In our November-December issue, Assistant Den Leader D.K.B. reported that the Tiger Cub den in her pack meets only sporadically. Tiger Cubs and their partners rarely attend pack meetings. How, she asked, can the den be energized so that it will become an active Wolf den?
Our pack had a similar problem in that the Tiger Cubs were more of an afterthought than an integral part of our pack. Then our pack leadership changed its attitude and saw Tiger Cubs and their partners for what they really are – the future of the pack.
We courted their participation in pack events. We scheduled easier hikes that these younger boys could take, as well as longer ones for the older boys. We planned family camping close to home so that Tiger Cubs who are not ready for the overnight experience could come for the day and join in the pack’s activities.
We recognize Tigers at pack meetings. When a Tiger Cub completes a Big Idea from the Family Activity Book, he receives an orange or white bead for his tiger paw belt totem. It is given at a den meeting. At the next pack meeting, he is given a silver bead handed out by the Cubmaster. That way, the Tiger Cubs are included in the award ceremonies at the pack meetings.
Cubmaster J.R.W. Jr.
A Tiger Cub parents meeting before the first den meeting is a great opportunity to help parents understand the shared leadership concept, provide ideas for activities and field trips, and ease the parents into volunteering for den and pack activities.
Our Tiger Cubs participate in pack meetings on a rotating basis by doing a flag ceremony, skit, or handshake/clap.
We also use den doodles. When a Tiger Cub and his adult partner attend a once-a-month den meeting, he gets a bead for his den doodle strand. If a Tiger Cub and his parents attend a pack meeting, he gets another bead for each parent who comes. These beads are in addition to the orange and white beads that hang on the Tiger Cub’s belt totem.
The den doodle stays in the pack, but when the boys graduate into Wolf dens, they are welcome to take their bead-filled strands from it and put it on the Wolf den doodle.
Tiger Cub Coach W.K.
To get a Tiger Cub program on the right track, get the pack’s Tiger Cub coach trained. Next, hold a Tiger Cub den parents’ meeting.
Get the boys and partners involved in the den and pack activities. Recognize Tiger Cubs at pack meetings. Our pack gives a Tiger Cub ink pen and hat pin to families that lead a Tiger den activity. Of course, these are presented at pack meetings.
Assistant Cubmaster J.P.N.
I offer D.K.B. the following suggestions:
- Tiger Cubs are not just a “group.” They are one or more dens, just like the rest of the pack. If the pack views Tiger Cubs as separate from the rest of the unit, they may stay away from pack activities.
- If by “sporadically” D.K.B. means once or twice a month, that’s not bad. Quality means more than quantity for Tiger Cub den meetings.
- Get the boys motivated by fully utilizing recognition opportunities. Tiger Cubs can get paws and paw prints, orange and white beads, and even earn belt loops and their religious emblem and study Bobcat requirements.
Pack Committee Member R.H.S.
Brook Park, Ohio
I had the same problem with my son’s Tiger Cub den two years ago – and we did not graduate into a Wolf den. I think D.K.B. needs to look at several things.
First, make sure Tiger Cub coaches are trained so that they understand what is expected of them and the adult partners. Suggest that the den meet at least twice a month on a set day and time.
Give the den some duty at pack meetings so that the Tiger Cubs feel they are an important part of the pack.
Bear Den Leader C.W.
For some years we have included Tiger Cubs and their partners in all pack activities.
Our second pack meeting of each program year is held at a local forest preserve. We have a campfire and eat s’mores. Afterward our Webelos Scouts camp overnight with a parent, and the Tiger Cubs head home with a sense of what they have to look forward to.
We also have an international night when each den picks a country and brings food from that country. We always assign the U.S.A. to the Tiger Cub den to make it easy for them.
Such things have helped to integrate the Tigers into the pack and make them want to go on to Wolf dens.
Pack Committee Member P.D.
I believe there are two keys to a successful Tiger Cub program: (1) Make the Tiger Cub dens feel as much a part of the pack as Wolf, Bear, and Webelos dens; and (2) the Tiger Cub coach.
We treat the Tiger dens just like the other dens. They take turns in leading all pack meeting activities (openings, closings, songs, skits, etc.). They are also invited to take part in all other pack activities.
Be sure your Tiger Cub coaches receive training.
How could anyone not be excited about Tiger Cubs? The kids love it, they pay attention, they don’t talk back, they do what you ask, and they love the time spent with their folks.
We went from eight kids to 58, with a waiting list of 11 kindergartners, in four years.
Here are some ideas:
- Select a Tiger Cub coach, and train him or her. It’s a great job for those interested in working with very young children.
- Have fun with activities requiring lots of energy. Quality time with mom and dad, not skill training, should be emphasized.
- Get or make a list of fun places to go in your area. Call other packs for ideas.
- Take pictures at all outings to show next year’s prospective Tiger Cubs.
Assistant Scoutmaster W.M.F.
Our Tiger Cub experience was great! We met once a month, with the Tiger Cub coach hosting two meetings, and all other families one each.
The families chose the activities they wanted. One led a fishing outing, another led a tour of the fire department. Another family decided to deliver Christmas gifts to a needy child.
We also raked an elderly person’s yard, had a picnic and flew kites, and had a game night at a community center.
We all grew closer to one another.
B.D. and W.D.
Our Tiger Cub den has six boys with very active adult partners. We meet twice a month at the same time and place; if you set a routine and stick to it, the boys look forward to fun and games. We try to make one of the meetings a field trip.
The Tiger Cubs and partners are treated just like the other members of the pack. They are given the same opportunities to join in all meetings and activities.
We encourage our Tiger Cubs to wear their orange T-shirts to school on den and pack meeting days, just like the older Cub Scouts.
And remember KISMIF (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun).
Tiger Cub Coach S.T.
Here’s how to energize Tiger Cubs:
- Meet each week, except pack meeting week.
- Take a field trip to a library, fire station, or other place every month or two.
- Have the boys put on a skit or show a craft at pack meetings.
- Recognize them at pack meetings.
San Antonio, Tex.
D.K.B. can start by having lots of pictures of pack activities and crafts and pinewood derby cars to show prospective Tiger Cubs at back-to-school night.
Have an experienced Scouter meet with Tiger Cubs and partners at the beginning of the program year to talk about the coming year and the pack calendar.
Review the requirement for adult partner participation.
Include all Tiger Cubs in all pack activities: popcorn sales, blue and gold banquet, pinewood derby, etc. At pack meetings, have the Tigers (as well as other dens) report on what they have done since the last meeting.
Assistant Cubmaster M.A.S.
Our pack feels that the Tiger Cubs are one of our most important groups, because if they don’t have a good experience, they most likely won’t stick with Scouting. We try to make them feel part of the pack.
At every pack meeting they have a display table covered by a tiger-striped tablecloth to fill with their projects and pictures from the month. They may run the gathering game or a guessing game and do a skit or song for the meeting.
Pack Committee Chair P.B.
Tiger Cub dens should be energized from the beginning. Make sure that den activities take place at a different home each month, or at least have a different family responsible for the activity. Make these monthly assignments at the beginning of the program year.
Each monthly activity should be planned in enough detail that a project is made at each one. Make sure that mom and dad and brothers and sisters are invited, and involved.
Enthusiasm is the key! Grow it, nurture, and spread it. It’s contagious!
Assistant Scoutmaster W.M.S.
First D.K.B. should ask why the Tiger den has a problem. Is the meeting time bad? Is the location a problem? Is it a lack of interest by the boys and their parents?
If it is the latter, remember that variety is the spice of life. Delegate the responsibility to each family to plan a fun and exciting activity for the Tiger Cubs. The more interesting the activities are, the better attended they will be.
Pack Committee Member M.M.C.