Fast Tracks Den Meeting plans and agendas plus how to use Denners and Den Chiefs, and much more!
What are Den Meetings?
Den Meetings are FUN!
At your weekly Den Meetings, your den will go places and do things you may not get to do on your own. Your den meetings will be adventures! Some den meetings will be tours or field trips. Other meetings will work on cool projects.
Dens may meet at the home of an adult leader but with youth protection concerns, many meet at their charter organization, a church, school, or other public location. But if you ask your boys, they will tell you that they joined Cub Scouts for adventure. Sitting quietly at a table is called a "time-out." At least one den meeting each month should be at a park, fire station, police station, bank, bakery, pizzeria, bicycle shop, and other field trips per your Fast Tracks meeting plan.
Fast Tracks are great Den Meeting plans already prepared for you! They follow the requirements for your level and typically will allow your Cubs to finish their rank requirements each year by February. Then your Cubs can explore their electives, Arrow Points, beads, and Belt Loops and Pins. Webelos Den Meetings focus on the 20 activity pins. Here are the Fast Track links for your level:
- Fast Tracks for Tiger Cub Scouts (1st grade)
- Fast Tracks for Wolf Cub Scouts (2nd grade)
- Fast Tracks for Bear Cub Scouts (3rd grade)
- The Webelos Scout Program uses plans for each Webelos Den Meeting:
Parents Are Key
At least two adults must lead each meeting, typically the den leader and the assistant den leader or other adults. Each Tiger Cub must have their adult partner with them at all meetings and activities. Parents are encouraged to participate with their son as often as possible. Boys whose parents are not involved often drop out.
Denners Are Key
The Denner and Assitant Denner are the most important youth leadership positions in Cub Scouts. A denner is a Cub Scout who is elected to be the temporary youth leader of his den. All Tiger, Wolf, Bear, as well as Webelos Dens elect Denners. A den may elect a new Denner every few weeks, monthly, or other term. Each boy is given the chance to serve as Denner as a part of various rank requirements. An adult partner helps the Denner with his duties, encouraging family involvement. Scouts and parents who are allowed to help are more like to stay in Scouts.
Den Chiefs Are Key
The Den Chief is a Boy Scout or a Varsity Scout or a Venturer who assists a Cub Scout Den Leader or Webelos Den Leader with a Cub Scout or a Webelos Den. He helps Cub Scouts advance through Cub Scout ranks and encourages Cub Scouts to join a Boy Scout troop upon graduation. A den chief is assigned to each Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos den.
The Den Meeting Agenda
Den meetings typically have the following parts:
- Before the Meeting. Leaders gather to make preparations and handle last-minute details. Denners and Assitant Denner set up.
- Gathering Activity. As the Cub Scouts begin to arrive, they join in an informal activity or game, often conducted by the den chief to keep the boys interested and active until the entire group has arrived.
- Opening. The opening is the official start of the den meeting. The Denner and Assistant Denner lead the flag ceremony, Cub Scout Promise, Law of the Pack, and perhaps a prayer or song.
- Program. The program part of the meeting will vary by the age of the boys (see below), and may be broken into two or more parts. Most of the meeting consists of activities based on the Fast tracks plan and the monthly themes.
- Closing. The closing draws the meeting to an end. It's usually serious and quiet. Den leaders could present a thought for the day or give reminders about coming events followed by a closing flag ceremony preented by the Denner and Assistant Denner.
- After the Meeting. The leaders review the events of the meeting, finalize plans for the next den meeting, and review their progress toward the upcoming pack meeting. The Denner and Assistant Denner and their adult partners lead the cleanup.
Den Meeting Activities
The Fast Tracks and Monthly Themes provide sample programs for meetings. The range of activities are as wide as imagination itself. Any activity you can imagine can be incorporated into a den meeting, so long as it is age-appropriate, safe, and - most of all - fun. Ideally, the activities included in a den meeting reinforce the values taught by Cub Scouting or match the monthly theme. But sometimes, "just for fun" is all the reason you need.
Den Meetings are also when you prepare the den's part in the next pack meeting. You may work on projects that they will exhibit, or practice flag ceremonies, skits, songs, and other activities that they will conduct. The den meeting is a good time to plan and prepare for other activities, such as service projects and outdoor events.
Cub Scout Program Helps and the Webelos Leader Guide also provide four monthly den meeting outlines based on the monthly theme. Most leaders use these outlines as guides for planning their own den meetings, but they are also free to incorporate their own ideas in the den meeting plan.
Remember that sometimes a den trip or other special activity might take the place of a regular den meeting. If the den meeting program is well-planned, interesting, and fun, the boys will be more likely to attend.
Encouraging Good Behavior at Den Meetings
One useful tool for encouraging good behavior is a Set of Den Rules, or "Code of Conduct". Rather than having an adult dictate rules to the cubs, In the first Den Meeting, the Den Leader should talk to the boys, and ask them what are good rules for to follow, and lead the conversation in a good direction.
Some Sample Rules are:
- Raise Your hand to talk
- Clean up when you are done
- No Running inside
- Be Nice to others
Similarly, In addition to having the boy come up with the rules, use a similar technique to lead them toward what penalties there should be when rules are broken. (Quite often, the boy's punishments will be far more strict than anything the Den Leader would come up with, so you may have to tone it down a bit.)
Cub Scout Leader Resources
|Cub Scout Leader portal|
- Leader Awards: Cub Scout Den Leader Award (Tiger/Wolf/Bear/Webelos), Scouter's Training Award (basically all adult leaders but Den Leaders), Scouter's Key (Cubmaster)
- Nameplates - Official BSA Name plates for your uniforms.
|New Leader Brochures:|
|Applications & Reports:|
|Medical Exam Forms:||Annual Health and Medical Record 34605||Age-Appropriate Guidelines|