The Den Chief
Posted On: 2009-01-02
What is a Den Chief?
The den chief is an older Boy Scout selected by the Scoutmaster in cooperation with the Cubmaster. He may be of any age or rank, but he can be the greatest help if he is a former Cub Scout and if he is mature enough to assume this important responsibility. As a selected leader of younger boys, he has the opportunity to help them complete their Cub Scout or Webelos Scout advancement requirements and live up to Cub Scouting's ideals in their everyday lives.
The den chief is a member of a leadership team which also include the den leader, assistant den leader, and the denner. The den chief is already what every Cub Scout and Webelos Scout would like to be - a Boy Scout. As far as the younger boys are concerned, he is the person they would most like to follow, and that makes him a natural leader for them. By directing this natural leader wisely, we can influence the den of boys under his leadership.
Den Chief Responsibilities
The den chief helps lead the weekly den meeting. He arrives on time, in proper uniform.
He assists with assigned den activities at the monthly pack meetings.
He shares responsibility with the den leaders in all den activities, looking to them for adult leadership and inspiration.
He meets with the den leader to plan his part of the program for the den meetings. These meetings are held regularly, at least once each month, or more often, if needed.
He sees that the den program does not include Boy Scout activities, since such activities should be saved for Boy Scouting.
He recognizes the denner (a member of the den, chosen by his peers) as his right-hand man by giving him opportunities to serve.
He takes part in all training opportunities so he may become a better leader.
It should be understood by the den chief, and by his pack and troop leaders as well, that service as a den chief, although an important responsibility, will not be so demanding on his time and interest as to interfere with his patrol and troop activities. Den meetings are usually scheduled at a time that will not conflict with troop activities.
Den chiefs should receive training at a Den Chief's Training Conference held by the district or council. They also receive continuous and regular training from the den leader.
Fortunately, most den chiefs serve because it is fun, and because they like it. The den chief's shoulder cord is presented in front of his troop. The pack may use an appreciation certificate as a method of recognition.
Helping At Den Meetings
Gathering Period - Helps teach boys tricks, puzzles, games, while den leader is busy checking attendance and collecting dues. The activities he uses here could be related to the monthly theme.
Opening - Helps den leader organize boys and get them ready for the more serious part of the den meeting. He could hold a uniform inspection during this time.
Business - He will have some good ideas for theme activities, service projects, trips, etc. Give him a chance to voice his ideas.
Activities - This is when the den chief can be the most help. He is the activities assistant, leading boys in games, songs, craft projects, etc.
Closing - Helps restore order and quiet for closing ceremony. He can help make announcements.
After Meeting - Be sure to include him in your planning for next week and assign him specific responsibilities.
(Note:) The Webelos den chief helps a Webelos den similarly. In addition to the suggestions above, he helps Webelos Scouts learn Boy Scout requirements for the Webelos badge and Arrow of Light Award and helps with demonstrations and teaching of activity badges, as needed.
Helping at Pack Meetings
The den chief should be included in the planning for monthly pack meetings. He can help with any of the following:
- Help den leader set up displays.
- Help get the boys organized and seated.
- Help den leader during stunts or skit time.
- Helps with applause stunts and audience participations.
- Helps with den yell or song - or Activity Badge demonstration.
- Helps den leader maintain good behavior from Cub Scouts.
- Helps remove displays at end of pack meeting.
- Helps return pack meeting room to order.