Making Cub Scouts Work

Making cub scouts work smoothly can be a challenge. In fact, there seems to be three major barriers in terms of having a Cub Scout program work well. But if these common pitfalls are addressed and solved, the other smaller problems will take care of themselves. Training
Problem number one: leaders and families are unfamiliar with the program. The solution to this is found in one word--training. Any leader, in any situation, needs to understand their responsibilities and duties, as well as those of whom they work with. The Boy Scouts of America, through local districts, provides a series of training experiences beginning with an online course called "fast start training" designed to help leaders understand their job. The Boy Scouts of America website (scouting.org) has fast start training for every position from den leaders to the Primary president and can answer many of the questions both new and experienced leaders may have. The next level of training is called Basic Training. This covers training for specific positions, like a den leader or committee chair. After this training, leaders will know how the program works as a whole and receive leader-specific training that will, among other things, help den leaders learn to keep records and give ideas to Cubmasters for providing simultaneous entertainment and instruction to a spirited group of eightto ten-year-olds. In addition to these one-time trainings, roundtable meetings are provided each month by the sponsoring district and are especially great for Cub Scout leaders. At these meetings, the next month's theme and activities are discussed. Ideas, and in some cases supplies, are given to den leaders and Cubmasters. Most districts or councils also sponsor an annual training conference called a pow wow. While pow wow attendance is not required training, the curriculum is very useful, and many classes and ideas offered are relevant to every Cub Scout position. Tenure
If leaders are properly educated and supported in their training, they will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the aims and purposes of Cub Scouting. This will help alleviate the second major problem--tenure. In the 2007 Aaronic Priesthood/Scouting Broadcast, President Charles W. Dahlquist II, Young Men General President, discussed tenure in Scouting. "Over time, leaders become trained, establish strong Scouting traditions and build relationships of trust with the boys and their families. . . . Ideally, it would be wonderful to leave leaders of the youth in callings as long as possible." Lack of tenure makes smooth operation of the Cub Scouting program difficult. In a well-run program, the boys will be able to look forward with anticipation to activities with leaders they can expect in future years. Correlation
The third problem faced by many Cub Scout programs is one of correlation. It is difficult for some to see how Primary and Cub Scouts fit together and support one another. There are several ways Cub Scout requirements dovetail with Primary's goals: the family, Character Connections, and Faith in God. Family
Cub Scouting is a family program. Family and parental involvement is actually crucial to the workings of the program. Many requirements revolve around life at home and encourage participation with family members in family activities. Character Connections
Another way the programs work together is through Character Connections. Character Connections reinforce gospel principles and subjects taught in Primary and at Cub meetings. Found as requirements throughout all three den's books, Character Connections discuss topics like respect, faith, courage and honesty. Passing off these requirements necessitates the boys to know, commit to, and practice these values. Faith in God
A third way Primary and Cub Scouts reinforce one another is through the Faith in God program. This small booklet provides the requirements for the religious square knot patch. After he has earned it, this purple and silver patch is the only one that will remain with him on all his Scouting uniforms. He will wear it on his Boy Scout uniform and on his adult uniform as he becomes a leader. The Faith in God program also uses other Scouting activities to reinforce gospel teachings that help these young boys prepare for the priesthood through hands-on activities. Many leaders try to incorporate one Faith in God achievement at least once a month in their Cub Scout meetings. The Cub Scouting program is a way to build and support boys as they prepare to receive the priesthood. In 2007, when speaking to Scout leaders about Scouts, President Monson said, "They depend on you. Their very salvation may be at stake. You can build a bridge to the heart of a boy and can help guide his precious soul back to our Father in Heaven." Leaders and parents who recognize and follow this counsel concerning Scouting will do a great service to future generations of the world as we help these young boys grow and mature.
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