Re: What would have helped...?
Mark F. Vonderschmitt (markfv@PUBPRESS.COM)
Mon, 3 Jun 1996 09:36:10 -0400
At 02:48 PM 5/31/96 -0400, you wrote:
>I'll be teaching a class at Akela's Council in the Fall and I'd like to
>pose a question for discussion....
>For those who are Cub Scout leaders (and those who can remember back that
>far (TeeHee) -
>What, in your opinion, would have been the most helpful thing to know in
>yur first year as a Den Leader, that you know now that you didn't know
Personally, I think that you need to be as ORGANIZED as possible. Others
have mentioned binders and lists of names and number for the scouts. Great
way to start. Keep it all in a nice 3 ring binder from day one and you will
be less likely to lose things. Track attendance in it. Track dues in it.
Don't worry about writing too much. It will all be helpful later when trying
to figure out what happened when.
There seem to be two big sayings in cub scouting in dealing with this sort
of thing --- KISMIF and Fail to plan, Plan to Fail.
KISMIF is Keep it simple, Make it fun.
Fail to Plan,Plan to Fail is only so true. After a while, you can get away
with planning less for some meetings than for others, but you ALWAYS need to
plan. You can't just show up and open the book at random and start off on a
project. You need to get materials ready, try it at home first and work the
kinks out before letting the boys do it. If you can plan out weeks or months
in advance, even better.
One word: ROUNDTABLE
Roundtables are fun, they are very informative and I actually think you can
absorb a lot of scouter wisdom from just being in the same room with some of
Get a Den Doodle for the Den. My assistant den leader made a great
thunderbird for our den. Plenty of room to hang a totem for each kid (they
decorated them) on it with a leather thong about 3 feet long. Everytime the
cub completed an achievement, he got a big bead (about 1/2 inch) to put on
his totem. Each elective got him a regular pony bead. Instant recognition
patches for the uniform are good, but by the time a cub gets done with his
totem for one year, he will have a dozen big beads and possibly up to 50 or
more pony beads (this works out to 5 arrowheads for his uniform too) and
will he be proud of those beads!!! Each year, we add a new leather thong. It
really looks impressive to show the den doodle at pack meetings and other
events too. Ours showed up at Scout o Rama as part of the pack's booth this
I have tried to do a monthly newsletter for the parents. This lets me tell
them what needs to be done at home and by when. It also lets me remind them
about up coming events which a cub might "forget" until the last minute or
later. I have access to a PC and a printer so it doesn't take a lot of time
to kick out a 1 pager which includes when the meetings are and that sort of
stuff. It doesn't need to be professional, just informative. Always include
your name, address and phone at the bottem. I even put my email address on
it. Save them from one month to the next on disk and you can copy in all the
repetitive stuff from the last one.
Hope I was helpful.
< Mark Vonderschmitt >
Gentleman, Scholar, Programmer, Scouter & Ham Radio Operator
(But not necessarily at the same time or in that order.)
The opinions expressed here in are my own.
They are not the opinions of my employer.
They are not the opinions of any other person, living or dead, real or imagined.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City