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This Wiki is to track things you wish someone would have told you at the start of your Bear year.

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General Comments


Welcome to Den Leadership… this year will be a lot of fun for you! This is an opportunity to become an influential adult in the lives of these young men. As scout leaders, we try to not only introduce new concepts to our youth, but also provide a role model they can look up to outside their family unit.

Tip: Read the entire Handbook and the pre-prepared Meeting Plans. You will need to know what types of things need to be done over the course of the year. -Dustin G

Tip: After reading all of the Meeting Plans, rearrange them. Move the indoor-type activities to the winter months. Move the outdoor activities to the beginning of the scouting year (Fall or Spring). -Dustin G

Tip: Bear-Trax is great for tracking the individual accomplishments of the boys. PackMaster only lets you track completed items, so I only used it to enter data before awards were tallied. -Dustin G
- This tip worked great for Wolftrax too, since it provided a system of record to double-check what had been entered to (or dropped from) PackMaster. For my den we uploaded the Trax spreadsheet to Google docs and it worked fine after fiddling with some of the cell equations. -Hans E

Tip: If you have a Den Chief from the Troop, get their contact info early on. Let them know 2 weeks in advance what you want them to cover. Try to have them run a part of the meeting every week, but be prepared to fill in yourself if they are out for that week. I used my Den Chief for all of the cooking/CubGrub events. He didn't always make it work 100%, but I feel that it helped him as well as my boys by pushing him outside of his comfort zone and to try new things. -Dustin G

Tip: Speaking of Cub Grub, try to have something at every couple of meetings. Baloo's Bugle has several recipes every month. Google "Cub Grub" and you will also find a ton of ideas. I usually asked the Denner to lead this activity (and bring supplies). If at all possible, tell your kids/parents that store-bought items should be avoided. The kids love making their own snacks and there is no shortage of no-cook recipes/crafts out there. We did: cup-of-dirt with worms, mini-candy pizzas, reflector oven cookies, grilled hot dogs, pretzel and Cheez Whiz log cabins, etc. Making snacks is an Achievement (9?) -Dustin G.

Tip: Speaking of the Denner, try to have every boy be a Denner and Asst Denner before the year is over. There is an Achievement (24?) for doing this. I tried to rotate Denners every 3 to 4 weeks. I also had the Denner lead one activity during their tenure, as well as provide one Cub Grub. -Dustin G
Start this off early, perhaps with the first meeting. Pick one of the more mature boys from your Wolf experience to begin with, to set the example. We elected the boy, with no repeats, for one month periods. Most of their tasks involved doing the opening and closing and folding the flag, which actually cut down on a lot of arguments. -Hans E

Tip: For the build-a-toolbox Achievement, plan to do this over the course of 2 meetings (or a 2 hour block). -Dustin G
-- Agreed. Hans E

Tip: Always, always, always have a physical activity in each meeting. There are Achievements for one-on-one games and team games, plus belt loops for sports. Without the physical activity, your boys may become distracted and/or disruptive. Red Rover Red Rover was popular with my boys. My kids also liked some around-the-room memory games, like Name a Vegetable (without repeating any already said) and the Telephone/Whisper/Gossip game. -Dustin G

Tip: Notebooks ar e agood thing to introduce at this age, if they did not already get them in Wolf year. A simple 3" ring binder will do. Let them decorate it, and suggest they put it in a satchel and make a habit of bringing it to the meetings. These make great tools whenever you hand out worksheets or lists of their achievements for parental review, even if you will also be sending follow-on e-mails.



What to Plan – Month to Month (sample calendars here)

August

Fun end-of-summer Pack Meeting. Get to see all the old faces, and a large number of fresh faces. Bring recruits!

September

Pack Meeting is centered around Popcorn Sales which start now.

October

The Pack Meeting is non-existent this month, just Pack-O-Ween.

November


December

The Pack Meeting is fast and furious, over-shadowed by anticipation for the Cary Christmas parade.

January


February

The Pack Meeting still occurs, but may be missing folks as they decide to attend the Blue & Gold Dinner instead, based on their schedules.

March

It will be a shock how the Pack Meeting has shrunken due to the Bridging of the Webelos II's.

April


May

End-of-Year Picnic and final awards.


Activity Tips


Soap carving notes for whittling chip


2015-2016, we used sweet potatoes instead of soap, which were easy to hold.

Critter Care

Dog rope toy for SPCA