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  • Denner System

    Does your den use the denner system? If so what responsibilities do you give the denner? We started using it half way through last year as a Tiger den. The Denner helps pass out awards and the Assistant Denner was responsible for the Den Flag ... They also are the flag bearers for our Den meetings. We rotate the Denner and Assistant Denner monthly, the Assistant Denner becomes the Denner and the next boy in line becomes the Assistant Denner. We are looking to expand it a little more as Wolves and looking for some ideas. How do you use the denner system?

  • #2
    When I was a den leader (Webelos) I used the system very similarly to the PL/APL system of Boy Scouts. After all the denner system should be part of the leadership training process.

    Denner should work with the DL in planning, organizing and executing the den meeting's program for that night. He coordinates setting up chairs, making sure materials are handed out, etc. He would also lead the flag ceremony if there is one and would initiate the Pledge of Allegience, etc. Working with the Ass't Denner, they would make sure the treats were handed out fairly, etc. and coordinate any cleanup following the meeting.

    While not every boy can actually DO all of that, they should at lease be given the OPPORTUNITY to DO all of that. No one can learn leadership unless someone gives one the opportunity to do so.

    In the earlier dens, this opportunity might consist of the comment, the denner will now lead us in the Pledge of Allegience, etc. and build upon that during the course of the next few years until they can do it on their own.

    By the time they cross over, they should all have a working knowledge of the boy-led, patrol-method of scouting and have had the opportunity to safely try some of the concepts involved with some hands-on leadership along the way.

    Stosh

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    • #3
      We will be instuting the denner/patrol leader method in our den next year (Webelos 1). The previous leader never used it, since we had 3 leaders the extra help wasn't needed (his words not mine). Have a denner or PL gets them ready for Boy Scouts and teaches them both to lead and follow.

      We used the PL method during Summer Camp and some of the boys learned that if they did not listen when some one else was in charge most often others didn't listen when it was their turn.

      I told the boys to study over the summer and that when we started back we would have a test on all the Activity Badges and whoever had the highest score would be the PL and on down the line. This gives the chance to learn and lead. I think that learning the ups and downs of leading and following when they are young is great. Starting as Tigers will give them a real heads up and should help bond them as a team.

      Our denner will lead the flag ceremony, help with crafts and cleanup, and help lead the boys on outings. I plan on getting our PL started first then adding an assistant a few months later. Keep up the good work and it will pay off big time for you as a leader and the boys.

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      • #4
        I do not use Denners in Tigers, because with Shared Leadership they really are not needed. Each Tiger Team is in charge for their alloted time frame.

        For the other dens, Denner/Asst Denner do pretty much what Centerville describd. They take attendence, collect dues, pass out newsletters, do the opening and closing Flag Ceremony, help distribute craft stuff, help organize games, help clean up at the end.

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        • #5
          "We used the PL method during Summer Camp and some of the boys learned that if they did not listen when some one else was in charge most often others didn't listen when it was their turn."

          Ohmigod! You used those horrible words "in charge." No one is ever in charge in a Scout unit, it is supposed to be "servant leadership" and the servant leader is a servant first, never in charge, and never ever tells people to do anything.

          If you keep very quiet, you may avoid being noticed by the grand guru of all Scouting knowledge.

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          • #6
            Let me rephrase: When one of the boys abused, misused, or took advantage of their leader, that they be returned the favor.

            One day when these boys grow up will be able to 'almost exactly' apply their 'servant leadership' skills to work doing 'military intelligence', that is a my 'unbiased opinion'.

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            • #7
              We started doing this lst year with Webelos 1's... I must say that going from a very disorganized boys-running-wild den to our den with one boy "in charge" (lmaooo, don't yell at me, I just couldn't think of another way to say it!) was a huge difference.

              Our Denner (we only have 8 boys, so no assistant denner) is responsible for:
              -checking attendance and if dues are owed
              -leading the flag salute/promise/motto
              -handing out whatever needs to be handed out
              -and most importantly we expect HIM to be the one to bring the other boys back on task when they loose focus. In practice, we 'remind' him that the kids seem to be getting off track, and have him make the first "ok, guys, lets get this done/ concentrate/ stop doing x,y,z", then we do a more specific redirection if needed.

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              • #8
                "and most importantly we expect HIM to be the one to bring the other boys back on task when they loose focus. In practice, we 'remind' him that the kids seem to be getting off track, and have him make the first "ok, guys, lets get this done/ concentrate/ stop doing x,y,z", then we do a more specific redirection if needed."

                I like that, I will incorporate that for sure. They are only Wolves, and they will need help ... but starting something like this early will make it clockwork by the time they are Webelos.

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                • #9
                  Being "in charge" is a perfectly acceptable term used in servant leadership. Being "in charge" means one is responsible for others, i.e. "able to respond" to the needs of those in whom care has been assigned.

                  However, occasional re-definition of words often imply being "in charge" as dominant, bossy, bullying, directing, etc.

                  I would think it quite proper to assume that a denner was in charge of his den, as prescribed by proper definition. As a matter of fact, being responsible TO rather than responsible FOR might be a better understanding of what one is trying to teach at the denner level.

                  ;^)

                  Stosh

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                  • #10
                    "Being "in charge" is a perfectly acceptable term used in servant leadership"

                    Not according to some on this forum, especially those who say that no one is "in charge" of anything in Scouting.

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                    • #11
                      Uh, are you trying to pick a fight GW???

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                      • #12
                        No,I'm just stating the facts. If that is offensive to some . . .hmmmm. The truth is the truth and is immutable.

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                        • #13
                          When I was a DL, the Denner and Assist. Denner were in charge of setting up the meeting area and making sure materials, etc., were put away at the end of the meeting. Never worked in practice, the boys would be late or something and it just didn't catch on. Personally, if I did it again, I would probably do something like when I was in Cubs. Back then, the Denners were like a Patrol Scribe, they wrote down a report or paragraph explaining what was done at each meeting. At the monthly pack meeting, the Denners would get up and read the reports to the Pack. Assist. Denners would get information for the Denners if they were absent from a meeting.

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                          • #14
                            After seeing the way BSA runs many things there are many times I can fully support the theory that "no one is in charge of anything"



                            Rythos

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