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  • Denner and assist Denner rotation question

    This question is an offshoot of another question I posted so thought I'd start a new thread. Sort of a long background, hope it's not too boring...

    I'm a Tiger den leader, 9 boys around 7 yrs old. I noticed their very little formality to the pack. I researched and have initiated a come to attention routine and with scouting the command is Alert. So I call Line Up, the boys form a line with their right hand on the next boys shoulder. I then call Scout, Alert and they assume an Attention ease and so on. There is one boy who buys in and does it perfectly and my son does as well. The other boy is quiet and my son is very personable and outgoing communication wise. So I asked the pack leader to obtain the Denner and assist Denner cords, which he did, and I awarded my son the Denner and the other boy the assist Denner cords this Monday. I advised everyone, boys and their parents, these are temporary positions and if others would like some leadership responsibility they too could have a turn. Btw, we were asked to do a formal flag ceremony at the pack meeting. I made the call outs and these two boys carried out the commands nearly flawlessly. Other dens who had done this at past meetings, older boys too, had done pretty lame, simplistic routines. My den received a round of applause which I had never heard before.

    Anyways, while preparing for our Blue and Gold skit, the two Denners were trying their best and doing well, as usual. The others were on the scale of extremely meek to two who are were flat out disruptive, obstinate and defiant. I had to sit one down. My question is if I feel no one else is capable and or interested in a Denner role, should I remove the two from their positions and appoint two others, regardless?

  • #2
    A couple things to think about. You are dealing with nine 1st graders, so expecting them all to sit, listen, and behave during an entire meeting is unrealistic. Your goal in Cub Scouts should be to engage the boys and teach them things while having fun. At this age, every boy should have an opportunity to be denner or assistant denner. If the responsibilities are too much for some of the boys, then don't ask as much from them as you would the others, but don't deny them the opportunity.


    • #3
      Too bad that your research did not turn up the Shared Leadership program for Tiger dens.

      There is really no need for Denners, or Asst Denners in a Tiger den.

      Tigers are not individual Scouts. Each Tiger Scout is supposed to be half of a Tiger Team. Tiger Teams are the Tiger Scout, and his Adult Partner. You do not have 9 individual Scouts you order around each week. You have 9 TEAMS, or 18 people, who you should be working WITH to provide/enjoy the Tiger program. Responsibility is given to each TEAM to run a meeting, activity, outing, etc. That way BOTH Scout, and adult, learn together (slowly - they are just beginning after all) about responsibility, leadership, and Scouting.

      As for Denners, since you are using this program, they should only stay in "office" for about 1-2 months at a time. Depending on the size of the den, most dens that are just starting out will appoint both Denner, and Asst Denner, up front. After a month the BOYS in the den elect a new Asst Denner, and the current Asst becomes Denner. You can also change out both at once.

      The key is to set "term limits" up front, and have the boys vote for their new Denners. You should also have them vote only on boys who have not previously held the positions. That way every boy gets a chance.


      • #4
        I will rotate them.

        I'm aware of the parent/scout team concept. I suppose it works in some cases. in mine, getting parent participation is extremely difficult. Parents are often texting throughout the meeting. I've politely brought up the above theme to no avail. I'm not going to force the issue and drive scouts out of the program. Agreeing on a meeting night once a month took weeks. specifically says every den should have denners. I don't see any downside in this minimal responsibility position for 7 year olds. I have a 7 year old right now so I know what he and his friends are capable of. I see 7 year olds play games in teams everyday and they love it. We should really be meeting at least twice a month but if I suggested that it would just be me and my son at the meetings so I'll do the best I can based on my situation.
        Last edited by pstar; 01-16-2014, 02:32 PM.


        • ScoutNut
          ScoutNut commented
          Editing a comment
          Since you only meet once a month (den meeting only, alt one month meeting one month outing, or one meeting and one outing per month?) I suggest switching out each month/meeting.

          Pulling names out of a hat as another poster suggested is a good idea. Keep out the names of the boys who have already served, and have the current Denner pull the name(s) at the end of the meeting,

          Sorry to hear that your parents just sit and text the entire meeting. What a shame they are missing all of the fun!

          I was Tiger leader for our Pack for 15 years, and (thank goodness) never had that problem. I always told the parents, up front, at the first meeting, that being their Tiger Scouts Adult Partner meant just that. They were their partner - in everything. In opening/closing ceremonies, songs, games, skits, crafts, Den Yells, etc. Anything the Tiger did, his Adult Partner was to be right there next to him doing it too.

          Many were a bit hesitant at first. It is difficult sometimes to get a grown-up to yell at the top of their lungs, or play a game, like they did when they were 7 years old. However, since they had to be there anyway, they soon found that sharing the Scouting experience with their son was fun for both.

          We got a lot of great leaders, and Scouts, out of our Tiger dens!

          BTW - While is a good resourse - it is NOT an official BSA site. Unless backed up with a BSA source, comments, like specifically stating all dens should have denners, is their OPINION only - NOT a hard/fast rule from BSA National.

          Have fun with your Scouts!

      • #5
        One of our Tiger den leaders introduced denner at that level. They were the boy whose parent did the program, and brought the snack. I think the denner passed out napkins and made sure the trash was all picked up. As the ranks go on responsibilities can increase accordingly.

        I found bad feelings with elections until about Webelos. I'd pull names out of a hat, or some other fashion if I were to do it again. (Heck it is still a "thing" with a 12 year old patrol sometimes.) Sometimes being the leader's son, and getting to do the cool thing first out of the group is not healthy for group dynamics.

        Just saying, your mileage may vary.


        • #6
          We also didn't use elections until Webelos. We originally had a foosball tournament and the winner went first, the subsequent Denners went in alphabetical order.


          • #7
            Amen and dittos and absolutely to what has gone before.
            Tigers are a SCOUT and his ADULT partner. Texting is not an option. Pull them out of their comfort zone. Give them a task, as Denner, or as Scout. Each pair needs to be in charge of a "go see it" or Den meeting activity or somesuch. Give them expectations, and encourage them to meet those. Tiger Den should NOT be a spectator sport.

            I remember a CSDC I led the Nature Pavilion. One day we worked on Leave No Trace. Each boy got the LNT card, and I told stories and we went over the rules on it. I then sent the boys out in pairs for three minutes to pick up "everything that was NOT left there by God", and they collected a pile of trash! When the boys went out, one lady was IMMEDIATELY on her cell, complaining to who knows who about "I can't believe how much work I'll have next monday, I can't believe they talked me into this Den walker thing. Why couldn't SOMEbody else do this? Jeremy doesn't need me here, he's fine by himself. It is SUCH a waste of my time and..." then when the boys circled back in, the phone went away.

            If they don't have a connection with their boy by the time he is 10, they won't have one when he is 18.