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Parent guide for den meetings.
Remember, Pack 395 has no paid leaders. All leadership duties are shared among
the parents, even working parents. We are in this together.
Your son's den leader does his/her best to provide a good program. We believe that
den leaders deserve help setting up the meetings. Otherwise, organizing meetings
week after week can become hard. We all should take turns in providing the
activities of the meeting. Pack 395 does not rotate den leader positions, but it
encourages taking turns organizing the den activities.
Since you are a parent, you are as much an expert on children as even paid cub
scouters would be. All you need to know in addition are some little tweaks how to
make it "cub-scout"ish...
Den meetings typically have 5 parts
Structuring the meeting this way should help you; if it hinders you, simply change it.
Gathering period The boys don't arrive all at the exact same time. We have to
provide an activity for the boys who come early since we can't start the main
program before a majority arrives.
Opening ceremony The opening and closing ceremonies make the meeting more
formal. The boys know when the meeting starts and stops. Your den might do the
den yell, you might do a flag ceremony, or, say the cub scout promise. Don't forget:
the boys do not serve the ceremony, but the ceremony is for the boys.
Work on achievements Use the boy's hand-book. Make this fun. But don't fill the
whole meeting with processing the book.
Games, other fun thing to do Do some activity the children like.
Closing ceremony The meeting "formally" ends. Many den's add a snack time after
the closing ceremony; that's up to you.
Take an outing from time to time. Don't forget: activities involving travel need a tour
permit.
Belt loops and certain patches can be awarded in the den. Make awards a part of
either the opening or the closing ceremony. A den meeting is mostly activity; leave
lengthy ceremonies for pack meetings.
You or the den leader might plan a time when the children are busy and the parents
can do some talking.
Don't hesitate to ask your den leader or the cubmaster for help on what to do. Your
den leader might have some scouting literature and good ideas. The cubmaster
certainly has tons of literature, or if not will happily get it for you.
The youth protection rules require us to provide "two-deep" leadership. The second
person doesn't need to be a registered leader but can be a parent or relative of a
boy at least 18 years old. But even more important, two adults make organizing any
meeting much easier.
Exception to requirement for two-deep leadership: while driving it is allowed
to have a single adult in the car, if there are at least two children. (Of course
there are no restriction on driving alone with your own child).
Note that this is a pack proposal, but it really is up to the den leader how den
meetings are handled.
BOBCAT
This is the very first rank that EVERY boy MUST earn when entering Cub Scouts. The
purpose is to instill in the new Cub Scout, the 8 "tracks" or basic tenets of Cub
Scouting.
WOLF
Wolf cubs must complete 12 tracks to earn the Wolf badge. During their work at home
and in the den, they earn beads as evidence that they are "progressing toward rank."
Once they earn the Wolf badge, they can earn arrow point badges.
BEAR
Like Wolves, Bears too must complete 12 tracks, but they can select from a total of
24. These achievements are categorized into God, Country, Family and Self sections.
They receive "progress toward rank" beads and can earn arrow points once they are
awarded the Bear badge.
WEBELOS
These older Cub Scouts prepare for the transition into Boy Scouts. They earn activity
badge pins in up to 20 activity areas that introduce them to a myriad of career
possibilities. More independence is evidenced as the boys complete most of their
activities in the den setting. Besides the Webelos badge and activity pins, these boys
strive to earn the Arrow of Light badge, Cub Scouting's highest honor.