Recruiting Pack Leaders – Turning Parents into Helpers, and Helpers into Leaders – Pt 2

Tune into a series of articles on Recruiting and Retaining Unit leaders over the next 3 months 


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.
    • 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?

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, you’ll find group “streamlined” plans in our Cub Adventure resources where 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.


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.

  • Ways to help your local Den Leader – or for Den Leaders to find the help they need: 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
      • Leading Games
  • 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:
    • Making reservations/arrangements for fun field trip activities.
    • Sharing pictures and video and your den’s activity story with the Den families and the Pack (and maybe beyond).
    • Updating advancement records.
    • Bringing snacks or organizing food for a weekend activity.
    • Coordinating product sales (popcorn, camp cards) or other fundraisers.
    • Making “badge buys” for loops and pins and other awards that will be

Support Your Local Cubmaster – Ways to Help the Cubmaster and Committee!  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.
  • 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.


50 Ways to Lure a Leader | Word DocumentDownload
Den Leader Recruiting ScriptsDownload
Fifty Ways to Lure a Leader | PPT PresentationDownload
Motivating Parents | PPT PresentationDownload
Yardstick Timeline Pack Family Recruiting ScriptDownload
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