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Now Arriving, the Return of the Lion

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(see previous post)    We were also told that we should refer to these "young Lions" as Lion Scouts, not Lion Cubs.   It was to be "officially" a separate program, held under a BSA Cub Pack , but some weird sign up arrangement.  No one in the room pushed the issue with the pro.   "Training for adult leaders  TBD. "

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I see the younger ones loving it, but they already burn out at Webelos level, will that speed up the burn out?

Absolutely.  But you only have so many leaders with only so much time.  When the leaders are in year three or four ... or for those with 3 or more boys ... year ten or year twelve ... I challenge any

I hope BSA has a plan on how to recruit parent volunteers for Lions and Tigers. It is hard enough to get a Tiger DL. Hopefully they have a program developed to get and train these parents to support t

The more I learn about this the more I see that this is pretty much the Tiger Cub program circa 1982 when it started, except 1 year younger.  Back then Tiger Dens were registered as part of a Pack but ran independently.  They wore T-shirts for uniforms.  They had a separate motto.  They only came together with the Pack for two events:  Blue and Gold Banquet, and a Tiger to Cub Scout crossover.  They used a combination of outings along with family and den activities...


There are definitely a lot of similarities, too many to be coincidence.  I suspect when this idea came up, an 'experienced' Scouter suggested that the original Tiger program be used as a model.  It would be interesting to dig up one of the original Tiger leader guides and Tiger handbooks... I wonder how many of the adventures are the same or similar.

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My council, Longhouse in CNY, has had the Lion program for 8 or 9 years.


About 50% of the Packs use this program. It seems the stronger (and bigger) packs are the ones successfully using Lions

Lions was a LFL program that was brought in the BSA.

One of our DE's at the time was one of the people to try and bring this program into the BSA.


From what I can tell retention/burnout is no greater/less with Lions as it is with not.


Packs that use Lions have said that they seem to have more parental involvement latter on with Lions parents.

They attribute this to parents being slowly introduced to the Cub program.


For most of the Packs I know the Lions meet a couple of times a month and come to Pack Meetings and are invited to Pack outings.


The Pack I am involved with has 2 Venturing youth running the Lion meetings.

These 2 young ladies do a very good job and the Lions really like them.

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But I truly believe this is a good idea to avoid Cub Scouts that do six years of pinewood derbies and six years of blue and golds and six years of etc, etc, etc.  


Amen to that!! My youngest has been tagging along with his older brothers for years. He thinks now that my oldest is graduating that he should get to be done too! He was devastated to hear that he still had 3 more years of Cub Scouts and begged to stop. I told him we could take a year off and see if he wanted to try again later. Luckily with the new program he can wait until Web II and still get his arrow of light. Which he really wants for some reason....

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Like others who have posted here, our council is one that has been "selected" to pilot Lions this fall.  Packs have to apply, get approval, etc.  One thing that caught my eye was that Lions are not supposed to be camping...so if we have a pack campout, are they not supposed to be invited?  Especially if they have an older sibling going...I guess we'd say sure, you can come on the Pack family campout if you want, it's just not an "official" Lion activity.


Our pack is still on the fence on if we want to ask to try it this fall or not.  We do see "competition" from beginning youth sports in Kindergarten (at least in the Spring).  But, I can also see the problem with burnout of both scouts and parents/leaders.


I agree with @@meyerc13 that it does look a lot like when Tiger Cubs was rolled out in the '80s.

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It's funny, I was having this same conversation with our District Execs a week ago.  I understand the intent of not asking Lions to participate in camping, fundraising, etc.  We're trying to ease them into the program and give them a taste of Scouting, but we don't want them to be overwhelmed.  With that said, it only really works for boys who don't have an older sibling already in the program.  It's hard to tell little Timmy Johnson that he can't sell popcorn and earn cool prizes when his big brother Tommy Johnson can earn those cool prizes.  Likewise, it's hard to tell little Timmy that he can't come on the Pack Overnighter when the rest of his family (including his younger sister Susie) can attend the campout.  So now we are on a slippery slope once again.  If we invite Timmy to participate in those activities, what about Timmy's Den mates Sammy Smith and Bobby Roberts and Matthew Michaels?  When they see Timmy doing those cool things, are we seriously going to tell them that they aren't welcome? 


I think what we are going to have to stress is that any Pack activity is open to the Lions as Guests, but that they aren't required or expected to participate.  If a family camps regularly, they may want their young Lion to attend a Pack Overnighter, and he may be just fine if he has been camping since he was too young to walk.  This is a case where we will all have to use a little common sense, since we know that the folks at National sometimes seem to be a bit short in that department.

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