Membership – Tiger Recruitment
September through January
Cub Scout Pack leaders (Pack Committee Chair or Cubmaster or den leaders or den coach) foster a relationship with kindergarten teachers. The pack should invite the kindergarten through fifth grade teachers and the school principal to Cub Scout events, such as the Bobcat ceremony. If the pack conducts a service project for the school, make certain the school principal and teachers are aware of it. If the Webelos are completing the Scholar Activity Badge, invite the school principal to meet with the boys to fulfill some of the badge requirements. Raise the awareness of the teachers and principal about Cub Scouting.
Meet briefly after school with one or all of the kindergarten teachers to ask their help in identifying potential Tiger Cub leaders for the following year from among the kindergarten parents. Make certain the teachers understand the qualities we are seeking in a den leader – highly organized, works well with children, and communicates effectively with adults. Invite the kindergarten through fifth grade teachers and the school principal to the pack’s Blue & Gold Banquet. (still fostering that relationship) By inviting them to these activities, they will see what Cub Scouting does for a boy, and likely be supportive of our recruitment efforts. During the same time period, ask existing Cub Scout parents or Cub Scout volunteers for suggestions of kindergarten parents who would be well qualified to become new den leaders.
Ask kindergarten teachers for the names of those they would recommend to be den leaders. If the people recommended are not known to the Cub Scout volunteer making this request, ask the teacher to introduce the parent to you. If possible, do some due diligence or informal inquiries about the people recommended by the teacher. It is very important to find the right person to be a den leader.
When you have your short list of potential new leaders, have the person best suited to “make the ask” do so. If a current den leader has recommended a friend to become a new leader, and you have concluded this person is a good candidate, have the den leader ask the friend to become a den leader for the following year. If you, as pack committee chair (or some other pack leadership position), have received the name from the kindergarten teacher, you could make the ask. Be certain to explain the responsibilities of den leadership to the candidate.
Receive an acceptance from one or more of the new Tiger Cub Leaders you have recruited. Schedule a Tiger Cub organizational meeting (Round Up Night) and invite the parents of all kindergarten boys to attend. You may choose to conduct this meeting for the parents only or may choose to invite the kindergarten boys, too. If you invite the boys, have an activity for them in a separate room, so that you can meet with the parents uninterrupted.
Conduct a “Boy Talk”, if possible, with all of the kindergarten boys. Sometimes the kindergarten teachers will allow this to be conducted at the end of recess, so it does not interfere with classroom time. Keep the boy talk to approximately five minutes in length. Tell the boys about all of the fun they will have in Cub Scouts. Tell them it is very important that their parents attend the organizational meeting (“….Next week on Tuesday night at 7:00, right here in the school library…”). You might choose to give the boys a small something to introduce them to Cub Scouts and induce them to want to join. We used bug suckers for many years. Give each boy a colorful flyer to take home with the date, time, and location of the organizational meeting. Have the boys place the flyers in their backpacks immediately, before returning to the classroom.
Conduct the organizational meeting with the parents of kindergarten boys. Introduce the new den leader, but do not require him or her to conduct the parent meeting. Use the meeting as a way to recruit the families into Cub Scouting. Display 8”x10” photos of Cub Scouts in your pack participating in fun activities. Display the Cub Scout uniform. Bring Tiger Cub helium balloons. Bring Tiger Cub handbooks to sell to the parents. Many of them will want to see the handbooks. Explain how the program is conducted, frequency of den meeting, frequency of pack meetings, other pack activities, etc. Allow time for questions and answers. Complete the registration forms with the parents and collect the fees at this meeting. Provide the parents with a calendar of a few activities the den will complete over the summer. Include a couple of den activities and a couple of pack activities. It need not be too many, but it should be enough so that the boys feel they have had Cub Scout experiences over the summer (even if family activities preclude them from attending all of the Cub Scout activities.) It is also nice to schedule the activities in a way that makes it possible for the boys to earn the Summertime Pack Award. It is best to complete the organizational meeting in one hour or less.
Provide the new Tiger Cub leader with the support needed to have a successful den. It is especially important to continue to provide this support during the den’s first year.