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The Hidden Treasure in the New Cub Scout Program

            “I really want to thank you for asking me to help lead our Cub Scouts meetings this month.  I would never have volunteered, because I didn’t think I could be comfortable doing it in English.  This was so much fun, I am really excited to do more!”  --Pack 35 Tiger Cub Parent Melinda B
Cub Scout Leaders, how are your dens and packs finding the new Cub program that launched this year?  This year is my second go-around as a den Leader and my first with the new Cub program.  The new program has been wildly popular in my den because of the way it is broken into distinct monthly “adventures” each with its own belt loop award.  My ten energetic Tiger Cubs love exploring a new topic each month.  The ever-changing theme keeps attendance at our twice-monthly den meetings high, and the depth of the requirements seems just about right--enough to challenge the boys but not so much as to stress the leaders. 

But the best, hidden treasure in the new Cub program is how well-suited it is to get Cub Scout adult partners (parents, usually) involved.  At the very beginning of the year, I created this sign-up sheet.  (Please feel free to download and use/modify for your own den.)  It lists all the monthly adventures, both required and elective with a brief description of each topic.  It asks each family to sign up to help lead in two required and two elective adventure areas.  We explained that at each den meeting, we would have two families take on leadership of the main meeting content, as well as bring the snack that ends each of our meetings.  The regular den leaders would conduct the opening and closing and help maintain order.  We also promised to help the Cub Scout adult partners prepare for the meeting in advance, so they don’t plan too much or too little in the time available.

Cub Scouts and parents love participating in den meeting under the new program. (Right) A Cub Scout adult partner teaching the "Tiger Theater" adventure.
How has it worked?  Fabulously!  Occasionally I need to step in to corral the boys, but the parent team in charge of each meeting usually does an amazing job of preparing and guiding the boys through a great learning experience! 

Not only has this approach saved much time for me and Lisa, my co-den leader, it has supercharged the enthusiasm for every parent and every child in the den.  What Cub Scout is not excited about a program that his adult partner is helping lead? The quote at the top of this blog says it all.  It came from a mom in our den who grew up in Hungary and was simply self-conscious about working with a group of English-speaking children.

Leading a group of Cub Scouts can be one of parenting’s most fun adventures, and the new program has made it easy to let every parent, reluctant or otherwise, to share in that experience.  Doing so, our den has recreated a little community of super-enthusiastic families.  I hope your den will try sharing leadership in this way. There's a treasure chest of talent in your den, quietly waiting for you to ask. 

Copyright © 2015 Orange County Council, BSA, All rights reserved.

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