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Baloo's Bugle

November 2001 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 8, Issue 4
December Theme

Works of Art
Webelos Craftsman & Scientist
 Tiger Cub Big Idea 5




Survival Hints For Den Leaders
Heart of America Council

You can be a den leader and enjoy it.  Youíve taken care of your own son for eight years and youíre still fairly normal, so adding seven or eight more boys to the roost isnít all that hard.  The first rule is - clothe yourself with optimism- grin a lot.  And be prepared at least an hour before theyíre due to arrive, with everything you need in your meeting room. One enthusiast in the group always comes early.

Donít feel youíre copping out if you use the Cub Scout Program Helps for games to play and projects to make.  Scout headquarters has a lot of experience with this sort of thing, and you need all the help you can get.

As soon as the meeting opens, collect the dues, make announcements, and explain the dayís project.  Youíre not likely to get their undivided attention again.

Cub Scouts have little enthusiasm for the more worthless things in life and may refuse to waste their time on such stuff as table decorations that canít be played with later, on artificial flowers or on crepe paper things.

Good den leaders know where to look for supplies - they scour their basements, attics and trash barrels.  Keep your projects simple.  If you donít, you know who will be putting the finishing touches on 10 projects the night before your pack meeting.

Learn enough carpentry so that you know how to build a bird feeder or a wooden bank, Cub Scouts love to hammer, but your Den Dad should do most of the sawing in advance. Remember to be patient; keep 1-inch bandages on hand; decide what youíll do about unsavory words that might follow after the boys bang their fingers with a hammer a few times.  Even if itís a birdhouse they have to paint, have them use a washable paint.  And never leave the room full of Cub Scouts all alone with paint buckets.

If youíve made something out of plaster of paris, check the crafts section on how to paint.

Cub Scouts love to wait their turn to use supplies or tools, it gives them time to explore your closets, to test each otherís endurance to punches and pokes and leaves time for races and shouting contests.  There are two ways to avoid this; get together with the other mothers and make up a den box.  It should contain all those things nobody cares to own ten of, and use back dues to purchase other items, or better still get the boys to make all those toys the Cub Scout Literature gives patterns for.

Remember how the kindergarten teacher pinned notes on your sonís shirt?  Heís too old for that now, so put the notes for home inside each Cubís pocket.  Let a corner show so his, mother finds it before his shirt goes in the washer.

Always make it clear that everyone left in your house after the meeting must take a hot bath and then clean out your garage.  This inspires the Cubs to have their mothers pick them up right after the meetings and saves you driving them home.

Den Leaders gain some very useful knowledge.  They learn that their son is quite typical and normal.  He even behaves better than some other boys.  These Cubs youíve gotten to know when you were a den leader will be around your house for years as your son grows up.  Believe it or not, some of your dearest memories will be of them in their Cub Scout days.




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