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Appliancedude

Blue and Gold, and Lions

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3/4 of the boys in our Lion Den are younger brothers of wolves/bears/webelos.  The parents do not want a separate organization, that meets separately on a different night/location.

That's our case as well. Ok 50%.

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New forum member, 1st post.

 

For my pack's Lion den, I made a name badge for each boy out of a 2-3 inch diameter slice of a tree branch(each boy writes his name on the surface with a sharpie). I thread paracord thru a drilled hole for the necklace and have two knotted strings that hang down for pony beads. Our lions are invited, but not required to attend our pack meetings, most choose to attend. When the rest of the dens receive their achievements, I call up my Lions and give them beads to hang on their necklace to reward them for completing a Lion adventure. I also give them special beads for partipation in pack servive projects, family campouts, etc., again most of my Lions do participate in these optional pack activities.

 

The Lions are very proud of their beads and wear them to all cub events. The added benefit for me and other pack leaders, is that we can see their names and call them by name.

 

For the crossover, I plan to give the boys a Lion patch, available from the scout trading post. I will also make up a certificate for them to commemorate their completion of the Lion program. This is our pack's first Lion den and i want to include some type of recognition for that as well.

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With Lions a thing now available to all Packs we have been debating this. How to work them into various Pack Meetings, which ones, B&G, who will be the Lion Adviser (I think that is the name). While I like the idea in theory of the Kindergarten joining, I mean Daisy Scouts for GS start at Kindergarten, so why not. I'm not sure how realistic it is for our Pack to incorporate them.

 

Is there a good thread on here with ideas for how to start your Lion program?

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This can probably help get you started.

 

https://www.ncacbsa.org/council-committees/membership/lions/

(for some reason, the resources links don't seem to be working)

 

https://newbirthoffreedom.org/lion-guide-and-parent-orientation-video/

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/ppt/LionGuide_ParentOrientation.pptx

 

In general, the Lion scouts will only attend a couple of the pack meetings, not all of them.

The most important thing is to have an experienced Scouter serve as a Lion Guide (not Den Leader) to help the parents coordinate activities and taking turns leading Lion meetings.

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I'm sure the 5th grade boys enjoy the kindergarten boys as much as the seniors in high school like hanging out with the 6th graders when they get to Boy Scouts.

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Scouting is fun and social, which is why we joined in the first place and part of why we're in it still...and increasingly "in" with larger roles as adult leaders. This "Fun with a Purpose" is work for leaders and work for scouts, as they grow from boys into not just men but the men we wish them to become. No one in K is ready for the responsibilities that an older Cub can shoulder, let alone that of teens. Same can be said for the activities, but it's not hard to include the littlest ones.

 

Before we had the Lions pilot, we created our own K scouts group - we had to name it "Seekers" and couldn't call it Cub Scouts, but it was adapted from the Learning for Life BSA program and we carefully chose how it would be run and how the two groups would come together. Between our two packs in town, our leaders and some really strong scouts all came from Seekers. Starting in 1st grade hurts our program as the boys are too involved with sports and other activities by then - starting in K when many families are new to the various programs and activities means that we can more easily show them the value of participating in Scouts.

 

And, part of that value, as we see it, comes from the younger boys following the lead of the older Cubs and that the older Cubs can have the early experience of leadership and being such a role model. During Webelos & AOL years, our boys lead a pack meeting where they show the others (including younger siblings and sisters) knots, lashings, first aid, etc. That they know - and can teach - these skills is something the parents understand that they can't get from travel soccer and piano lessons. (We're so lucky that our Webelos get the skills from Boy Scout leaders and Scouts during many practices over the fall and winter months!!)

 

Our Lions seem to have a good Pack experience - from the PWD to the service projects and our overnight in the park! Count us in as FOR the Lions program...even though it may need to evolve over time.

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Ooops, I'm sorry - I was replying to the replies and missed the point of the original post!

 

We didn't have the Lions perform a skit, but if they choose to do one they can (Dens all do skits at our B&G). Without a patch or scarf, they didn't "move up" as the Cubs did but we did have leaders call their names just as the other dens so they could cross the stage.

 
We incorporate the Lions into pack meetings just as we always did with younger siblings & sisters who attend. They don't participate in the flag ceremonies like cubs but the rest of the program they do. They get PWD kits to make and race like everyone else (our District Derby for the winners had Lions race with Tigers, it seems - both years are sent to race). 
 
Often, we arrange our pack meetings into stations so the boys rotate through activities around the room and we mix the groups by age where it's possible. 
 
The Lions who didn't camp this year still came to eat and run around with the others because our Camp Out (in the local park) is THEIR moving up ceremony. When it gets dark, we give them each their own lantern (from 5Below, but they love it) and they have a procession around the park while the older scouts form an arch with their arms when they return to the pavilion. An older scout sometimes says a few words & the CM presides but it's informal and quite KISMIF. The dads who didn't stay over both said they wished they had and they will next year - but sometimes the parents and the children need to see for themselves before they're "sold". And what's in their tent in future years but that 5Below lantern. My now Webelos son treasures his and he was our first year of Seekers (now Lions) :)
 
I hope that helps you, OP!

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We had 18 Lions in our pack last year and most will become Tiger (18 of our 50 member pack). We had the Tigers attend about half our Pack meetings including the Blue & Gold but kept them out of any overnight activity, PWD and popcorn sales. Those limited pack activities plus their own den meetings seemed to be the right mix of exposing scouting to them without letting the Pack meeting/outings descend into chaos. We saw no impact or loss of our existing Scouts due to adding Lions. One reason I think we are seeing a lot of Lions Is because GSUSA starts at the same age and parents are starting to think about Cub Scouts at the same time. Obviously we don't know the long term retention rate of this group but the first year went well.

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Obviously we don't know the long term retention rate of this group but the first year went well.

 

Glad the program is working.  I always want to hear about year 6.  That's the first boy scout year.  Of those 18 Lions, how many will complete year six.  My bet is on average 5.  Just too much burn-out and re-doing the same thing.  Plus, cub scouts is way way more work for the adults than Boy Scouts.  I'm really amazed at that.  

 

My fear is impact.  The Boy Scout program can have a HUGE impact on kids even if they are in it for just a few years.  I doubt Cub Scouts has the same long lasting impact that Boy Scouts has.   

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Have all the boys line up on either side and have the Lions walk down the middle with lots of congrats, high fives, and 'see ya in Tigers!'.

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My fear is impact.  The Boy Scout program can have a HUGE impact on kids even if they are in it for just a few years.  I doubt Cub Scouts has the same long lasting impact that Boy Scouts has.

 

Agreed. For the most part, attrition seems to come down to our den leaders. Those who have fun and engaging den meetings and outings have actually added heads each year. Our den leaders who have had inconsistent meetings and no den outings have lost members.

 

I like the idea of the high five line and expanding scouting gradually to the younger ones to keep them exited and wanting to come back each year for more. There is definitely a risk that 5-6 years of full Cub scouting is too much for most youth and parents.

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They do have Lion patches. You could create a pinning ceremony with the parents to pin the patch on or you could give each lion a compass and incorporate it into the ceremony and talk about how the compass represents the adventures  they will have with their guide. Kids love compasses.   

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Our Lions were allowed to do any pack activity they wanted to. We didn't expect them to fundraise, but one boy did go to a show and sell at the church. It didn't hurt sales for the congregation to see a little guy in his Lion shirt! We enjoyed the program and will continue it this year.

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