I can hardly believe that we are mere weeks from the start of school!
For many parents, we are breathing a sigh of relief that we are going back to our regularly scheduled programming. But for those of us who are den leaders, it is just the beginning of another great Scouting year ahead!
If you are rolling your eyes and reaching for the antacid, then I suspect you might be revisitng bad memories of a hectic prior year. So I have a list of tips for you to plan an organized, fun year that won’t lead to an ulcer!
First, poll your parents for the best meeting date and time for your scouts.
Here is a tip…not everyone will be available to meet at the same time and date. Sadly, you are going to have to go with the majority here.
Second, schedule your meetings for the entire year before your first den meeting.
Google calendar is a great tool. You can enter the dates and immediately see if one of your meeting falls on Thanksgiving or another holiday.
Third, create a simple sign up sheet that has a volunteer parent beside each date.
The volunteer parent can do anything from lead a skill to bring a snack to plan a game. They don’t have to decide what they will do right at that moment. But they do have to at least commit some time.
Fourth, hold a parent meeting before your first meeting.
Set expectations for volunteering. Most parents don’t know that each den helps its leader and helps its Pack. Here is where you let them know how to help, especially how they can help you!
Finally, have your first meeting.
At your first meeting, have an agenda so that the meeting will flow, have a game so that the scouts will be happy and excited for the beginning of the new year, and have a snack. People bond over food and the scouts are no different.
If you have a Lion or Tiger den, parents are required to hang out during the meeting.
If you have a Wolf, Bear, Webelos, or Arrow of Light den, the only parent who should stay is the one helping out.
This is just a brief list of what you can do. If you want details and great ideas, get trained! The council training classes are absolutely priceless when you have people sharing great ideas!
Good luck and remember, “Do Your Best!”