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Goose22

Frustrated Tiger leader

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How do I get my parents involved? None of them want to step to the plate. I Have 10 years of scouting under my belt. Alot has changed not all that excited about the way things seem to be going but that a subject for another forum.

Sorry... I am thinking of going with the Fast track program but I only get 2 hours a month with the boys and I need to have all of them to Tigers by Feburary. For the Blue and Gold. What does one do?

i understand everyone is busy and has a pesonal life. Dont get me wrong I love that fact I am passing Scouting on to my son. But there is a lot to do. How do you not get so overwhelmed. You get 0 for a budget to plan anything and I feel that everyone pays enough up front. I am just over my head and looking for some Ideas.

I am hoping my boys go for the den cheer: Tiger cub den2 Were here as part of the zoo... roooaaaar

Thanks in Advance for any help.

 

 

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Goose,

Ok I admit I have ZERO tiger cub leader experience, but I have a few ideas that may help you. Then next year when I take over as a TC DL, you can help me out ;)

 

1) Have Den dues and explain it to the parents that this is for program supplies. Or as my sons' school does, they come out with a list of supplies that the school will need for the year and hand it to all parents to see if the parents can help out. You'ld be surprised what will come from that. And you don't have do an entire year, maybe 3 months.

 

2) Use a wall chart that is up at every meeting so that the TCs and parents can keep track. Make a point of showing it to

 

3) get a copy of Program Helps. i admit it's been a while since I worked in supply, but that book had an entire year's worth of activities in it for Wold and Bear Dens, this was before the overhaul in TCs. So I am assuming, and you know what can happen when you assume :), that TCs are now included in Program helps.

 

4) get a How-To Book. Great resource for all 5 years of CS.

 

5) Go to RT and meet other TC DLs. great place for training, networking, and getting idea.

 

good luck

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Some advise that I know is coming from some of the forum members. Training. Nuff Said

 

Anyway, If you start right now, you need the following to get the boys to tiger before B&G

 

5 Den Meetings - Do the 5 things that are listed in the den activities. These along with one or two electives can take up your full meeting time.

 

5 Go-See-Its - there are 5 field trips.

 

I learned one thing last year. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink. Point out to the parents that there are 5 Family activities. These are best done at home. Along with most of the electives.

 

If you need help with the program helps, look here

http://www.scouting.org/CubScouts/Leaders/CubScoutHelps.aspx

 

They are also available free online

 

If you still need some help PM and I will give you some more pointers.

 

Don't get too down, being a Tiger DL is fun. Keep it fun. You and your son will remember these days.

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Goose,

I'm also a Tiger den leader. According to BSA guidelines & my training. It is mandatory that all tigers have an adult partner.

It doesn't have to be the parent. But the adult partner must participate. It is your job as the Tiger leader to tell the parents these are the projects we're going to do today. Give the parents the supplies needed along with instructions & let them go with it. You are there to help the parents run the Tiger program. As for the Family portion of the requirements. Stress to the parents that the work is to be done @ home with the family. If these acheivements aren't met. Their son's won't qualify for the tiger badge. When these kids go to pack nights & aren't getting their segments & awards while other kids are. It can serve as an insentive in doing better. Remember the old phrase. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. You can also keep telling the parents that the reason the BSA does the tiger program this way is to help the parent child relationship grow. And if all that fails. You can always tell them what bad parents they are for not helping their child with scouts. That's only a joke. Beleif it or not someone actually suggested to me I say that to parents. I lost all respect for that scout leader after that.

 

Also Remember, there are NO performance requirements for a boy. Simply participating and doing one's best in an activity constitutes completion.

 

Another option that I'm trying out is a pizza jar.(I told the kids last den meeting about it) I place $5.00 in the pizza jar everytime we have a well run den meeting. That means the boys listen & do their best in the den project(s). When they're not being good $5.00 come out. Now when we have enough in the jar for a pizza we get a pizza because you boys earned it. I'll let you know how it goes.(This message has been edited by printman31)

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How do you get your parents involved? Make sure that they ARE involved. Don't have them sitting on the other side of the room watching their boys. They should be right next to their sons. A TEAM in EVERYTHING they do. That includes, crafts, singing, learning the Promise, playing games, and acting silly!

 

You explain the concept of Shared Leadership to them - clearly. Then you pass around a calendar and tell them that they each need to sign up for a meeting before they leave. You make copies of Program Helps and give it to each Team. You make sure everyone has your contact info so they can ask you for help (and everyone else's too so they can contact the other Tiger Teams).

 

Make sure they understand that as the Tiger Team in charge of the meeting, they are responsible for providing all needed supplies for that meeting. Supplies for Tiger stuff does not really come up to a whole lot. A lot of it can be recycled stuff. Don't go on expensive outings. Do mostly free, or cheap things.

 

You tell them - Work on Bobcat Requirement #__ and Family Requirement #__ this week and bring in your signed book to the next meeting.

 

Why do you "only get 2 hours a month with the boys"? You should be meeting weekly. 3 Tiger meetings and 1 Pack meeting each month.

 

"I need to have all of them to Tigers by Feburary. For the Blue and Gold." WHY??? Will they quit Scouting otherwise? Will the Pack kick you out? Will the Sun explode? They have until the end of the school year to earn their Tiger rank and Elective awards. Earning by Blue and Gold is nice, but not necessary.

 

BTW - Have they all finished Bobcat?

 

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I think you're right, Fast Tracks is the way to go.

 

Parents who won't lift a finger for their kids. Been there, done that. You have to lay down the law right away in the first couple of meetings, or they will continue to treat you like a personal babysitter. You might need to be downright cold about it.

 

At the Tiger level, you are NOT supposed to be putting together all the meetings. It's supposed to be a shared leadership situation.

 

Take those Fast Tracks plans and print them off. After the next den meeting, send the kids off to play in the backyard and spread the plans out. Tell the parents - each of you needs to take (one, two, whatever) of these plans and be responsible for making it happen. If they start making excuses, cut them off and ask them , "OK, then, look around and decide which one of us should do your share of the work on top of our own share." Yes, I used pretty much that exact line back in my Tiger days. That dad was extremely hacked off at me - but he did his share of the meetings. (He did them pretty poorly, but the kids didn't really mind, and his own son was very proud of his dad - an important side effect.)

 

 

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Hello Goose,

 

Most importantly, hang in there. Tiger Cubs is the first year of the cub scouting program and that means that most of the tiger cub parents are beginners too. I just ran the Tiger Cub Den leader session breakout at our District's Cub Scout Leader training day. Here are the main things I emphasised:

 

1. Set Adult Partner Expectations - The Tiger program states right up front that each boy should be accompanied by an adult partner, but that means more than just showing up. It means that each of those partners will be assisting you in running the program. As soon as possible I would distribute a parent talent survey (available online) to find out more about each adult and what they are interested in and can help run. I often refer to each of the adult partners as the assistant den leaders. To help them get involved, it often works best to assign them something small and achievable they can do at an upcoming den meeting. Once they see it isn't that tough, they are all the more likely to keep doing bigger and better things at den meetings.

 

2. Make sure they have the right tools - In particular, each adult partner has to have the Tiger Cub Handbook. That's $5. If possible, have them pick up a copy of Cub Scout Program Helps for 2008-2009. That's $4. If money is tight you can always just have two copies (one for you) and one for the adult partners to pass around based on who has been assigned to help at the next den meeting.

 

3. Relax about the Pace - There are three main things Tiger Cubs work on: Earning the Tiger Cub Immediate Recognition Emblem, Earning their Bobcat Badge, and then earning their Tiger Cub Badge. The Immediate Recognition kits come with enough emblems and beads for 5 boys, so the cost is $1 per boy. The three requirements to earn it are knowing the cub scout motto, which they can learn with their adult partner, knowing the cub scout sign, and knowing the cub scout salute, which is easy to teach while one of the adult partners leads them in the pledge of allegiance. The Bobcat Badge has 8 requirements, but three of those are done as part of getting the immediate recognition emblem. Of those 5 remaining Bobcat requirements, get the adult partners working on the "what if" situations outlined at the beginning pages of the Tiger Cub handbook. Lastly, The Tiger Cub badge has 15 requirements. Five are family related, Five are den related, and Five are Go-See-Its. Since you want to have the boys earn the Tiger Cub badge by your Blue and Gold banquet (which is great), that means you'll have about 5 months to complete the 15 requirements. Eevry few weeks assign the parents one of the "do it at home" family activities, like the home fire drill, listening at dinner, or doing a chore around the house, and then take a few minutes at an upcoming den meeting to have them chat as a group about the experience. As Den leader, what you'll need to probably take more of a lead on are the den activities and go-see-its, at least until the parents get more involved in running those things. Most of those involve very little financial investment, just some time and energy. We found the go-see-its to take a little more prep, since going to a fire station or a radio station is not something you do on the spur of the moment.

 

4. Get some help from the Pack - Your cubmaster and pack committee should be able to lend some help to get things started. One of them may be able to help talk to the tiger cub adult partners or run the first den meeting.

 

PS: If you haven't done so yet, attend Cub Scout Leader Training for your position. While I'm sure you have already been through New leader Essentials and have no reason to repeat that part of the course, the Den Leader portion of the training I strongly recommend.

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Thanks everyone.. This information is great. I do have traing this coming thursday. I am excited to do this. I should remeber that the Boys are here to have fun. I dont mean to make it sound like I am Pushing for advancement. I never got pushed by my folks they just wanted me to have fun. Of course I was two months shy for my eagle. Darn birthday in the wrong month..haha

 

Again thanks everyone. These forums have helped. I will continue to check here daily. I will ask questions to, Ok time to get my stuff ready for meeting tonight. Thanks everyone.

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Goose22.... this is Maverick - requesting a fly-by...... (sorry just couldn't help it) :)

 

Anyways - hang in there. Tiger DL is the hardest job in all of cubs..

 

WHy? B/C everyone is new (including you) and don't know what to expect. Also, you have to coordinate 5 field trips. That's a pain in the backside that is not placed on any other den leader posistion, yet BSA finds it a good thing to do to their "new recruits"... I think its fine in theory, it sucks in practice. Getting 5 to 8 families all on the same page for the go-see-its is hands down the most difficult task.

 

Do each one ONCE - only once !!! If someone misses it, then tell the parents they need to do the go-see-it as a family and have little Johnny tell you what they did at the next Den meeting, then sign it off.

 

Other than that - I agree with what everyone else has said.

 

I went from Tiger DL last year to the Cubmaster position this year.... so a couple more grains of wisdom from someone who's just lived the Tiger year:

 

1) Be the taskmaster. If you're doing a craft next den meeting, then get one parent to volunteer to bring the supplies, get antother to bring the Crayons, etc.... this pulls parents into being involved without overwhelming them.

 

2) Find out where all the parents work - these are in roads for go-see-its !!!

 

3) Put the parents on the spot (in a nice way) durring the den meetings. EXAMPLE - we were doing a craft. After explaining what we were going to do, I stated, "OK, now the adult helpers should each get with their scout and begin...." All the parents who had been hanging in the corner of the room didn't even budge as the Tigers started their craft. I then said "STOP ! O.K. - Tigers go get your mom/dad and bring them back to the table to HELP YOU with your craft ....".

 

It was fun for the kid to get to boss the parent for a change and a little friendly embarrasment drove the point home that they were supposed to be ENGAGED in the activity WHITH their child, not hanging on the sideline.

 

4) WHY? worry about being done with rank by Blue and Gold? Yes, its a nice goal, but don't sweat it. The one thing you want to avoid is your entire den getting their rank in the same Pack meeting that they bridge to Wolf... so have it done BEFORE the last Pack meeting of the year (at the latest)!!! Other wise you have a meeting where they get congratulated on earning the Tiger Badge, then later in the same meeting they bridge and become a Wolf.... not cool.

 

My goal would be to have the Den be complete with rank at least 2 months before they bridge to wolf (if bridging is May, then aim for March / April).... that way they spend the majority of the year EARNING their rank, but still have a couple Pack meetings to ENJOY BEING THEIR RANK, before they start concentrating on the WOLF requirements.

 

5) As a final thought - if push comes to shove and you can't encourage a parent or two to participate, then place a phone call (or better yet have a face to face meeting - 5 to 10 mins). Explain that this is NOT youth sports and you are NOT the coach. Make very clear that the quality of expirience their son will have is directly linked to THEIR level of involvement. Those that want to make it good for their kid will step up, those that don't will drop out. Those that drop will make it easier for you to provide a quality Den and quality program for those families that are committed to it.

 

Don't let 10% of the parents become 90% of your problems...

 

Best of luck-

 

Feel free to e-mail or IM me if you have further concerns. I don't have all the answers, but no use re-inventing the wheel if you don't have to.

 

DeanRx

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Hang in there! I was Tiger Den Leader last year, and I followed the program helps faithfully. It did not let me down. Each meeting I printed out an agenda for the Akelas telling them what we were doing at that meeting, what they were expected to do at home before the next meeting, and what was coming up (Go See It dates, etc.). I did exactly as someone previously said when we had craft activities or projects requiring help -- "Go get your Akela now and have them sit beside you to help with this craft." Definitely collect dues each meeting so you are not eating the cost of all of your supplies. And contrary to another comment, you do not need den meetings every week! We had our den meetings 2x/month and Go See Its monthly from Sept. until January. If a family missed it, they were given all of the information so they could plan a visit on their own. If you make them fun enough, nobody will miss it!

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Lisa, if you have 2 den meetings, 1 Go-See-It, and then 1 Pack meeting each month you ARE meeting weekly, or at least 4X per month! Why did you stop in January?

 

I know of Tiger dens that meet only once a month plus the Pack meeting. If it works for them, that is OK. However, BSA reccomends meeting weekly (2 den-1 outing-1 Pack). It is consistent and keeps the families engaged in Scouting. Between rank award requirements, electives, and preparing for Pack meetings, there is plenty to keep a den of Tiger Teams having fun all year!

 

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I kind of stumbled across this post looking for something else and I'm kind of amazed. I guess I lucked out and got the 9 best parents in the world. I'm a new TC Den Leader and at our very first meeting I set out the expectations. Parents will take part in every meeting, we will rotate meetings at everyone's house, we will do the go-see-its in addition to den and pack meetings, and we will share the costs of any supplies. Not one parent had any problems with any of that.

 

Our 9 Tigers have completed every Family Activity, we've completed 2 Den Activities, and we have all of the go-see-its scheduled. We also just got back from our family overnight campout where 6 of the 9 Tigers and parents attended.

 

Like I said I guess I'm lucky or I was wise to set the expectations early. I also told each and every one of them that I was a rookie too, and my job was merely to report to the pack. We lead our Tigers as a group and make sure they all have fun and grow together.

 

Good luck to everyone and have fun!!!

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