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Cub Scout Pack 157 - Weston, MA
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Lion Den (kindergarten)
Tiger Den (1st Grade)
Wolf Den (2nd Grade)
Bear Den (3rd Grade)
WEBELOS 4 (4th Grade)
WEBELOS 5 (5th Grade)

How to be a successful Den Leader

Get registered.

  • Fill out the BSA Adult Application. Note that the council tends to return these to us if the experience and reference section is not filled in. Don't forget to sign in two places and initial in four places.
  • Fill out a CORI form and attach a copy of the front and back of your ID (or you can snap a photo of your ID and e-mail it).
  • Take the online Youth Protection Training (YPT) course (below), and forward proof that you have completed it. There will be a "completion certificate" available at the end.
  • Note that the Pack pays for adult registration fees.

Get trained.

Go to my.scouting.org, create an account, and take the free online training. Don't worry that you have no "BSA-ID". You will receive a BSA-ID after your application is processed, and you can later add that to your my.scouting.org account.

To access the training, click on "Home" then select "My Dashboard". Under "My Training" click on "Training Center" then click on "Cub Scouting". This page will show the three categories of training: Youth Protection Training, Leader Position-Specific Training and Supplemental Training. All adult members need to take "Youth Protection Training" (25 minutes long) before an application can be processed. After completing Youth Protection Training, Den Leaders should select "Den Leader Position-Specific Training" by clicking on "Take Course" on the right hand side of the selection. Note that the training is broken down into three "learning plans": "Den Leader - Before the First Meeting", "Den Leader - First 30 Days" and "Den Leader - Position Trained". All three learning plans must be completed to be considered "trained".

Upon clicking on "Take Course", you will be redirected to ScoutingU where you will need to reenter your user ID and password. Then, scroll to the bottom of the screen and select "Cub Scouting". Scroll to the bottom of the next screen and click on "Select a Training Program" for a drop down list of positions. Select your position. The next screen will show the three learning plans for your position. Hover over each learning plan name and click the green plus sign to add this to your learning plan. Once you have added a learning plan it will be reflected in "My Learning". Scroll to the top of the screen and click on "My Learning" to see all your learning plans and progress to date. Each of the learning plans is broken down into modules that can be taken individually. Most modules take 10-15 minutes each although some are as short as 5 minutes and some as long as 20 minutes. You may need to scroll with the arrow key instead of the scrollbar. Complete the modules at your own pace but before the rechartering deadline of December 31st each year. Your progress will be saved and you can go directly to "My Learning" to resume your coursework.

Get Organized.

Use ScoutTrack for keeping attendance and tracking achievements throughout the year. See ScoutTrack instructions here.

Consult your handbook and plan a program that gives the boys in your den the opportunity to achieve the rank badge by the end of the school year (i.e. Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos Badge by May). The exception is 5th year Webelos, who must complete Arrow of Light by February's Blue and Gold Dinner as that is when they cross over to Boy Scouts.

Be sure to use the adventure loops and adventure pins, and award them immediately so the boys have something to show for their efforts. The Pack will pay for these and will have them ready upon entering the boys' information in ScoutTrack.

Schedule your den meetings and den events for the whole school year now.

Submit your den calendar to the Pack Committee Chair so that your den's parents can see your den activities along with the Pack activities on the Google calendar.

Den meetings can be held at the Weston Scout House.

Schedule Den meetings at a time that works for the Den. After school is a golden time, particularly on half days, but not all Dens can pull this off. Some Dens meet on weekends. On weekdays, 6-7 p.m. has worked well for Tigers and Wolves, since they go to bed early. 6:30-7:30 p.m. has worked well for Bears and Webelos, since earlier conflicts with dinner and later conflicts with bed time. Limit den meetings to 60 minutes.

Get Equipped.

Visit the Scout Shop.

Get a uniform shirt -- the boys will follow your example and will wear their uniforms. The Pack will pay for your den leader guide book, neckerchief, and patches -- just like it pays for those for the boys.

Get Funded.

The Pack will give each den $15/boy from the popcorn proceeds to pay for den meeting supplies and outing fees.

Get Helpers.

Sign up the den parents to lead the achievements on the Tiger, Wolf, Bear trails. Involve as many parent helpers as possible, even if their jobs are very small. Also mix in some fun electives. An active Tiger, Wolf or Bear den should give the boys the opportunity to earn elective adventure loops, so be sure to include some fun elective activities!

What else?

At den meetings, be sure to learn skits and songs to share as a den at Pack meetings.

Bring a camera to all Cub Scout events. Boys this size grow amazingly fast, so you'll be really glad you did!

Be a great example. Wear your uniform at every opportunity and the boys will too.

Always treat the boys with respect. Consistently demand respect from them, and they will consistently give it to you.

Keep it simple and make it fun. If you are having fun, it is likely that the boys will be too!