posted Sep 11, 2011, 6:52 AM by Bob Tormey   [ updated Sep 11, 2011, 8:01 AM ]
If you're already an active Scouter, or if this is your first experience of Scouting, the Tiger Cub year is an easy program to lead, and sets the stage for the more advanced ranks ahead of you.  So relax and have fun.  The program asks only that you "Do Your Best" and enjoy the journey ahead of you.

1. Shared Responsibility
The Tiger leadership model places the Den Leader as a facilitator.  You organize, you oversee,  you manage.  Most of all, you communicate.  You may take on the first or first set of meetings and activities, but good leadership will mean that your den activities will take place beyond your home.  The scouts will spend time in everyone's kitchen, in everyone's basement, in everyone's backyard.  Make sure to share the fun equitably.

2. You're a Model
If you wanted a career in modeling or mentoring, you've got one - scouting style.  But who's your audience?  ...  Did you guess, "Your fellow den parents?"  If so, you're right on!

The official models to your scouts are their parents, known as their "Akelas" or "trusted leaders."  You are the Akela to the Akelas.  You will model the scouting program to them.  But how?  Don't fret, because like the overall program, it's easy.

You must to take Youth Protection Training, and should complete Den Leader Fast Track online training by October 1.  Each course is only 20 minutes in length, and will create an initial awareness and familiarity which will propel you ahead of the other parents in the den. 

By November 15, complete the online Tiger Cub Position Specific training and the "This is Scouting" orientation video.  Now you are completely up-to-date and you'll have a very good sense of what to do and how to do it.  But how will you get the time to complete this training?  "Shared Responsibility" comes to your rescue.  Your other den parents are planning and conducting their meetings and the Go-See-Its -- not you!  Let them, while you complete the training and launch your modeling career.

3. What NOT to Do
Don't worry about becoming too involved in the Pack.  You should attend the monthly Leaders Meeting usually held on the first Thursday of the month.  You should read the Leader and Pack e-mails, and you should become familiar with the content on the website.

However, you and your den will NOT be asked to volunteer for pack responsibilities until near the end of the current scouting year.  It is more important that you have a successful and fun Tiger experience.  The pack is large and can take care of itself; however, your observance can help pave the way for active involvement at the pack-level in the years to come.  We'll be counting on you and members of your den AFTER the Tiger year.  All the pack asks at this point is that you "stay tuned."

4. A Quick Tour - Starting with the Back
The Tiger program consists of 5 achievements composed of three different sets of requirements each.  Each of the five has a 1) Family component, a 2) Den component, and a 3) Go-See-It activity.  You can let the den parents handle the den meetings and Go-See-Its, while you manage the overall program, while aiming to for all members to complete their achievements and earn rank at the March pack meeting.

The Let's Go Out Outdoors activities are best undertaken in the Fall.  Visit the Fire station, not the Police Station, for Where I Live.  You'll visit the the Police Station in about two years during Bear.  Go to a Medfield High School varsity game for Keeping myself Healthy and Safe.  Plan for a Historical Society visit for Making My Family Special.  They've got all kinds of colonial and post-colonial artifacts that showcase the ingenuity of early Medfield settlers.  Visit Medfield TV, a local newspaper, or even a Boston television station for How I Tell It.  Chances are, someone in your den knows someone who works for a local station.

By the time you've reached March and your den has earned Tiger rank, you'll be a full-fledged scout leader. Take your time and enjoy the ride.  Engage your den parents, and enjoy your time with your own son.  After a year of "Doing Your Best," you'll be doing very well!