Posts posted by thoover
Had lunch with the CM today. At this point, I think we're looking at seeing if enough parents prefer an alternative night for den meetings and seeing if a new DL steps up.
If that doesn't fly, I believe we'll likely try to pick up a second ADL (and perhaps a couple of Den Chiefs), and split the den up between opening and closing activites to keep the numbers managable for all the activities...perhaps even run 2 - 3 stations.
Any other thoughts appreciated, however.
Thanks for all the advice, but, for purposes of this thread, I'm primarily interested in thoughts (methods / pros / cons / pitfalls) on setting up two balanced dens from a group of ~15 boys.
I've been involved with CS for a while as ACM, ADL, etc., and work closely with the CC and CM. I am comfortable with setting up the program for my Den once it is established.
We're picking up 8-10 from our Spring Rally and have 4-6 from our cub families (sibs of older scouts). Will likely pick up a few more during the Fall Rally.
I'm very comfortable with setting up the Tiger program, just looking for thoughts, experiences, pitfalls, etc. on doing the initial den set up / split when multiple dens are involved.
If you let everyone choose their den leader, it is possible that most choose one and the dens are very uneven.
If you choose the dens for the cubs, there can certainly be hurt feelings, disagreements, etc. For some of the sports teams that my kids have been on, the application has asked for preferred practice night and a night that they can't meet. The league then choose the teams with an effort to keep things even (# of players, experience, etc.). This worked well and I'm wondering if some of this thought can be applied to setting up the initial Tiger dens.
Assuming you have enough kids (new Tigers) for two or more dens, what are your approaches to setting up the new dens?
If you do something like Den A meets on Monday night, Den B meets on Tuesday night, pick you night, and the resulting groups aren't equitable (i.e. 12 choose Monday night and only 4 choose Tuesday night), where do you go from there?
I have given thought to sending the parents a survey asking for their two preferred meeting nights, a night that they can't meet, and a list of their buddies that they want to stay with, if any, then setting up the dens from there to make sure they aren't overly mismatched.
Any thoughts appreciated.
Let's assume a den has gotten too large (say, 14+), and it is time to split the den. I'd like your thoughts on how to best split the dens. If the current den meets on Thu and the new den decides to meet on another night, it would be pretty easy to say pick you night and go with that. Other thoughts on how to split?
What if 12 kiddos want to stay with the Thu den and only two decide to go with the other den?
Just looking for ideas on how to best approach splitting.
As we speak, you're not currently at an outing / activity where this is taking place. Therefore, I would start with a discussion about the Scout Oath and Law. Having a police officer do a presentation is a great idea as well.
Going forward, zero tolerance. If a magazine is involved, confiscate, SM Conference, call parents to pick junior up. If a cell phone and possibly sexting involved, I'm not sure I would confiscate (looking at a potential felony here and I don't want to be accused of oogling pics of a scouts girlfriend). Definitely call parents and send home.
Repeat offenders, don't know the rules on this one but would likely remove from scouting.
"You have to have the right Scout for a Tiger Den Chief."
How would you define "right Scout?"
Please share your experience in using a Den Chief with Tigers. I'll be starting a new Tiger den in a couple of months and am contemplating whether to start with a Den Chief this year or wait until Wolf when the parent involvement will decrease.
Bottom line, if the rules prohibit double counting, don't do it. Beyond that, run the best program you can, use your best intentions, ask others to get perspective, and mix in a healthy dose of common sense and you'll be just fine. KISMIF
All I can say is go for it. Lot's of fun. The scout shop has some simple compass games you can play at den meetings. Hold a quick orientation and use them on a hike...just helping the boys follow the trail on the map will help get them comfortable with a compass and give them a head start on Boy Scouts. We have three orienteering events at the scout ranch nearby...I did a father - son team with my Wolf this year and we had a blast...went at his pace (its all about the kids, right?), found some flags, had several snack breaks, had fun walking through the woods and talking. Planning to take my soon to be Bear and my new Tiger back this fall as another father - son(s) team.
Of course, throw in a GPS and you've opened yourself up to a whole new world of adventure.
I just finished my Masters a week or so ago (yeah me)...36 hours of coursework on top of scouts, baseball, family (4 great kiddos and a wonderful wife), work, etc. The crazy thing is, in addition to getting the Master degree, I will also be allowed to use 30 of those (accounting) hours to qualify to sit for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) examination. OH MY...never once did I hear that since those courses were being used for the degree, I couldn't use them for the exam.
Lighten up...as John-in-KC said, take a deep breath. Feel free to provide feedback and opinions, but don't belittle or berate someone or their program. Anyone trying to be lazy would have never asked the question to begin with...they would have just double-, triple-, or quadruple-dipped to their hearts desire and never given it a second thought...
During a den meeting, if you have an opening flag ceremony where the colors are posted, is it proper etiquette to always retrieve the colors during the closing ceremony?
I would normally always do this, but have a few alternate closing ceremonies in mind that won't involve retrieving the colors unless I need to.
Again, I'm talking about den meetings, not the pack meeting.
For some of the electives that can be done multiple times, we limit it to one "credit" per month (i.e. reading books, taking care of a pet, etc.). Right or wrong? Who knows, but it keeps it within reason.
On a related note, the following website actually includes a cross reference of achievements / electives to loops/pins/other awards. Lots of good information: http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
We'll likely have between 4 and 6 siblings join the new Tiger Den in May. I suspect we'll pick up another 2 to 4 during Spring Rally. That will get us a pretty full Den to start off with. We're considering not formalizing the Den (or Dens) until Fall, but I want to keep the new kids (and parents) involved through the summer. We'll definitely be attending Day Camp as a Tiger Den, as well as the other summer pack activities.
All of the older discussion threads that mentioned running a summer den program (though most seemed to meet less frequently) seemed to have positive things to say about a summer den program.
Any others out there running summer den meetings? I'd like to hear from you. What about those that used to do it but stopped for some reason?
All input appreciated.
We have our Cub Scout graduation at the end of May, which is at the end of the school year. At graduation, all ranks bridge over to the next rank, and the new Tigers can bridge "in."
The way we look at it, once a child completes, for example, Kindergarden, they are considered a first grader and eligible to start Tigers (and thus enjoy all the summer activities, particularly Day Camp).
While this will be the first year we run a Spring Rally, we have had new Tigers (including my son two years ago) bridge at graduation into the new Tiger den. At this time, they get the Tiger book and the neckerchief.
In addition to Day Camp, we typically run another 3 or so pack activities (i.e. water gun fight/picnic, water park, fieldtrips, etc.).
Since I'll be (one of) the new Tiger Den Leaders, I'm considering having a few informal den meetings during the summer to start acclimating the new kids and perhaps get most of the Bobcat requirements out of the way. Who out there runs a summer den program and what advice can you offer?
Our pack rotates all pack meeting duties (set up, cleanup, flag ceremony, skits, etc.) between dens each month.
As was mentioned previously, do practice the ceremony and teach respect for the flag, Tigers on up. Keep it very simple so the kids can perform well. While there is certainly no expectation that they will do everything perfectly, I cringe every time I see the color guard cutting up or disrespecting the flag.
Thanks for the input.
I wasn't meaning to imply that I thought den meetings should only be about crafts or games. There are obviously numerous achievements to work through and the suggested den meeting outline is clearly laid out in the leaders guide.
I was specifically referring to the balance between crafts and other activities such as games, time permitting. To expand on my initial question, consider the following (based only on my observations in two dens):
1. There seems to be too many crafts for MY taste (doesn't make it right or wrong...that's why I'm seeing input and perspective). I've seen some other posts that indicate that people have seen some of the kiddos drop out of scouts once they tire of sissors, glue and crafts. While crafts certainly have a place, I suspect it can be overdone. I really want to make the biggest impact I can in the kids while fulfilling the purposes of scouting, teaching them the core values, etc.
2. I didn't mention this in my first post, but I've also noticed an overemphasis on "checking off" the achievements, almost going through the motions to make sure everything is done (by B&G in our case). While I don't think this is the intent of the leaders doing this, I think it is best to slow down and really try to convey the meaning of the 12 core values, for example. One thing that comes to mind, in particular, is when my older son's den (Tiger then) prepared to do the flag ceremony for the B&G a couple of years ago. We ran through the ceremony a couple of times during the den meeting prior to the B&G. No mention of respect for the flag or the meaning of the flag. There is, of course, an art in the way to do this, as the kid can't handle a 10-20 minute formal lecture on respect, what's really behind the flag, etc. However, the actual flag ceremony was just a tad bit disrespectful.
Again, just looking to insight and perspective. I want to do the best job possible with the new Tigers and my natural inclination would be to make sure all the boxes get checked...want to make sure that doesn't happen. Again, while I realize the younger boys can't handle long lectures nor understand some of the nuances of the various values we're trying to teach, I think the values (i.e. respect) should be program drivers while the methodologies (i.e. crafts, games, ceremonies, achievements, etc.) are just that. Sometimes I think we get this backwards.
At our pack, we collect $1 per meeting as dues, which will cover some of the ongoing supplies. I may meet with the new parents to see if they want to throw in $5 - 10 or so to cover some of the initial start-up expenses (i.e. putting together a supplies / craft box), and possibly for the flags. May also ask parents to bring in some supplies from a list to stock the box.
Very likely I'll end up paying for the flags, patches, etc., which is ok. Good cause.
I'll be a new Tiger DL in June. One of my thoughts is to have the boys make a themed (from the monthly CS themes) neckerchief slide each month to wear at the pack meeting. I've seen a couple of discussion threads where this was mentioned. Does this work well? Take too much time? Too ambitious? What about making it optional for the kids with project completed at home so as to not take too much time during the den meetings?
Any thoughts appreciated.
I'll be a new Tiger DL beginning in June. Prior to this, I've been very involved with the Pack (ACM) and my older son's den's (ADL).
At least from what I've seen, it seems like there is an over emphasis on crafts and less emphasis on games and the like. Part of this may be a disconnect (on my part) with what kids like, as they seem to have a decent time on the crafts. However, I can't help but feel that more time on games (both quite and active) would be an improvement, and much more time with Character Connection type activities, respect for the flat, etc.
Along these lines:
I'll be a new Tiger DL beginning at graduation at the end of May. Some of the current Den's have den doodles, but not den flags. With my reading / brainstorming, I'm thinking about the following:
- building a den doodle with built in supports for a den flag and American flag.
- letting the new Tigers make a den flag. I'm also considering a new den flag each year, and putting various patches on the flag, such as: monthly theme patches (when the theme is used), activity patches (i.e. Scouting for Food, Pinewood Derby, etc.) whenever at least 50% of the Den attends (of course, individual scouts would get their patch when they attend). Thoughts on this???
Are the program helps designed to cover the advancement requirements during the first part of the scouting year, say, by the Blue and Gold?
I've been the ADL and ACM for the past two years and will be taking over the new Tiger den after graduation in May. The den I've been associate with the past two years doesn't really follow the program helps / monthly theme, though we do follow the monthly theme for the pack meeting. Most of the den schedule is targeted toward earning the next rank by the B&G in February each year.
My intention is to better utilize the program helps in order to build on the montly theme used in the pack meetins. However, in our pack, we pretty much try to have all ranks completed by and awarded at the Feb B&G. Therefore, I want to make sure that we cover the requirements during this timeperiod.
Bottom line, I'd like to get a feel for how mucy I'll have to modify the proposed den meeting topics in the program helps in order to accomplish this.
I'd also appreciate any other suggestions as I prepare to start a new Tiger den.
No more themes or program helps
in Cub Scouts
Guess we'll just have to use the extensive archive of prior resources / themes and build our own schedule. LOT more work but, looking for the silver lining, might be able to build a more relevant / customized program for our packs. For example, might be nice to have a Camping Theme the month we actually go camping.