Jump to content

Tiger Cub retention revisited

Recommended Posts


I know we have covered this topic before, but here goes...


Tiger Cubs, last year we lost 50% this year we lost a little more then that. I have heard that that was the national average. Ok I want to know what other have done to increase their retention of tigers.


Our ideas are as followed:

1. Recruit in May before the kids can start filling up their lives with other activities.


2. In May instead of school night recruitment, we are going to have a picnic at the CO. The CO is on a small canal that has a lot of pan fish for the kids to catch. It also has a SIMI-wooded area for the kids to play capture the flag, It, and other outdoor games.


3. Keeping the kids real busy in the summer. We have district or council events every 4 weeks or so. I was going to do a pack event every 4 week are so. This way we keep the kids busy every other week with an activity.


4. Requiring every parent to be trained (Im not too crazy about this one but someone add the idea) and co-run one event a year. Also requiring that two people in each den be on the committee.


Let me know what you think about our ideas and add more that we may not have thought of.


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say you lost 50% of your Tigers last year and more than that this year, what exactly do you mean.


Do you mean that you signed up 50% less boys than the year before?


Or do you mean that from the time you sign them up in Aug or Sept until now, 50%+ of your boys have dropped out of Scouting.


Or, is it that less than 50% of the prior year's Tigers return to the Pack as Wolves?


If it is #1 then recruiting in May & making sure the new boys have a fun summer with the Pack might work. I would do a fall recruitment also.


If it is #2 or #3 than it probably has more to do with your program than your recruiting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In our Pack, past September we gathered about 28 tigers in three full dens. To date we retained about 70% of those tigers. We followed up with these tigers (as we do every year). We learned that the Tigers who quit were the ones that 1) have parents do not have the time committment to be a tiger partner every week or every other week! 2) elected to play t-ball instead, 3) parent just didn't like the way the den was run ... too disorganized, loud, etc. or in sum ... wasn't what they expected. Of the 20 boys who rechartered (and the ones who left), they all love to attend our Pack meetings and campouts.


Here are some of our activities at Pack meetings:

- Dens magic show

- Jake the Snakeman (he brought is snakes in for the kids to see)

- Sheriff Dept. K-9 units

- Mad Science (overpriced but worth every penny)

- Blue and Gold (slide shows of our past activities and just party)

- Pinewood Derby (always a favorite)



and the fun goes on. Even I look forward to the the Pack meeting!


Pack activities during the year and summer such as:

- pool party

- game night at the baseball stadium

- Day Camp

- sleepover at NASA

- sleepover on the Battleship of Texas

- sleepover at the Zoo

- sleepvoer on the Lexington

- sleepover at the aquarium

- hikes

- 2 campouts a year

- Waterblast (where the whole pack got their waterguns and drenched each other ... we also had the local fire engine there ... they blasted the kids with their waterhose ... in the air so that it rains down on the kids of course!)

- Bike rally/rodeo (themed ... ie. this year is The "Incredibles" Bike Rally. Interested ... PM and I'll send you our courses)


and so on ... our year is packed.


... so as you can see ... it always boils down to program, program, and did I mention program? Of course, you have to have an army of parents to help. We have well over 30 folks in the pack to resort to.


By the way, we try to change the program every year to avoid ... "we have done that already!" We have (this year) 96 boys. That's down from 132 three years ago!


1Hour(This message has been edited by OneHour)

Link to post
Share on other sites


Last year we lost 50% of our tigers, with one of the two dens never forming (this is when I joined as tiger Den Leader/coach).

This year because of Hurricane Ivan and other unforeseen event we did not get into the schools till October. We recruited 12 tigers from two schools. School 1 had 7 tigers, school 2 had 5 tigers boys. The Den leader from school 1 quit by the end of November. I tried to get a leader out of what was left of the den, but the only thing I got was a promise to take over after Christmas. Well after Christmas, the guy that said he would take over said he did not have the time.

Den two is still meeting with 4 scouts (one left do to religion Classes).

Den Leader 1 said he quit because lack of help from other parents.


I know that our program is in need of help. I am taking over as CM in May. From now till May I am getting in contact with other CM's in our district and asking if I can go visit thier pack meetings. All of them are doing B&G this month. Two pack have responded to my e-mail and said I/we could come and visit.



All I can say is "WOW"

I hope to have a program like that soon. We need more parent help...(This message has been edited by zippie2223)(This message has been edited by zippie2223)

Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can say is Program & Leaders. Your program should be fun (& flexible). Your leaders should be trained and committed.


Our year is not as packed as OneHour's, but we do try. We have special Pack outings/activites every few months & at least 1 Pack outing a month in the summer months.


The dens also try to keep the boys advancing & having fun. I have found that with the Tigers you have to make it VERY clear from the get-go that the Tiger Partner is joined at the hip with his Tiger for all things, including games & crafts. You also have to make sure that shared leadership is utilized. It gets the families involved & having fun with their scout from the start.


I have also found that I need to be very flexible with my guys. I have one Tiger who has a doctor appt at the same time as our meetings. I also have Tigers in basketball, ti kwan do, & other stuff. All right around our meeting time. So I try to vary our times so that we get the most boys. I also encourage them to attend the things that they can and to work on the den & outing things that they have missed at home along with the family stuff. You have to make the families feel welcome (& missed) no matter what. Keep them involved & wanting to come.


Our Pack & our Dens aren't perfect, but we are always trying to improve, trying to find more ways to make things fun. I usually have 100% of my Tigers go into a Wolf den. Sometimes 1 or 2 might drop off in Wolf for various reasons, but not to often.


Try getting a couple of experienced Pack people to take on the Tiger Leader positions. That way you don't get the "shell-shocked" new leader who gets lost & quits. By March or April they should be able to tell which of the Tiger parents would be able to handle the leadership when they go to Wolf. It has worked for us.


Keep "doing your best"!


Link to post
Share on other sites

zippee...I would NOT suggest getting every parent trained. That will just be one more deterant(sp?) to joining for the parents time commitment.

One thing we always do, is invite the kindergarten boys to attend the PWD, it gives them a chance to see one of the "big" moments in the scouting year, and gets them excited to join.

I'm sure most haven't heard this, but National is VERY concerned about the #'s of boys dropping out after their Tiger year of scouting. I am in one of two councils nationwide that is in the middle of a pilot program that does NOT require the parent to attend den meetings, only the outing for the month. (It is thought, that the parents think the time commitment will be the same for other scouting years, not realizing they don't need to attend the meetings like they had to during Tiger year.) At the begining of the next scouting year in the fall we are supposed to fill out surveys etc on how the year went for us and how many boys we have retained. It is the hope that the parents having a feel for how the rest of their scouting years will be, might retain some of these boys. I come from a pack of 48 boys, and 9 of those are currently Tiger cubs, and so far I haven't heard any complaints about time frustrations or boys dropping out. If this goes well it will become the new standard much like the Tigers now wearing the blue shirt instead of the orange ones.

As for the committee. You are right on track for having parents attend the meetings. We require at least one parent from every den to attend so all the dens are well informed, and I don't have to track everyone down and have a meeting all over again on the phone with each den leader. We require one parent, but the meetings are open for any and all who have something to say or wish to attend.

One more suggestion...maybe poll the parents and find out why they are dropping out, and then poll the ones that are staying in...maybe that will help you to find out what went right and what could use improving on. Make sure you include questions about recruitment night and if they left it full of knowledge etc.

Good Luck

Jennifer (CC)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I apologize for bragging. It was not meant as such. I just want to illustrate what everyone pointed out. If you want to keep Tigers or any other cubs ... the program will have to be the attractive point of the Pack. Den activities are the other point. As for den activities, a trained den leader with creative parents will bring the fun to the boys. Again, that's program! The more trained and knowledgable parents, the more help you will get. The final point is that it will require everyone to roll up his/her sleeves in your Pack/Den to pull together the pack/den. I find this to be true: if you (the adult) enjoy and have fun, so will the kids. Just act silly and be a kid ... the magic formula! Now, I know why my wife keeps telling me to grow up! :)


1Hour(This message has been edited by OneHour)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back when I was a CM, we saw the Tiger to Wolf transition as the biggest "leak in the pipeline" (even worse than the Webelos to Scout transition). Despite our best efforts with program, we could not retain much more than 50%. At the time, I attributed this to two factors: 1) the "us vs them" distinction created by the orange and blue uniforms, and 2) the fact that the Tigers are much younger (and smaller) than the rest of the pack and program activities that appeal to a 5th grader are not interesting (or even reasonable) for a 1st Grader. And vice versa.


Now that Tigers are integrated into the Pack with the blue uniforms, #1 is solved but #2 remains. Webelos just don't mix well with Tigers. I predict that over the next 5 years or so, National will re-tool the Webelos program somehow to make them more independent. Pack programs would then be geared to a tighter, and younger, age range.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...