Re: Den Chief Advice
Tue, 18 Jul 1995 13:38:17 PDT
This is a reply to both den chef related post in yesterdays digest.
as a cubmaster I am concerned about what I read about den chiefs. It looks to
me like 9/10th of everything said on the net is written from a scoutmasters
view and 1/10 has a cubcentric view. While those two views have many things in
common, there are some substantial differences. In reality all scoutmaster I
talked with seem open minded to the cub'ish view, once reminded of it.
However, some literature, most messages, and, organizational setup in my
council looks like made by experienced scoutmasters with 20 years of forgetting
what the needs and problems of the cub scout division are.
> selecting from the list of candidates
Huh? This year from my 7 dens, 2 have a official den chiefs, 2 have de-facto
den chiefs and 3 sadly lack any den chiefs. (The de-facto den chiefs work out
much better then the official den chiefs. If you ask what de-facto den chiefs
are: these are older siblings brought by den leaders; not registered)
> Do you encourage the DEN CHIEFS to attend Roundtable
There needs to be a meeting were cub leaders get trained and can discuss ideas
and how to treat the children. Bringing children to this meeting is not the
idea of roundtable. However, every once in a while (maybe once a year?) with a
special roundtable promoting the idea of den chiefs this might make sense.
This would then be training for both sides, den chiefs and cub scouters.
On a more formal basis: This is the roundtable commissioners call.
>What training material do you use
I whish I had more time to train my den chiefs. I whish the troops would give
the den chiefs some time so the pack or the district could provide cub specific
I whish I could involve den leaders in den chief training. The den leaders
need such training even more then the den chiefs.
What about combining junior leader training with den chief training?
"training" requirements: Know a few games. Know what the program of the
den/pack before the meeting. Beeing treated like a big boy. Fun activity to
get bonding with other den chiefs of pack. (My pack has den chiefs from
different troops). Contact with den leader in absence of cubs.
I think the den chief book is pretty good. I have not promoted it to my packs
den leaders because I wanted to keep the games of this book fresh for the den
>What ages and Scout ranks do you look for (or exclude)
For some reason the boys ask to get a den chief position when they are too
young and not ready for the job. As soon as the boys get old and mature enough
we cubs can't get them any more.
If the den leader, the boy, and, the boys parents want the den chief position
for the boy, and, my pack hasn't enough den chiefs anyway, I just can't imagine
to refuse the boy, even if he is obviously too young.
There is also the problem that I believe the scoutmasters literature has no
proposed rank or age limits for den chiefs. However, the cub scout leader book
From other message: This message had a good and usefull description on how the
jobs are divided up between den chief, den leader and denner. However I am
using it to illustrate its scout centric view of this cub position
>The office of den chief is particularly valuable for younger scouts who are
>not yet ready to take on the challenge of leading a patrol
Such boys are not ready for the challenge of chiefing a den either.
>The den chief cord was always presented at a troop meeting. New den chiefs
>were introduced at pack meetings but their cord was never given there.
I don't have it here with me, but I think the den chief book says this is the
packs business. The troop awards the den chief badge.
>We were expected to participate in troop activities as any other scout would.
This is a big problem for the pack. You should at least count cub scout
activities as valid scouting activities if you have participation requirements
for your troop.
>I would remind den chiefs who were not attending troop meetings that their
>position was a troop office, not a pack office.
Not so in the eyes of a cubmaster.
>From time to time, I see packs recruiting den chiefs directly. I always
>them that they need to contact the SM.
It is as good idea to contact the SM, but don't forget this it is a pack
position. The pack is responsible for who is with the cubs; NOT the troop.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City