By Carissa Rogers
I’m in a little bit of a tizzy.
I’ve just volunteered to be a Den Leader for Cub Scouts!
I barely even know what scouting is! I grew up with 6 sisters and wasn’t around when my little brothers started scouting. And now I find myself… in over my head.
First of all it’s a crazy new world of VOCABULARY.
- Den (and den meeting)
- Pack (and pack meeting)
- Requirements VS Badges?
- and Webelos.. OH MY!
I expected books and training and people explaining how to start and what to do? BUT it turns out you simply have to be self-motivated and go get all that information yourself. There is a ton of info online and books you can purchase but at first I had none of that! This was the most frustrating part for me, not having someone to help me get started!
I decided to ask around, and learn from people who already love scouting!
7 Cub Scout moms share their tips and tricks!
Jennifer Clark —“…follow the book but I suggest you set up a snack schedule so a different child is responsible for the goodies each week so the cost & burden is evenly distributed to the entire den. Also, communicate communicate communicate with the parents. They get busy & will forget meetings, snack schedules, etc. We also did a monthly newsletter highlighting some of the things we did the month before & included boy achievements, & the next month's schedule & mailed them. The boys & parents seem to appreciate that.”
Adrian Gentilcore —“Get the Dads involved. At the Cub level, it is often the Moms, but I think there is real value in getting the Dads involved. Just make sure it's not something competitive like the Pinewood derby. I hate when the Dads make all the cars.”
Lori Farnsworth — “I love the Cub Scout How to book. All sorts of wonderful ideas. I found mine at DI for a buck. But I think you can them at a scout office. Most important, have fun. I am the cubmaster in our area and I am mainly in charge of the fun at Pack Meeting. The boys love me and it is lots of fun! :)”
Jennifer Rook — “The non-communication is one of my biggest issues w/my son's leaders. I can't get him there if I don't know about it and he's more than likely to forget or not tell me about stuff so newsletters and calls, texts, emails- whatever- are great. I also appreciate leaders who are consistent and actually work on getting the boys their badges, belt loops and advancements. Good luck! Have fun and enjoy!”
Mary Heston—“Stay on schedule and keep them moving. Crank through the badges and keep them motivated. Perfect meeting: quick game - quick review of the scout promise (this will come in later when its clean up time) - tell them what badge you are going to work on today ( they will most likely have to continue working on things at home ) quick game - snack - remind scouts always leave the place cleaner than when they arrived CLEAN UP – GO!”
Amy Bradley-Hole — “We made scrapbook pages with our family photos, toured a local news station, visited a museum to learn the history of our state, went on a nature walk to identify different types of trees, and went to a fire station.”
Tina Kelley —“I helped my co-worker with an Owl Pellet dissecting project.. You basically need to find someone with a barn and they probably have owl pellets in there.. (if you don't know what Owl Pellets are they are basically hair balls for owls.. they throw up these round balls that contain the bones of whatever they have eaten.)… and yes it's gross but the kids LOVED it!”
PLANNING and COMMUNICATION seem like ongoing themes with everyone.
(After first learning how the program works and dissecting the vocabulary!)
I’m happy to report my pack is doing much better after I finally dug in and learned what all the terminology meant. I met with the Scouting Council and consulted online materials as well. We have also created a quarterly meeting plan for the boys… while keeping in mind the requirements to complete the items and tasks needed for the whole year.
Getting more parents involved is a total no brainer!
Of course we are using VolunteerSpot.com to coordinate snack schedules (it sends reminder emails to parents the day before the meeting)! Plus VolunteerSpot helps you line up parent volunteers for different scout activities, crafts or guest speakers (help get those dads involved, use their talents!) and use it to make assignments for each month’s Pack Meeting (who’s bringing snacks, who’s in charge of the activity or craft etc…).
Figuring out the Cub Scout Popcorn Fundraiser!! Here we go!
About the author:
Carissa Rogers is a VolunteerSpot team member and is a busy mom of 3. She blogs at GoodNCrazy.com and writes for other websites. When she’s not playing photographer, leading the PTO, or chasing kids to and fro she’s connecting, consulting, freelancing and lots of other -ings …a mom of all trades. Find her on Twitter as CarissaRogers.