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Help recruiting another Tiger Den Leader

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Hi All,


I'm new to this forum and new to Cub Scouts and wanted to ask for your help and/or suggestions. I was in Boy Scouts when I was younger and completed my Eagle so I'm familiar with the program in general. I even stayed on as an ASM for a couple of years before I started to drift away with other activities. My son is now old enough to join Tiger Cubs and because of my previous experience I was asked to be a Den Leader which I agreed to.


The problem is we have 14 new Tiger Cubs and just me as the Den Leader. The CM says and I agree that this is too many. In fact at the first Den meeting I ran (which went well) it took too long for each boy to have their turn at the activity we were doing.


The was another parent who said they would be a leader but backed out the next week. So I'm looking for advice on the best words to use to help convince one of the other parents to step up and lead a den.


Any help or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.



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1. Parent survey. Create a parent interest survey and require it as an entrance ticket to your next den meeting.


2. Call everyone and ask. Email doesn't work.


3. Parent meeting -- get them all in a room and explain the problem.


Refuse continue in the current arrangement. It is not fair to the boys and it is not fair to your son. IMHO 8 is the highest a tiger den should go. 2 dens a much better than one.


Have fun with your group.

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Echoing and expanding on AKdenleader, assuming that your Tigers have the participation of "adult partners", between that Parent Participation and the facts that (1) Tiger isn't that hard to complete, and (2) they are actually pretty easy to lead since they like to have fun and do stuff and haven't become cynical like third graders, Den Leader of a Tiger Den should be a pretty easy job. (No, I know that in the real world not every Tiger has an Adult Partner participate every time just as in the real world your Den of 8 Wolf Scouts might need more than DL plus ADL because they didn't magically become self-motivating over the summer between 1st & 2nd Grade, but generally the result is you would have more parents in a Tiger Den Meeting and less demanding stuff to do)


So, to split the Den and get another Den Leader, some tips would be:


1) Identify those who appear to be the "best assistant" prospects, start at the top (asking that person to be the "other Den Leader") and agree with that prospective new Den Leader that he/she will get more of the top assistant prospects.

-- Yeah, bad for you, but better than the Den of 14!

-- We did this with a split recently, leading our new Pack chair to wonder if we were playing a Fantasy Football Draft version of Leader Assignments! But it worked!!


2) Show the prospective new Den Leader what you're using for Den Meeting Plans, and confirm that you'll share ideas with him or her so that for special stuff (e.g., go see its) you all can work together, but divide yer dens up when needed.

-- This is one of the ways that the off the shelf Den Meeting Plans at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/Leaders/DenLeaderResources/DenandPackMeetingResourceGuide/TigerDenPlans.aspx can really really come in handy.

-- I actually did a "Den Leader Recruitment / Training" on the fly before our first Tiger Den Meeting this year where I was Provisional Tiger Leader, just by handing every attending parent a copy of the Meeting One Plan, the code of conduct example, and a scrapbook template (similar to the one in the Wolf or Bear plan), and I asked each parent "would you lead ___ (opening, code talk, scrapbook, game . . . )", so that I ended up just handing it off to the Parents who got it done.


3) (especially if you are lax in requiring adult partners in Tiger den meetings) Get the Pack to commit to an "Every Parent Leads" rule (example at http://atlanta631.mypack.us/aboutus'>http://atlanta631.mypack.us/aboutus includes the concepts of helping run two den meetings plus taking on a Pack Committee Role of some sort).


4) While we've never imposed this rule, and it probably isn't supported by any official BSA policy other than the facts that (a) if you have no Den Leaders you'll have no Den, (b) if you have no Den, you'll have no Cub Scouting, and © if you have one Den Leader volunteer and 14 kids, that Den Leader will un-volunteer, so (d) see points (a) and (b), we have an answer to an FAQ about what happens if there aren't enough Den Leaders when we form up that reads: "Also: if there are not enough Den Leaders and Assistants, it might be necessary to turn away Scouts, based on an inverse volunteering scale (the less a Parent has volunteered to help, the less likely the Scout will have a space in a Den for example, if 14 third graders want to be in Scouts, but only 1 Den Leader steps up, that Den Leader can set a limit, maybe 10, and the 4 Scouts whose parents have the least volunteer commitment will not be able to participate, because we cannot ask the willing Den Leader to have a Den that is too large to function)."

-- As I say, we've never enforced it, but we have noted this to "pre den leader" gaggles of parents in order to induce volunteers to come forward.


Bert Bender

Pack and District Trainer

South Fulton District, Atlanta Area Council

I'll do my part if you'll do yours!



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If you have just started and you have 14, you may wish to wait a few weeks to see how many you keep. Last year, we started out in my Pack with 10 Tigers and ended up with 6 solid boys. The other 4 never made it past the first or second meeting. If we had split we would have ended up with 2 half empty Dens. With that being said, what I did when I was in this situation (CM needing a TDL) was go down the list of adult partners and call each one. I got a leader on my fifth call. :-) The text of my call went something like this: "Hey, I was wondering if you'd like to take on a leadership role in your son's Den!?" The key is to sound excited LOL. Keep it simple...

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Welcome back to the campfire, Jon.


Most importantly, and while I appreciate your position, recruiting a new den leader isn't you responsibility. It is the responsibility of the pack leadership. You need to be looking to the Committee chairman and Cubmaster for help in organizing the new dens. So far, they've done half the job -- they recruited you. Now they need to recruit the other leader.


But since you asked, I know of no magic words you can lay on the other parents to recruit another leader. Maybe, "how do you all want to decide which six boys aren't going to have a den?" will work.


More practically, I would agree with bbenders approach -- lay out all the resources available to them and make sure they understand the program. For one, make sure they understand that as the TDL, they are responsible for coordinating the den program among the other parents. Each of the other parents are responsible for planning the den meetings on a rotating basis. Truthfully, TDL doesn't have to be a huge burden. It's less of a commitment than teaching Sunday School or coaching a team. And there's lots more help and resources available.

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14 is a lot for a den. However, if you need to, you can make it work. Or, make it work for a month or two until you get to know your families.


During those 2 months, use Shared Leadership. Let the Tiger Teams see how easy, and fun, it can be to run meetings.


Once you get to know them, and see them in action, it should be easy to see who will make the best den leaders. Ask one. Face to face. Get the Cubmaster and CC, in on the asking too. Make sure they offer a lot of help, and mentoring to BOTH of you. Make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.


With 14 adults it should be fairly easy to find 1 other person who, like you, is willing to work to make the boys (and their sons) experience the best it can be.


Hint - Look at families with a daughter in Girl Scouts, an older son in Scouts, or like you, a former youth member of a Scouting organization.


And a note - While an assistant den leader is not really necessary in Tigers because of the Tiger Team, and Shared Leadership concepts, you will need another den leader with you next year. Use this year to find a good one that you work well with.


Have FUN!

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That is a lot for a single Den of Tigers. In fact, in my opinion that is too many and I won't allow it in "our" Pack. That said, it is the Cubmaster and Committee Chair's job, not yours, to get additional leaders in the Dens. They need to come straight out with these parents and explain that.


a) The parents have to be there anyway and it is an easy program to lead. That they will have support.


b) The group will have to be split into two Dens, and three more Leaders are needed (in our Pack, REQUIRED)


c) If no one steps up, there will unfortunately and sadly not be a program for their Cubs. Leaders and Pack volunteers will get priority in staying.


In using this approach we have never had a lack of leaders, although it may take 2-3 weeks to get them.


Unless there is a particular reason to keep a Cub whose parent won't help (most single moms are glad to do SOMETHING, by the way). Then realistically those families will either be drops or deadweight on the Pack very soon. It sounds harsh, but your program will eventually fail if this is allowed to continue, as it places too much load on too few people.


All of that said, if you know some of these parents, you may be in the best position to talk one of them into helping.(This message has been edited by pack212scouter)

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Wow thanks for all of the great and helpful replies! I really appreciate each of you taking the time to offer suggestions. I'm going to talk with the CM (he is brand new @ that position as well) and see if we can come up with a plan.


This may sound selfish but I have to remind myself why I got back into Scouting, for my son. So for me the most important thing is that my son has fun and enjoys Scouts as much as I do. Then a close second is that the other boys in the Den do the same.


I know it won't happen but I would love to see each of these boys go on to be Eagles because I know how much they will learn along the way that we help them for the rest of their lives. That said, first step...Bobcat.

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The best way to make sure your Tigers stay in Scouts is to make sure their Parents get hooked on Scouting. The Tigers program is the best possible way to do this.


Include your Adult Partners in EVERYTHING that their Tigers do, from silly games, to saying the Cub Scout Promise. Remember they are a Team (Tiger and Partner), and treat them as such.

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