By Darryl Alder
Jan 19, 2016

Pack Committee Challenge Part 1: Getting Started

You can read other parts of this blog series here:

This first part of the position-specific course for Cub Scout pack committee members includes the following:


If you prefer, there is an interactive version at myscouting.org. This is how to access it:

How to Take an Online Training Course

YAS-Scouting-computers-and-gaming-thumb-200x112-AV120727_cah0025To take an online training course,  log in to MyScouting.org. If you do not already have a MyScouting login,  create  one (using your e-mail address as your login). This account will give you direct access to BSA’s E-learning courses (and other options depending on your profile). When creating your account, be sure use Council #591 and your member ID (whoever handles pack advancement online can give you these numbers or you can call your District Staff). This will ensure you receive proper credit for courses completed successfully.

Also if you have not taken Youth Protection training, you can do this at the same location. If you have not taken this course, do it first. It is a joining requirement for all BSA volunteers and should be completed before this course. 

How to Take this Course in a Committee Meeting

CommissionerYour Pack Trainer or Commissioner (usually a member of the Stake Primary Presidency) can offer this course in a group setting using the Pack Committee ChallengeYon may also find this .pdf document handy during the blog training if you elect to read on.

Take the Pack Challenge on Your Own

More than likely, the reason you are reading this, is that you need the training now. This article is intended to provide committee members with the basic information they need to support a pack and conduct a successful pack program.

The purpose of the Pack Committee Challenge is to familiarize committee members with the various responsibilities of the individual members of the committee as well as the committee as a whole. The goal is to help each pack committee work as a team to improve the Scouting experience for adult and youth members.

Trained Pack CommitteePack committee members who complete this training and Youth Protection training are considered “trained.” In addition to this course, pack trainers should complete Fundamentals of Training to be considered “trained.”

This course will come in five parts, based on the five parts of a typical pack committee meeting, normally it is best when delivered at one time to all members of the pack’s committee and, if possible, the Cubmaster and assistant Cubmaster. However, if you are reading this, you can better guide your committee with just this.

While committee members may not have direct contact with the boys, their contribution to the pack is essential to the success of the whole pack’s operation. Just as there are recommended agendas for pack meetings and den meetings to ensure the boys have a memorable and worthwhile experience, committee meetings can also benefit from a set structure, especially when combined with the monthly pack leaders’ meeting.

Overview

To understand the role of the pack committee, it is important that you understand how the Cub Scout program is delivered and organized.

BSA’s Mission

Scout FamilyFirst, know it is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law; will prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law. To accomplish this, every age group in Scouting uses a set of methods to get there, but first let’s consider the three general aims of Scouting.

Aims of Scouting

The BSA promises to its chartered partners and their members that Scouting provides life-changing experiences you can’t get anywhere else. We achieve that through our aims and methods. Formally, the BSA has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the aims of Scouting, which are:

  • Character development
  • Citizenship training, and
  • Personal fitness

cub-scouts-den-mother featureCub Scouting joins the other families of Scouting, Boy Scouting, Varsity Scouting, and Venturing to work toward three aims.

The first is growth in moral strength and character. Character can be defined as the collection of core values by an individual that leads to moral commitment and action, and encompasses a boy’s personal qualities, values, and outlook.

Female Venturer and CubThe second aim is participating citizenship. Used broadly, citizenship means the youth’s relationship to others. He or she comes to learn of his obligations to other people, to the society they live in, and to the government that presides over that society.

The third aim of Cub Scouting is development of physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Fitness includes the body (well-tuned and healthy), the mind (able to think and solve problems), and the emotions (self-control, courage, and self-respect).

These three aims can be achieved in a balanced pack program that uses the methods of Cub Scouting. In addition, The Cub Scouting program has ten purposes related to the overall aims of the Boy Scouts of America in building character, learning citizenship, and developing personal fitness. These are:

  • Character Development
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Good Citizenship
  • Sportsmanship and Fitness
  • Family Understanding
  • Respectful Relationships
  • Personal Achievement
  • Friendly Service
  • Fun and Adventure
  • Preparation for Boy Scouts

Every Cub Scouting activity should help fulfill one of these purposes. When considering a new activity, leaders should ask which purpose or purposes it supports.

The Methods of Cub Scouting

To accomplish its purposes and achieve the overall goals of building character, learning citizenship, and developing personal fitness, Cub Scouting uses seven methods:

Cub Scout SignLiving the Ideals—Cub Scouting’s values are embedded in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, the Cub Scout motto, and the Cub Scout sign, handshake, and salute. These practices help establish and reinforce the program’s values in boys and the leaders who guide them.

Belonging to a Den—The den—a group of six to eight boys who are about the same age—is where Cub Scouting starts. In the den, Cub Scouts develop new skills and interests, they practice sportsmanship and good citizenship, and they learn to do their best, not just for themselves but for the den as well.

Cub Scout Pack 67 Crossing Over at pack Meeting (2011-04-12)Using Advancement—Recognition is important to boys. The advancement plan provides fun for the boys, gives them a sense of personal achievement as they build skills and capabilities, and strengthens family understanding as adult family members and their den leader work with boys on advancement adventures.

Involving Family and Home—Whether a Cub Scout lives with two parents or one, a foster family, or other relatives, his family is an important part of Cub Scouting. Parents and adult family members provide leadership and support for Cub Scouting and help ensure that boys have a good experience in the program.

Participating in Activities—Cub Scouts participate in a huge array of activities including games, projects, skits, stunts, songs, outdoor activities, family camps, trips, and service projects. Webelos dens may have den campouts. Besides being fun, these activities offer opportunities for growth, achievement, and family involvement.

Cub Scout Outdoor ServiceServing Home and Neighborhood—Cub Scouting focuses on the home and neighborhood. It helps boys strengthen connections to their local communities, which in turn support the boys’ growth and development.

Wearing the Uniform—Cub Scout uniforms serve a dual purpose, demonstrating membership in the group (everyone is dressed alike) and individual achievement (boys wear the badges they have earned). Wearing the uniform to meetings and activities also encourages a neat appearance, a sense of belonging, and good behavior.

Pack Organization

Part of the inherent strength of the Cub Scout program is its organization. At its most basic, Cub Scouting consists of:

  • Pack Oranization ChartA boy—The individual boy is the basic building block for Cub Scouting and is its most important element. It is only when each boy’s character, citizenship, and fitness are enhanced that the program is successful.
  • A den—Each boy belongs to a den of similarly aged boys. The den is the boy’s Cub Scout family where he learns cooperation and team building, and finds support and encouragement.
  • A leader—Adult leadership is critical to achieving the purposes and aims of Scouting. By example, organized presentations, and one-on-one coaching, the boy learns the value and importance of adult interaction.
  • A pack—Each den is part of a larger group of boys of different ages and experience levels in Cub Scouting. The pack provides resources for enhanced activities, opportunities for leadership, and a platform for recognition.

While there are other parts of the Cub Scouting organization (districts, councils, etc.) that are important administratively and support adult leaders, they are more or less transparent to the boy in Cub Scouting.

Your Ward is Your Chartered Organization

Every Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, Varsity Scout team, Sea Scout ship, and Venturing crew belongs to a community organization with interests similar to those of the BSA. This organization, which might be a religious organization like your Chartered Organization RepresenatativeWard, school, or community group, is chartered by the BSA to use the Scouting program. This chartered organization provides a suitable meeting place, adult leadership, supervision, and opportunities for a healthy Scouting life for the youth under its care.

A member of the organization, usually from the Bishopric is the chartered organization representative. He acts as liaison between the pack and the organization. The chartered organization representative may be a member of the pack committee.

The Cub Scout Pack

The Scouting unit that conducts Cub Scouting for the chartered organization is called a pack. The pack is a group made up of several dens—Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scout dens. However, LDS Church units do not sponsor Scouting for boys younger than 8 (see Handbook 2, 11.5.3).

Pack MeetingWhile dens usually meet weekly, most packs meet once a month, usually in a room provided by the chartered organization. The pack meeting is the pinnacle of the month’s den meetings and provides a place for dens to showcase their skills and projects. It also provides opportunities for parents and families to be involved with their boys, and it is a chance to recognize boys, parents, and leaders.

The Pack Key 3

Key 3The unit Key 3 is a fairly new concept to the BSA and is a critical component to the success of the pack. The pack Key 3 consists of the pack committee chair, the Cubmaster, and the chartered organization representative.  In many LDS wards, the committee chair is a member of the ward Primary Presidency.

This group meets once a month to discuss the pack, its challenges, coming events, and progress toward completing their action plan and Journey to Excellence goals just like any other Scouting Key 3. It is a time for the Key 3 to learn how to spot early warning signs and work together toward continued pack success.

The unit commissioner meets with them to support their efforts, to help with problem solving, and to keep the pack moving in sync with the district and council calendars. The unit commissioner serves as an advisor to the Key 3.

Continue to Pack Committee Challenge Part 2:  The Pack Committee

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2 thoughts on “Pack Committee Challenge Part 1: Getting Started

  1. Susie

    Would it work better if they go to my.scouting.org (my dot scouting…) rather than myscouting.org? We’ve had people trying to go to myscouting.org and struggle with it but things have been working out better for them through my.scouting.org.

    Reply

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