For the most part, I like the new BSA Program helps. These are available in a printed version (BSA publication 32354) or online.
Sometimes the helps are a little light on specifics or you have to hunt around in another publication or online for some additional resources. So in my review below I’ve added some additional information I think would be helpful.
Some other resources you might find helpful:
- If you want to try to cover Bobcat in a single meeting instead, see my Tiger Den Meeting Plan for Bobcat Badge
- My Bobcat page for more helps for the Bobcat badge requirements
- My Tiger Achievement 1 page for more help with “Making My Family Special”
BSA Tiger Den Meeting 1 – Bobcat and Making My Family Special
Preparation and Before the Meeting
These sections have lots of good details. Don’t forget to assemble any additional materials you might need, like supplies for your gathering activity. Pay attention to the part about having a host team. Your first year as a den leader will go much easier if every family pitches in. And you will set the tone for the rest of their Cub Scout experience. It should not be a den leader doing 100% of the work.
Gathering activities are important. It gives the Tigers something to do until everyone arrives. Puzzles are always a good option. Or you can give them some supplies to work on one of the electives with their adult partner. That way, those who arrive last don’t miss out on something which is required for the badge. For this meeting, they could make Paper Bag Puppets. This fulfills Tiger Elective 21 – The Show Must Go On (Remember – the Tigers and their adult partners should work on this together!)
Keep the opening simple with Tigers. The suggestion in the helps to teach the Tiger motto for opening works great.
I try to keep the business part of the meeting short. The Cub Scouts find it boring. Take care of what has to get done, but move on quickly. You can always talk to individual parents who need more information after the meeting.
Teach and review the Bobcat badge requirements (see the Tiger Cub Handbook) - The suggestions given are good ones. See Cub Scout Law of the Pack Letter Tile Puzzle and Cub Scout Promise Puzzle for something similar to the “Line up the Lines” game. You might also want to check out Bobcat Dice Roll.
Honesty Character Connection (also part of the Bobcat requirements) – For a game which goes with this, see Show Me the Truth Game .
Achievement 1D: With adult partner, assemble and decorate your family scrapbook: This is pretty self explainatory. If you want to make one using household materials, see Recycled Cereal Box Scrapbooks . Or see my Tiger Achievement 1 page for Tiger and Cub Scout albums, stickers, Scout scrapbook paper, etc.
Closings should also be brief. Always hand out instant recognition beads for anything they have completed. Remind them of any upcoming Pack or den events. And tell them they’ll have to do requirement 1F (chore) at home. Finish up with a prayer or a brief inspirational thought.
After the Meeting
Make sure everyone helps clean up. And yes, it’s time to start thinking about the next meeting already! So remind whoever is the host team for the next time of the date of the meeting and what you are planning to do.