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Den Chief

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  • Donna Ragusa
    Hi Sharon, Our council holds 2 den chief trainings per year-one in November and one in March to kind of catch up with scouts earning rank. We use the current
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2003
      Hi Sharon,

      Our council holds 2 den chief trainings per year-one in November and one in
      March to kind of catch up with scouts earning rank. We use the current
      syllabus and it is a cub scout-boy scout training team. The only thing we
      add is a little extra youth-protection for the boys info, like not being
      alone with the den leader or with individual cub scouts, what to do if you
      are having problems in the den or if you don't get along with the leader,
      etc. We have grown from 6 scouts our first year to 12-20 per session.

      The thing we emphasize most is having fun although to get the scouts to sing
      can be difficult! We have a lot of give-aways for the scouts to take back
      to their dens. Many of the puzzles can be made very inexpensively, we give
      them ropes (after teaching them the trick session), easy crafts and a lot of
      helpful websites they can get songs, skits, etc.

      I keep a box of webelos crafts just for DCT because that is always the same
      for Webelo Den chiefs. We are very specific about where exactly the den
      chiefs can help the most with Webelos-the outdoor group of course,
      citizenship, sportsman, etc.

      For the wolf and bear den chiefs, we give them some of the crafts and ideas
      from the program helps coming up this year. I am a unit leader and den
      leader, so I use my stuff. See who can provide you that on your team. We
      show them the wolf and bear books and go through some of the achievements
      and electives that they can help with like flag-folding and ceremonies.
      Point out other things they can be involved in such as the pinewood derby
      and whittle and chip.

      We take both groups through actual den and pack meetings to refresh their
      memories from cub scouting or introduce them to it if they never were cubs.
      We always leave time for Q & A because many of the scouts have a lot of
      questions about handling younger boys. Having interesting speakers can be
      challenging, but you do what you can. Having a lot of snacks and a great
      lunch and dessert helps them feel really special and keeps them into it.
      The midway is always the most fun and we break out all our recycled games.
      We have a whole bunch of candy treats that the "hawker" tosses to the boys
      as they win a game. We try to bring some of it outside, weather and
      facility permitting to break up the classroom dolldrums. Races and physical
      challenges are good outdoors.

      We encourage the den leader to accompany the scout as well as the
      scoutmaster so the adults in the loop know what the den chief's job is. Get
      scout leaders to help with the training to get that perspective and to
      remind the scouts that they are leaders, not cub scouts anymore. Our exit
      poll always have the participants going away full of great ideas, having had
      a great time and not minding that they spent the whole day with us! I hope
      national doesn't cut DCT down to 4 hours. I would not feel that we could
      teach the scouts everything in that time.

      While it is probably the most labor-intensive of all the trainings we hold,
      it is the most fun and definitely my favorite.

      Donna Ragusa
      Cub Scout Training Chair,
      4 Rivers District
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