There is just so much to know about being a Den Leader that it can really be daunting. I so wish I was a Vulcan and could Mind-Meld with the incoming Den Leader. One of the better sites, though a tad outdated in some of it’s listed requirements of Training, from Merit Badge.org. This is outside the Planning Guides for the Pack & Den for lesson plans.
As it really stands now, the BSA considers the Den Leaders & Cubmaster as Direct Contact Leaders. Not the Committee or Committee Chair. They need training. Youth Protection Training is a fact and you cannot be a Leader without it. This training is all about how to put on a program for the youth. Right now, all online training will in the eyes of the BSA, will cover you to be considered “Trained” for your position. There is no BALOO or OWLS online. Training online is good for only one thing. Getting some information to the person who needs it. It is really just a basic introduction to Scouting. Real Training needs to be in front of a skilled Scouter Trainer. Someone who knows the position and has been through the fire.
Training is also ongoing. Do you want a surgeon operating on you that has skills from when they graduated in 1975? NO! You want the latest info crammed into their head! Same for Scouting. On going training is University of Scouting, BALOO, OWLS and even Nap on Safely!
I have basically taken all the training that there is for Cubscout Leaders. I have also taken First Aid, AED & CPR training from the Red Cross and recertified! I also took Wilderness First Aid. Now THAT is a very fun class! I would suggest the Red Cross version over the WMI version only because it is $100 cheaper!
As part of my goal as Cubmaster, I worked to get my Den Leaders and Committee Members “TRAINED!” They are, basically. A few have taken it upon themselves to go to the University of Scouting for the past few years. EVERYONE NEEDS TO GO!
That to me along with not getting people to BALOO & OWLS (outside my one Webelos II Den Leader who crossed over last year) was a big failure for me. I generally believe that the Den Leaders are great people. They DO their Best! Between Family, Work, Scouts, Scout related meetings/outings and sports, they just were crunched for time. As I have said, some made it.
The new Cubmaster is right now in the middle of the W1-492-13 Wood Badge Course. To which, I think the program will greatly benefit from. I am very happy that she is going. The Pack is paying for her to go. I paid for myself.
My hope for this Pack is that more Adult Leaders take In-Person Training. That they take BALOO and OWLS. That they all go to U of Scouting.
Up Next is “What I tell the New Den Leaders!”