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Tiger Cubs: To recite or not to recite...

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  • Tiger Cubs: To recite or not to recite...

    I'm an Assistance Den Leader for a Tiger Cub Den. It's my first time being exposed to the cub scouts so I'm totally new here and basically flying by the seat of my pants. I have been finding that though none of the parents complain at all about the content of our Den Meetings, a few more "seasoned" cub scout parents have requested that we include certain things in each den meeting. The parents making requests are themselves Den leaders for their older son's dens. As far as I understand, including a flag ceremony, The Pledge of Allegiance and The Law of the Pack in each meeting is completely optional and up to the Den leader. Our Den Leader and I want to make the cub scouts as fun as possible and feel like all the formalities are not necessary for Tiger cubs at every meeting. Are we wrong in thinking this? Should we accommodate these requests or is there a more polite way of saying, "I understand that you like to run your own den meetings a certain way but this is how we choose to run our own meetings"? We DO usually close our meetings with the Cub Scout Promise.

  • #2
    When I was a Tiger Cub Den Leader many moons ago, we started with the Pledge.


    • #3
      Den Meetings should have some ceremony involved, and it could be as little as saying the pledge at the start, and doing a cheer at the end. Its a way of reinforcing to the boys, "ok, the meeting has started" and "now the meeting is over, run wild". Does there need to be a flag procession, full pledge/promise/law recital? No. But find something, make it consistent, and it will help the boys focus.


      • #4
        Fehler is correct in that opening and closing flags mark the beginning and ending of the meeting. People like routine, they like to know what's coming up so as to not be surprised. It doesn't have to be anything big and formal, just a little routine/ceremony to mark the place in the meeting where we are.

        I found that the agenda/schedule for the meeting is important for developing denner leadership as well. The boy needs to know what's next and what's expected of him at any given time during the meeting.

        Opening flags
        Closing flags

        Something simple like this allows the denner something to organize himself on and focusing on how his talents fit into that structure. I don't really like the kinds of organizations that rely on one surprise after another as their agenda for their meetings. It just lets me know that whoever is supposed to be running the show isn't prepared and has no more of an idea of what comes next than I do.

        The flag ceremony can be as elaborate as you want to make it.

        Denner: find the flag and put it in the middle of the table.
        Denner: do a uniform check to see if everyone looks nice, shirts tucked in, neckers on, etc.
        Denner: (Stand) Pledge, Oath (sit)
        DL: lets everyone know what the craft is scheduled for the night,

        At least during that brief ceremony, the boys' attention begins to focus (somewhat) on the meeting at hand.

        The closing ceremony does just the opposite, it wraps everything up, makes sure everything is picked up and put away and the boys are dismissed as a whole as compared to wandering off looking for their rides home.

        Last edited by jblake47; 01-09-2014, 11:00 AM.


        • #5
          Having a specific opening, and closing, for your den meeting, is a good thing. As mentioned, it gives the Tiger Teams time to settle down, and focus, and get stuff ready to leave.

          If you read the parent intro at the beginning of the Tiger Cub Handbook, it describes "Parts of a Tiger Cub Den Meeting".

          There is also the fact that repetition is a good way for everyone (Tiger and Adult Partner alike) to learn things. Incorporating the Cub Scout Promise/Law/Motto/Sign/Handshake/Salute in every (or almost every) meeting is a great way to help everyone retain them. Plus it helps the Scouts to complete their Bobcat requirements.

          As for a den flag ceremony, Tiger Requirement 2-D is to practice the Pledge of Allegiance, and participate in a flag ceremony. Incorporating a flag ceremony as part of your den opening, and rotating which Tiger Team is in charge of running the ceremony, gives everyone the opportunity to participate, and learn.

          A "One and Done" mentality to simply check off boxes in a book is never a good idea, and sets a bad precedence for their later Scout years. It takes repetition to really learn something.

          Yes, Tiger Cubs, and Scouting should be fun, but that is not ALL it is. The fun is how we bring the PROGRAM to the boys. Opening/closing/flag, and other ceremonies do not need to be boring. It is possible to be fun, and teach something at the same time.

          Tigers are G-R-R-R-R-R-E-A-T !!!!!


          • #6
            Originally posted by ScoutNut View Post
            ...A "One and Done" mentality to simply check off boxes in a book is never a good idea, and sets a bad precedence for their later Scout years. It takes repetition to really learn something...
            Absolutely agree. In fact, repetition was one of the principles of the original rank requirements of scouting back in the Baden-Powell days. Some (maybe all?) requirements had to be re-tested every year to retain rank. It wasn't a checklist, it was ongoing and regularly re-examined skills and knowledge.

            I'm also thinking that since Tiger is becoming a rank in itself under the new standards, t would probably make sense to hold Tiger dens to the same standards as other dens, even in as far as meeting structure goes.


            • #7
              If I was a Tiger den leader, I would question whether to even teach the boys the Cub Scout promise and Law of the Pack. I know it is still a requirement, but since they are being discontinued in 2015 and being replaced with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, I would just start teaching them that instead. When they announced the change, they should have given the units authority to change immediately, if they wanted.


              • moosetracker
                moosetracker commented
                Editing a comment
                Since it isn't until the fall of 2015, that is more then a year & a half.. But I know what you are saying.. Might be a little early yet, but considering that at least by this Fall a year out from the change, perhaps the pack meeting should start doing both.. It is a way for the scouts to start hearing and learning the BS oath & law, rather then just flicking a switch and telling them from now on you have to do it different. Then the Den leaders can decide for themselves if they want to help them learn it before the Fall of 2015 or not.