Tonight on Facebook a friend of mine in Montana posted this: ” When I told Bob, Tommy was signing up for CubScouts he said “oh great so I’ll have to be the den leader”. I said, “oh no, I am sure they have leaders”… well I was wrong. No Tiger Cub leader of course. Bob…???!!!” (Names have been changed to protect the innocent..;) ) “We have a meeting Sunday to get out popcorn info. If we don’t have a leader by then I guess we all take turns holding a meeting. That’ what they said they normally do for Tiger Cubs and then the next year they have parents fighting over who get to be the den leader. I just can’t take on 20 six year boys by myself.”
I will admit I have been chatting her up in getting her to take her son to Cub Scouts. It’s what I do. I have been doing it to a friend down in San Jose…(yes you cool Lunch maker lady!) What I didn’t say is anything about Den Leaders. I wasn’t thinking that far.
However, it’s on my mind since our Join Night is coming up on on the 19th. It’s the one thing that Cubscout Leaders fear. The boys will come, it’s the parents that we have to work on. So, I went searching for info. And I happened onto the Scouting Magazine’s section on Tiger Cubs. (Hence the image as well.) The big take away from the article and section is this “A Tiger Cub parents meeting before the first den meeting is a great opportunity to help parents understand the shared leadership concept, provide ideas for activities and field trips, and ease the parents into volunteering for den and pack activities.” That is the Key. Help the parents understand. Hence my reason of working up a Den Leader Book for just them with a lot of info just for them. My Cubscout Roundtable Commissioner is almost done with his Wood Badge Ticket. His last item is to create a whole Den Leader in a Box for the Tiger Den Leader. This is his photo of one section of the box. (Photo by Allan Campbell)
At Roundtable, he showed everyone there the kit. Basically there is a plastic bag with each Section that a TDL would need. The deal is, once the TDL is done with the section, they replish it as needed for next year. The great thing here is that the TDL can hand it to a Parent and say, you do this, you do that and I will do this. Everyone has a job. That will make life in the Tiger Den a lot happier and the Tigers will flourish.
My point being here, is DON’T Freak out the parents right off the bat. They come in thinking that the pack has it taken care of. Which we do, we are just looking for a volunteer. My first year as Cubmaster, we did not get a Tiger Den Leader, so I was Tiger Den Leader for that year again. I did my best and got the boys through. They did not go to Camp that summer, because I was not able to. I kept at the parent the year. No takers. Last year I had two Dads who drank to Kool-Aid and totally got into it. They so rock and I really appreciate them more than they will know. And it’s not for stepping up to get me out of being the TDL again. It’s that they did a wonderful job with the Den and the boys loved Scouting.
So, Pack Leaders…..don’t freak out the Parents on Join Night. I know that I will be doing the first meeting. Hopefully, I can get the parent into a Parent Meeting sooner than later. Which actually our Pack is having a Pack Hike/Mixer/Leave No Trace event that weekend. So, we can work on a lot of stuff.