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Early and Often Recruiting tomorrow’s leaders today.

Evaluate the Parents A major advantage of late-fall recruiting is that you have time to evaluate poten- tial leaders before you recruit them. That Eagle Scout dad at the join-Scouting night? His travel schedule might prevent him from being an effective den leader. That proactive mom with her pen at the ready? Perhaps she’d be a better fit behind the scenes as pack secretary or treasurer. Those are the sorts of questions

Jean Lundsteen likes to think about. Now a den leader with Pack 302 in North Aurora, Ill., Lundsteen has been a Cub Scout leader since the late 1970s and has rarely been turned down by a prospective leader. One key to her success is letting

IT’S A COMMON SIGHT at join-Scouting nights: Parents of new Cub Scouts sit around a table waiting for someone to blink. Perhaps it’s the dad who acknowledges being an Eagle Scout. Perhaps it’s the mom who starts filling out the den roster she finds on the table. Whoever blinks first ends up as den leader, while the rest of the parents breathe a sigh of relief. The pack committee chairman

and Cubmaster may breathe a sigh of relief as well, glad to be done with an unpleasant task that comes around only once a year. Other leaders take a different

approach, recognizing that recruiting leaders is a year-round process and that effective recruiting will ensure their pack’s health not just for the current program year but for many years to come. For them, late fall and early


winter — right now, in other words — is a great time to recruit leaders.

Define Your Needs The first step in recruiting leaders is to determine your pack’s needs. Assuming you have all your positions filled for this program year, start thinking about what will happen next spring aſter your second-year Webelos Scouts graduate to Boy Scouting. That’s just what Katie Dettmann

did. She became committee chair- woman of Pack 111 in Lakeville, Minn., at the end of her older son’s Tiger year and quickly saw a problem. “The leadership was primarily made up of the older Scouts’ parents, and they were all on their way out,” she says. She began developing a succes- sion plan to ease the transition to a new generation of leaders.

prospects know how well their skills align with the potential position. “By the time you get through telling them why they’d be perfect for it, they’re kind of hard-pressed to say ‘no’ because it convinces them that they’re appropriate for it,” she says. “This isn’t just saying, ‘We need a den leader. Can you do it?’ ” Dettmann believes the best way

to evaluate parents is to get to know them. “Once you get to know their strengths, you can easily say, ‘You seem very organized; committee chair is something you could do’ or ‘You have a wood shop; I think you would be great at helping us run our pine- wood derby.’ ” Another clue, she says, is watch-

ing which parents stay engaged at meetings — and which sit in a corner glued to their cellphones. “The

FIND MORE advice for Cub Scout leaders at cubscouts.


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