In my last post I made mention of a Bad Den Mother that led me to not continue past the Wolf Rank. Here is the story.
I was in Pack 81, Black Otter District, Montana Council in 1975-76. I was 8 years old. The Pack was out of Broadwater School and the dens met at the homes of Den Leaders. I only have memories of one Pinewood Derby, asking what a Webelos was and going to a couple of Den meetings. I know that I was excited about Den Meeting days since I got to wear my Class A to school. Most of the boys in the Den did as well.
The craft that did me in was for Mother’s Day. We took a Folger’s Coffee can and made a card holder out of it. We did not use a can opener to take off the lids, but use a the sharpe triangle end of a bottle opener to punch holes into the lids to take them off. This was both sides. To me, in this day, a whittlin chit would have been earned during this process. Also, there were no parents at Den meetings back in the day. We all showed up on our bikes after school.
After taking off the lids, we then were to take yarn and wrap it through the openings. Think SHARK WEEK…pointy sharp teeth and I put my hand/arm in and out wrapping yarn around it. Yeah, it hurt. Suffice to say, my Mom was happy to get the card holder.
I did not have fun with the craft. Hence my interest started to be less and less. I do not remember doing anything else fun. So when it came time for Den meetings, my fellow Cubscouts would come to my house and ask where I was and if I was going. I explained that I was not going and spent my time in front of the TV or doing something else.
From this experience I have learned that the Boys within Pack 221 need to HAVE FUN. I have no desire to be the person that is the reason a boy leaves. Because of this, I have worked hard when I was a Tiger Den Leader and now as a Cubmaster to figure out what to do and then do differently the next time.
Wood Badge helped me greatly to understand that it is up to me within Cubscouts that it is up to me. Since I am in charge of the program for the Pack, and help create Pack events, I need to change it up for the Wolves, Bears and Webelos who have already seen many of the events. The Tigers are new, so it’s new for them.
Looking back, the Bad Den Mother did do her job for helping me out in my Scouting life. I suspect that had I had a more fun experience within my Wolf year, I would have continued on. However, this now guides me in how I conduct Pack Meetings.