Re: Den Leader Problems....
Peter Farnham (pfarnham@ASBMB.FASEB.ORG)
Thu, 14 Dec 1995 10:45:00 EST
You've raised some interesting questions. We get about half of our 17
registered leaders at pack committee meetings, which we hold about a
week prior to the pack meeting. If you are getting approximately
that, I think you ought to take it and run. I have asked for at least
one person per den to show up, but that rarely happens. The CC or I
call anyone who didn't show up who needs to know something. I also
photocopy and distribute the district newsletter, which covers
training and other district events and news they might want to know
Regarding uniforming, things are actually getting better. The cubs
have always been pretty well turned out, and I am always in complete
uniform right down to the socks, but for awhile only a couple of
adults bothered. However, my Committee Chair always wears her
uniform, and most of the DLs--and even some of the ADLs--now do the
same. So, we're improving, which I think is all to the good.
A fun idea--at your annual inspection, have the boys inspect the
adults, with gag prizes for the worst uniformed registered adults! A
humorous way to get the point across.
Adult recognition is very important. Silly (but serious) awards are
always appreciated by adult volunteers who take on the responsibility
of putting on a particular event. My ACM makes these awards, which we
give out for coordinating the Christmas party, the Halloween Party,
the bike rodeo, etc. We also give out square knots each year--DL, Cub
Scouter, WDL, etc.--whenever a registered adult completes the
A lot of adults will claim they don't want or need any recognition--
don't believe it for a minute! They'll all say that out of false
modesty, but they secretly crave it. It's a perfectly human response
and nothing to be ashamed of.
In our district, about 70% of our units make Quality Unit, but a much
harder award to get is the district's Outstanding Unit award (last
year, only about 25 out of 180 units earned it). One of the
requirements is that the CM and CC (or designated representatives)
attend at least eight roundtables/year. I'm on the RT staff, so the
CM is covered; but I used to be the only one to attend, until the pack
committee set as a goal last year earning the Outstanding Unit award.
Well, it worked. We now have at least two attendees at each RT,
because the pack committee bought into the idea that Outstanding Unit
was a worthwhile goal for our pack to aim for each year. We earned it
last year, and are on a roll now. I expect that we'll be earning this
award regularly for the foreseeable future. The effort to earn
Outstanding Unit has had the side effect (actually, my intent all
along) of beginning to show the DLs and other registered adults that
lots of cool program ideas come up at Roundtable, and this makes it
easier to come up with ideas to help your den programs. Actually
having them experience this makes getting them to come back a lot
easier than me trying to convince them through exhortation and/or
At Roundtable, we also award attendance and participation with beads.
Show up, get a bead. Help out with a skit, get a bead. We also give
beads at RT for unit participation in things like our district food
drive, pilgrimage to Mt. Vernon, camporee, etc. And individuals get
beads for training events, helping out on staff at various events,
etc. Get 'em addicted to beads! You'd be amazed at what an adult
will do for a bead to add to their totem.
Anyway, adult recognition is very important to encourage attendance at
cub events; also, set goals, such as making Outstanding Unit, if your
district has such a recognition.
CM, Pack 1515
GW District, NCAC
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City