Den Leader Getting Started Guide
| Den Leader Getting Started Guide - This entire article prints on the front and back of one page!|
First of all, Welcome! Thank you for being a Den Leader.
Your son, nephew, or grandson may be one of the boys in your den. What fun! These are the "good old days!" As he grows up, his friends may change. Some day if he works hard, he can be an Eagle Scout! The friends with him that day might very well be these buddies from your Cub Scout Den.
Here are the three most important things: Keep It Simple, Make it Fun, and Keep Them Safe.
Applications & Roster. Make sure that your Pack has turned in your Adult Application and has each boy registered in your den. Share a roster of the boy's names, addresses, home numbers, and names, cell numbers, and emails for their parents or adult partners. Include your Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmasters' names and phone numbers on the roster information.
Online training. Your online training is really good and you can have it done today.
- Fast Start Training has information and examples for planning and conducting the first meeting.
- This Is Scouting highlights the values, aims, history, funding, and methods of Scouting.
- Youth Protection Training will help provide additional security.
Leader Specific Training. The last part of your New Leader Training is Leader Specific Training through your local council or district. A class should be coming up that will be designed specifically for your level: Tiger, Wolf & Bear, or Webelos. You will learn a lot and make great contacts.
Den Leader Resources. Your Cubmaster will host your monthly Den Leader Meeting. You will review upcoming events and share ideas. Your Cubmaster should provide a list of the other leaders' names, position, and phone numbers. Call with any questions! Ask about Uniforms and monthly Roundtable meetings where area Cub leaders share ideas. Your pack should provide you with a handbook, Belt Loop & Pin Book #34299, Program Helps #34409, and Cub Scout Leader Book #33221.
Den Meetings. Work with your families to set up a weekly hour-long Den Meeting time and location. You might meet at your Chartered Organization, a church, school, or boy's home. The location must be safe and have plenty of room for workspace and games. The Welcome New Den Leader has great ideas. Also, make sure everyone knows dates and times for your Pack Meetings and activities.
Fast Tracks. Would you like a great set of notes from past den leaders? Fast Tracks are lesson plans and ideas to help you with your first 16 den meetings each year. New Cub Scouts always earn Bobcat first. You can cover Bobcat in two meetings using the Fast Tracks for Tiger Cub Scouts.
Belt Loops. Your rank requirements and electives often they lead right into Belt Loops!
- Tiger & Belt Loop tie-ins - Electives & Belt Loop tie-ins
- Wolf & Belt Loop tie-ins - Electives & Belt Loop tie-ins
- Bear & Belt Loop tie-ins - Electives & Belt Loop tie-ins
- Webelos Badge & Belt Loop tie-ins - Activity Badges & (Worksheets)
Each Cub Scout Academics and Sports Program Belt Loop has a Worksheet with the maps, charts, diagrams, and other resources you need. The Academics Belt Loops tend to be indoor activities and the Sports Belt Loops outdoors. For instance, Cub Scout Collecting is for a great Show & Tell night.
Parents. Involve the families right from the start. While Tiger Cub Scouts must have an adult partner with them , it is important that parents be involved at every level. "Drive-by" or "Drop and Dash' parents will drain your resources and their boys are often the one who drop out. It is hard to convince a boy that something is important if his parents won't come.
Denners. Ask families to look at the list of meeting topics and Fast Tracks and divide up who will coordinate each one. If you need a trip to the fire station, does anyone have a contact at the fire department? Police department? Local park? Each meeting his family coordinates, let the boy get to be the Denner! The Denner get to help lead Pledge of Allegiance. The Denner gets to pick the treats he will bring that night (typically something easy and cheap like granola bars and water or juice boxes). The Denner and his adult partner also are in charge of setup and cleanup.
Boy's who'll get to be Denner don't drop out! And you will not end doing everything by yourself.
Assistant Den Leader. Share the load with your Assistant Den Leader. Some Packs register Assistant Den Leaders as Den Leaders with all of the same training. This way you can both earn your Cub Scout Leader Awards. Make sure you have someone who will help share the load.
Fun Nights. Have at least one Fun Night each year. Ask each family to bring their favorite board games and soft drinks. Order pizza & you have a party! Fun Nights are also a chance to help boys catch up who have missed meetings.
Belt Loop Day. Also consider having at least one Belt Loop Day each year. Your den can do your own but it can be more fun if other dens or the whole pack is involved. See the National Summertime Award for a list of great activity ideas. In one day, your Cubs could have a hike or bike ride, a picnic lunch, and earn fun Belt Loops!
Take it one day at a time. You just need to be one meeting ahead in your handbook. Get every family and boy involved. Ask for help. Get trained. And never forget KISMIF: Keep It Simple! Make it FUN! (And always keep them safe.)
Go have FUN! Did they tell you? "It Is Just an Hour A Week!" ☺
- Nameplates - Official BSA Name plates for your uniforms.
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