At the last Roundtable, we discussed using the National Den Award in your den. The National Den Award is a program of incentives and criteria for a healthy and active den. Many of its criteria are both a list of activities and meetings to attend and attendance goal.
Dens that complete this receive a ribbon to put on their patrol flag or a den doodle.
Two of the most important criteria are B.1. and B.2.:
B.1. Use the denner system within the den.
B.2. In a Tiger den, use shared leadership and rotate the boy/adult host team.
These lead to questions, such as “What is the Denner System?” and “What is shared leadership?”
The Denner System is the age-appropriate youth leadership part of Cub Scouting. It gives a boy a part of the responsibilty for running meeting and events. It takes some work from the adult Den Leader to teach the system, but the payoff comes in the following months’ meetings. The Cub Scouts will grow in independence and self-reliance.
Shared leadership is the process of having each family in the den taking responsibility for a meeting or two. This creates an expectation of participatin from the parents. The limited scope of responsibility allows the adults to experience success in a scout leadership endeavor that is quickly started, heavily scripted, and rapidly concluded. The result is that the adult partner finds that Cub leadership is not difficult to organize. The boys as a group require some effort to keep focused and active, but the adult partner is fully capable of the challenge. With the challenge completed, they are more likely to accept the next task put before them.
Look at the criteria on the linked checklist to see how your den can achieve the National Den Award.