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CM as a Tiger DL coach?

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I've been thinking about something. I won't claim to think that I'm the only one who has thought of this as I am pretty sure I am not!


This year, I took over as CM in June. Had a few extra months before roundup to get familiar with the job,


Just before Roundup, I met with a homeschool dad who was interested in being a Tiger DL.


COOL! I didn't have to recruit one.


But as you all know, each year, you have a brand new green Tiger DL. No experience whatsoever, scared they will screw up, and spend maybe...3 or 4 months just getting used to the idea before they get that polished feel to them. Yeah...typical stuff.



Now,as a CM, during den meetings( we all meet at the same time at the CO) I really don't have much to do. I do Q&A with anybody before and after the meetings, but during...I'm the guy sticking pencils to the ceiling. :)


So maybe this upcoming new season, I will act as a Tiger Coach and help the new DL with the first 5 or 6 meetings - each time stepping back a little more and more until I am just in the way and the DL breathes easier without me there. And during that time, the new DL will be learning who to ask to be ADL's.



Now, I'm not really typing every single detail as it would take too much typing and I know you don't want to read it all :p But just my basic idea.


But your thoughts and any previous experience with it would be appreciated!

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Actually if you look at the job description of the PACK TRAINER ( caps for emph.) they are the ones who are suppose to coach the TCDL. But if you need to help them out, go for it.


A couple of ideas


1) get them to training ASAP


2) get them a copy of the Den and Pack resource book.

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We do not have a pack trainer..at least not in title. It is something i sam pursueing for next year though_ gettinga dediscated trainer who will do just that: train the entire pack and keep all training up to date.


This year, I was a new CM and never had to deal with having a new DL.

I went out and personally bought him a Cub Scout Leader Book, Program Resources book and a Cub Scout Leader How To book.


He took his on line specificl and essentials training when he took his mandatory YP traing - all before filling out and turning in an application.


But still, taking those tests is nothing like sitting in front of a bunch a kids...and parents.

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Is Tiger Coach still an actual position? It was in, then out. Is it back in?


The way I would look at it is if the pack didn't have either a Tiger Coach or a Pack Trainer, those responsbilities fall the the Cubmaster. As Cubmaster -- the so-called Chief Program Officer -- you're the Tiger Coach, Wolf Coach, Bear Coach and Webelos Coach, right?


Don't worry about it and do what you think need doing.

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TC Coach was the title used when Tigers was a separate program from Cub Scouts. When Tigers became fully incorporated into Cubs, the TC Coach became a TCDL.


Yes if there is no Pack Trainer, then help them out

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Well, I wasn't thinking of "Tiger Coach" in any offical sort of sense. Never occured to me as a matter of fact.


I just meant act as a temporary coach to the new Tiger DL until he's comfortable with the job.


Same thing I guess, but I was saying it in a informal way. :)


Yeah, that's the way I figure it: as CM I am responcible in seeing the DL's present a quality program for the cubs..so wether directly or indirectly, it still falls on me.


Hmm. WEll that answers me right there doesn't it!


Thanks Twocubdad!



edited because...well..I just can't spell! :)(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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Personally, I think inviting the new TDL over for a beverage, and going over the program elements with him, outside of any official meeting time, would be a better idea. You can give him some tips, go over how the Tiger den interacts with the Pack, give him a heads up on any things he should be getting his Tigers ready for, answer his questions, etc.


As a new den leader I would be a bit put off if the CM took over my den meetings for the first 2-3 months. It would feel like there was a distinct lack of trust there, and make me question what, exactly, my role was.


Remember, in the Tiger program, the den leaders (or even the den leader coach) do NOT do it all themselves. The Tiger den leader is more of a coordinator for the Tiger/Partner Teams. Even in the new Cub Delivery Method world, Tiger dens are supposed to use Shared Leadership. It is a very important program element, and is why an assistant den leader is not really needed in the Tiger program level. ALL of the parents act as assistants. It helps the den to bond, and the parents to discover what the program is all about. By the end of the Tiger year, the den leader should know his parents well enough to find one, or two, that he can work well with, and recruit them.


Get together informally, before den meetings start for the year, for your "coaching" session. Let him know that you are available for any kind of assistance he might need during den meetings. During den meetings stick your head in once, or twice, to see how they are all getting on (since you are there you can be doing this with every den). Do not just jump in and take over.



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As District Membership Chair, I saw the failure to plan for Tiger Cub Den Leadership to be a leading way for packs to get into serious trouble.


It's critical to identify and train new Tiger Cub Den leaders, just as you describe.


In my district I organized a Tiger Cub Den Leader training at our June Roundtable aimed to catch those new parents who had joined in the spring.


New Tiger Cub parents were also encouraged to participate in the Tiger Twilight Camp that was part of the July daycamp.


The idea was that those new Tiger Cub parents would be promtly trained in how Tiger Cubs should work and the SEE how the program works at Tiger Twilight camp.


Good theory, but only one parent from my own pack took the training, and he and his son did the Tiger Twilight camp too, and he's serving as an excellent Tiger Cub Den Leader.


I may try that again if the DE and I can figure out how to promote that program effectively.

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Official role or not, awesome idea to coach the DL who could use the most help.


And to coach them in the way they will be most receptive to.


And depending on Pack people and skills, sometimes CM is also the Pack Trainer (in effect, if not in charter title).


When I was a CM, I likewise went from Den Meeting to Den Meeting, as our Dens all meet after school and the school did not like me throwing pencils into the ceiling. As part of that, I would also be the emergency backup den leader (for the inevitable "I got a flat tire" or "I'm stuck at work" call, which, for one DL who was a surgeon was fairly common, as I couldn't fault her for not leaving the OR early to get to a Den Meeting).

-- So, some DLs don't mind ya taking over. Others would resent it and wouldn't want to be "shown up".

-- Others are cool with it: you just have to figure out who they are.

-- Meeting on the outside in a casual way is a great idea to figure out who they are.

-- Frankly, our leader planning meetings were often "getting to know you" social events in places like Italian restaurants or poolside with food and drink.


And whatever the DL's skills, praise in public, criticize in private (and even in private find a way to not come across as critical).


This year, as just Pack Trainer, I was also sort of de facto Tiger Den Leader for meeting one, because we had a bunch of parents sitting on their hands when the "who wants to be Den Leader" question was put out there, so . . . I said I'd run the first meeting, but would need their help.


For the meeting, I brought each one a copy of the Meeting One plan, copies of the sample code of conduct, and pulled supplies out of our Pack's "Cub Tubs" kept at the school so that we could start scrapbooks, and pulled some balloons and string for an end of meeting game of balloon battle stomp royale.


Then, during the gathering time, I went from parent to parent, gave them a one on one explanation of the Meeting Plan, and asked them to take on certain parts

-- would you do this opening? here's how: this one is pretty simple, and it's written right here

-- here's a sample code of conduct, now I'm gonna talk about things cub scouts do, and when they start interrupting me and each other, would you jump in and solicit ideas about "how we're gonna act" in our den?

-- here's some starter pages for scrapbooks, and take a look at the idea here in the plan: could you lead them working on this project when it is time?

-- we're gonna do a game, and I'll call out the rules, but when I do I'm going to introduce you as the referee, is that OK?

and so on . . .


Sort of the "Tom Sawyer" approach to getting the fence painted, as I sort of just was the one to introduce the next parent leading the next part, and sometimes they just jumped in and did it, and other times I just sort of whispered what to do next.


Or, an extreme application of "just give someone one small job" that they can succeed at, and see what it turns into.


End of the day, we had a den leader and two assistants, and two weeks later they're in uniform on a field trip.


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Gotta love the balloon stomp game! Especially with Tigers and their Partners!


Which reminds me of a program tip for new den leaders - Always have some quick, easy, games on tap that you can pull out of your hat if needed. Balloons are great for that. Easy to carry (just shove a bag in your back pocket), and they do not need a lot of space to use. If you have more space available no/minimal equipment relay races (wheelbarrow, feather toss, octopus, crab, etc) are great too.


For those of you coaching your new Tiger den leaders, remind them to include the Adult Partner in all games, and songs, as well.

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Well,like I said, I'd COACH him, not take over the running of the den or meetings. Just help out and slowly step back a bit more each time.


And our Tiger den leaders do use ADL's. They might be den registrats or be the ones who keep up with the paperwork,roster/attendance , advancements or just help the DL prepare and set up beforethe meeting. Call them admin assts if you want.

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I wish I had you as a CM when I became a TCDL with Scoutson. I was given no input by my CM at the time. The only thing he told me was when the first leaders meeting was after the school year started. I had to find all the program helps and leader books on my own.


I still say TCDL is the hardest position in Scouting. Having somebody to bounce questions off of or even just getting some reassurance about the job your doing would have been great at the time. I personally was scared to death about running an entire meeting for a group of 6-7 yr olds.


It still took me a couple of months to get really comfortable in the role as TCDL, and even then, I realized what I still had to get done before Blue and Gold. I wish I had had that extra time to work through the program properly instead of rushing things at the last minute.


Thanks for being a great scouting brother to all. I've certainly picked up some things from you that I will use in the future. You are truly being a mentor to the boys and probably some leaders too.

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Tiger Den was the one thing I never did while I was with the Cubs. But I suspect that they will be as much fun as the other ages so I say go with your gut. I've read enough of your posts to believe that you have good instincts and react well to challenges. Have at it. Just don't set yourself up for burnout later. And IF you can get a good Tiger leader (or any other good den leader for that matter) take those gifts with gratitude and enjoy being CM.

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