Re: Tiger Cubs
Peter Van Houten (peterva@QM.WV.TEK.COM)
Mon, 8 Nov 1993 09:15:07 -0800
I've been gone for a few days (Salmon Fishing) and read all of the responses
related to Tiger Cubs. If I may I'd like to share my experience since I
started out as a Tiger Dad, and at the same time formed a new Pack!
Three years ago we started our Tiger Cub program with 6 boys. Those 6 dads
also became the Committee and Cubmaster (Me) of a brand new pack in our
school. We started in June and by end of September we had recruited 30 Tiger
Cubs & Partners. The Cub Scout program was 66 boys (from 0). The Tiger Cub
program was implemented as directed. We had a single Tiger Cub Coordinator
who oversaw the program, BUT we also identified one parent in each of the
three groups as a 'Group Coach'. All four of these individuals attended
Tiger Cub Training (which was seperate from Basic Training at that time). We
met religiously on a once a month big event. We learned very quickly that
field trips were the ideal Big Event. Kids loved to go somewhere, so we went
bowling, to the park, to the Cable Car Museum, to the National Air Guard, and
other places. Both the kids and the parents loved it and I don't think we
spent more than $10.00 the whole year for admissions, etc. Besides the
monthly big events the Tigers were 'Invited' to participate with the pack at
the Winter activity, the SFF drive, and a field trip to a historical fort.
They were also invited to participate /visit two pack meetings -- The Blue &
Gold, and the Graduation.
Some statistics: of the the original 30 boys, two dropped after the tiger
program (one because they moved out of the area), of the remaining 28 boys,
25 of them are now in the Bear program.
Last year we had 28 boys in our Tiger Cub program. We followed the program
identically to that of the previous year, with one exception! We invited
them to three pack meetings and one additional special acitivity -- A
Of the 28 boys we have 25 of them in wolf dens this year. Unfortunately I
don't know why the three dropped.
This year we have 21 Tiger cubs (our smallest group), but interestingly this
group seems more excited about the program than prior years. This is the
first year of incorporating them into Cub Scouts. They are invited to every
Pack meeting. They still have only one BIG Event each month, but they now
are included in all pack activities! The challenge I, as Cubmaster, see is
including them in the Pack meeting so they want to stay involved!
Once again, we have a Primary Tiger Cub Coordinator (trained in Cub Scout
Basic and Tiger Cubs) and three Tiger Cub group coaches (trained in Cub Scout
Basic and Tiger Cubs).
A couple of observations:
-- Tiger Cubs should be and is centered around the principle of having
'FUN'. Its not meant to be earning awards, badges (although they each get a
paw print for participating).
-- Kids at first grade level have different needs than 2nd, 3rd & 4th
graders. They love to run, play and be active, but yet still need to have
the comfort and security of a parent close by! Their attention span is
limited and they don't have a set 'right vs. wrong' established. They look
to their parent as their primary role model (Hero). They fall in love very
easily with their teacher! They love to experience new things; especially in
areas dealing with the senses. Reading is hard, but improving! First
graders try extra hard to please, they want to be accepted and approved by
their role models.
-- Over the past three years I've come to the conclusion that my son would be
burnt out if pressed into a full blown Cub Scout program, and would be
dropping about now. However, since this has continued to be a Father/Son
activity, we'll both stay involved as long as we're both having fun -- with
-- The involvement of the Tiger Cubs with the Pack, I feel, sparks an
interest. The first graders want to be associated with the 'Big Kids', but I
still see them looking to make sure Mom/Dad is around. How the parents
perceive the program will bear directly on whether or not the boy sticks
around through Wolfs, Bears, Webelos and eventually Boy Scouts!
I got involved in Cub Scouting for one purpose and one purpose only -- My
Son! I also decided that if I had any impact I would make sure his
experience was better than mine! Cub Scouting for me was the most boring
experience I can remember of my childhood. It shouldn't have been, but I
remember the Cubmaster rambling on for what seemed like hours. We didn't
sing, the skits we did were mediocre at best, and I didn't even know Cubs
could go to summer camp until I was an Adult. As such, our Pack meetings
are: 1 hour long period; include at least one, if not two songs; at least
one den skit; run-ons; advancment CEREMONIES; and very little announcements
-- these are written in newsletter and adults should accept a responsibilty
I see I've picked up a bit of Mike judging by the length of my message. I
quess the bottom line is Tiger Cubs is a good program, and like Kathie say's
a lot of work went into it. It may not be perfect, but the opportunity to
make it better exists. Yes the program is flexible, but keep in mind the
long term effects, rather than the short term satisfaction!
Peter Van Houten
Snail Mail: 7225 SW 160th
Beaverton, OR 97007
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City