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Can an Adult Serve as a Den Leader for More Than One Den?

John sent in this question:

Can a den leader serve as den leader for more than one den?

My Thoughts on Being Den Leader for More than One Den

The short answer is, yes, it’s possible, but it’s generally not recommended. Cub Scouting is fundamentally a family-oriented program, and the aim is to get more parents involved in the leadership.

Finding a parent to lead each den is the ideal approach, although this can be tough at times. The reason for the recommendation is simple: being a den leader is time-consuming and demands dedication.

When you’re in charge of one den, the responsibilities are plenty, but it’s manageable. If you attempt to do this for two dens, the challenge multiplies. The risk is that neither den gets the full attention it deserves.

One potential solution is to be a den leader for one den and an assistant den leader for the other. This allows you to be involved but doesn’t put all the responsibility on your shoulders for two dens.

While there might be exceptions to this guideline depending on the situation, the best practice is to find unique leaders for each den. It helps in maintaining the quality of the program and ensures that each den has the focused leadership it requires.

What Does the Pack Committee Do?

In a Cub Scout pack, the Cubmaster and den leaders shouldn’t shoulder all the work. That’s where the Pack Committee comes in, working behind the scenes to support and recruit more adult leaders, including additional den leaders. This isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential for the pack’s success. A well-organized Pack Committee eases the load on the den leaders, ensuring that tasks are spread out and the program runs smoothly. Their contribution fosters a more efficient and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Frequently Asked Questions about Being Den Leader for More than One Den

Can I be a den leader for more than one den?

Yes, it’s possible, but typically not recommended due to the time and dedication required for each den. It’s better to have unique leaders for each den to maintain the quality of the program.

What challenges will I face in being den leader for more than one den?

Managing more than one den will likely double your responsibilities. Planning, communication, and providing individual attention can become more complex and time-consuming, making it a challenging endeavor.

Is there a way to support more than one den without leading both?

Absolutely. You could become a den leader for one den and an assistant den leader for another. This way, you can still be involved without taking on the full responsibility for both.

How can I find additional leaders if I want to help more than one den?

Working closely with the Pack Committee to recruit more adult leaders is an excellent approach. They are there to support and help in finding more den leaders.

Will leading more than one den affect the quality of the program?

It might. While exceptions exist, trying to lead two dens could stretch you thin, potentially impacting the quality of the program. Having dedicated leaders for each den generally ensures a more focused and successful experience.

Can the Pack Committee help me if I’m leading more than one den?

The Pack Committee is there to provide behind-the-scenes support, including recruiting additional leaders. They can be an essential resource if you find yourself in this situation. But remember, the best practice is usually to find unique leaders for each den.


4 responses to “Can an Adult Serve as a Den Leader for More Than One Den?”

  1. LaVon Avatar

    It can be done but it is double the time and preparation for the leader. One idea is that you could be the den leader (since that scares some people) but ask each of the parents to be responsible for a meeting so the responsibility is shared and you don’t have to do it all. You would want to have a parent’s meeting and get their “buy in” and have them sign up for dates before you commit.

    Because our rural pack was about to fold due to no den leader and just 5 boys total, I decided to be a den leader again. I did Tiger, Bear, and Webelos at the same meeting and it felt like 10 times the work to me. I wanted them to meet together as much as possible since there so few of them. I had them together as much as possible then often broke them up into individual groups with a parent at the meeting so they could get their requirements completed. What I did is definitely not recommended but I didn’t want the pack to close after being in our town 70 years! There was a book to help with meeting in a mixed group like that but since our group didn’t meet weekly, it wasn’t much help.

    1. cgcowner Avatar

      I agree, that would be difficult. One note on the parent involvement front from your suggestion: make certain you have absolutely committed parents. Our group last year was forced to do that (parents in charge/leading every meeting), and the parents wouldn’t commit. So the boys suffered. That’s how I ended up with the group for this upcoming year, even though I really don’t have the time in my schedule. I don’t want to see my child not do the work just because the other parents won’t commit. Thank goodness my spouse is willing to assist and make it a tag-team effort.

  2. Jessica Avatar

    I am an Assistant Cubmaster, Tiger den leader, Webelos den leader, and our Den Chief Coordinator. My hubby is our Committee Chair and an Assistant Scoutmaster in our son’s troop. We both commit one week’s vacation for summer camp also. It is difficult to juggle all of these tasks. One system that I implemented, is to have a resource box for each one of our dens in our closet at the church that charters us. The boxes contain the den leader guide and a handbook for that rank, a binder of meeting plans and craft supplies or activity supplies for the meeting plan. This helps in a number of ways – if a leader cannot attend a meeting, any one of the parents can get into their own den’s box and pull out a meeting plan and the corresponding activity items. This also serves as a back-up when a meeting just doesn’t go as planned and we need a plan B. I am now working on a supply of common pack items – tubs of crayons, construction paper, glue sticks, inflatable fun game items, etc so any leader can take from the common shared items if needed. Parental involvement is a must, and if you are fortunate enough to have a den chief, have them make plans and run them by you once they are acclimated to their role. Share the load with parents who are willing, and starting out organized helps to retain your volunteers. Good luck!

  3. Li nda Suarez Avatar
    Li nda Suarez

    Unfortunately, it happens a lot in LDS packs! Since Den Leader positions are callings within a church setting, there are many times that people move, are assigned a new calling, or aren’t as enthusiastic about being a leader for young boys. Lots times the parents of these scouts are already busy with other church positions at the time dens meet. It seems to take forever to find a new den leader, forcing a the other leaders to do double duty.

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