Hints and Tips For New Cub Scout Leaders
Below are some tips you will need to consider if you are a new Scout Leader, or considering that possibility. Scouting just isn’t for the kids, it takes an active parent in scouting and you need parents help at the meetings to share their own wealth that they bring to the table. So if you are a parent, please consider being an active part of scouting, this way you get input on planned activities and input on the Packs workings and most of all, you get to have fun! So, either grin and take what comes with the program or be there and be involved with the Pack. Did I fail to mention that you also get to wear a cool uniform?
- Plan your meetings far enough ahead to allow time to gather materials needed, I like being prepared into the future so if something happens that I can’t control, the den meeting will happen even if I can’t be there.
- Set goals that you want to accomplish during the year, then set out and make them come true.
- One more time, Outline your program for the year and plan ahead to involve as many parents as possible, from pre meeting activities to handing out notes at the end, it’s all about teamwork.
- To make it sink in, plan each meeting ahead of time. You might find it valuable to plan next weeks meeting after just completing a meeting just to keep your thought processes flowing.
- Always have a plan B, each group will be different and activities that captivate one den may bore another, and when they get bored they get rowdy quick. If it rains and you are planning outdoor activities you are putting an unnecessary jam on yourself, and that’s the last thing you need. If they are showing signs of boredom drop the activity right away and go to plan B, this way, you will rarely have discipline problems.
- If you plan an outdoor activity, like I just mentioned, always have an indoor alternate planned just in case it rains.
- Transitions from one activity to the next are easiest. For example, begin with opening ceremonies that reinforce the values of Scouting (boring) then go to advancement activities (less boring but not as much fun as games which come next) and that is games, after games go to snack time (they are always willing to stop what they are doing for snack!). Use the fact that they have their hands full and their mouths full as the best opportunity for announcements and reminders. Direct announcements to the parents so they hear the the topics and reminders because telling younger scouts can be a waste of breath. It also helps to keep those impatient parents from grabbing their Scout and leaving before the closing ceremony is over since they understand that they should not take their child away during announcements.
- Don’t try to carry all the load yourself, it is all about Teamwork! In Tiger, Wolf and Bear dens particularly, the family unit is central to the forming of the Scout and activities revolving around involved parents. Make sure to get all parents involved, and I hate to say this, this will set the hook get them reeled in in so they hate to say no in front of other parents, a kind of peer pressure. Help them realize it is their program as well yours, and then depend on them to lend their expertise to the program. Invite them to attend by collecting their interests and skills in an open house at the first Den Meeting at the beginning of the Scout Season, then use them.
- Leadership is developed and learned. You can, and will, become an effective Cub Scout Leader if you will prepare yourself and take the time to learn. Remember to be flexible in your planning as you learned in parenting. There are no set answers to handling boys. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
- Get trained! Start out with the Cub Scout Den Leader Fast Start video. It is very short and enjoyable to watch. After you get settled in, attend the Cub Scout Den Leader Basic Training at your District. It is the best place to go to learn your Cub Scouting fundamentals remember the 2 deep leadership principal and follow it. It could save you!
- Understand the Cub Scout program so you can help the boys grow throughout the program. There is a lot of resources available to help you. One of your best resources is the monthly district Cub Leader Roundtable, where you can exchange ideas with other Cub Scout Leaders.
Remember, “KISMIF” Keep It Simple Make It Fun!
- Do your best, and above all, have a great time!