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Eamonn

Tiger Cub Scout Retention

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I'm a newbie to Cub Scouts, and a newly trained TL. I believe the problem is having to many hands in the pot. With up to 9 little guys and 9 plus adults in attendance boredom sets in quickly with the PARENTS not the kids. I've observed the following in just the 3 weeks since we've joined:

 

clockwatchers, parents that have stopwatches running

icoulddoitbetter (but won't volunteer for anything.)

tooyoungphobia, can't accept they're not toddlers anymore

artistinthemaking, fun is doing scrapbooking and arts-n-crafts type projects (a.k.a non-boy friendly activities) all the time

itstooloudasor, the meeting are never orderly because the boys scream and talk too loud

neverreadthebook, object to everything despite it being in the boys handbook

(feel free to add to the list...)

 

My opinion, with the uniform and the badge change, its time for the boys be just like the rest of the pack. Do away with shared leadership philosophy. Run it like a republic not a democracy. Parents can still have a say during the Pack Committee Meetings for issues that arises.

 

Love to hear some opinions, especially from those who been in it awhile.

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Tiger Cubs is the time for both the boy and his parents to learn about scouting. I like the shared leadership. Tiger partners are not supposed to just sit in a corner and watch. They are supposed to be doing everything that their Tiger is doing. Weather it is reciting the pledge, singing a song, playing a game or doing a craft. They should all be doing it together.

 

It's hard to be bored when you are trying to stomp on balloons, protect your balloon, yell and laugh all at the same time!

 

 

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ScoutNut I don't disagree with your comments at all. But trying to come up with a winning strategy for keeping Tiger Cub's is a little hard when that isn't any general consensus to its direction.

 

I equate it to having 4 directors trying to make one movie together. Each having their own style and thoughts to the movie they each want to make. But they still somehow need to collarabrate to make a single movie.

 

To be quite honest with you, if everyone went to the leadership training and took the time to read the leader handbook and their Boys handbook it would help out more in the long run.

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I consider myself a sucess story. I started with 8 tigers (I was the den leader). I ended with 6. I lost one due to financial problems at home and one to a busy family schedule. All 6 are back this year plus we have recruited 4 more! I consider this a sucess because the wolf den now has 10, we have 2 bears and 3 webelos. So other than the incoming Tigers we are the bigest den and we are still growing, added another today in fact. My secret to keeping Tigers? Go for crafts, games, and belt loops. My tigers were thinking of quiting when I found out we could earn belt loops. They are simple to earn and show some real awards that can be worn through out cubs. I always had an art project at every meeting and we always played a game. The parents became friends and all of them still attend my wolf meetings. I am hoping to get some older boys to join and really build up my pack. It also helps that I support my boys through thick and thin. I didn't just tell them what they needed to do I was doing it too. This year I also added a Assistant Den leader to help me keep up with everyone (mine included). If you let the boys earn the belt loops it gives something here and now, not a badge latter on.

Kristi

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"But trying to come up with a winning strategy for keeping Tiger Cub's is a little hard when that isn't any general consensus to its direction."

 

Sure there is. Follow the Tiger Handbook and the Program Helps book. Work towards Tiger rank. Work on electives. Work on Pack meeting activities. Have fun!

 

The Tiger program is one of shared leadership, but you are the Den Leader. Make copies of the Program Helps book and give one to each family. Have each family sign up to lead, by the meeting or the month. Before it's time for a family to take on the Den, sit down with them and help them come up with a plan. Make a list of Go-See-It resources and give a copy to each family. Be there at each meeting ready with SOMETHING(s) in case emergancy help is needed.

 

Make sure the boys are advancing and both the boys AND their parents are having FUN and you will not loose many Tigers.

 

.

 

 

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When I started this thread, I didn't know that the change to the Tiger Cub uniform was coming.I welcome the change.

We as a district did manage to implement:

The Assistant District Commissioner Tiger Cubs. The Lady we selected used to be a Den Leader in the pack when I was Cubmaster, she is the person who seemed to always get too present the Tiger Cub Den Leader training at the specific training's. She is visiting all the Tiger Dens and offering advise as needed. The Den Leaders and Cubmasters can call on her if they run into any problems with the Tiger Den. While she does have a beautiful smile she can be very bulldog like, once she sinks her teeth into something she holds on to it. An added bonus is that her visiting is exposing everyone to someone from the district and in some cases she has woken up some lazy or sleeping Unit Commissioners.

Working with the people from the training team they organized and ran a Tiger Fun Day. This served as a fun afternoon for the Tiger Cubs, but it also acted as an orientation for the Den Leaders and the parents.

As yet the Council has not done any of the things that we talked about, I think that they might be hanging back to see how well things work out for us.

I did notice that we had a few more than is the norm. Tiger Den Leaders at the Essentials course we offered a couple of weeks back.

All in all I'm very pleased with the steps we have taken and have high hopes that we will see a higher retention rate because of it.

Many Thanks for your help.

Eamonn.

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I have 3 of the 4 boys who started with my son in Tigers in my Webelos I (soon to be II) den. We've added 3 more along the way. In looking back at what worked and what didn't, having parents involved helped. We each chose achievements and electives to prepare. We rotated around to each other's houses for the meetings. It was a time for us to get to know each other as families as well as the boys to get to know each other and the Cub Scout program. I coordinated the meetings but we spread the work load around.

 

Our pack almost evaporated those first two years because the older boys graduated to Boy Scouts. The pack had lost two years worth of dens before we arrived. But now it's strong due to a lot of parental involvement and fun pack activities. We doubled our pack size from 20 to 42 at recruiting night last September.

 

We think that this success was because we have an active pack program with adventures like snow tubing, rock climbing (at a climbing center with parents along), caroling at the nursing home, and May games. Those are all family events. The Tiger den is in the rotation for doing opening/closing, skit/song, set-up, and clean-up at pack meetings. I'm not sure how many we'll retain long term, but I think we've only lost a couple out of a dozen. That involvement with the other boys in the pack seems essential for retention.

 

Getting as many of the parents involved in organizing the Tiger den activities will help balance the load and hopefully identify who can best serve as den leaders. There are more ways to help the pack than being a den leader. Letting parents find where they can use their talents best could be a goal for this first year. Encourage them to choose some activities that are in their area of interest. Let them see the various jobs that keep the pack moving smoothly. Let them see that many hands make light work.

 

And looking at my Webelos and Junior Girl Scouts, don't make it too much like school. Have fun!

 

 

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Eamonn, let your parents do most of the work.

Adult partner/Tiger cub. have to be together.

Some of our events.

Sleepover at Strategic Air Museum

Campover (one nighter)

Going flying in May.(A Dad has his own plane)

Dairy Farm visit

Raptor Center for injured birds

Make your own pizza at Pizza Hut

 

This is a very worth while program

I like to teach these kids young,before their minds get all polluted.

Just make it short & fun.My attention span is as short as the kids.

Nutz

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Having just completed Tigers with my son allow me to say it was an opportunity to build and develop friendships. Although I must admitt the program it's self was little more than an "arts and crafts". My son and I antisipated a lot more than we got. It has been 30years are so since I was a cub, I somewhat remember it being a little more of an "adventure", although time does change the memories of our past. If I did not hold in my heart that scouting is important for the development of my son, and I as a parent, to be involved in scouting, we would not be returning.

Today more than ever boys need the opportuntiy to be boys. They need time to play in the mud, catch frogs, and a little rough housing. Our tiger den, would "scrap book" or do string art. This being a parents and sons first exposure to scouting it there should be just a litle more adventure and little less classroom enviroment. Many of tour Tiger parents were single mothers hoping to expose there sons to oppotunties they may not have felt comfortable in providing. Only my observations, for what they may be worth.

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ScoutNut,

 

Thanks for mentioning one of the most useful resources... Program Helps. At the beginning of the year we provide each den with 2 copies and ask them to sit down & divide the year among the parents. (For the last 5 yrs. we've had an exp. Tiger Leader (DL or Coach) who stayed w/ the new parents as DL. By December we've had a new parent coordinating most of the meetings.) Two of them continued as Wolf or Bear Leaders. We try to keep our Cubmaster busy w/ the Pack Meetings, but he has had to take over for Webelos leaders on occasion.

 

Make sure that the parents see that they can do the job and ask them to do it at least a few times each year so that you get to choose -- selecting the right volunteers for DL's is the trick.

 

Bob

 

 

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