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Zaphod

Did Lions Pilot anywhere in 2015-16?

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My sister just told me that she is going to join a Lions den that piloted last year. I thought this year was the first time it was being piloted. Does anyone know of any pilot programs anywhere else? Specifically the Twin Cities?

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The pilot started much earlier. This from meritbadge.com:

 

"The program was developed by the Northern Star Council and is scheduled to test for a total of 5 years. 2008-2009 is the first year of the program and includes a total of 262 of Lion Cub Scouts currently enrolled in the program. During the year, Adult Partners will be asked to provide answers to detailed survey questions and provide feedback on each month’s theme, plans and activities. The first report on the pilot program will be released at the end of December 2008 based on the October/November adult partner surveys and evaluations. The primary curriculum/educational outcomes are for parents/Adult Partners to learn the basics of youth development and Scouting’s proven tools for raising happy, healthy children. The outcome for the kids is to discover the fun of Scouting at an earlier age."

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I did some research on this earlier this year for a Roundtable session I was leading.  In addition to the Northern Star Council's Lion pilot there was another Lion pilot in the Hiawatha Seaway Council.  That one was operated under the Learning for Life organization.  I believe that my research also showed that two more Councils had piloted Lions, but I didn't note which Councils those were.

 

The one your sister mentioned must be Northern Star Council though.  I met one of their experts on the Lion program at the Philmont Training Center this past summer.  What is being piloted nationwide this year essentially came out of their Pilot that has been ongoing for many years now.

Edited by meyerc13

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But the current pilot going on in many councils (including mine) is not part of Learning for Life, right?  The kindergartners will be a Lion den in a regular Cub Scout pack, right?

 

On a personal note, as I have said before, I cannot imagine that putting 4 and 5-year-olds in a Cub Scout pack could possibly turn out to be a good idea, except for purposes of making the cash registers sing and ring from here to Irving, TX.  I don't think half the first graders are ready for the Tiger program, so we fix that problem by lowering the age limit by a year?  

 

I hope I'm wrong, since it looks like this program is here to stay...

Edited by NJCubScouter

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On a personal note, as I have said before, I cannot imagine that putting 4 and 5-year-olds in a Cub Scout pack could possibly turn out to be a good idea

 

It is an excellent idea, if implemented properly. In our state they wouldn't be 4 years old for more than a few weeks in August with an early-start school district. Our Pack has strong a Tiger and Lion program, and from what I've heard, Lions is going pretty strong in our Council. The key with Lions is to follow what BSA has told the "pilot" Packs - don't push the younger kids to attend every Pack event. In fact, we specifically discourage them from coming to some events. Don't weaken the program for the older boys to accommodate the younger ones, but at the same time welcome them when it is age-appropriate. Some of our Lions have older brothers in the Pack, and they would end up coming to many of the meetings anyway, just not able to participate. Now, as a Day Camp Director, I'm glad that there isn't a push to have Lions as a rank in Day Camp. Welcome them in our sibling camp, but kids right out of preschool are not age-appropriate for our normal Day Camp activities.

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Thanks for the info! Yes, she is in the Northern Star Council. That's interesting.... glad they did that though before rolling it out nationwide. As a former Cub Scout family that dropped out because of burn-out I too am very skeptical about the Lion program. 

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.... As a former Cub Scout family that dropped out because of burn-out I too am very skeptical about the Lion program. 

 

I was hesitant to reply earlier as I've been very negative toward the Lion program ... for your exact reason.  

 

I've seen many cub scout families burn out, repeatedly.  IMHO, it started with the 1993 addition of Tiger Cubs.  I fear Lion cubs will just accelerate the Cub Scout burn out.  Just think ... before 1993 Cub Scouts was 3.5 years of heavy adult involvement.  Then, add Tigers and it's 4.5 years.  Now with Lions, it's 5.5 years of heavy adult commitment.  

 

Add multiple kids in the same family.  Siblings see the program over and over again before even joining.  So before siblings even joining Cub Scouts, the program is worn out.  Families have too many opportunities these days to keep with a demanding program that will go for another five or more years of repeated activities.  It becomes flat, boring but still requires heavy involvement.  Three years of pinewood derbies might be interesting.  Five years is not.  Eight or ten years is bad.    

 

One reason boy scouts works is each boy scout experiences the program individually.  Experiences are fresh and adult family commitment is light.  Plus, the program keeps evolving.  First years develop skills.  Second and third years work on advancement and independence and leadership.  Senior scouts work on adventure.  It's a continually evolving program.  Not so much for Cub Scouts.  

 

IMHO, lion cubs might prop up members in the short term at the expense of long term program health.

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Actually Tigers came about in August 1981. I remember because I had to wait until 3rd grade to be a Cub Scout, and they introduced this Tiger thing for 2nd graders just as I was finally old enough to be a Cub Scout. Ticked me off to no end. Pre-1989 Tigers was 1 year, then Cubs 3 years for a total of 4. Then  Cub Scouts expanded into a 3.5 year Program and Tigers was a separate 1 year program. 1995 or 1996 was when Tigers were fully incorporated into Cub Scouts and it became a 4.5 year program.

 

I admit, I'm skeptical of Lions. I readily admit after 5 years (3 as a TCDL, 2 as a Wolf DL, 1 as a Bear DL) I was burnt out.

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We had a Lion Den last year: Northern Star Council, Chief Black Dog District.

 

Out of 8 Lions, 1 had an older brother in one of the other dens.  The DL (or guide) had a son in the Bear den.

 

My opinion on the burnout risk is yes, probably, if the parents are the type who get wrapped around the axle over their children's activities and if the leadership tries to structure Lions too much.

 

We just ran it like a play group and loosely followed the book, which made it pretty easy on everyone.  

 

The thing that bothered me: if this was really experimental, why didn't at least the Den Leader get contacted for his input on what worked & what didn't?   That disappointed me.  Did anyone else reading this involved with Lions last year get surveyed?

 

Here's the discussion we had here a few months back: http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/28013-now-arriving-the-return-of-the-lion/page-1

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But the current pilot going on in many councils (including mine) is not part of Learning for Life, right?  The kindergartners will be a Lion den in a regular Cub Scout pack, right?

 

Correct. The current pilot, and the pre-pilot it was based off of (Northern Star Council), are not part of Learning for Life.  Lions will be members of Packs, just like Tigers were back when that program rolled out.

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Actually Tigers came about in August 1981. I remember because I had to wait until 3rd grade to be a Cub Scout, and they introduced this Tiger thing for 2nd graders just as I was finally old enough to be a Cub Scout. Ticked me off to no end. Pre-1989 Tigers was 1 year, then Cubs 3 years for a total of 4. Then  Cub Scouts expanded into a 3.5 year Program and Tigers was a separate 1 year program. 1995 or 1996 was when Tigers were fully incorporated into Cub Scouts and it became a 4.5 year program.

 

I admit, I'm skeptical of Lions. I readily admit after 5 years (3 as a TCDL, 2 as a Wolf DL, 1 as a Bear DL) I was burnt out.

 

Yeah.  It's hard to accurately state how Cub Scouts has twisted and turned Tiger over the years.  Lots of changes that can't be summarized as one simple line.  I still remember in 2000 Tigers were to wear orange t-shirts instead of blue cub scout shirts.  I think even Tiger was transitioning from a friend-of-the-pack to a real rank.

 

- 1982 Tiger introduced (2nd grade)

- 1986 Cub Scouts could register in 2nd grade

- 1993 Pack charters extended to include Tigers ... date I used.  

- 2001 Tiger rank introduced.

 

I don't fully remember the transition for Tigers to become 1st grade ... as 1986 was when Cubs could register in 2nd grade.

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/Parents/About/history.aspx

Edited by fred johnson

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I'd say August 1985 was when Tigers became 1st Graders. Guide on BSA's website is a little off (surprise, surprise) as BSA since when I joined always changes things August 1 of a year with the exception of the new Cub Scout program (changed to coincide with when the Scouts move to the next level) and the new Scout requirements ( calendar year).

 

2001 was when Tigers wore the full blue uniform for the first time. That's a year I will never forget. It was round up season when the Twin Towers were hit.

 

 

Tiger tracks were around since the beginning. First it was solid colored tiger paws, then the cutout paws (which you needed to follow EXACTLY or the paw, and shirt, were totally messed up. Eventually BSA switched to the belt fob and called the beads "Tiger tracks" and the original Tiger Cub badges were stick ons for the belt fob. Then they moved to the pocket and Tiger Cub became a CS rank.

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