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Eamonn

Tiger Cub Scout Retention

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While I am not new to Scouting sad to say I have not kept up to date with all the changes in the Tiger Cub program.

As a council we are/I am trying to come up with a plan that would increase retention in Tiger Cubs.

The problem as we have identified it. We do a good (Not Great)Job of recruiting these little fellows. But we lose about 50% of them.

So it seems that something isn't working.

We are looking at some kind of Tiger Cub parent orientation.

Finding someway of ensuring that the Tiger Den Leader is up to speed before the little fellows join.

Having each District appoint a Assistant District Commissioner Tiger Cubs and the Council appoint a Assistant Council Commissioner for Tiger Cubs. The idea is to have more direct involvement with the program by the commissioner staff at the unit/ den level.

I welcome your thoughts.

Eamonn

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Our pack routinely lost 50% of Tigers by the end of the first year. The excuses ranged from "He just didn't enjoy it", to "I thought Scouting would offer a lot more than this", and the ever-popular "It takes too much time".

 

To counteract the excuses, I started being real clear at Roundup. I told them exactly what Tigers is... it's just about having fun. It's not about advancement, high adventure or anything else you may perceive about Scouting. It's about 1st Graders getting together and making friends. As they get older, they'll continue to build on these relationships as they progress in scouting. Advancement and high adventure will come down the road. Hopefuly, they'll stick with it all the way to Eagle. But that's many, many years away.

 

I'm not sure if our retention was much higher, but I am pretty sure that they gave it a fair chance before giving up. And, none of them said that it wasn't what they expected.

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I recommend that out of every Tiger Den you select and recruit three volunteers. Two to co-lead the den through cub scoutiing, and one to sign on for a one year term as a Tiger Den Leader to oversee for the next incoming brood of Tigers.

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We went from a 30% retention to 80% when I came to the realization that Tigers a parent program, not boys. If you keep the parents happy, they will stay.

 

What our pack did to make it fun and easy for the parents is ask them to only do two activities a month. A Pack activity can count as one if they want, but the other has to be lead by a parent. We as one family to take charge for only one month. We didn't them to volunteer for anything during their first year because we wanted them to watch a fun program.

 

What this did was allow the parents to pick and choose the place and times to meet. They didn't feel over committed because they see themselves responsible for onlt two activities. They got to know each other well because they had to call each other for information.

 

It's a very simple program, but we shared a school with another pack, and when the parents compared programs, we had no trouble recuiting. And a year later, we had at least 80% come back.

 

It was a simple plan and it worked.

 

Barry

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Bob,

this is the path that want to follow.

How do you hold a parent back from moving along with his/her son??

Eagledad ,

Did you have any sort of a orientation at the get go? If so when?

Eamonn

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"How do you hold a parent back from moving along with his/her son??"

 

Eamonn,

We chose the Den Leaders, they did not choose us. It would be unfair to the boys and to the adult to let someone be a Den leader who did not have the tools or temperament to be successful. You do not have to let someone be a leader just because they want to. We selected the Den leaders from among the parents, based on who we determined would most likely succeed at it. Every parent still gets to move along with their scout, some do it as den leaders some don't.

 

 

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My son was in the old Tiger Cub program and, although, most of his den went on to Wolf I can't say that I was too impressed with the program. In fact I thought that most of it was rather lame, nothing to make it a unique experience.

 

I also viewed the program as somewhat intrusive. I was told that it was designed to get me to spend time with my son. Heck, I already did that. We went to the zoo. We visited the airport to watch planes. We went to museums. We did all of that without Tiger Cubs.

 

I think that many parents look at the program and ask, "what is the purpose?" because their kids do most of that stuff either with family, church or school.

 

I stuck it out because I had enjoyed Cub Scouts and I wanted my son to have the opportunity to enjoy Cub Scouts. I think that others stuck it out because of the forceful personality of the leader.

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Good Morning All

 

>>Eagledad ,

Did you have any sort of a orientation at the get go? If so when?

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I was a new Tiger Cub Leader this year. We started with 19 boys and ended with 17. We lost one to a move and one to family problems with the parents. I am not sure what we did right but I can tell you we have had fun. We meet weekly. We always try and incorporate a fun craft and the boys love it. Out pack also has Family Campouts and the boys of all ages really love those too. I am so proud that we have retained so many boys and I honestly think the majority will be back in the fall. We also have some summer activities planned so that should help as well.

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"I am not sure what we did right but I can tell you we have had fun. We meet weekly."

 

That's what yo did right. Good Job!

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Speaking from experience, a good place to find a Tiger Den Leader is a parent of a Webelos. I wanted to stay involved with the boys and my son's Troop is rather anti-female. I started in Tigers when my son was in 5th grade. I was assistant Webelos leader at the time, but we had parents telling us that they would not sign up their son for Tigers unless we already had a leader. The rest is history and I am now in my 5th year as Tiger Leader.

 

The only year we lost the Tigers was my first. It was the old program and except for 2, the parents just did not want to do anything. Those 2 families were great, but they both moved at the end of their Tiger year.

 

One added benefit has been getting (and keeping!) a Den Chief (my son). This year he recruited 2 of his friends to be Den Chiefs also. Den Chiefs (1 not to mention 3!) had been unheard of in our Pack!

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Barry had the idea! Work the parents; they have to be there anyway. When the kids play a game, make the parents play with them. Do crafts that the parents have to help with, dont just let the kids scribble and call it a craft. Schedule each parent to take on an achievement, when its over, tell them how great it was, even if it wasnt.

 

I think meetings every other week with a go see it, and the pack meeting are more than sufficient for Tigers. If you have to sacrifice something get rid of the second weekly meeting. Make the go see its your centerpiece. Communicate, communicate, communicate, and communicate with your parents. Remember, parents have an expectation of Scouting. Make sure you fulfill that expectation. Most 6,7,& 8 year olds dont know that they want to be scouts, the parents put them in the program, keep the parents happy and the kids will stay.

 

I started with 17, ended with 15, one because mom just couldnt handle it, the other to soccer. The 15 are still with me three years later.

 

Eamon

If you want to do something for the Tiger Leaders I suggest that you can meetings for them. Pre- Plan and detail doable meetings for the new Tiger leaders. Program Helps can be a bit too much at times for an inexperienced leader. Include Go See It locations for them, contact numbers, bill of materials for craft items. Do a special Tiger section at RT, hand out and demonstrate / explain the canned meetings for them.

 

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This was my first year as a tiger den leader also. I tried to do a shared leadership thing in our den, but it really didn't work. I assigned different achievement to each parent. Two of the parents called me the night before the Go see it and said that they did not have time to set it up (the fire station and the museum), so I throw together something real quick. I am in charge of helping the new tiger cub leader next year. I like the idea of canned meeting with contact numbers.

 

We started with 6 tigers and ended with 3. I Loss one scout due to being expelled from school. I got the usually excuse from the others: "It takes to much of MY time, we will be back in a few years when I don't have to attain the meetings." and "It was not what I though it would be, It's not really to organized." This was said from a parent that could not even set up a meeting at a fire station. This Parent even called my other parents and tried to get them to drop.

 

The three I have left are really good Parents. They make almost every meeting, and are becoming really good friends of mine.

 

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Hi Zippie2223 and welcome,

 

Sounds like some of your parents werent ready to become parents yet. Especially since one of them was so self conscious about dropping out that she needed to build her own self help group. The toughest job in Scouting may well be the first time Tiger Leader; give your self credit for taking the job.

 

Im sure that next years Tiger Leader would appreciate any and all help you can offer!

 

 

 

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If you are losing 50% of your Tigers, or any rank group for that matter, you should be seeing a big red flag waving. Something is wrong in the deliver of the program.

 

This is not a program designed to chase kids away. Something isn't right. I resommend you asked for the help of an experienced Cub leader who has a history of membership retention to review your program with you.

 

This first year in scouting there is a lot to learn so before you determine nothing works realize that there are no new problems in scouting. Everything you are experiencing has been experienced before you, and someone has found the solution. There are numerous BSA resources available to help you with those answers. Ask your unit leader, unit commissioner, district trainer, or district professional for their help. There are solutions in print for every scouting problem.

 

Don't give up, get info.

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