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A single location and night for Tiger dens

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Last year our Pack lost a lot of tigers. One proposal was to help develop the den leaders by encouraging training and using a one night a month for 2-3 tiger dens to meet. The idea is to encourage Boy scouts to take den chief positions and offer to the new tiger leaders to hold a combined tiger den meeting at the Charter hall. Go-see-it'S could be coordinated or held independently.

 

Anyone have experience with type of arrangement.

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I am a strong believer in consistancy in meeting schedules. The official program of rotating meeting locations is weak in that regard. I think you are on the right track here. Plan you meeting location adn date at the start of the year so everyone knows when they take place. Just don't overload a location with to many boys. Also, don't go with a one meeting a month schedule. If you do, when a family misses a Den meeting, they'll be two whole months between meetings, feel like they're "out of it" and be much more likely to drop. Lastley, plan your Go-See-Its together. Its too much work to plan one of these and then leave the rest of the Tiger leaders to fend for themselves and reinvent the wheel.

 

Strong leadership is also a key. I would suggest you have an expierenced Scouter in charge of the Tiger program. If you have a Tiger Den Leader who has been in your pack for a couple of years put then in charge of the Tiger program. If you don't have a Tiger parent that fits the bill, then take the best parent you have who isn't currently a SM or DL and make them an ASM in charge of Tigers. You Pack Trainer of Unit Commissioner might also fill this position. The tasks assigned to the person in charge of the Tiger proghram should be: 1. Train the other Den Leaders. 2. Identify parents who show the slightest inclination to help and work hard to get them to pull their weight. 3. Plan and the first three or four Den meetings so that everyone else sees how its done. 4. Make sure by month three the new parents are beginning to take the lead in running the Den meetings (with assistance / guidance of the ASM / Lead DL) 5. Make sure that the parents know up front that the Lead DL / ASM resource ins only available to them fo a limited period of time (say until Jan. 1). 6. This plan doesn't absolve the Adult Partners of their responsibilites. Once your new Den Leaders are trained, thats when they bring in the willing Adult Partners to run their parts of the program.

 

 

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I think your headed in the right direction here. Tigers are the easiest to get and the hardest to keep. Consistancy in meeting days and location will help with that. By decree of our Charter Organization, our entire Pack meets on Monday nights. This amounts to 3 Den meetings and 1 Pack meeting per month. Tigers of course use one of theirs for a Go See It. While it has the potential for wearing some people out, meeting every week seems to provide a consistancy that makes it where people don't forget that there is a meeting. I wouldn't make the Tiger meeting too large. If you truely have 2-3 Tiger dens of 6+ boys, then have them meet in seperate rooms if possible. Too many boys together at this age is a recipe for chaos and makes it difficult to have a quality meeting.

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Retaining Tigers is a good priority. We have a local pack that has a permanent tiger cub leader. That helps the new cubs and their parents get used to this scouting thing gradually. In a larger pack wow three Tiger dens maybe a ACM assigned as Tiger coordinator. The larger group may actually make it easier to arrange better go see its too.

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Our CO turns over basically the entire church campus to Scouts on Monday nights. Cubs, Boy Scouts and all ages of Girl Scouts too. Since there are several buildings with various size rooms, we get to spread out. All Cub dens meet in various rooms that open into large activity room. Dens meet 3 weeks and pack meets in large activity room on 4th week. Having everyone meet at the same time makes it easier if someone can't be there.. we may combine two dens for the night or borrow leadership from another. The other advantage is that retention is so much better when the entire family can have Scout meetings at the same time. It also allows the Cubs to get to know the older boys and vice versa. I would recommend if it works for your pack to give it serious thought. Oh yeah, Mondays are chaos with lots of kids running around, but many of our kids have transferred to us, because it works for their family.

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Our Pack has an experienced leader act as a Tiger Coach. He runs the meetings for the first couple months and slowly brings the parents into the idea of leadership. When you find a parent that does scrapbooking they run that meeting. Someone else is a scientist they get that one and so on until the parents are running things. The Coach is available all year to answer questions and help out but stops coming to den meetings after the parents are comfortable.

We hold our meetings in our COs building on a set night and do it every week that there is not a school holiday. No school no meeting.

We only lost 2 Tigers last year out of 18.

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Hi All

 

The tiger program is all about the parent. To have a successful program, you need to cater to their needs. The packs that have the hardest times with tigers are typically the ones that put the most demands on the parents. More meetings means more demands. I know that we say it is all about the boys, and it is. But Tigers requires the parents and a lot of adult volunteer time. If the program is too demanding, the parents will not come. If the parents dont come, the boys cant come. However, the good news is that if you have the family in the program for the first year, you will have them at least through bears.

 

Ignoring the tiger year, it is very important to understand that we lose more Cub Scouts do to leader burn out than any other reason. The Cub program is five long years and on average you will only get at best 2.5 years from your volunteers. We didnt ask much of our Tiger parents because we were saving their time for the last four years. I know, that still leaves the WEbelos years and that is another discussion. But, we viewed Tigers as more of sit back, relax, and watch and learn the program. We asked for only two outings month to keep the demands lower. One was a fun go and set it intended to get the group to bond. The other was anything they wanted, but typically it was the pack meeting. Of course they came to all the fun stuff like pinewood derby and roller skating parties. We asked each parent to do the calling of their group for one month so that they could get to know the other parents. We also had a Tiger coach to watch the dens making sure they were doing OK and to keep information flowing in both directions between the pack and the tiger families.

 

As a result of our program, we went from 30 to 50% cross over to wolves to 95%.

 

Our pack had to share the recruiting from the same school, which meant we started with equal number of Tigers each year. So we got to watch a side by side comparison of two different approaches with the tigers. The other pack had meetings every week. They were happy crossing over only 40% of their Tigers.

 

Listen to the Tiger parents. They are the ones you have to satisfy.

 

I love this scouting stuff.

 

Barry

 

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We meet every Monday, and it seems to have the opposite effect. Any time that weeks are skipped, attendance drops off. It seems that people get used to not coming. We retain about 80% of our Tigers into Wolves, and about 90% or more retention into the later ranks. I think it has more to do with program and support than meeting frequency. This year we even picked up some Cubs from other packs because we have a more active program and some of the other pPacks didn't.

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My Tiger Den meets every week. It is either a Den meeting, a Go-See-it, or a Pack meeting. The only time we skip a week is for a holiday or special event.

 

I follow the BSA Tiger program, including using Shared Leadership, and tell my Tiger Teams up front what is expected of them. We all work together as they learn about Scouting and have fun.

 

For the past 10 years, I have had no problem retaining Tigers. I usually have 100% of my Tigers return as Wolves. The only exception being families who move away. As a matter of fact, the boys and their parents usually work hard at recruiting new Tigers into their den!

 

I feel you loose boys (at ALL levels, not just Tigers) when you fail to follow the BSA program and when the boys do not have FUN.

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