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Using the book


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#1 Lenae

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:10 PM

I've been a den leader for three years now, my sons den. Started as Tigers, now they're Webelos scouts. We hardly ever utilize the rank handbooks, and I honestly feel like it's a disservice to the boys. I know that some of what is in the book is fluff, but there is quite a bit of good info in them. I know, because I read my son's book every year. So, my question is, do you, my fellow den leaders, use your handbooks? If yes, how? Do you read them during the meeting out loud, or have boys read pertinent sections? Do you assign the pages you're covering as homework before a meeting? I'm just not really sure how to implement this, but I know it's something that needs to happen. My den is 10 boys, and they tend to be wild. We have a difficult time making meetings interesting enough to keep them engaged without adding any reading, which is honestly the number one reason we haven't successfully included book usage. We started the year off last year (as Bears) reading portions of the book that we were covering, but we would lose the boys SO quickly when we did that, it only lasted a few meetings before we scrapped it altogether. Thoughts?


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#2 Gwaihir

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 04:46 AM

I used them about 50% of the time this year with the Tigers, and as I'm now doing an end-of-season assessment of things that went right and the things that went wrong, I feel I didn't utilize their handbooks as well as I should have.  So I'll be making some adjustments next year with the wolves.  For starters, I want to encourage at-home reading of the books, and get feedback from the boys as to what they thought looked cool to them that we could do.  I also want to make sure I sign off in their books for every single requirement they do, and not just rely on scoutbook.com.  I remember as a Cub scout myself, I would read that book cover to cover.  I feel like these boys believe their handbooks are like school textbooks and they are only to read the chapters their "teacher" instructs them to, and only at the prescribed time.  I also wish they'd bring back illustrations... photos and CG cubscouts are boring. 


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#3 Eagle94-A1

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 04:49 AM

When I was a DL, I used my sons' books in conjunction with the Pack and Den meeting Guide (or whatever it was called), as a way to plan and organize my meetings. I also used the books in conjunction with planning Cub Scout day camp.

 

As for reading aloud at meetings, no, it didn't happen. I may have assigned some sections to read at home. But never forced it. One son didn't read the books much. One son devoured the books. Current Cub is mixed. Areas he is interested in he reads. Other areas he doesn't


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"Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt


#4 RichardB

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:53 AM

If you are not using the handbooks, how are your running the scouting program?   


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#5 Lenae

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:57 AM

If you are not using the handbooks, how are your running the scouting program?


I use the handbook and the leader guide to plan meetings and outings. I haven't asked the boys to read their books, or read passages to them. As a matter of fact, I hardly use the leader guide to plan den meetings anymore, and haven't since Wolf year. I feel like the meeting plans dumb down the information and treat the boys like they are younger than they are. We've had much more success keeping the boys interested with using the actual handbooks (not the leader guide) to plan our meetings. My husband is my assistant den leader, and he's a very animated, funny guy. He's good at making the material that I've put together fun and engaging, and does a better job presenting the material than the leader guide does.
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#6 Gwaihir

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 10:31 AM

If you are not using the handbooks, how are your running the scouting program?   

 

In Cubs, the leader book goes over all the requirements and the meeting agendas in great detail.  You could get away with running the program on just the leader book, online resources and advancement tracking software like scoutbook.com.  That all said, I believe boys having a handbook and using it to learn is something that's important.  


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#7 The Latin Scot

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:15 PM

Frankly, I don't see how you can run a Cub Scout program without using the book. In fact I almost never use the Den Leader Guide when I am planning our weekly Den Meetings - I look at the Handbook, create some fun activities that go along with what the boys themselves are reading for each requirement, and then I do that. Easy. I also have the boys read each requirement out loud before we start the activity so that they know EXACTLY what is required of them and what I am looking for before signing anything off. That way the program I am running matches the materials the boys are given, so it's better reinforced in their minds and they learn things better.


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There is no such word as "Webelo." 

The only proper singular of Webelos Scouts is ... WEBELOS SCOUT!  


#8 SSScout

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:11 PM

Do not give the Cubs homework . Give the PARENTS the homework.   Kids read because they love to read.   Parents who read to their kids regularly, every day , at bedtime, at lunch, from the newspaper comics, from "Treasure Island", from  "Good Night Moon", from Donald Duck comics, from the school text books, they have kids that love reading, and get something out of a book.

My folks read to me even up into the 4th and 5th grade.  We read to each other.  I watched my folks read. I watched (and copied !) my folks writing, letters, reports, news articles.    

Perhaps the Den Leader reading from  Gary Paulsen's "Hatchet",    Charles Lindbergh's Biography "WE"  might get their Cubs interested in the Bear Book by comparison.    

Is the Bear /Wolf/Tiger book too much like a Arithmetic book from school to be worthy of their attention at Scouts?   Is it possible we lost something else when TPTB eliminated the "Jungle Book " references from Cub Scouting?  

Yes, the Cubs need to be active, but they also need to see the relationship, the success and fun inherent in the book they pick up.   How to do things without  being TOLD to do it. They can do it themselves, by READING about it.


Edited by SSScout, 19 June 2017 - 03:13 PM.

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#9 dilrod

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:55 AM

I read both the handbook and the Den Leader's Guide before each adventure or elective, & ask the families to read theirs before each meeting.  I then make my own outline based on the activity and deliver it in my own words.  All the requirements are met and I can comfortably talk to the boys.

 

I personally feel the Tiger Handbook isn't user friendly enough for a first grader.  Too much for a little mind to take in, although I hope each boy finds something interesting in it.  I tell my den families to use it like a storybook & leave it at that.

 

I find that I can't keep up with signing off the books every time, but I try.  I do make sure everyone is personally recognized for completing a requirement, especially if they did it at home, and load it into ScoutTrack right away.

 

Combining the book with that pedantic DL Guide is way too much.  Nice to have if you're stumped for words, but then "keep it simple & keep it fun" might fall to the side.


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#10 aveline

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 05:03 PM

The den I lead was the last year to use the old books. I led the den with two other moms & we'd meet to go over both books and plan the meetings from there. We read more as the boys matured and learned to do the reading parts over snack time. Generally it was an adult reading and it wasn't the highlight of the meetings, but it worked. Another leader would sit the boys on the floor in a circle and read with them. It may depend on the "personality" of your den. The religious and youth protection information was always assigned reading for parents to do at home until our Webelos year, when we did more with the religious requirements as a den.


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