Re: Managing Den Chiefs
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 11:12:29 PDT
I can not really give advice on the original question how to keep the Den
Chiefs integrated in the troop. However, I'd like to illuminate the problem
from the other side.
I whish the Boy Scouts would clearly and unmistakenly treat Den Chief positions
as leadership positions. We (Cub Scouts) have not enough Den Chiefs, our Den
Chiefs are not trained and are too young. This might be a vicious circle.
Boys which apply for Den Chief positions at my pack are usually the previous
cubs in their first year of Boy Scouts. Those boys are just to young for the
job. But they really leave us cub scouts with the dilemma, take the boy now,
or, don't have a Den Chief at all.
About keeping them integrated in the troop, let me also ask, how can we
integrate them into the pack? This year I dreamed to organize activities with
the Den Chiefs, for several reasons some of which I'll get into. But, it
didn't work out because their troops had too many requirements on the boys.
There was just no way I could force other requirements onto the boys without
making them full time scouts and neglecting school.
We really lost quality by not having any Den Chief activities. Not only were
the Den Chiefs not trained right but much worse, the Den Leaders were not
exposed to the Den Chiefs without the cubs. My Den Leaders would benefit from
an activity with the Den Chiefs even more then the boys. You all know how
difficult it is for a scoutmaster to let the boys run the troop. Now imagine a
Den Leader with less training and being used to cubs were the grown ups run the
program... It just happens more often then not that Den Chiefs are treated
like one more cub in the den. So if you think to make some Den Chief event,
please invite the Den Leaders (and train them too, without calling this
(It doesn't have to be the way it is, there exist other systems: In
Switzerland in some councils Den Chiefs give up their allegiance to the troop
and register with the pack. In the rest, the cubs do their own recruiting and
training for Den Chiefs; they might even recruit boys or girls whithout any
previous scouting experience. The pack has no adult Den Leaders and the Den
Chief position is a mixture of Den Chief and Den Leader. Of course that could
not work in the US.)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City