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WisconsinMomma

Den with no leadership - part 2

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Hi Scouters,

So we have a Bear den that currently has no leadership.  Our Committee Chair is helping the Bear Den, and I am helping the Bear Den.  But we need the Bear den to help themselves!!  

The committee chair has made a meeting schedule with topics

I helped the Bear Den with activities on the Fall Camping trip and spent the weekend running the kids through activities (parents tagged along).

They just don't have a leader.  

Some candidates, but no one has stepped up:

1. A guy who tried to be den leader but it just didn't work, he struggled.  He now is working more hours and we've given him the role Assistant Den Leader.  

2.  A guy who travels a ton and isn't around much.  His wife is our new COR and summer activities chair.

3. One dad I thought was helpful. I think he's a good candidate

4. One dad a committee member thinks is interested but his kid is very very shy and seems young developmentally.  This kid sits out a lot and observes.  

We talked about recruiting someone our Fall Camping but I did not get that job done. We got home yesterday. When I'm working with the kids I don't have time to make relationships with the parents. 

We need to do the next steps to figure out how to get this den to stand on its own feet.  I am willing to help, but I am not going to run this den all year and our Committee Chair helps with the Lions and she does a LOT already.  

Plus, in a little over a year the CC and I are moving out of Cubs and we can't leave a burdon on the people behind us.

We are thinking of parting the job out to different parents.  If the parents don't want to put in the effort, then they don't get a den, isn't that right?  

Where would you put the line of -- OK, no leaders, no den, on them?   It's probably about now.  I'd like my role to be something like -- if you need coaching on how to do something, call or email me.  We have a Bear Leader handbook and it has all the info! 

 

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I have taken over dens with no leader.

I made sure all the boys had a book. 

I would bring fun stuff for the boys to do with their hands and have several fun and active games for the boys to play.

I would make the meetings fun and relaxed,  just a group of dads and moms just having fun with their boys.

The boys would spend a lot of the time talking and interacting with one another while we did what ever we were doing. That was key to the boys having fun.

I would point out to the parents that we are doing this thing here from the book, on this page.

I would always be super cheerful and kind with everybody and make a point of having fun.

I made it look easy and fun,  because it really is.

I would drop a little hint, just one time.  "You know being a Den Leader is super easy and fun, if any of the parents here would like to take over I would be happy to had over the position of Den Leader to one of you. I will help you any time you need help with something."

With in 2 months I always had a Dad or Mom ask to take over has Den Leader. 

. . . and they always did a great job,  because they wanted to do it and their heart was in it, and I showed them how to be a good leader.

(I was training them to lead by example and in kindness)

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6 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

... 4. One dad a committee member thinks is interested but his kid is very very shy and seems young developmentally.  This kid sits out a lot and observes.  ...

Before throwing in the blue neckerchief, I'd look at this guy. A dark horse, maybe, but maybe his son will get more out of the program if he helps dad prepare meetings.

I heard from the Cubmaster that the new bear program is a bit of a grind. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but he said it felt a lot more like school. I encouraged him that if that's the case, no one would fault him for dropping advancement having the boys pick their favorite activities from the book and going at them full tilt.

Can the troop give you a Den Chief for this den?

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

I heard from the Cubmaster that the new bear program is a bit of a grind. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but he said it felt a lot more like school. I encouraged him that if that's the case, no one would fault him for dropping advancement having the boys pick their favorite activities from the book and going at them full tilt.

 

Looking at the current requirements for Bear, I don't understand this?  A lot of it can be done outside, and a lot of it is "hands on" (building stuff with tools, Whittling Chip, etc.)   Maybe he's following the Bear Den Leader Guide meeting plans too closely?  They are only intended to serve as ideas / suggestions -- not the one and only way to run the den meetings.

http://usscouts.org/advance/cubscout/bear-core.asp#claws

http://usscouts.org/advance/cubscout/bear-elective.asp

Edited by Thunderbird
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Is it really a den without a leader?

I mean, at some point you're going to have to be pretty blatant about it.: Either someone steps up and into the DL role or there isn't a den.

It isn't fair to the leaders attempting to help out in the interim nor to the boys/roles they are supposed to be attending to. Let's face it, it's pretty obvious by now that as long as they don't NEED to, nobody will volunteer to be DL. Unfortunately you have to force their hand. Will it get you the optimum, an enthusiastic and committed leader? Probably not, but you don't have that currently, either.

If nobody does, disband the den and devote your resources to those that are willing to provide their time and effort. Maybe they'll come to their sense for the next year. Or better, before you have to dissolve their den.

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Yes,  I think we are getting to that point.  Our Committee Chair made a meeting schedule and outlines for them, and all it needs is for some of the Bear parents to now run the meetings and schedule.  It is time for a hand off and let them struggle a bit and see who steps up.  I know that some of the parents have been directly asked, but I am not sure that all of the parents have been directly asked.

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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We had some success one year where the DL took out the calendar and figured out that there were 26 den meetings in a year and that there were 20 requirements that have to get done.  She called a parents meeting on den meeting.  At the meeting she had the Cubmaster spend an hour with the boys.  While that was going on she brought the calendar and the list of requirements to the parents and told them "I need each of you to sign up to teach two activities."

What I learned from that experience is that a being a den leader is not about the drudgery of planning field trips or coming up with crafts or games.  It's about looking at each requirement and saying - what's the most fun way I can think of to spend 30 minutes on that with the boys.  When I realized that, being a den leader wasn't so scary.

 

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