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parents who are joining in the group when the kids are playing kickball to kill time are the parents who have the potential for being leaders,” she says. It also helps to get input from


other leaders in the pack. Den leaders tend to know the parents in their dens best, but they might not be thinking about what those parents could do beyond the den. Challenge them to be on the lookout for poten- tial leaders they encounter.


Get New Leaders Trained If you identify next year’s leaders now, don’t wait to get them trained. Many councils hold University of Scouting programs in the winter or spring, which allows leaders the luxury of getting trained before they take over; others, like Dettmann’s, offer basic leader training in conjunc- tion with spring roundtables. And, of course, online training is always avail-


able at my.scouting.org. While formal training is important,


don’t overlook on-the-job training. If you recruit next year’s Cubmaster now, have her spend the rest of this year shadowing the current Cubmaster and learning from his example. That’s just what Dettmann is


doing with her replacement as com- mittee chairwoman. “I have someone who’s going to replace me in a year, and I can’t even begin to explain to her what my responsibilities are,” she says. By shadowing Dettmann for a year, the new chairwoman will have a better idea of what she’s getting herself into. So what happens if that year of


preparation scares her off? Dettmann argues that it’s better to discover now rather than later that the position isn’t right for her. “You don’t want someone in the position who can’t handle it anyway,” she says.


Expand Your Recruiting Calendar The better you get at early recruit- ing, the earlier you can get started. Dettmann likes to recruit parents before their sons even join the pack. “I approached this one guy at a school field trip and said, ‘Put your son in Scouts, and you can be the leader,’” she recalls. “He said, ‘OK.’ ” Lundsteen, meanwhile, took this


idea to the extreme. She recruited her daughters and daughters-in-law as leaders while they were still pregnant. “If they had a boy, I extracted a promise that they’d be den leaders,” she says. You don’t have to visit the mater-


nity ward to recruit new leaders, but you also don’t have to wait until next fall’s join-Scouting night. By recruiting early and oſten, you can ensure your pack’s continued health and perhaps even work yourself out of a job in a year or two. ¿


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