Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
CNYScouter

How far in advance are your Den meeting scheduled?

Recommended Posts

My son is a Tiger Cub this year and our den schedule is just causing real problems for our family right now.

 

As a Den we didnt start meeting until well into October.

We had one Den meeting the second week of November which our Den Leader switched to a different night through an email received about 2 hours prior to the meeting.

Both meetings scheduled in December were canceled the day of the meeting with no explanation.

 

After the holidays I asked the Den Leader for a schedule of our Den meetings because with 5 kids (4 still in school) and my wife and I both working, getting everyone to everything becomes a scheduling nightmare.

 

He sent one with only 3 Den meeting on it, all on a week night and the schedule ending before the B&G in early Feb/

 

None of the Den meetings had information on what we will be doing at the meetings.

 

So last night we had our first Den meeting scheduled in 2-1/2 months.

My wife got there at the scheduled time and it seems that he had made a mistake and the Den meeting should have started hour early than the time on his schedule.

The DL told us he sent an email to everyone informing us of the time change.

When checking our email he did send an email about this at 4:45pm for a change to a 6:30pm start.

 

He also announced that he forgot that the Den still needed to do the Tiger required Den hike and scheduled it on a weekend during a time we cant make it and the same weekend as the Klondike Derby which my older son is attending.

 

This is the only requirement my son needs to complete his Tiger rank and they want to award these at the Blue and Gold in early Feb.

 

He has said to go ahead a do something on our own but we have so much going on that redoing our schedule and getting this done on our own before the B&G isnt going to happen.

 

Between showing up late and the forgotten Hike my wife is ready to pull my son out of Cub Scouts.

The DL tried to tell my wife how busy he was with his own business and how unusual the circumstances were, but this has happen on too many occasions.

 

I don't remember how my older son's DL when he was in Cubs.

So, how far in advance are your Den meeting schedules set up?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm the DL. We meet every Monday at 7 unless it was a school holiday. If the meeting has to be cancled at the last minute because of weather I CALL every one of my parents. If I can't make it(hasn't happened yet) I will call the CM and send my DH in my place and he will run the meeting(he is our DS's partern so the others know him). If we are doing something instead of the meeting (Go See It in a different spot or on a weekend), I will send a note home with the boys as a reminders. I work in thier school so I see them every day at lunch and after school. The parents know I send stuff home with them sometimes. And I'll call later.

 

So, you have had 4 den meetings total? How did you do all of the "Den Activties" and "Go See Its" with only 4 total meetings? Or did I misunderstand?

 

Diana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One year our pack lost an entire den of 10 or 12 Tigers because the DL had scheduling issues similar to what you describe, CNY. The following year, guess what, she wasn't the DL any more. But the damage had been done and none of those boys came back to scouting. Such a shame.

 

When my husband and I were DLs we tried to set the schedule at least 4 months out. In fact most of the time den meetings were a set night of the week, every week (except weeks with pack meetings). Some dens had a more flexible schedule, but the only ones that I saw work were those who scheduled far in advance so that busy parents with more than one kid to ferry around could arrange their lives accordingly.

 

Talk your wife back from the edge, if you can. There are plenty of other packs around - you know that every unit is different - go find a more organized one. Or better yet, you and your wife might want to step up and become the new DLs for your son. Keep in mind that you'll get very limited traction for your complaints if you aren't willing to step up and do something to make things better, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the first Tiger den meeting of the year, every Tiger Team gets a copy of the Pack calendar, the den calender, and a den contact list with names, phone numbers, and email.

 

The den calender has all scheduled den meetings, Pack meetings, and special activities, that I am aware of at the beginning of the year. I do not include what we will be working on, because past the first meeting I am not sure.

 

I run the first meeting, and do requirement 1D, elective 16, and start on Bobcat.

 

After that, the Tiger Teams run meetings, and can do what ever they wish. I do not have a schedule I make them follow. When we know about outings everyone gets a phone call. When there is no Team scheduled I will fill in for that meeting with a requirement or elective activity, based on what we still have to do, the weather, what I have available, etc.

 

We have currently covered all of our den and out requirements. I have a few Teams who have missed meetings. I am hoping that we have some decent weather coming up soon so we can do repeats of some of the outdoor things. They can also work at home on the things they have missed, along with their family requirements, and electives.

 

While having all of my Tigers earn their Tiger Rank by B&G would be nice, it is not mandatory. I think I will have 3 of my 6 finished by B&G with the rest done in March.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a committee meeting in mid-summer to set a tentative budget and schedule for the year. Usually the school calendar is available by then. We set tentative dates for Wolf through Webelos II den meetings, pack meetings, Blue & Gold, PW Derby, and other pack outings. Our treasurer puts together one-page yearly calendars that we give to parents that can be stuck on the fridge. When we find out who the Tiger leaders are after the first pack meeting in September, we work with them to set their tentative schedule for the year ASAP to get to the parents.

 

If I'm changing a den event at the last minute, I call parents. Both this year and last year we had to cancel numerous den meetings in mid-winter due to heavy snow, but we make everything up.

 

I understand your frustration with the den leader's disorganization. Realize that den leaders also have to deal with parents who forget about meetings or show up half an hour late. It also sounds like your Tiger leader is not getting much assistance and advice from the pack leaders.

 

I think that Tiger den leader is the hardest job in Cub Scouts. I'd suggest that you, your wife, or another parent offer to help out as assistant den leader.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our Pack may be a little different because it is so large, but we meet at the CO and all meetings have to be Monday nights. We usually submit a room plan for the next year around March/April

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pack we work with doesn't plan the Den meeting, the DL's do. The Pack only plans a master schedule of Pack events such as trips, PWD, raingutter regatta, etc. Hard to plan den activities a year in advance, particularly Tiger dens. My wife plans out a den meeting for TC a month in advance, using the yearly program planner and other materials such as Roundtable's and Baloo's Bugle for the US Scouting site. We have to be flexible on Go See Its as some of the boys may have conflicts with our meeting nights. In November and December, she offered alternate Go See It dates to work around holiday travel for the den.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our Pack, all dens meets at the same time and night in the same room. The meetings are held at our CO. We get a Pack calendar that announces the dates for all Pack and Council events that we know of. If things change, we put those changes in our newsletter and also each DL lets their den know.

 

I am the DL for my sons Web 1 den and we try to plan a month in advance. Just a rough idea of what we want to do. We don't necessarily pass all that on to the den unless we are meeting at a different location and/or time. All 12 boys in our den have e-mail, so we use that extensively. In case of last minute cancellations, we use the phone. We also have a blog that we use to keep our den informed. My wife usually sends out an e-mail on Sunday or Monday telling them what is going on for Wednesday's meeting. She updates the blog then as well. In the event that I can't be there and my wife can't do it, we have great parents who can step in or they have gone to the Web 2 den. For example, the 2 dens worked on their knot tying together. When the Web 2 leader couldn't be there we worked on Traveler with them.

 

Our pack also has a rule that if school is closed on a meeting night, there is no Scouts. If after school activities are cancelled due to weather then so is scouts. It works well for us because everyone is on the same page. We do not schedule make ups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ltfightr wrote:

So, you have had 4 den meetings total? How did you do all of the "Den Activties" and "Go See Its" with only 4 total meetings? Or did I misunderstand?

 

We haven't.

Counting this weeks Den meeting we have had 4 Den meeting and 2 Go-See-it total since September.

Both Go-See-it's were scheduled opposite a Pack leader meeting

 

The DL is craming all the "Den Activties" into 2 Den meetings and the Den hike.

 

What has my wife upset as the DL also changed Den meeting times from the schedule he gave us 2 weeks ago.

I will be traveling for work over the next couple of weeks and just

 

I had to push this DL to start Den meetings in the Fall.

 

I then had to ask the Den Leader for a schedule (3 weeks ago) so my wife could arrange her work schedule to be available for his Cub Activites.

 

She works retail and they are flexible about her schedule but she needs to know 1 month in advance.

Because of the change my son will being missing the first half of the Den meeting which are scheduled (only 2 more).

 

I really don't expect to do much the rest of the year either.

The DL's had told us his twin son's play baseball, which starts the begining of April

 

The CM and CC of the Pack have told the DL that he needs to have an ADL but has made no attempt to find one.

 

He has said that he runs his own business and he is doing the best he can but it sounds like he just doesn't have the time be a DL.

I would love to be the DL but I never know what my travel schedule is going to be.

I know what the committment it takes to be a DL and not being able to have a stable work schedule I would be in the same boat as this current DL.

 

It's not like we not active in the Pack.

I am the Pack trainer and head of the Outings Committee which is putting together a Pack camping trip in June.

My wife is putting together the "Good turn for America" activity in April.

I'm doing Cub Leader training to get our DL's trained and in Feb. doing Den Chief training for 2 Scouts that want to work with the Pack.

This also doesn't include the time I put in with my older son's Venturing Crew.

 

I think our CC and CM are afaid to talk with the DL.

He's the VP of the council executive board (but told me he very rarely goes to the meetings).

I have talks with our CM about this DL and since September the Cm expressed to me that he didn't know if he made a good choice in the DL.

 

I have a meeting with the CC and CM tonight about the Den Chief training and will again bring up my concerns but at this point it may be to late to do anything.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advantage to being the Tiger coach/DL. Setting the schedule. Obviously your DL is too busy.

 

Email on the same day with program changes is worthless.

 

An Email without the phone follow up phrase (I will call if I do not hear back by xtime) is worthless (although I know some people never respond so turn on "read receipts" - I do not call the ones I get).

 

I preferred a set Tiger coach/DL when I was CM, so the Tiger den could get used to it. 1x a month, with a "go see it" 1x a month (usually weekend) and then the pack meeting was enough for the Tigers to get everything done. There should be some flexibility.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm planner- I planned the whole pack year in July- except for things that cropped up. Our den meetings have a schedule but get alterned due to pack or other events- around Holidays is a tough time.

I' d ask him for each parent to take a meeting.

If you think you should step up then do it and talk to the other parents. Some people dont' knwo how to ask for help or go about it the wrong way. Tell him you'll make upa list of datesa dn each family will take a meeting- if he cnat' make it- oh well. You can just as easy do things around your schedule as well.

Don't just sit by and let things fall apart- if you try you can say you tried- I'd talk to CC and CM as well so they can step in. If they dont care go to another pack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a Webelos leader I planned out the entire year. I met once a week for an hour and we covered, twice, all Webelos pins and awards during Webelos I and then just and went and had fun outings in Webelos II. My boys actually got to wear their pins and AOL on the Webelos uniforms as Webelos scouts, not just their Boy Scout uniform.

 

I designed the program to have the fun outdoor stuff in the mild seasons and the "indoor" stuff in the worst of winter weather time.

 

It worked out nicely and all the boys got their advancement without a big hassle and the second year of "putting together what they learned" on different outings, was really fun. They got to try out some of the boy scout stuff like planning their outings, planning their menus, etc. for the outing. Over half the boys that were part of that program all went on to Eagle as Boy Scouts because they were ready and excited about crossing over at the end of Webelos.

 

Stosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After our Pack had its planning meeting last August and laid out the Pack Meetings and other events, I put together my Tiger Den Meeting schedule for the entire Cub Scout year. The schedule included the meeting dates, times, activities and also included the Pack Meeting dates for convenience. I meet Sunday afternoons and not only did I still have to compete with kids sports (hockey), but also with the N.E. Patriots. I thought it wise to go to the Patriots website and accommodate my meeting times to the games. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you want to look at it) they didnt make it into the post season. My schedule was on an Excel spreadsheet that I emailed to parents. Ive had to amend it several times to accommodate changes in activities, cancelled and rescheduled meetings. Not only does it help the parents but it also helps me keep focused on what needs to be done.

 

I had originally aimed to award the Tiger rank at the Blue and Gold, but due to circumstances that isnt going to happen. No big deal - theres no law that says ranks need to be awarded at the Blue and Gold. Maybe its your Packs tradition (not ours), but at this point the important thing is to get your son's Den back on track so the boys can complete their advancement requirements. The plus side to awarding the rank at a later date is that the boys will be the stars of the show, not just one of a number of dens advancing, and you can do a special ceremony just for them.

 

CNYScouter, Since both the Den Leader and yourself are in the same boat as far as schedules go could you two run the den in tandem (one as an Assistant), each covering for the other when the schedules get crazy? Are there any other candidates with more stable schedules who could take over the den?

 

By the way, have these boys earned/received their Bobcat? If not, thats something you can do in a day and maybe award the Bobcat, as well as any beads or belt loops, at the Blue and Gold.

 

YIS,

Mike

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

 

Mom was my Den Mother (yes, that was the term), and we met every week, on a set day of the week, after school.

 

Not so long ago, in a galaxy a little closer in...

 

EagleSon's den met every week, on set day of the week.

 

Routine. It works! :);)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our pack lays out the entire year at the summer meetings.

Obviously, there are some tweaks here and there as time progresses (raffle dates moved, Derby moved back a week due to track availability, etc.) but those are adressed months in advance.

If a den issue arises, it is the responsibility of the DL to CALL all parents well ahead of time and make other arrangements.

We meet every Friday at 19:00 except for holidays and if school is cancelled for weather.

 

And where is it written that the 'Go See Its' have to be done with the den?

 

Scouts is a family based process.

 

When my son was in Tigers, the only GSI done in a 'group' setting was the "Visit a historical building or landmark..." (1G).

And the only reason that happened was because the entire PACK visited the old central train terminal downtown.

 

If the current DL can't handle the responsibility and isn't fulfilling the program, someone else needs to.

One thing my dad taught me a long time ago was "S#!* or get off the pot. If you're not going to do something to try to improve the situation yourself, you don't have the right to complain about it."

 

Thus the reason I have an ADL patch on my arm right now and will swap out for a DL come June.

 

Have you or the other parents addressed your concers with the CM or Committee Chair? They might be able to influence things.

 

If you or your wife are unable to step up to an ADL position and cover for his shortcomings/hold meetings, you could at least talk to the other parents and find someone else that can.

If those options don't pan out, you can always transfer packs. It isn't too late. I moved my son in March last year, and it worked out fine.(This message has been edited by Sarge)

Share this post


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
Sign in to follow this  

×