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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cubbing 101: The Den Leader

I know there were a lot of different adults involved in my scouting life, but none that I remember the same way I remember my Den Leader.  While the Den Leader may be the "bottom rung" on the Scout Committee food chain, it is still a vital ole.  They are the people volunteering their time, their home, and in many cases their pocket books to your son's every week.  Many new Den Leaders find it overwhelming at first, but the new Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide makes that very easy.  It's far more structural and advancement oriented than it's predecessor, Cub Scout Program Helps, and mirrors something that have been around informally, Cub Scout Fast Tracks.  To help get you started here is a short job description of the Den Leader.

Qualifications: Is at least 21 years old, subscribes to the Declaration of Religious Principle, and agrees to abide by the Scout Oath or Promise and the Scout Law. Possesses the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. Should be interested in and enjoy working with boys and be able to work with adults. May be a parent or guardian of a boy in the den. Recommended by the Cubmaster after consultation with parents and guardians of the Cub Scouts involved, and approved by the pack committee and chartered organization. Registered as an adult leader of the BSA.
Responsibilities: The Cub Scout den leader's responsibilities are to
  • Give leadership in carrying out the pack program in the den.
  • Complete Cub Scout den leader Fast Start Training and position-specific Basic Leader Training. Attend monthly roundtables.
  • Lead the den in its participation at pack meetings. Serve as �den host or hostess for den family members at pack meetings.
  • Work in harmony with other den and pack leaders.
  • Help the Cubmaster (or assistant Cubmaster) and pack committee recruit new boys throughout the year.
  • Help train the den chief and guide him in working with Cub Scouts. See that he receives recognition for his efforts at den and pack meetings.
  • Attend the monthly den chief planning meeting for den leaders, assistant den leaders, and den chiefs.
  • With the assistant den leader, meet with the den chief and let him help plan den meetings and den activities; allow him to serve as den activities assistant.
  • Provide meaningful jobs for the denner and assistant denner so that they can learn responsibility and gain satisfaction from their efforts.
  • Use Boys' Life and Scouting magazines, Cub Scout Program Helps, the boys' handbooks, and other Cub Scouting literature as sources for program ideas.
  • Collect weekly den dues and turn them in to the pack treasurer at the monthly pack leaders' meetings. Keep accurate records of den dues and attendance.
  • Maintain a friendly relationship with Cub Scouts; encourage them to earn advancement awards. Keep accurate advancement records and see that boys receive recognition for their achievements.
  • Stimulate the Cub Scouts' imaginations on the program theme for the month and help the den prepare its stunts and exhibits for the pack meeting.
  • Promote the religious emblems program.
  • Help the den and pack earn the National Summertime Pack Award.
  • Help establish a close working relationship with the assistant den leader and den chief, functioning as a den leadership team.
  • Develop and maintain a good working relationship and open communication with den families. Use their talents to help enrich the den program. Hold den adults' meetings as often as needed to get acquainted with family members and strengthen den operation.
  • Involve den fathers, uncles, and grandfathers in outings and other den activities so that boys will have additional male role models.
  • See that a leader is available for all den meetings and activities. Call on the assistant den leader to fill in when necessary.
  • Take part in the annual pack program planning conference and pack leaders' meetings.
  • Help set a good example for the boys through behavior, attitude, and proper uniforming.
  • Support the policies of the BSA.
For more info Click here to download the "So You're a New Den Leader Brochure"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cubbing 101: The Pack Committee - Committee Chair

This is Part 2 of the series of blog posts I am running on the Pack Committee to help new parents understand everyone's job responsibility within the unit. 

For our pack, our Committee Chair is also my wife which works out very well.  I suppose this works out because just like at home, she's the real boss.  She organizes the parents, leaders, and is the liason with the charter organization.  Here is a summary of qualifications taken from the BSA Website

Qualifications: Is at least 21 years old, subscribes to the Declaration of Religious Principle, and agrees to abide by the Scout Oath or Promise and the Scout Law. Possesses the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. Is appointed by the chartered organization and registered as an adult leader of the BSA. Is a person of good character, familiar with organization procedures, with a deep concern for the pack's success. Preferably is a member of the chartered organization, respected in the community, who shows the willingness and ability to be the Cubmaster's chief adviser.
Responsibilities: The pack committee chair's job is to
  • Maintain a close relationship with the chartered organization representative, keeping this key person informed of the needs of the pack that must be brought to the attention of the organization or the district.
  • Report to the chartered organization to cultivate harmonious relations.
  • Confer with the Cubmaster on policy matters relating to Cub Scouting and the chartered organization.
  • Supervise pack committee operation by
    1. Calling and presiding at pack leaders' meetings.
    2. Assigning duties to committee members.
    3. Planning for pack charter review, roundup, and reregistration.
    4. Approving bills before payment by the pack treasurer.
  • Conduct the annual pack program planning conference and pack leaders' meetings.
  • Complete pack committee Fast Start Training and Basic Leader Training for the position.
  • Ask the committee to assist with recommendations for Cubmaster, assistant Cubmasters, Tiger Cub den leaders, Cub Scout den leaders, and Webelos den leaders, as needed.
  • Recognize the need for more dens, and see that new dens are formed as needed.
  • Work with the chartered organization representative to provide adequate and safe facilities for pack meetings.
  • Cooperate with the Cubmaster on council-approved money-earning projects so the pack can earn money for materials and equipment.
  • Manage finances through adequate financial records.
  • Maintain adequate pack records and take care of pack property.
  • If the Cubmaster is unable to serve, assume active direction of the pack until a successor is recruited and registered.
  • Appoint a committee member or other registered adult to be responsible for Youth Protection training.
  • Provide a training program for adult family members.
  • Develop and maintain strong pack-troop relationships, sharing with the troop committee the need for graduations into the troop.
  • Work closely with the unit commissioner and other pack and troop leaders in bringing about a smooth transition of Webelos Scouts into the troop.
  • Help bring families together at joint activities for Webelos dens (or packs) and Boy Scout troops.
  • Support the policies of the BSA.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cubbing 101: The Pack Committee - Cubmaster

We have several new members to our pack and one of the moms was asking me about who does what.  Sometimes I think we as scouters forget what it was like as a new parent.  I've been in the program since I was a boy so I know how things are supposed to look, even if I don't always know right away how to implement them. 

So for your benefit as well as mine I will start with my position, and gradually post all of them.  Who knows, maybe I will learn something too. 

A Cubmaster is a man or woman at least 21 years old, subscribes to the Declaration of Religious Principle, and agrees to abide by the Scout Oath or Promise and the Scout Law. Possesses the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. Does not need to be an expert in all Cub Scout activities but should be a leader who is able to communicate well with adults as well as boys. Should be able to delegate responsibilities and set a good example through behavior, attitude, and uniform. Should believe in the values and purposes of Cub Scouting. Preferably a member of the chartered organization. Selected and appointed by the pack committee with the approval of the chartered organization, and registered as an adult leader of the BSA.

The Pack program is planned by the Pack Committee, but the Cubmaster conducts the program. A typical list of responsibilities includes:
  • Deliver a quality, fun, year-round program to the Cub Pack
  • Conduct the program according to BSA policies
  • Receive the appropriate training, including Cubmaster specific training
  • Attend monthly Cub Scout Roundtables, to receive information about district and council policies and programs
  • Carry out the Pack program with the support of the Pack Committee, including leading monthly pack meetings
  • Carry out the goals of the chartering organization within the Pack program
  • Work with the Pack Committee to recruit adult leadership
  • Work with the Pack Committee to develop the Pack budget
  • Guide, support, motivate, and inspire the other adult leaders. Make sure they receive training for their positions.
  • Encourage the Pack Den Leaders to work toward Cub Scout Leader awards
  • Encourage Webelos to cross over to a Boy Scout Troop
  • Communicate with parents about the Pack program and help to educate them about the Cub Scout program
  • Encourage family participation in the Cub Scout program
  • Encourage the Pack to participate in service projects
  • Work with the Assistant Cubmasters, delegating as necessary
  • Attend and participate in Pack Committee planning meetings
  • Recruit Den Chiefs to assist the Pack Den Leaders
  • Incorporate traditional Scouting elements, such as flag ceremonies, skits, and songs, into the Pack program
  • Encourage advancement and recognize Cub Scouts when they advance
  • Coordinating the total Cub Scout program for the pack.
Sources for this article include

BSA Official Website

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A fun activity for all ages - Edible Campfires

As I've mentioned before, we are a relatively new pack.  We haven't even been through our first recharter yet.  We have about a dozen active boys, so when we meet it is more like an uber-den, rather than several different dens.  While that set is rather cozy and we've all become close over the last few months, it can make planning group activities difficult.

We tried this activity at our last den meeting and it worked well at all the levels.  A special thanks goes out to Scouter Mom for the idea.  I'm not sure if she came up with it, but she was the last one to post it!

Edible Campfires

  • Pretzel rods
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Chow mein noodles
  • Shredded wheat, shredded (the full size type works better than the spoon size)
  • Candy corn
  • Red hots
  • Yellow, orange, and red fruit rollups, cut into small strips
  • Paper plates
  1. Using the pretzel rods as logs, pretzel sticks and chow mein noodles as sticks, and shredded wheat as tinder, arrange the ingredients like you are building a fire on the paper plate.
  2. “Light” the fire by adding candy corn, red hots, and bits of fruit rollups
  3. Enjoy!
CLICK HERE for a printable version

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A fun song idea from our last Blue and Gold.  Special thanks to for re-posting it.


Who lives in a tent in the woods by the sea?
Strong Bob Scout Pants!
Courageous and loyal and honest is he.
Strong Bob Scout Pants!

Camping and hiking and hunting for fish.
Strong Bob Scout Pants!
Do your best, learn new things, earn the badges you wish.
Strong Bob Scout Pants!
Strong Bob Scout Pants!
Strong Bob Scout Pants!


At the end whistle while you 'pretend' to play your nose and end with the scout salute.
CommentTo the tune of “SpongeBob Square Pants”

Words written by Paul Bowman,
A Webelos scout with Pack 531 in Upper Providence PA

What A Great Blue and Gold!

We had a great Blue and Gold Banquet on Friday!  As many already know, the Blue and Gold is the celebration by the Cub Scouts of the birthday of Scouting.  As we move into the 101st year of scouting I am amazed at the history I am allowed to be a part of.

For our B&G I had an opening game planned with balloons, but apparently as it turns out when you turn a group of boys loose on an unsuspecting bag of balloons they tend to figure it out and have fun all by themselves.

Then we had our local FOS (Friends of Scouting) chair Tom speak to us.  I kicked in my part, and as a unit we exceeded our final goal of $500.  We were at 109% by the end of the night. That was a good start, but then we had the bake sale/auction.  It was the first time I had MC'd an auction like that but it worked out.  We made some money for our pack.  We also awarded the den leaders with some awards and the boys surprised me with a fun thank you card.  Then we handed out some of the boys awards, two got an advancement towards ranks bead, and one got his bobcat, complete with warpaint.

We sang a song called StrongBob ScoutPants  (to the tune of Sponegebob Squarepants).  I think the parents got as big a kick out of that one as the kids.  To top off the evening, my wife surprised the boys by wrapping "gift boxes" as the centerpieces, but instead of just empty boxes they were actually toys small toys, and each boy got one.

There was, fun, games, songs, and prizes.  It was a good night.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's going to be a great year!

Hi there, and thanks for stopping by my blog!  Let me tell you a little about myself.  My name is Dave and I'm a Cubmaster here in Southern California.  Like many of us I was sort of volun-told into the position, but I intend to make the best possible program for the boys.  Of course I can't do it alone.  Thankfully I have some wonderful parents participating this year who are really dedicated, despite the fact that none of them have much prior scouting experience.

I started in scouting way back before the turn of the century in 1988 as a Fourth Grade Webelos Scout.  I learned a lot from Mr. S, my den leader.  I continued on to earn my Arrow of light, and move into Boy Scouting.  I advanced through Tenderfoot, Second Class, then First Class.  I had even served as a Patrol Leader for a brief period of time.  I didn't realize it then, but I was learning some valuable skills.  I was working on my Star and Life requirements when I dropped out.  I let other social concerns distract me.  This is one of my greatest regrets in life. 

Then in 2000 at the age of 21 I got my second chance.  My oldest boy turned six (for those of you who are really good at math, yes he was my step-son) and started the First grade.  Right away I enrolled him in the local Cub Scout Pack.  We had a pretty good program and I volunteered the next year as the Wolf Den Leader.  I figured why not?  The Cubmaster told me I needed to go take this class called New Leader Essentials and Fast Start Training so I could get started as a Den Leader.  I went to the class and sitting there across the table leading the discussion was Mr. S, my old Webelos Leader.  I couldn't help but smile.  That's when it hit me, he was a lifer, and so was I.  Of course he knew exactly who I was right away.  He smiled and said "Welcome back."

After a few years with that first pack we moved to the other side of town and my now Webelos-age son started going to my old elementary school.  After some conversations with our old pack and my family, we made the decision to put our boy in the pack chartered by the school's PTA, so he would have the opportunity to make friends closer to him.  After we got him signed up I realized that this pack he would bridge from into scouts was my old cub scout pack.  I had come full circle, and my son was a Webelos scout in my old pack.  I was very proud watching him get his Arrow of Light that next year.  Was this how my own Dad had felt?  I wondered.

Now I live in a new town and my younger son is a Wolf and also a founding member of our brand new pack, founded during the BSA's Centennial year.  I hope our small pack grows and sustains long enough for my son to one day bring his boys back, even if it's just for a visit, and say "Look boys at what my Dad and I helped build, when I was your age."