Homepage Forums Cub Scouts Care and Use of Den Chiefs

This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Matt 3 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #43196 Reply

    Karen B

    I’m looking for a guide for utilizing den chiefs appropriately and with the maximum benefit to both the Boy and Cubs. I’ve done a little searching, but figured this is the best place to get some input.

    I’m trying to help my district and town units grow a strong den chief program. Most of the older boys aren’t interested, and the younger boy scouts do not have much more experience/maturity than the cubs themselves. We have a pretty decent dc training class, but it’s a single training. My thought that it comes down to training the den leaders on how to use their chiefs effectively and also make it worth their while.

    Any thoughts welcome. Thanks all.
    ~ Karen B
    Historic District of Daniel Webster Council of NH

  • #43205 Reply

    Commissioner Ben

    Finding and keeping a good steady flow of Den Chiefs has always been a challenge. With the turnover rate (or with just aging out), recruiting and training new Den Chiefs will continue to be a never ending process. There are den chief training manuals and some councils or districts will offer training annually. And like you mentioned, educating den leaders on how to properly use them is also important.

    One option is to find an older scout (preferably already a den chief) and recruit him to be a “district den chief”; which is, of course, a non-official title. But see if a single designated youth in your district can recruit and keep tabs on the den chiefs in your area. Technically, Scoutmasters are responsible for their den chiefs, but I think a youth coordinator would be a great “go-to” person, too. And check out the link below for the den chief training guide.

    http://training.ppbsa.org/youth/denchief/DenChiefTrainingGuide-34450C.pdf

  • #43207 Reply

    Commissioner Ben

    I forgot to mention, that designated youth can be the one who “trains” the den leaders.

  • #46270 Reply

    Matt

    Karen,

    I see this post is a few months old but is a relevant discussion. I’ve been CM for three years now and have had 3 different experiences each year. Our Pack does not have an associated troop so we always have room for a DC.

    Here is what went well:
    1. One boy scout from a large troop was not voted in as a patrol leader. He needed is 6 months leadership position for star scout. He was 14 years old and new to his troop thus was not familiar with our boys. This went great because of his age and he had not been a cub scout in our pack. We put him with the Webelos and he was great.
    2. One boy scout from another troop needed the same 6 months but was 13 years old, had just recently crossed over from our Pack and still played around with the older boys. His father was still one of our den leaders. Kind of disruptive.
    3. We just got two boy scouts, 1st class but one is my son and they are both about 13 but only need the 4 months for 1st class requirements.

    Here is he advice I would give (based only on the three years)
    1. Have the Pack committee approve the DC and have the Committee Chair write a letter to the SM of the troop of the Pack’s official acceptance. That gets the Pack on board and starts an adult discussion about the boy scouts. (i.e.: boy scouts carry pocket knives, they are youth so all youth protection rules still apply, etc…) It also give the DC an official letter saying when he began his service.
    2. Take at least the online training. (BM, DL and DC)
    3. CM set’s the expectations and assigns the DC to the den asap. I’ve waited 4 weeks before and that was probably discouraging for the boy scout.
    4. I only require them to show up on Tuesday night meetings but they can participate in other Pack activities like camping. Our committee has offered to pay the DC’s way to activities.

    Maybe our districts are different but ours is pretty big. A youth district Den Chief co coordinator seems like a big job for a registered youth boy scout. Find out when the Troop’s hold elections. If a boy does not get elected as a patrol leader he has to get some leadership position so they may want to be den chiefs.
    Next year, I’m going to approach the troops before elections and try and sell the den chief position and hope to get some of the boys to volunteer.

    Not sure this helps or even answers your question on the topic. I’m just living the DC thing right now.

    Matt
    CM, Tidewater Council

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