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  • Need last minute den meeting ideas

    I am a Tiger DL. My ADL was supposed to get us scheduled to do a police station tour this week. I hadn't heard back from him so I emailed him earlier this week to see if he'd gotten it scheduled. Last night I got an email saying that not only had he not been able to schedule it but that he and his son were dropping out of Scouts all together. I knew he had been working overtime lately but a little warning would have been nice. So now I'm stuck with trying to come up with things to do at our meeting tonight. I have a couple of games in mind (hard to do too many when we'll only have 3-4 boys there) but I really don't want the whole meeting to be games. We've done all of the den meeting requirements from the book and a few electives. Last week we made bird feeders and the week before that we learned magic tricks. Any ideas?

  • #2
    If you guys haven't begun your "Leave No Trace" information yet, have a brief discussion on this topic from your Tiger Cub handbook. I let the boys each take turns with answering questions about front country guidelines; what each front country statement means to them, and give and example of why it's important. Follow this up with a photocopied printout of the pledge for each to sign, and have them practice the principles around the scout meeting place. This is a nice beginning sequence to an upcoming hike and when the hike comes, revisit the pledges made with your den.

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    • #3
      Why not have the whole meeting be games? You said you were done with the badge requirements except for the police station visit. Bring some board games the boys like...bring a box of Legos, split them into 2 groups and give them 10-15 minutes to create a building or scene or device or machine and then present what it is. There's the meeting resource/activity book you can use as well; I tried to find it online but I can't, maybe someone else could point to a link. There are tons of activities there.

      Large group games--balloon stomp. Easy and lots of fun, involves the adult helpers as well.

      If you have a linoleum floor, indoor ski races with 8x11 sheets of paper.

      A game of "go tell it." Even tin can telephones, corny but the kids like it.

      No offense, but the leave no trace pledge stuff...boring and esoteric especially for 1st graders. All they need to know about LNT at this age is "take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints."

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      • #4
        I'm not normally a big fan of "canned" meeting plans, but in a crisis like this, they seem like a perfect idea:

        http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/CubScouts/Leaders/DenLeaderResources/DenandPackMeetingResourceGuide/TigerDenPlans.aspx

        If you browse through the Tiger book, you should be able to find an uncompleted requirement or elective. Chances are, there will be part of a meeting plan at the link above that covers that requirement. You can either follow the meeting plan, or use it as a starting point.

        You might also want to browse through the list of belt loops and see if there's one that can be done at a meeting with little preparation. At our last meeting, we had one of our parents from a foreign country talk for a few minutes, lead a game, and teach a few words in a foreign language, and everyone earned the Language and Culture belt loop. That one would probably take some preparation, but there are probably others where you can just wing it.

        And even if you can't arrange a police station visit on short notice, they might be able to send over a squad car for a few minutes, turn on the lights and siren, etc. IMHO, that would satisfy the requirement.

        I suspect that if you just take some ideas and wing it, you'll wind up with a meeting that's more fun than if you had planned it in great detail.

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        • #5
          Here it is. Don't know why it's in the Hispanic section, but it's in English:

          http://www.scouting.org/filestore/hispanic/english/33832_WEB.pdf

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          • #6
            If you have access to a place to do it, build a fire. Maybe sing a few goofy or gross songs, roast marshmallows. Guaranteed satifisfaction!

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            • #7
              I am assuming you don't have a lot of time to pick up any real supplies, but I always like crafts. Especially if there was something for Blue and Gold, like placemats or centerpieces (Sorry I am B&G chair, lol).

              I agree a beltloop could be fun. There is the music belt loop. You could have the boys listen to 4 types of music, sing some silly songs. You could even go into some of the pin items, like making some musical instruments. And then play musical chairs and/or limbo.

              Or the art belt loop could be a could last minute thing to do

              My boys loved making armpit fudge, so maybe some kind of food prep would be fun. A paper airplane race. Paper snowball fight.

              I don't think there is anything wrong with having just games, add some songs etc. and it could be a great meeting.

              I am sure you will come up with something fun. KISMIF and you will do great.

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              • #8
                Do you need the Police Station Visit to complete Requirement #2G, or have you already done a Fire Station visit?

                If you still need to finish #2G, you can give your Police, and Fire departments a call and see if one of them can get you in tomorrow. Then call your families and change the meeting from tonight to tomorrow.

                If you are completely done, then go with more Tiger Electives. There are lots of them.

                Some electives that worked nicely for me -

                1) Think of a time when your family celebrated something, and tell the den about it and how it made your feel. - Scout Anniversary Week is here, and Blue and Gold celebrations are coming up for many Packs. This is a great time to have a discussion on different celebrations.

                2) Make a decoration with your family or your den. - What is your Pack doing for Blue and Gold? While you are having the above discussion, have your Tiger Teams make decorations for your den's table at the B&G. Follow whatever theme your Pack is using, or go with a Scout birthday theme.

                4) Make a frame for a family picture. - Cut up cardboard into squares. You can use one piece for the backing, and one for the frame edging. Can you get any pine cones, rocks, twigs, etc? These are great for decorating the frame. You can also use craft sticks, or just have them color/cut/paste stuff around the edges. Give the families a call and have them bring a picture to the meeting.

                7) Make a musical instrument and play it with others. - Rain Sticks are always fun. Also kazoos, maracas using foil and dry beans, and more. Lots of ideas online.

                12) Make at least two cards or decorations and take them to a hospital or long-term care facility. - Valentines Day cards would be wonderful!

                15) Mix the primary colors to make orange, green and purple. - This can be lots of messy fun. You can also combine this with #2, 4, and 12.

                17) Make a model. - If you have enough room make different kinds of paper airplanes and have races.
                http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/planes.php
                http://www.10paperairplanes.com/

                18) Sew a button onto fabric. - Get those Tigers sewing! You can also do this while making sock puppets.

                21) Sew a button onto fabric. - Sock puppets, paper bag puppets, paper plate puppets, finger puppets. All you need is a great imagination!
                http://www.teacherhelp.org/puppets.htm
                http://www.freekidcrafts.com/finger-puppets.html

                22) With your family or with your den, have a picnic -- indoors or outdoors. - Have each family make a snack to bring (Elective #25), play board games (Elective #3).

                30) Plant a seed, pit, or greens - Now that we are up to our eyeballs in snow, this is always a fun activity. I use clear plastic cups, paper towels, seeds, and water. The seeds go between the side of the cup and the wet toweling so the boys can watch them grow. I use beans, or peas. Nasturtiums are nice too because you can use their leaves in salads. I buy the seeds the spring before, but they start showing up in stores around now. You can also bring carrots/avocados to your picnic, and then plant the tops/seeds.

                You can also do the marbles or chess belt loops if you have the equipment. You might think chess is to complicated for Tigers, but my last group had a blast. I dragged my son along to do the teaching, and made printouts of the rules/moves for the Tiger Partners. He showed them the basic moves, had each boy do a bit of practice, then played a game against the den. Partners were able to coach as each boy took a turn making a move, and the others cheered him on. Son played two games against them and all had fun.




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                • #9
                  The art belt loop works well with Elective #15.

                  Also a safety themed meeting with Electives #26, #27, #28, #29, might work.

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                  • #10
                    If you did decide to go with the Art belt loop or just the requirement for mixing colors, a fun way to do this is to take some cookies and some icing. Have the boys mix up the colors in the icing. Let them frost the cookies with their primary and secondary colors or the colors in the requirement. That is kind of messy and tasty.

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                    • #11
                      Lots of great ideas, thanks! I'm sure I'll be able to come up with an hour's worth of fun. Our CC's husband is a police officer so I'm going to be getting ahold of him this weekend and get a day figured out to do 2G. The ADL was trying to schedule it in the bigger town close to us so it would be more exciting but honestly I don't think our Scouts will mind going to the smaller station.

                      BTW, our Pack has figured out how to make LNT a little more fun for the Cubs. At our last Pack campout we had a LNT station where the boys talked about LNT and then did a "poop tube" relay race (without real poop of course).

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                      • #12
                        What is a poop tube relay???

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                        • #13
                          You know, I'm a fairly "crafty" person, have done lots of stuff and am good at it. But I can tell you that when I was in this age, I wanted nothing to do with Cub Scouts BECAUSE most of what I saw was the guys sitting around a table doing crafts with a den mother. I joined Boy Scouts when I was twelve, went on to become an Eagle, etc., but I still have a distinct memory of visiting multiple times but wanting to stay away because of that. They have their place, I suppose, but if you can get them out doing something you are going to be far better off. Just my opinion!!!

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                          • #14
                            Also dying to know about poop tube relays.

                            You've gotten so many good suggestions! I wanted to add that I keep a few things in my tote bag that really help with last minute meeting changes. I always have a deck of UNO cards; a small craft kit, right now it is cardboard airplanes launched with rubber bands; and a stack of stack of index cards with commands to play Akela Says, a game that is based on Simon Says. These items along with the song from elective 6 in the Tiger book have saved me from chaos several times. All of them can expand or shrink to take up as much time as you need them to fill.

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                            • #15
                              I agree with Sasha. A key tool for a den leader to have tote bag of little things to do or use. The boys in my den love index cards for making skyscrapers. Kind of like making a house of cards. But you fold the some of the cards in half and use them to stack as high as you can. Kids really do get the kick out of the littlest things. Usually whenever I think I am doing something too corny or simple, that is the big hit of the meeting, lol!

                              And I have to say, I am not a big fan of crafty crafts like handprint crafts. I do like crafts that make useful items. But too much of it isn't fun for boys. And I do think boys who have had to sit in class all day need to move around.

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