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NationalTrailEagle84

Meeting Weekly Or Bi Weekly

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oh, one more counter thought to frequent meetings....

and it points to a problem

 

cub scouts is full of too much repetition and boredom anyway.

 

I can imagine that 3-4 den meetings every month without fail + den outings + pack meetings + pack outings may very like tip that repetition to an extreme....

 

So much in cubs is demonstration anyway

 

Take fire building as an example.

My son is finishing up his 1st year webelos year....

over the last two years (Bear and WEB 1) he has been shown and told how to build a fire at least 4 or 5 times formally, by scouts or scoutmasters.

at two WEBELOS Akela Weekends (council camp) where a SM taught a really good lecture class

at at least two other council camps where scouts showed the cubs how

and at the den meeting to work on his outdoorsman pin, where scouts visiting from our troop showed them how

never was it hands on....

except for the many times he has done it with me on our own personal camping trips....

 

So by the time he's being presented the lecture in his first year in the troop, you might understand why he'll be yawning.....  yeah yeah, i know... teepee..... log cabin.... fuel/oxygen/heat..... yeah yeah,  I got it....

 

Well, hopefully the troop is teaching them with hands-on vs. lecture......

 

In terms of the whole repetition thing, yes, a lot of material in Scouts is repetitive, but on the other side of that, I know boys who have been through the material 4 or 5 times, that don't get it until the 6th.  Kids need some repetition to learn. 

 

In terms of Cub den meetings, the key is to make sure you play a game at the end, hopefully an outdoor one.  IMHO, playing games and having fun (rather than lecturing) is the weakness of scouting as it's implemented.  

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As I said, 4 meetings, usually doing some kind of game that works in the pin advancement requirements.

 

1 Pack meeting, go get your awards

 

1 Outing that could be just about anything but usually has a cooked meal in it.  My boys started a lot of fires if they were going to eat their lunch.

 

This reminds me of the time when  I was teaching the boys how to do the fire building.  Then we had them do a competition as to who can start a fire first.  They all ran off into the woods, came back and built their fire lays.  One boy was all set, well ahead of all the others.  He sat there with the book of matches in one hand and a match in the other, just staring at the fire lay.  I went over and sat next to him and quietly asked him how it was going.  He said fine.  I asked him if he was done with getting the fire ready.  He said yes, and then I said, You're ahead of everyone else and if you light your fire you will win.  He looked at me and he had tears in his eyes.  When I asked him what the matter was, he told me his Mother told him never to play with matches.  I assured him that this time it was okay.  :)

 

As a matter of fact I had problems at one pack meeting.  My boys were going up to get their award pins.  The CC tossed in a curve on me.  He said, Readyman?  What did you do to earn this pin?  The boy gave him the most perfect "Deer-in-the-headlights" look.  He had no idea.  I stood up and said, why don't you tell him what you did for First Aid.  I don't think any of my boys realized that what they were doing was meeting the requirements for the pin awards.  They just had fun playing with flashlights and flags and didn't have any idea what the Communicator pin was all about.  

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Where, when, how often, was pretty much left up to the individual den leaders.

 

Most generally did the 4 meetings per month route. That was 1 pack meeting, and 3 den meetings.

 

Sometimes, a den would hold a den meeting the week of the Pack meeting which increased their den meetings to 4.  

Sometimes, one of the den meetings would be an outing,

Sometimes a den would have their 3 den meetings - plus - an outing.

 

It all depended on what was going on in the individual den each month.

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Lecture classes for Cubs? That's where the boredom reputation comes from. Cubs should never be about lectures.

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As I said, 4 meetings, usually doing some kind of game that works in the pin advancement requirements.

 

1 Pack meeting, go get your awards

 

1 Outing that could be just about anything but usually has a cooked meal in it.  My boys started a lot of fires if they were going to eat their lunch.

 

This reminds me of the time when  I was teaching the boys how to do the fire building.  Then we had them do a competition as to who can start a fire first.  They all ran off into the woods, came back and built their fire lays.  One boy was all set, well ahead of all the others.  He sat there with the book of matches in one hand and a match in the other, just staring at the fire lay.  I went over and sat next to him and quietly asked him how it was going.  He said fine.  I asked him if he was done with getting the fire ready.  He said yes, and then I said, You're ahead of everyone else and if you light your fire you will win.  He looked at me and he had tears in his eyes.  When I asked him what the matter was, he told me his Mother told him never to play with matches.  I assured him that this time it was okay.   :)

 

As a matter of fact I had problems at one pack meeting.  My boys were going up to get their award pins.  The CC tossed in a curve on me.  He said, Readyman?  What did you do to earn this pin?  The boy gave him the most perfect "Deer-in-the-headlights" look.  He had no idea.  I stood up and said, why don't you tell him what you did for First Aid.  I don't think any of my boys realized that what they were doing was meeting the requirements for the pin awards.  They just had fun playing with flashlights and flags and didn't have any idea what the Communicator pin was all about.  

sure sounds like you ran an active den.  I think that's a good thing and a nice target for all den leaders to shoot for.

In our pack, the DL's aren't quite as active as that but what I see is the big miss is that on top of den meetings you ran an outing too.  Well that and putting more of the achievement off to be done at home.  The boys have gotten most of the way along through several of the required pins but there always seems to be at least something left for homework. 

 

Your story about the boy not knowing what readyman was makes me think of a recent conversation I had with a friend, who just finished up his roles as DL for a 2nd year WEB den in another pack....

I was telling him how I have have been reviewing my son's book myself, so I know what he needs to do.... so as dad, I have been steering him to complete things and he doesn't even know it... until I send him for his book and show him that he just finished Handyman, or whatever...

BUT my friend had the opinion that, in theory at least, it should be the boys reading the book and driving the bus.

I don't know that I totally disagree with him

but it was cool to see my son just having and fun and learning, not even knowing that he'll be getting a pin for it.

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Lecture classes for Cubs? That's where the boredom reputation comes from. Cubs should never be about lectures.

 

Oh yes, so true..... but unfortunately it is.

Many times it's almost driven by the program.... the DL or someone else has to "explain" something

often, it's just an inherent fault in us adults.... we read that the requirement is "demonstrate how..." and so we demonstrate how. 

 

this second point I try to keep up front in my mind, and I try to remind or hint to other leaders when I see it happening.

but

more often than not it almost has to be that way just because of lack of time, lack of resources, etc...

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Oh yes, so true..... but unfortunately it is.

Many times it's almost driven by the program.... the DL or someone else has to "explain" something

often, it's just an inherent fault in us adults.... we read that the requirement is "demonstrate how..." and so we demonstrate how. 

 

this second point I try to keep up front in my mind, and I try to remind or hint to other leaders when I see it happening.

but

more often than not it almost has to be that way just because of lack of time, lack of resources, etc...

I was in a pack that kept an electronic folder of meeting plans over a period of several years. They all followed the Program Helps format and had games, skills and crafts complete with equipment lists. Used gear was kept in the CO so we had a stockpile of some things. When we became leaders we kept that tradition going and passed it on to those after us.

 

This may help new leaders become more engaged and feel less hopeless or need to fall back on adult-style presentations.

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sure sounds like you ran an active den.  I think that's a good thing and a nice target for all den leaders to shoot for.

In our pack, the DL's aren't quite as active as that but what I see is the big miss is that on top of den meetings you ran an outing too.  Well that and putting more of the achievement off to be done at home.  The boys have gotten most of the way along through several of the required pins but there always seems to be at least something left for homework. 

 

Your story about the boy not knowing what readyman was makes me think of a recent conversation I had with a friend, who just finished up his roles as DL for a 2nd year WEB den in another pack....

I was telling him how I have have been reviewing my son's book myself, so I know what he needs to do.... so as dad, I have been steering him to complete things and he doesn't even know it... until I send him for his book and show him that he just finished Handyman, or whatever...

BUT my friend had the opinion that, in theory at least, it should be the boys reading the book and driving the bus.

I don't know that I totally disagree with him

but it was cool to see my son just having and fun and learning, not even knowing that he'll be getting a pin for it.

 

As a Boy Scout, taking responsibility for advancement is definitely in the hands of the Scout, but in Cub Scouting, I don't think the boys are mature enough to follow through on that.  I always was planning some kind of game or fun thing to incorporate the pin requirements into.  They had no idea how it all worked.  At that age it was all about having fun and getting bling.  

 

In Cub Scouts one receives awards.

 

In Boy Scouts one earns rank.

 

Two different animals in my book.

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sure sounds like you ran an active den.  I think that's a good thing and a nice target for all den leaders to shoot for.

In our pack, the DL's aren't quite as active as that but what I see is the big miss is that on top of den meetings you ran an outing too.  Well that and putting more of the achievement off to be done at home.  The boys have gotten most of the way along through several of the required pins but there always seems to be at least something left for homework. 

 

Your story about the boy not knowing what readyman was makes me think of a recent conversation I had with a friend, who just finished up his roles as DL for a 2nd year WEB den in another pack....

I was telling him how I have have been reviewing my son's book myself, so I know what he needs to do.... so as dad, I have been steering him to complete things and he doesn't even know it... until I send him for his book and show him that he just finished Handyman, or whatever...

BUT my friend had the opinion that, in theory at least, it should be the boys reading the book and driving the bus.

I don't know that I totally disagree with him

but it was cool to see my son just having and fun and learning, not even knowing that he'll be getting a pin for it.

I think this is always going to be a point of conflicting approaches.  At the CS level both the parent led and scout led methods are needed.  I think it really depends on the scouts.  Many kids, if left to do things on their own won't do it, don't know how, aren't motivated enough, or have some other legit reason why a scout led approach is doomed to fail (at the cub scout level).  But there are other kids who can and will take the initiative to grab the book and do it all.

 

As parents there is a fine line between leading, guiding, helping, mentoring, encouraging versus helicoptering and doing it all for the kid.  I personally have 2 cubs who embody the two approaches.  My older one is the one who needs the direction.  I wish it wasn't the case, but I know he would do nothing without a little push.  I see it as my role to encourage and monitor the activities so he learns the valuable life skills scouting teaches.  On the other hand my younger one is gung ho as a Tiger and can't get enough.  Completely self driven, earned rank first in his den, has quite the collection of belt loops and pins, and completely "out-scouts" his older brother.

Edited by SlowDerbyRacer

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I was in a pack that kept an electronic folder of meeting plans over a period of several years. They all followed the Program Helps format and had games, skills and crafts complete with equipment lists. Used gear was kept in the CO so we had a stockpile of some things. When we became leaders we kept that tradition going and passed it on to those after us.

 

This may help new leaders become more engaged and feel less hopeless or need to fall back on adult-style presentations.

 

I have oft thought we should have a binder (theoretical at least) of notes, to encourage DL's to document what they have done, what works, what doesn't work, etc....

Not a rehash of the requirements and such.  that is already printed...

but what I imagine is local notes..... places to take a hike or a required bike ride for example

It's one of the things I had hoped to start, but due to lack of help I just haven't had time.  I doubt if I'd get most of our folks to participate anyway...

but it has always struck me as kinda dumb that we set up to re-invent the wheel over and over again...

Like you said, it doesn't help new leaders for sure....

I think an interesting side note to such a collection of notes would be the history.  It would be interesting to me to look back to see who was doing this job 5 years or 10 years ago.... what kinds of things they did, etc.... It would be interesting to see how things change over time too.

 

But on the other hand, with the www, pinterest, and the like, is this sort of thing really needed anymore???

 

Taking this back to the original topic, an indirect result of having more meetings would be more opportunity for hands on and fun with the requirements, as opposed to trying to blast through them..... and having such a notebook or history would be helpful to new leaders taht had the energy to read it.

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I have oft thought we should have a binder (theoretical at least) of notes, to encourage DL's to document what they have done, what works, what doesn't work, etc....

Not a rehash of the requirements and such.  that is already printed...

 

Our pack did this. I had a big box of stuff handed to me when I became CM and I gave our next Webelos leader all my stuff. But I think you are right that social media is replacing all that. I give testament that ScoutsL and Scouter.com directly contributed to my style of Scoutmaster and the performance of our programs. I even invited a couple of troops from the forum to a Troop-o-ree that our scouts planned and ran. 

 

 

Taking this back to the original topic, an indirect result of having more meetings would be more opportunity for hands on and fun with the requirements, as opposed to trying to blast through them..... 

 

The main reason I went to two meetings was to add 30 minutes, which helped me plan better (more fun) activities that fit in the meeting time. I'm not a blow through the reqirements kind of person, I use a few requirements to plan the activities, then the boys had to finish on their own. Out of the 16 scouts, we only had one get all the activity badges. The others were close, but that wasn't the goal of our den. I was rewarded some years later when I went to a ECOH of one of my Webelos scouts. He approached me after the ceremony and quietly confessed that the most fun ever had in scouting was in my Webelos den. That made all those hours worth it for me. But I wanted to tell him that if had joined my Troop, he would have had just as much fun. But you know. :laugh: 

 

I have over the years several times passed along on Scouter.com my tricks for an easy fun Webelos program. But that was over 20 years ago and I'm forgetting some of the good stuff. We must keep passing this stuff on. Do we have archives?

 

Barry

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We also instituted pack-level training on how the pack operates. Also DL training that filled the holes the BSA training left. Huge helps.'

 

However, this only works if those who follow continue the tradition.

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One Den Meeting a month for Tigers and Lions, two a month for Wolf-Bear-Webelos I.  Last year Webelos II tried a once monthly, two hour meeting.  Next month, we are going weekly meetings with having Webelos meet at/with the Troop (new Webelos Transition pilot program).  For the new program, we'll likely have Tigers go to two meetings a month, also. 

 

We also have the monthly Pack Meeting, and at least one monthly weekend activity.  If we have two weekend activities in a month, the second is usually "come attend this neighborhood event/activity as a Pack", such as Earth Day Park Cleanup last week, or Free Family Day at the local art museum in February.

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As Cubmaster,  I liked the following schedule for a typical month:

 

Den Meeting

Den Meeting Pack Meeting

Parent (Committee) Meeting

 

 

The current Cubmaster likes the following schedule:

 

Den Meeting

Parent Meeting

Den Meeting

Pack Meeting

 

 

Personally,  I think the first provides desireable continuity.  The second is probably easier on Den Leaders.

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