Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JTM_150

Who takes Den when there is no leader?

Recommended Posts

I am the Assistant Cubmaster for my sons pack.  Unfortunately our Tiger leader became our Wolf Leader.  We have yet to find a replacement and our first meeting of the year is tomorrow night.  Luckily we have recruited 29 new boys this year and we hope to find a volunteer.  Until we do, who takes over the Den?  I've been told that it will fall on me, which is fine, but

      1.   I can't find any guidelines to this situation, and

      2.   My understanding is that a volunteer cannot hold multiple positions. 

 

I'd prefer to not become the permanent Tiger Den Leader as a possible change in employment may hinder my ability to attend weekly meetings, hence the reason i chose ACM instead.

Edited by RememberSchiff
more readable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

29 new boys? All tigers? You need two DLs!

So, even if you could fudge the paperwork, you could only be one of them.

You need to lay it on the line with the parents. For this to work, a couple of them have to run point and the rest of them have to regale those two with flowers and chocolate.

There are perks. Not the least of which is a decade or two from now, some very fine young men will think the world of you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only thing that is on you is to identify which parent(s) of the Tigers will be the Den Leader(s). If you have 29 boys, that is at least 4 dens worth (if all the same rank). 

 

Bring the Tiger Den Leader's Guide to the meeting. Have another leader take the boys and do something fun with them away from the parents, and then sit the parents down and explain to them that Scouts is a volunteer organization, and just like a team needs a coach, a Den needs a leader. Now, for Tigers it is a bit different. A Tiger needs to have an Akela at each meeting. There are no "drop offs" for Tigers. Make sure the parents understand that. 

 

Show them the Den Leader Guide. It is a good "cookbook" on how to run a Den. Point them to online Den Leader training resources (or even better, live training if possible). Ask them if anyone has an older boy in scouting. With 29, surely there are a few. Don't give them an out, tell them "I need X Den Leaders to step forward", and don't give them too much time to think about it. You or another experienced Scouter should be there to support each Den Leader - that is the job of the ACM. Don't set the precedent of doing their "job" for them.

 

After being an experienced Scouter in a number of other roles for three years, I just finished one year as a DL. It takes some time to "learn the program" (training), but once you do, being a DL really should only take 1-2 hours per week outside of Den/Pack meeting time.

Edited by sierracharliescouter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the replies.  

 

Fortunately the 29 were not all Tigers lol. We have 12 Tigers total and so far we have had one parent agree to be Assistant DL and a returning parent say she would help as much as possible but does not want to be the DL. Our next meeting is Thursday and we should have a few more of the Tigers in attendance as last week we had a school Skate Night that some chose to go to instead.  I will continue to stress the importance of an Akela and explain to them that with Tigers you are never alone as the parents are required to stay.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... we have had one parent agree to be Assistant DL ...

 

Then have that "Assistant" lay out a calendar of den meeting dates and assign one date to each parent.  Ask that parent to find a place and advancement related item for their meeting.  The assistant can coordinate everyone else running the den.

Edited by fred johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I had a dollar for every time I asked for a parents or leaders to volunteer for a position!

 

My suggestion would be - think about those parents you know already in the den. Pick the three you think would do a good job. Then ask them each directly. Don't ask them if they'd like to be the den leader, but ask them if they can take it on.

 

Also - don't be afraid to ask someone you li me several times. Somewhere I heard a statistic that the average volunteer will day no 3 times before they say yes.

 

I like this approach because it helps you find the best person for a role, not just whoever is willing to volunteer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a few years of the reluctant Tiger parents with no leader.

 

One year, I was one phone call away from changing gears to let them all know the den was dissolving.

 

After asking a few times with no luck, I ended up setting up a den meeting and lead it myself, as an example.  I was CM at the time.  I ran a den meeting, tried to make it fun and also show an example of how it plays out....

 

I really tried to stress the shared leadership of the den with these parents in followup conversations... a scout parent pair would take the meeting for the week or all for the month and do most of the work.  So the Den Leader would just be their over seeing....and doing a bit of coordination... but somebody has to be registered and trained.

 

I think it was my last call, working through the list of parents to follow up and ask them to step up, I had a dad say, yeah he was thinking about calling me.  he reluctantly did it. 

 

he was a good guy, but that den really struggled.  they met very infrequently and dwindled down to just two scouts I think....  I tried all sorts of things to encourage more frequent meetings....and several times suggested that he and the wolf den merge into a shared meeting format.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

""The Work Is Done By Whoever Shows Up""    **Sigh**   Lots of folks (I have a hard time calling some "parent")  are sick with the "Soccer Syndrome".

Symptoms:  Desire to drop kid off and come back in three hours. Desire that kid become "good citizen" under tutelage of somebody else. ANYBODY else.

 

How to combat this? I 'm not sure if anyone can.  There is a fear that , now that I have a child, I will be unworthy/unable/unskilled/not knowledgeable enough to BE a parent.   If you can only get the parent to participate , with the kid, (that's one of the ideas of the Tiger/parent pairing . yes ?) , on a Cub activity, they will see how easy it really is, and how much FUN it really is...

 

I had the Nature Pavilion at CSDC one summer. One day, we talk about Leave No Trace.  I set the Cubs up with their Buddy, and send them out on a short hike:  Go straight out THAT way 100 paces, turn left, walk THAT way 25 paces, turn left and walk back to the pavilion, and pickup ANYTHING that God didn't put there. Boy , did we get  a pile of trash.  In the mean time, the adult "DenWalkers" stay behind and sometimes we talk about Scouting.  One hour, this lady was on her cell phone the whole time:  "I can't believe the work I will have on MONDAY !! Why couldn't someone ELSE do this?? Teddy doesn't need me all day ? It's so...  " and she went on, oblivious to everyone else... It was sad, I couldn't break in....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are a fairly new den, but each year we have an initial Pack meeting for new scouts and their families.  Our Wolf and Bear DLs take the boys outside for a game that teaches them the Cub Scout Sign, handshake, etc.  The CM and the Webelos DLs talk to the parents about Scouting.   And then we tell them we can only have a Tiger Den if one of you agrees to be the Den Leader.

 

Then their sons come back in, thrilled with all their new knowledge and excited about Scouts.  And then we let the Tiger Den parents sort it out.  And one always volunteers and the rest agree to help that person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are a fairly new den, but each year we have an initial Pack meeting for new scouts and their families.  Our Wolf and Bear DLs take the boys outside for a game that teaches them the Cub Scout Sign, handshake, etc.  The CM and the Webelos DLs talk to the parents about Scouting.   And then we tell them we can only have a Tiger Den if one of you agrees to be the Den Leader.

 

Then their sons come back in, thrilled with all their new knowledge and excited about Scouts.  And then we let the Tiger Den parents sort it out.  And one always volunteers and the rest agree to help that person.

 

That's how I was taught too.  One challenge is they need to all join at the same "join" event.  If they trickle in, then it's an issue to get them all together at once.  Plus they start participating or waiting to participate more.  Once in that mode, it's hard to change whether they agree to be a leader.   With the join all at once, it's the right thing to say pick a leader.  If no one steps up ... which I've never seen ..., then it's not a den the pack wants.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Symptoms:  Desire to drop kid off and come back in three hours. 

 

 

I've been involved in Cub Scouts for years now, I really think that the "drop off" mode is not so bad if the parents really don't plan to be involved.  I'd rather have that than have them in the back of the room hiding or on their phone.

 

The challenge I see now is Cubs starts so young now that the cub has yet to learn basic personal skills to exist without their parent.  And the den leader does not have the herding skill of a kindergarten or 1st grade teacher.  IMHO, it's a reflection of starting cubs too young.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If no one wants to be Tiger DL, why have a den?  Even one does corral someone into the job, will it be done correctly or reluctantly?  Are they going to take the training?

 

Instead of a sloppy, half-done job why not hold of on the DL-less den until someone steps up and wants to take on the job.  There's nothing written anywhere that says all Cub Packs have to have all ages represented. 

 

I would think it more beneficial to send all the boys over to another pack where they are more likely to get a quality program from someone who wants to be a DL.

 

If parents want to play brinkmanship, play it better than them.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  There's nothing written anywhere that says all Cub Packs have to have all ages represented. 

 

I would think it more beneficial to send all the boys over to another pack where they are more likely to get a quality program from someone who wants to be a DL.

 

 

 

While the first statement is true, I find with a large pack (50+) that when we have one rank with low numbers (as we do currently), this creates a weakness in the continuity of the Pack. 

 

Conversely, we've also received several cubs from other packs where there was very low enrollment in a rank, and they opted to the send the boys to us as we are one of the strongest Packs in the area. I never feel comfortable doing this, as I know the other Pack is badly weakened when this happens, but it is the best option to get *that boy* a good scouting experience.

 

This also ends up as a battle for our DE in charge of membership, as he wants to be getting new units created, while at the same time we have units that aren't that far away geographically struggling to survive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1993, I was doing my Woodbadge ticket.  I went back to Webelos and transitioned boys from Cubs to Scouts.  Trouble is, I had to go back 2 years to pull it off.  Strong Pack and strong Troop, but NO Webelos II boys that year.

 

That was 25 years ago.  Things are no different today than back then.  Some years one is going to have okay numbers, the next, a total void.  It happens and it's not the end of the world, or pack for that matter.  The only thing that does matter is making sure the boys get a good Cub Scout experience.  If that means some coming to your pack and vice versa, so be it.  It's for the boys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...