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MattHiggins

New Program - Compare Notes

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As I am not a den leader anymore I can't give the best answer but as general observer for each den it seemed like there was a lot more planning and prep required for each requirement especially for the den leader.  Each rank/den has 9 boys in it and its a lot for one person.   Parent participation is something we are going to press much more next year.  I would almost like to say "enforce". 

 

Take the Grin and Bear it for the Bears.  My sons den spent over a month on the whole thing.  They had to figure out what games they wanted to present (that was one meeting) then the den leader spent who knows how much time and money on building things for the carnival.  We had a full on gaga ball pit made out of plywood.  Yet there were other small things like a duck pond that were not that big but you still had to put all of the stuff together and buy the ducks.  Since we needed space to put on the carnival ( our CO stinks, no space & too many rules) we had to wait till a Saturday to put it on our feeder school.  We advertised it w/in our pack but attendance was low.  Thank God for siblings.   That way we had people other than our den to participate.   It also seemed like it was a one off thing.  If you didn't help and attend with the carnival, you didn't make rank, that really only happened to one boy.   He dropped out anyway because he didn't get any awards at a pack meeting and his Mom was upset about it.  Well, if you don't attend the meetings or show us that he has completed the requirements then you aren't going to get any awards...  :rolleyes:

 

Anywho, here we are with only 2 den meetings left in the "year" and each boy has made rank but only earned about 2 electives.  My son earned one of those at summer camp last year.   I know its not all about getting the "bling" but if you have boys who were used to the old program and getting several awards each month then this new program seems like such a let down. 

 

I still don't like the new "adventure" loops, they are IMO, hokey looking and there is no way to attach them to the cards.  Yes, I am the awards chair.   Those belt loops have been the bane of my existence all year.  On the other hand I think the Webelos pins are so plain and cheap looking. I can't win either way. LOL! 

 

I for one am glad I stepped down as a den leader last year and moved up to the committee.  It got too much for me to do by myself not to mention it got expensive. 

 

Susan

Edited by Jackdaws

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Wow. It's discouraging to hear about the "re-valued currency" of cub scouts driving some families to leave. However, sometimes Cubs do need a break because they are done with Pack life and will be ready for troop life if they back off for a year.

 

Can somebody at least offer suggestions for the belt loop card challenge? Hot glue? Slotted cards? Fold the cards and stick inside the loops?

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I have been kind of pinching the top side of the belt loop and then slide the loop onto the card.  Its not an ideal solution but it works.   I initially put all of the awards for each scout in their own Ziploc bag but I want that bag back so the den leaders lay them out on a table and gingerly hand them off to boys during the ceremony.  Most boys want to put on the loop as soon as possible.  For those who don't its best to hand them to Mom and hope she doesn't lose them.  

 

Some kind of slotted card would be what I am thinking is needed.  Maybe an index card to put the loops onto.  Then you can staple the index card to the acknowledgement card. 

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I think parents today maybe are not seeing the value in scouting.  Ideally we are instilling values in them that will serve them to be better men.  It may not be something immediate you can see but the seed is planted there and with proper commitment it will grow and flourish. 

 

Parents balk at any kind of work that needs to be done at home.  Why is that?  How is it any different if your child plays a sport and you have to go to practices before the game.  Its the same thing if you ask me. 

 

There are always those people who seek fame and fortune/making a quick buck over hard work.  My son had a school chess tournament last night and there were kids who were upset they didn't win anything.  I am not talking about trophies (certainly there were some of those) but kids upset and crying they didn't win something as simple as a fun size bag of skittles from a random drawing.  Wow really?  I told my husband that I better not see our son cry over something like that.  He did get a trophy (6th place out of about 70 kids :)  ).  I honestly wasn't expecting anything after 3rd place but the top 10 kids got a trophy.  That means there were 60 or so kids that walked out of there empty handed.   That's life if you ask me. 

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I'm incoming Tiger Den Leader (get my book tonight at the Crossover!).  I'd like to hear your observations or suggestions for that program, please.

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If one finds it necessary to win something do a Cake Walk.  Everyone brings a cake and everyone takes a cake home.  Otherwise if it's a competition, there's only one winner, the rest are learners.

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Parents balk at any kind of work that needs to be done at home.  Why is that?  How is it any different if your child plays a sport and you have to go to practices before the game.  Its the same thing if you ask me. 

 

Personally I think it's all the other activities like sports that have made parents complacent. If they have to do more than drop-off and pick-up (like in sports or school clubs) they aren't interested! Some of our schools even have rules that parents can't get out of their cars when dropping kids off (supposedly for safety). It just re-inforces this idea that "someone else" runs their kid's activities. Since I homeschool, I haven't picked up those habits yet I guess! But it means I am the "someone else" at Scouts.... and I'll admit, I had a very hard time with that this past year!

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Can somebody at least offer suggestions for the belt loop card challenge? Hot glue? Slotted cards? Fold the cards and stick inside the loops?

 

You could try small zipped plastic bags that you can find in the craft section at Wal Mart or at any craft store.  I think 100 bags will run you about $3, I've seen 500 bags sell for less than $10.  The bags are used for various crafts like beads.  I have a pack of 2"x3" sitting on my desk, but I've seen other sizes that would also work.

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I'm incoming Tiger Den Leader (get my book tonight at the Crossover!).  I'd like to hear your observations or suggestions for that program, please.

 

First off, debrief the Tiger leader from this year.  Where did he or she go for outings?  Were any requirements harder than others?  Anything that didn't work?  Anything that was a hit?  Any handouts or notes that he or she can share with you?

 

For our Tiger den, since the leader was new to the Pack I kicked off the first adventure.  We started with Good Knights, because a.) it is fun, and b.) it talks about the Scout Oath, Law, and allows you to establish a den code of conduct.

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I'm having trouble getting our treasurer to buy in to getting the belt loops and pins for the required adventures ahead of time.  We have plenty of money in our bank account, I think he's just afraid that our leaders will lose the loops/pins and we will have to re buy them.  Any ideas on how I can convince him that giving the boys immediate recognition is more of a priority than preventing the possible loss of a few awards?  Is there anywhere that I can find the "official" recommentation that they be given out immediately in print that I can share with him?

 

You should't have to convince the treasurer, only the committee. If they vote that's a good plan and there's money in the account, then there shouldn't be a problem! He can bring it up again at committee if his fears prove to be true. 

 

I am the treasurer in my Pack and my beef is that the awards chair expects me to run to the scout shop and top up our account every time she plans on going. I don't live anywhere near the scout shop and I keep telling her if she needs money in the account, then she needs to think to get a check at the committee meeting -- for the whole month! I am not running out there before every den meeting. I may as well BE the awards chair in that case. But I don't feel like I have the authority to just tell her no she can't have the money and overrule the decisions of the committee (who long ago voted to keep scout shop funds on hand at all times so awards can be bought frequently). 

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First off, debrief the Tiger leader from this year.  Where did he or she go for outings?  Were any requirements harder than others?  Anything that didn't work?  Anything that was a hit?  Any handouts or notes that he or she can share with you?

 

For our Tiger den, since the leader was new to the Pack I kicked off the first adventure.  We started with Good Knights, because a.) it is fun, and b.) it talks about the Scout Oath, Law, and allows you to establish a den code of conduct.

 

Thanks, I have been talking with the outgoing DL, I think she did a pretty good job.  What did your Den do for outings?

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I'm incoming Tiger Den Leader (get my book tonight at the Crossover!).  I'd like to hear your observations or suggestions for that program, please.

 

I second debriefing the past leader! Then look at each requirement and make a list of everything that needs advance planning or can be done during an outing. Sit down with the Pack calendar and see if any requirements match up with Pack events (point out two birds, at a camp-out, for example. Or make up a game to add to the Bear Carnival for Games Tigers Play). Then plan for all the other stuff before the year even starts and give parents a schedule. 

 

This is a great resource for looking things up quickly and getting ideas for fulfilling each requirement:

http://www.boyscouttrail.com/cub-scouts/tiger-scouts.asp

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With the old belt loops we would write out the award card and then paperclip the belt loop to the back of the card keeping flat edges together. does that make sense?

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We've had to increase meeting frequency with the new program.  Previous years our Tiger Scouts only had one scheduled Den Meeting, now they have two a month like the older Dens (and AOL Dens meet weekly with our Troop). 

 

Pack Meetings were divided out at the start of the year, so the Dens who had to do stuff at Pack Meetings knew what month they had to hold their carnival, etc.

 

Pack weekend events got to be more scattered.  In the past, we could do a whole Pack outing at the Coin Show, or a hike, or a game of Ultimate Frisbee, and every boy who participated got a Belt Loop (instant recognition).  Now each level has different requirements for their awards, we are doing less as a large group.

 

I like the Leader Books, that I can mix the pages to reflect what I'm doing, but I can't spend three meetings on a Wolf Scout Adventure (we only get two Den Meetings and a Pack Meeting a month).  Thankfully the meeting plans are squish-able on the excess games.

 

This past year, our AOL Den finished using the old pins.  This year, I'm hoping to have a few more AOL/Webelos group events where the two dens can either earn elective pins together, or the AOL group can mentor the Webelos Den on an Adventure they did last year.

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This past year, our AOL Den finished using the old pins.  This year, I'm hoping to have a few more AOL/Webelos group events where the two dens can either earn elective pins together, or the AOL group can mentor the Webelos Den on an Adventure they did last year.

 

This year we only had two second year Webelos, so they usually met with the first year Webelos and did most of their advancement outside of the den meetings (at summer camp, Webelos Pin Days, etc.).  Since the adventures for Webelos can be earned in any order, our Pack decided that next year we'd continue having joint meetings.  The electives can count toward either rank, the Scouting Adventure is one that should be continuous throughout the boys' time as Webelos, and the Cooking, Hiking, Camping, and First Aid are also good ones to repeat both years (and some of those things at every camp-out.  That leaves the Fitness and the Citizenship requirements, which could be repeated or could be break-out sessions where the boys each year would go off and do just those pins by themselves.  I don't see why this shouldn't be a feasible way to handle Webelos; keeping the boys on track for advancement.

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