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 Cub Scout Den Leader.
You may have a boy in your den. What fun! These are the "good old days!" As they grow up, their friends may change. Some day if they work hard, they can be Eagle Scouts! The friends with him that day might very well be these buddies from your Den.
- Keep It Simple.
- Make it Fun.
- 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 with each boy's names, addresses, home numbers, and names, cell numbers, and email for their parents or adult partners. Include Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmasters' names and numbers. If your Pack uses a program like PackMaster, this is easy to do.
Online training. Your Cub Scout Leader online training is good and you can have it done today.
- Fast Start Training has info and examples for planning and conducting FUN meetings.
- This Is Scouting highlights the values, aims, history, and methods of Scouting.
- Youth Protection Training helps keep them safe.
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 good contacts.
Den Leader Resources. Your Cubmaster will host monthly Den Leader Meetings that 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 Roundtable meetings where area Cub leaders share ideas. Your pack should give 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 projects and games. The Welcome New Den Leader will help you. 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. All new Cub Scouts 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 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 Belt Loop has a Worksheet with the maps, diagrams, and 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, Flag Football is fun outdoors.
Parents. Involve the families right from the start. While Tiger Cub Scouts must have an adult partner with them, it is important to involve parents at every level. "Drop and Dash' families will drain your resources and their boys are often the ones who drop out. It is hard to convince a boy that something is important if his family if his family shows it's not..
Denners. Ask adult partners to take turns coordinating the meetings. Ask who has contacts with the fire station, police department, local parks, etc. When a family coordinates a meeting, their boy gets to be Denner! The Denner gets to help lead the Pledge of Allegiance and brings the treats, typically something easy and cheap like granola bars and juice. The Denner and his adult partner are in charge of setup and cleanup. Have a Denner for each meeting.
Boy's who 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. Your Pack may register Assistant Den Leaders as Den Leaders so that you can both get all of the same training and each earn your Cub Scout Leader Awards.
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. Have 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. Your council may also host one. 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. 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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