lead the activities.  So if your Pack follows the idea that Cub Scouting is Fun, Family and Friends you should find it easier to get most parents to lead and help.

Recruiting More Leaders may be the hardest Recruiting Step in our list of key steps of (1) Creating a Calendar of Fun Activities, (2) Promote your Pack Program – Flyers and Media and More, (3) Recruiting Leaders, (4) School and Community Presence, and (5) Sign-Up Events:



Do You Want – Or Do You Need – More Parent Involvement?  There is no single “magic wand” to wave that will solve the struggle to turn Parents into Helpers and Leaders.  If you get a lot of youth to sign up you need even more adults to deliver the program.  While you may not have a single “magic wand”, you have a lot of arrows in your quiver.

  • Most Packs benefit from constant leader recruitment effort. All Pack leaders and helpers benefit if you keep your eyes open for how parents might help.
    • Planning your Calendar of Fun Activities?  Keep an eye on who shows interest and shares ideas to add to the calendar.
    • Sharing that Pack Activities Plan?  Engage those who show interest in events.
  • The bad news: not enough are really eager to “be the Leader” without the right request.
    • A “group question” of “who wants to be den leaders” usually doesn’t turn up enough volunteers, and maybe not the right ones.
    • But there are many ways to ask, and many ways to structure the roles you want to fill.
  • The good news:  most parents are “willing to help”, but they worry about taking on too big a job and not having enough help from others.
    • Current leaders should find ways to help turn Parents into Helpers.
    • As parents get engaged, find ways to turn those Parent Helpers into Leaders.
    • Showing that most of the parents in a Den are willing to help can free one of the team of helpers to be willing to lead those helpers.
    • Having “co-leaders” is a good approach too (just be sure someone steps up to coordinate everyone).
      • An optimal "co-leader" approach is to have the team include someone from each family.  (It takes a village, right?)
      • Then they may decide who will take the lead on each Adventure (meeting) or other activity.
      • Or what team of "co-leaders" will take the lead.
  • Some other good news (if there can be any good news coming out of Covid-19) is that more parents will be able to help – or be – a Den Leader now, because they have some experience leading their own Scout using "family-led" Adventures.  Packs that support Family-Led Activities -- giving parents and other caring adults the tools to lead Cub Scout Adventures with their Scouts -- will be giving "on the job" training to a new generation of parents who can not only help but will need to be leaders of their Scouts.
    • And the job of the Den Leader can be different if more parents “share the lead and share the load”.
    • No longer must "the Den Leader lead everything".  (That's really not the way it should be anyway.)
    • Instead, the Den Leader can lead the parents, by sharing with parents resources for parents to lead their own Scouts.  That's a skill set that will often be easier for some -- especially those who due to work could not "make the meetings" before -- but will put a premium on communication skills with other parents.
  • Celebrate your helpers as “Heroes” – because they are!
    • When you recognize and applaud your helpers, their kids will be so proud.
    • That will help parents turn from helpers into Leaders!
    • Recognize every parent who is "getting it done" for their Scouts – do it live, use emails, Pack newsletters and eBlasts.

Cub Scouting is a Family Program – Parents Need to Participate Too.

OK, recruiting leaders is hard, we get that.  But recruiting and training capable leaders is essential to having a Cub Scout Program, so rather than using recruiting plans that minimize what you really should aim for, or wishing on a star that you’ll get leaders, here’s some tools to help you.

First Turn Parents into Helpers – Then Turn Helpers into Leaders.  Most people, when asked to “be” the Den Leader or Cubmaster or Committee Chair, will say “no”, or “I can’t do all that” or “no, I don’t know what that involves“.

  • Don’t ask people (right away) to be Den Leader or Cubmaster or Committee Chair – unless you really know they can say “yes” and do it well – because that role will seem too hard for most people.
    • Instead, get to know them and ask how they’d like to help.
    • Once you get to know them, you can give them suggestions about the right leadership role for them.
    • Maybe start them out as an “Assistant” Cubmaster or Chair or Den Leader.
    • Do encourage general “Committee Member” registration because the more parents who take “Youth Protection Training”, the better for them and the better for your Pack.
  • If you ask a group for volunteers, each individual may think “not me”.  They may think that you meant to ask “somebody else” – so when you ask, also ask each individual one on one for something they can do.
    • But ... how do you get people to say “yes, I’ll help” ... and then “yes, I’ll be a leader!”
    • A key to recruiting helpers and leaders is:
    • Did you ask? and did you ask a question that they can answer “Yes” to?
  • If you're supporting Family-Led Activities – either as the primary way your Scouts do Cub Scouting, or as an alternate for some families – the "ask" will be "can you lead your Scout?" or "if we give you help like our Cub Adventure resources and Scouting on Demand, can you guys do family-led activities with your Scout?"
    • That should be a pretty easy question for families to say "yes" to.
    • More ideas on getting parents to say “yes” follow.

Show Organization, Set Expectations, Extend Invitations.

To turn parents into helpers – then turn helpers into leaders – first you need to get organized – and slice and dice your big jobs into small portions that can attract help.  Identify what roles you want to recruit for, figure out ways that parents can understand how they can help.

  • But don’t just recruit for Cubmaster and Den Leader and random unassigned committee members.
    • Ask for specific kinds of helpers, so that people who might be Cubmaster and Den Leader see that people will help them and how they will help.
    • Examples below.

Ways to help your local Den Leader or Co-Leaders

  • Support Your Local Den Leader! 
    • Den Leader is the hardest job – and the most rewarding, as a youth facing leader.
    • So message this to your families: In Cub Scouting, you’re either a Den Leader – or your job is to help your Den Leader.

They say “many hands make light work”.  To get there, break down the “big roles” into “little jobs” that are “light work”.  Then if “many hands” each take on a “little job”, it all gets done!

  • You can split up responsibility for the parts of a Den activity or meeting – and share those jobs around.  Examples of that in a Den activity or meeting that could be done by individual parents (especially by using the more available Cub Adventure resources) are:
    • Coordinating a “Gathering” activity.
    • Leading the “Opening” ceremony.
    • Instructing Adventure Skills or parts of the Adventure
    • Leading Games
    • Leading Songs, helping produce skits for campfire or other shows
    • Putting on a Closing Recognition Ceremony
    • Taking pictures and videos and writing the story of what was done
  • Sure, you won’t get volunteers for every part of the Den activity, so the Den Leader will need to step in and run those parts – but every time you get someone else to lead, it helps the overall (and long term) health of the Den, because more parents know they can lead.
  • You can split up “after hours” support roles for the Den – jobs that don’t necessarily require attendance at the activity or meeting – but that shouldn’t have to be done by the Den Leader – are:
    • Sharing pictures and video and your den’s activity story with the Den families and the Pack (and maybe beyond).
    • Circulating emails about what the next activity is, what to bring, how to prepare.
    • Bringing snacks for a meeting or organizing food for a weekend activity.
    • Making “badge buys” for loops and pins and other awards that will be earned at an activity or meeting and can be awarded with immediate recognition.
    • Making reservations/arrangements for fun field trip activities.
    • Updating advancement records.
    • Coordinating product sales (popcorn, camp cards) or other fundraisers.
    • When you do ask, ask each individual for specific help with a small task, and build on that.
      • You will have some people say, “I can lead games” or “I can organize trips” or “I can lead songs” or “I can help build stuff”.
      • Or you might see them in action at a Den activity, and get a sense of their ability – who likes singing and performing, who is into nature stuff, who digs arts and crafts, who is a game leader or sports coach.
      • Always keep your eye out for how someone can step in and step up and share the lead – and make a big deal of how they help.  (Their Scout will be so proud.)
  • Another way to organize is to use “rotational leadership” to share the lead of Den Adventures – maybe divide up your Rank’s Adventure choices like this, using Cub Adventure resources:
    • Bobbie and Ben to lead Bobcat review early on.
    • Hank and Hermione to lead the hiking adventure activities.
    • Carla and Chris for the camping adventure.
    • Steve and Susan for the service project outing adventure.
    • Geri and Gary to do game adventures.
    • Pat and Peter for the citizenship (Duty to Country) adventure.
    • Curt and Clarissa to put together the cooking adventure activities.
    • Nate and Natalie will take the nature adventure parts.
    • Get people to say “yes” to leading activities, leading games, organizing trips, and building stuff – or using “rotational leadership” of Den Adventures – and you’ll have the leader corps your den needs.
      • Plus the job of Den Leader will not be a drag.
      • As you engage these Assistants, get them registered as Assistant Den Leaders too.

Ways to Help the Cubmaster and Committee Chair

  • Support Your Local Cubmaster and Chair!  The same approach applies to Pack events and Pack support of the Scouts.  Rather than looking to the Cubmaster to do everything for a Pack event, you can share the load and lead in many ways:
    • You can split up responsibility for the parts of a Pack activity or meeting – maybe by “Den” (be sure the Den Leader team is on board) or by individuals.  For example, a Pack family campout might divide up roles like:
      • Reservations (with the campout location) and Communication.
      • Registration (of Pack families) and Collection (of costs).
      • Cooking Coordination – depending on the size of the Pack, maybe you’ll split that up by:
        • Dens sharing (alternating) the cooking of the 4 or 5 meals (including snacks) that you need to eat on the campout.
        • Dens cooking all their meals for themselves, with maybe different families taking the lead on each meal.
      • Campfire Program
      • Campfire Building
      • Activity Leaders
      • Cleanup and Checkout Coordinators
    • You can split up “after hours” support roles and event leadership for the Pack, and create a team by having volunteers from each Den help with the support or the event – examples are:
      • Pinewood Derby – overall leader and team members from each Den
      • Back to Pack (Back to School) Event – overall leader and team members from each Den
      • Blue & Gold Banquet – overall leader and team members from each Den
      • Follow the same approach with each event or function of an overall leader (other than the Cubmaster or Committee Chair), using (for the bigger events and functions) team members from each Den
        • That would work for fundraisers, advancement (badge buys), big trips, spring camping, field trips, and more.
        • Again, you won’t get volunteers for every event, so Cubmaster and/or Chair will need to step in and run some events, but every time you get someone else to lead, it helps the overall (and long term) health of the Pack.
    • Use these specific roles to identify what Committee Members do – and register those helpers as Committee Members where possible.
      • Be sure every Committee Member has a real role.
      • Let them step into the role they are suited for, the one they enjoy.
  • To help with the process of splitting up jobs so that Den Leaders don’t do it all, attached below is a Pack Job Sign-Up Chart in a Word Document format that you can revise to fit your Calendar of Fun Activities and Pack Program, and how you organize – and display who has volunteered to lead or help.
    • As you get volunteers, you can complete that, and share it with your Pack.
    • This includes a note that you’ll need to “scale up” your number of Den Leaders if you end up with more than around 10 or 12 at any rank level.

Set Expectations of Parent Helping.

  • Especially if you’ve shared a menu of “small portion” jobs that slice and dice what a Den Leader or Cubmaster or Committee does, you can make that “every parent helps” baseline expectation clear from Day One: every family needs to participate in Den and Pack leadership, sharing the fun of Cub Scouting – but also sharing the effort of putting on the program.
    • You need to have a culture of parent helpers and parent leaders: share the load and share the lead.
  • Only a very small Pack can operate with just a couple of people leading the Scouts.
    • Even that approach is hard on the couple of leaders as well as not fair to the youth, because the Scouts need to see their parents as leaders too, being heroes to all the kids.
    • The best gift for a Scout is: Get Their Parents Involved.
      • Never do for Parents what Parents can do themselves for their own Scouts.
      • That will help us build “Stronger Families Through Scouting”.
  • The Better Approach is “Every Parent Helps and Every Parent Leads – This is a Family Program"
    • Several Packs use a policy called “Every Parent Helps” or “Every Parent Leads”, as a condition to joining, so that every parent is making a commitment to be a leader and help the leaders.
    • It’s only fair that they know that from the start that every parent helps, and many hands make light work.
  • That’s consistent with the idea that Cub Scouting is a family program – it shouldn’t be a “drop off” program.
    • Cub Scouting is something that youth and parents and family are involved with.
  • If you make that policy into “a promise” by those families signing up, share ways to help, and follow up (like keep up the Pack Job Sign-Up Chart and follow up with those who don’t volunteer).
    • With enough "light work" roles on the Pack Job Sign-Up Chart, every parent can help with something.
    • Some Packs use a “point system” to encourage volunteering, so that someone who doesn’t want to lead an event or function can help with several and contribute their fair share.

Use All Ways To Ask For And Get Volunteers

Paper Surveys, Group Pitches, ask for a Show of Hands,, emails, texts, phone calls, one on one personal asks for a specific job, take a prospect for coffee, remind a parent that it is their time to help – there are lots of ways to get this done, and it is an ongoing process as a Pack plans for a coming year, receives expressions of interest and youth applications, and engages families at events.

  • The Den or Pack “Talk”: We Need Leaders.  At some point – whether a parent planning meeting before back to school “Meet and Greets” start, or at a Sign-Up Event, or as a “breakaway” from a Fun Den or Pack Welcoming Event – many Packs will need to have “The ‘We Need a Den Leader’ Talk” with parents about Dens, Den Leaders and how your Scouts need more Den Leaders.
    • Attached below is a word document for Den Formation Discussions, with script ideas.
    • This has a script for “the whole Pack” (if you have no Den Leaders at all), as well as scripts for “den by den” discussions to try to get Den Leader and Assistants.
    • As part of that, you might do the “Yardstick/Timeline” demonstration attached below.  Here’s a YouTube video of one way to do it.
  • Surveys.  Some use the BSA Talent Survey to start – you can also make your own, tailored to current needs and how you slice and dice your jobs and functions into small portions.
    • This is a good tool, but don’t forget:  ultimately, as you get to know parents, you’re going to ask face to face, because a “one on one” ask is usually needed.
  • Demonstrations of Jobs … and Juggling.  If you have too few leaders doing too many jobs and/or wearing too many “hats” for all the little jobs they do?  Demonstrate that they have too many jobs, but it will work if we share those jobs.  Here’s five ways:
    • Deal Out The Job Cards.  Attached below is a word document called “Role Cards of Pack and Den Jobs” that lists common Pack Jobs and Den that have to be done by someone – you might have more you want to add.  To make this demonstration work:
      • You can deal all of those cards out to the Cubmaster or Den Leader (plan the meetings, lead the meetings, bring snacks, record advancement, coordinate popcorn, buy the badges, run the derby, cut the cars, write the newsletter, etc. etc.) – and ask if it’s fair that all of the cards are held by the Cubmaster or Den Leader.
      • Or it if isn’t fair, how can we share?
      • Deal the cards out among the parents attending to show how it might become fair.
    • “Too Many Hats”.  Same idea, but attach the cards to “party hats” and show “who wears the hats?” right now.  Yeah, Cubmaster probably wears too many hats.
      • Let the what it looks like when one leader is forced to “wear so many hats”.
      • Move from “wear” all the hats to “share” all the hats so that everyone is wearing one.
    • Job Balloons.  Another way to demo that is to use balloons for each job – show how it is possible for a Den Leader or Cubmaster to juggle all of those jobs.
      • For each “job” on the job card, call out the “job” and toss the leader a balloon. 
      • Keep adding new jobs and balloons.
      • Spoiler Alert: it isn’t possible to juggle them all.
      • For added juggling, show how we all need to help each other by tossing in extra balloons like “your job needs you more this month” or “you need to take care of an ailing parent”.
    • Jobs on the Wall.  In a room where you’re having a parent meeting or social, use painter’s tape to put paper on the wall with each sheet showing a key leader or helper role, like “Assistant Den Leader” or “Pinewood Derby Car Cutter” or “Braves Game Coordinator” plus lead roles like “Tiger Den Leader” and “Campout Coordinator” and “Blue and Gold Host” and other jobs you need to fill or see on the Job Cards in the download section.  Maybe have a few words about what the job entails.  Then:
      • Give everyone a few minutes to look at the wall, take a job, put their name on the sheet, and turn it into a leader.
      • When time is called, collect the sheets that have the signups.
      • Then circle the wall, and show what’s not been picked up. 
      • The message for anything without a volunteer is:  We have no “Braves Game Coordinator” – are we saying that we don’t want to get together to go to the Scout Night at the Braves?
    • Free Market Trading of Job Cards.  After a demo of those cards and the failure of juggling, maybe hand out cards randomly to attending parents – and let them trade jobs.
      • See if it is possible for parents to find a job they are comfortable doing.
      • A Cubmaster or Den Leader volunteer can agree “I’ll hold this Den Leader Card and do the job, but you all need to take these other roles”.
  • Parent Socials.  And how about another incentive: parent and leader social events. 
    • Not "meetings", just social events.
    • No “agenda”, maybe a cookout where friends who happen to be leaders can relax and unwind and get to know each other better.  Or a swim party at a lifeguarded pool where the parents do what parents do: hang out by the pool.
    • No “uniforms”.  Just be people.  Maybe relax and enjoy as you like, responsibly.
  • For More: Fifty Ways to Lure a Leader.  See our resource attached below called Fifty Ways to Lure a Leader, with now over 80 tips and tricks to recruit, recognize, retain, and replace leaders, so that you can have a strong program.  Ideas are from the field – find some that work for you.  These are put into categories of Leader tips, including:
    • Communication with Adults – strategies to set the table, and make the ask
    • Activities as the Lure for Adults – drive Adult interest into Adult leadership
    • Recognition of Leaders and Helpers – never estimate the power of a “Thank You”
    • Your Local Org Chart or Wish List – be sure that your menu of jobs is known, and attractive
    • Right Size Your Jobs – like above, slice and dice jobs into “small portions”
    • Right Size Your Program – if your leaders are stretched too thin, maybe scale back some

There is also a PowerPoint version of this for discussion and training purposes.

The Key To Leader Recruiting: Start with a “Little Task Ask”

Ask an individual for “Help with This Small Thing” (something specific, so they realize “oh I can do that task”).

If you have a group of parents at a Den level, but no den leader, when you ask one parent to “be the den leader”, they will likely say “no”.

  • However, if you ask: “can you help lead this small part of a simple den meeting?” and give specific instructions, many will say “yes”.
  • For Bobcat and the Required Adventures in each Rank (Tiger through Webelos), you’ll find group “streamlined” plans in our Cub Adventure resources where the plans bake in the idea that a different parent can lead each part of the Adventure.
  • And all Adventures there have much simpler “Family Led Plans” that work in a group setting like a den activity.
  • That’s the essence of creating “small portions” of jobs at Den or Pack events, so everyone can be a part of leading the event.

Using Activities as a Tool for Asking for Help and Leadership

Use the steps of “Make a Calendar of Fun Activities and Pack Program” and “Promote Your Pack Program!“ to find helpers and leaders.

  • When you tell a family about the Pack Activities you’ve dreamed up, you’re likely to get a positive response:
    • You might hear “I love that place” or “I always wanted to go there”.
    • Maybe also: “here’s something else we can do”.
  • When you hear that, be like a fisherman: “set the hook” – find out more about what they like and why.  Depending on the parent, you might find yourself with someone who can:
    • Be your assistant at the event.
    • Organize or lead part of the event.
    • Maybe even organize it all and step up to be a leader hero.
  • Repeat this step every time a new family shows interest or attends an event.
    • Keep on the lookout for how to turn parents into helpers and helpers into leaders.
  • For parents who “like” Scouting, but are not yet ready to “lead” Scouting, another “little task ask” might be joining a team of parents as New Member Coordinators to welcome families at events and greet new families checking out your Den and Pack.
    • For events, be sure you brief them on where they should guide people to participate.

Plan Your Events for Adult Engagement

Consider how a Fun Den or Pack Welcoming Event could use some help from parents – if Den and Pack leaders are ready to engage parents and give them a task:

  • Instead of planning how “you” will run all parts of the event, figure out how you can delegate parts of it to others.
  • Maybe give choices (but not an “out”):  “would you be able to grill the burgers, or would you like to organize cleanup?”  (They’ll probably grill.)
  • For program parts where you’ll ask a parent to “lead”, be sure they have the tools:
    • If you’re asking them to lead the Cub Scouts in the Scout Oath or Scout Law, be sure to give them a copy of it.
    • If you’re asking a parent to cover the “Six Essentials for Cub Scout Hiking”, be sure to give them an Adventure Plan that includes those.
  • And recognize, recognize, recognize:  be sure to thank the parent for what they did.
    • Their Scout will be so proud, and will encourage their Mom or Dad to help next time too.
    • (Giving away extra/overstock patches or similar free items as part of the recognition will get the Scout’s attention.)

Advancement as a “Gateway” to Adult Recruiting

Consider how a Fun Den or Pack Welcoming Event could use some help from parents – if Den and Pack leaders are ready to engage parents and give them a task:

  • Doing a swimming event?
    • Maybe set up some parents to do some simple instruction in water skills or water safety – perhaps something from handbook adventures, like Tiger “Floats and Boats”, Wolf “Spirit of the Water”, Bear “Salmon Run” or Webelos “Aquanaut”.
    • If you have copies of the simpler, Family-Led Plans from those Adventure links (also found through our Cub Adventure resources and in Scouting on Demand), you can give different parents different small parts of the Adventure to teach and lead.
  • Doing a hiking event – even just a short hike with families around a local park?
  • To show all of the parents in a Den that each of them actually can be a Den Leader, see the First Bobcat Adventure Plan found at this First Meeting Plans (and Bobcat) Page.
    • That plan is full of one “Little Task Ask” after another and could be used at “breakout” gatherings at early Den Fun Activities, or as a first Den Meeting.
      • One parent can lead an opening of the Scout Law
      • Another can lead the “Talk Time” discussion of a Den Name.
      • Another can lead a “Code of Conduct” chat.
      • More can share the instruction and testing on the Bobcat Rank elements.
      • Another can be a Game Leader.
      • Maybe you’ll do some family information scrapbook pages.
      • Asking one parent to “lead it all” can be “too much” – but slicing and dicing the activity like this allows every parent to “lead a little”.
        • Some will realize they can “lead a lot”.
      • This can be guided by another current or former leader, as a mentor who helps the team of new parents succeed.

Get to Know Your Prospects, Personally.

For key roles like “Den Leader” and “the next Cubmaster”, if you ask a group for volunteers, each individual may think “not me”. They may think that you meant to ask “somebody else” – so when you ask, also ask each individual (who could do the job) one on one for something they can do.

  • When you do ask personally, it’s easier to find the right role for the parent.
    • It’s harder for the parent to say “no”, because if you’re in a one on one talk, you can find something for the parent to help with.
  • For key jobs, ask “two on one” or more:
    • As you confirm your engaged leaders, have more than one of you target your next key prospective leaders to “join the team” because “we need you”.
    • Eventually your team of one or two can become a team of ten or twenty.
  • See this “Selecting Quality Leaders” brochure put out by the BSA for Cub Scouting.

Using a carefully planned process like this is very valuable for the larger roles, like Cubmaster, Committee Chair and Den leader.

Not Enough Leaders Now?  Maybe Less is More?

Also, consider this:  Maybe Less is More.  A pack that is swamped with new kids but short on leaders may find it difficult to do the old-style full “perfect pack” plan of weekly den meetings plus a monthly "classic" pack meeting.

  • Did you know?  Dens don’t have to have weekly events, and Packs don’t need to do monthly pack meetings – “activities” are often more popular.
    • Few Dens meet weekly!
    • Most Dens (but not all) meet twice a month.
    • Many Dens only meet once a month!  Usually a bit longer than those who do weekly or bi-weekly meetings. Often as weekend events.
  • Maybe “less is more”:
    • It may be possible for a smaller group of leaders to start with a reduced schedule, and grow as Scouts and Parents find what you do exciting and appealing, and helpers and leaders emerge.
    • Whatever the size of your leadership team, you don’t want your leaders to burn out.
  • A recommendation is that if you don’t have enough Den Leaders, engaged and ready to go with enough helpers, leading dens of about 8 Scouts of the same age (not more than 10): maybe don’t attempt to have Den Meetings for those Dens right away.
    • Instead, do fun, simple, easy activities.
    • A hike.  A swim party at a lifeguarded pool. A bike ride.  A field trip.
  • And you have great options, like Do Fun, Simple, Easy Family Activities, not “Meetings”.
    • For dens that don’t have enough Den Leaders, engaged and ready to go, leading dens of about 8 Scouts of the same age (not more than 10), postpone den meetings for those dens until you get leaders for right-sized dens, and those leaders are engaged and ready.
    • While you wait, have “easy” Den or Pack Activities like pot luck picnics, or weekend fun events like swimming or fishing or short fun hikes or visit a nature center, and during those events have “The ‘We Need a Den Leader’ Talk” with parents.
    • See this page for a menu of activities
      • Get parents to tell you what events they and their Scout would like to do.
      • If a parent likes an idea, they are probably more willing (or more able) to help!
  • For Some Packs, You Need to Know When to Say “When”:
    • If you’re going to be a Pack with only a couple of engaged Youth Facing Leaders, don’t recruit more than the 15 or so Scouts you can actually lead.
      • Not unless you also get the necessary able and engaged adult leaders to support more Scouts.
    • If you only have enough adult leaders to serve 15 Scouts, don’t disappoint new families by acting like you can handle 30 or 50 or 70 or more.
    • Maybe your District Professional will need to work on creating another Pack to serve the youth who would like to do Scouting at your school.
    • Maybe the “message” at any Sign-Up Event needs to be that able and engaged adult leaders must sign up and commit to getting trained in order to start any Den or Pack activities.

Stay Successful: Use Succession Planning.

You don’t want to look back at your Pack and say “too bad they folded”.  One way to make sure they don’t fold is to ease people into roles using active succession planning.  But start early so that you can ensure that your successors succeed.

  • This can be a great way to get the reluctant volunteer to step up.  If they say “well, I’d like to, but I really don’t know enough now”, you can let that person “shadow” a leader for a year (or for half a year) as an assistant before taking over the role.
    • And if you make this “the norm” – and everyone knows that “someone comes after me” – it can be easier to get people to volunteer.
  • Remember that parents of your fifth grade Webelos Scouts are “short-timers” and most (maybe all) will “check out” by crossover in winter or early spring.
    • If any of them have Pack roles, you’re going to need their successors right away to get up to speed.
    • You’re actually much better off having them step back “just to assist” the new person, so that the new person really “owns” the job, but has active help for that first part of the program year.
  • For more ideas, see this Bobwhite Blather Blog and this Bryan on Scouting Blog on Succession Planning.

Be helpful, friendly, courteous and kind with your parents: let them “do their best” and join you.

The Importance of Patience.

If you are a committed leader you have to be patient as you recruit helpers and develop leaders from the parent ranks.

  • That means some things won’t be done as well as you might do them.
  • But if you want to develop parents into helpers, and helpers into leaders, there will be struggles on the way – but that’s how these new leaders will learn.
  • When you do grow, and let a new den leader lead a den, the goal shouldn’t be just “do it like I did it”, but let that parent do it using their strengths and resources.
    • If you are a friend and counselor and enable the parent to be successful in their own way, you’re helping that den and family succeed in Cub Scouting.
    • If you put too many limits on the parent, and hold them back, they are not going to be happy helping.
  • So have patience and be helpful, friendly, courteous and kind to all your parents and let them “do their best”.

More ideas are in the attachments below.