scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Tiger changes, again
Wed Aug 16 2000 - 09:45:30 CDT
>There will be a Tiger Den Leader, but still maintaining the >shared leadership.
The Tiger Cub Coach and Coordinator will >"go away".
>* Tiger Cub Coach will cease to exist June 1, 2001. There >will be a new Tiger
Den Leader. To have Tigers there must be >a Tiger Den Leader, even if only one
Tiger Scout. Reasoning: >The Tigers with Tiger Coachs have a 90% retention.
Those >without a Tiger Coach lose 85%.
>* Tiger will wear Orange shirts for at least three more years >(National just
let the shirt production contract.)
I am not surprised by these changes. Our Pack found the Tiger and Webelos
program the most difficult of which to stay ahead. And we found one program
effects the other. Our pack decided to make several changes when we were loosing
over 50% of our Tigers and Bears.
First thing to remember is your not recruiting six year boys, your recruiting
the whole family. I watched many parents at Cub Roundups carrying their scared
Tiger age son who was sucking his thumb. First graders are very much different
from second graders because they are new to the full day school program, sports
and other activities. Parents are starting new as well with the change in their
families lifestyle. They aren't really sure what Cub Scouts will do for them,
they are only there because of the BSA reputation. Sell the parents and the
family will join the cubs. Here are a few things we learned and changed to have
a better tiger program.
First, we gave the program to the parents. We saw that many parents were
overwhelmed at the beginning of school with the drastic changes to their
schedule of before school day care, bus schedules, after school day care, sports
practices, piano lessons and on and on. Many of them were not ready for another
hour activity in their hectic weekly schedule and intimidated joining yet
another organization that required volunteers. Our Tiger coach got all the
families together and ask each one to be responsible for one month where they
organize two activities for their den. They could include the Pack meeting as
one activity if they wanted, which most did. The parents communicated with the
other parents in the den to pass on pack information and activities agenda. The
advantage we got from this is the parents bonded with each other by doing all
the calling and organizing. The Tiger Leader only communicated with the parent
responsible for that month. Worked very well.
Second, we ask the cubs to only wear Tiger T-shirts. Many parents are in school
sticker shock from buying clothes, school supplies, and soccer uniforms. A $6
shirt doesn't add to the that pain. Also, we found that most boys in cubs for
three years want change. Many packs put Tigers in blue shirts because they want
Tigers equal to the rest of the pack. Blue shirts may be neat in first grade,
but the boys need a change by their third year, not only in program, but in
uniform as well. Buying their blue shirt in second grade (Wolves) allows for a
new change at Webelos age where they can get the green shirt. Tiger shirts are
Third and most important, we made sure the Tiger program was different from the
wolf/bear program. Boys can only stand about two years of the Wolf and Bear type
of program. Three years is to much. When the Tigers where run similar to the
Wolf/Bear program, we were loosing 50% of our Bears because they were bored.
Boys need change to match their maturity. The Tiger dens who started out like
wolf dens sounded neat at first, but the poor Bear Scouts who had been there for
three years wanted something different, so they were leaving for sports and
Fourth, we didn't require anything from the Tiger adults other than planning two
activities for their den for two very important reasons. One was they were
getting hit hard by the coaches, churches and schools for volunteer time.
Second, most Cub Masters and Committee Chairs will tell you adult leader burn
out is pretty heavy after four years. Tigers put a lot more stress on Pack
leadership. We encourage the Tiger families to attend all our fun activities
like fishing, Pinewood derby and Christmas Caroling. This allowed the adults to
see the fun and ease of running a Pack. We had many adults ask to help for the
You have to understand that the BSA started the Tiger first grade program in the
early 80's to compete against other youth organizations trying to recruit boys
away from the BSA. Since then it's been a constant struggle for the BSA to find
a good fit for these first graders. After we changed our program to the one I
described. We had a 95% crossover to Wolves, but more important, 90% of the
Tigers made it to 2nd year Webelos.
Make the program easy for the family. Don't ask for a lot of their time or money
and they will slowly learn the benefits of Cub Scouting. Many folks don't
realize the direct effect Tigers has on the Webelos program, and without
Webelos, the Troop program suffers.
Good luck to all packs and get ready for a wonderful experience with lots of
rewards for the boys and adults. I love this Scouting stuff.
Past Cub Master of the "Mighty" Pack 339