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beaglelover

Den Chief Responsibilities

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I am looking for some information about the role of a Den Chief.  The kiddo just ranked up to Webelos and a Den Chief joined the den before they went to webelos camp. The Den Chief is the older child of the Den Leader.  

While at webelos camp, it appears that the Den Chief may have "inspected" the cub scouts tents, including going through their footlockers/bags, while the cubs were out of camp at programming.  I have not been able to confirm this yet, but I wanted to inform myself first.  Is this a normal Den Chief responsibility?  For background, most cubs had a parent staying at camp as well (was strongly encouraged that a parent attend--most were not registered BSA leaders).  They had an initial inspection by the Den Chief while the boys were there that included picking up and the like but not going though their stuff.  It then appears the Den Chief came back and went through at least the boys stuff when they were out of camp (it is not clear if he also inspected the adults stuff, he tried to inspect the adults at the same time he did the first inspection of the boys, but was told no by several parents).  

I do not know if he was by himself or with another adult (when he did the first inspection while they were in camp, he was alone).  I do not know if it was at the Den Leaders direction, but I know it was not at the direction of the Cubmaster.  I really don't have much in terms of details.  But is this a typical thing, for a Den Chief, or Den Leader, to go though Cub Scout's possessions at camp without notifying or informing the scouts or their parents?  

 

 

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No, its not a typical function of a Den Chief to rummage through others' personal belongings. The role of a Den Chief is to assist the Den Leader as directed, and to serve as a role model, resource and leader for the cubs in the den. 

What was the purported purpose of this "inspection?" I'd certainly expect a Den Chief to help educate the cubs and parents on suggested equipment to pack for an outdoor trip, as well as to provide some guidance to help make sure tents are setup properly and safely. But that shouldn't involve going through personal equipment without permission.

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I don't recommend having a sibling of Cub Scout in the Den as the Den Chief, unless there is an exceptionally good sibling relationship. I also wouldn't have a Den Chief that is less than three years older than Cubs in the Den. The purpose is to have someone to help lead, not another participant. It can work, I've seen it work reasonably well, but the older Scout needs to take it seriously.

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Here are a couple BSA links on the duties and responsibilities of Den Chiefs:

https://troopleader.scouting.org/den-chief/

https://www.scouting.org/training/youth/den-chief-training/

What was the purpose of these inspections?  Were they looking for anything in particular?  General tidiness of campsites is one thing.  Rummaging through other people's belongings is something else.  Did the Den Leader instruct the Den Chief to conduct these inspections?  Or did the Den Chief decide to do them on his own?

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I am not sure what the purpose of this inspection was, but I would assume looking for "contraband", the Den Chief had already inspected for cleanliness earlier when the cub scouts were present.  Neither the Den Leader or Den Chief have confirmed that the belongings were gone through, but they also have not been asked yet.  My son and his tent mate approached my spouse saying they thought someone had gone through their stuff, and then later reported the younger sibling  of the Den Chief confirmed to them that he went through their stuff while out of camp. I realize this is hardly concrete evidence, but it is enough that it has me questioning what happened.    I don't know if the adult's stuff was gone through because my spouse's trunk was locked and we have not spoken to other parents at camp.  

Before I start asking questions, I wanted to get a frame of reference.  Is it typical for a Den Leader to instruct a Den Chief to do these inspections? Is it typical for them to do it on their own? Is in typical to inspect parents tents & stuff?  Is it typical to bypass the parents even when they are present for these inspections?

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I cannot see a reason for a Den Chief to enter a Cub tent or adult tent (except family). Even as an adult I would not do this without another adult present, even if the tents are known to be empty.

See the earlier post that links to descriptions and the purpose and role of the Den Chief.

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10 hours ago, beaglelover said:

Before I start asking questions, I wanted to get a frame of reference.  Is it typical for a Den Leader to instruct a Den Chief to do these inspections? Is it typical for them to do it on their own? Is in typical to inspect parents tents & stuff?  Is it typical to bypass the parents even when they are present for these inspections?

No, nothing about being a den chief should involve this.

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