Tom sent in this question:
The New Leader Meeting for our Pack was basically, read the hand book and ask us any questions. As an Eagle Scout I was able to figure a bunch out on my own and our Den is running strong. However, I see other new leaders that are new to Scouting are having a tougher time. I am putting together a Leader Orientation for next year and was wondering what you would include, especially with the upcoming program changes.
It is great that you are thinking ahead, especially with the significant changes coming to the Cub Scout program next year. I’m sure this will be a great help to new den leaders.
Here are some things I would include:
- An overview of your pack structure: List the names and contact information for the adult leaders in the pack, including Cubmaster, Committee Chair, other chairs like advancement, Blue and Gold banquet, Pinewood Derby, etc. Include a brief description of each of the positions so new leaders will understand who they need to contact with questions. If you don’t know who will be in these positions, leave blanks so leaders have a place to fill in this information later.
- If your pack has a Pack Trainer, emphasize that this person is a resource for den leaders and they should contact him or her whenever they need to.
- Who is responsible for purchasing recognition items? What is the process in your pack?
- Which expenses will the pack reimburse? What are the reimbursement procedures?
- A list of how dens typically operate in your pack: What is the normal den meeting schedule in your pack. Do dens meet once, twice per month? Weekly? Where do they typically meet? How long is a typical meeting for Tigers vs Webelos? Remind them that Tigers work with adult partners. Encourage them to get parents involved at all levels though.
- Explain how the new Cub Scout adventures work. Explain the difference between requirements and electives.
- List some resources where they can find ideas and help. Don’t forget to include my site! List when and where Cub Scout roundtables are held for your district and encourage them to attend. Also list any district or council training opportunities.
If these leaders are completely new to Cub Scouting and to your pack, then there might be other items to include such as
- An overview of your pack program: Describe when and where are pack meetings. If you have a list of dates and the scheduled activities, include it. If not, a description of what typically goes on at a pack meeting would be helpful. List special events like pack hikes, Blue and Gold banquet, Pinewood Derby, etc.
- How much are pack dues? Who should they pay?
- Where do they get uniforms and which patches do they need? What are the uniforming expectations in your pack?
There are probably other items I am not thinking about right now. Readers, what would you add to these lists?