Cub Scout Den Meetings
A den is a group of six to eight boys, within the pack, that meets several
times a month between pack meetings. The boys in a den are usually all at the
same grade level. The den structure allows boys to build relationships with
leaders and other boys. The den provides opportunities for activities that
would be difficult with a large group. The den also provides leadership
opportunities for the boys.
The Den Meeting Location
The location of den meetings will vary, depending on the resources of the
Cubmaster or den leader. An ideal meeting place is the home of an adult leader,
if there is enough room for everybody. Meetings can also be held in a basement,
garage, backyard, park, town square, or the activity room of an apartment
building. Some dens meet at the chartered organization's meeting place or at
a local school.
Den Meeting Attendance
The den leader and assistant den leader (or another adult) attend all den
meetings with the Cub Scouts. (At least two adults must be present at all
meetings.) Tiger Cub den meetings are also attended by each Tiger Cub's adult
partner. Wolf, Bear, and Webelos den meetings are often attended by a den
chief, a Boy Scout or Venturer who assists the adult leaders. An activity
badge counselor who has been asked to help with a specific badge may also
attend a Webelos den meeting. Sometimes, a parent, guardian, or other family
member might be asked to help at a specific meeting, but family members do
not normally attend Wolf, Bear, or Webelos den meetings.
The Den Meeting Agenda
All Cub Scout den meetings have the following parts:
- Before the Meeting. Before the Cub Scouts arrive, leaders gather
to make preparations and handle last-minute details.
- Gathering Activity. As the Cub Scouts begin to arrive, they join
in an informal activity or game, often conducted by the den chief to
keep the boys interested and active until the entire group has
- Opening. The opening is the official start of the den meeting.
It usually consists of a formal ceremony, such as a flag ceremony, a
prayer or song, or a group recital of the Cub Scout Promise.
- Program. The program part of the meeting will vary by the age
of the boys (see below), and may be broken into two or more parts.
Generally, most of the meeting consists of craft projects, games, and
activities that are all based on the monthly theme.
- Closing. The closing draws the meeting to an end. It's usually
serious and quiet. Den leaders could present a thought for the day or
give reminders about coming events.
- After the Meeting. The leaders review the events of the meeting,
finalize plans for the next den meeting, and review their progress
toward the upcoming pack meeting.
Tiger Cub Program
Tiger Cubs generally have at least four meetings each month: they attend the
Cub Scout pack meeting, participate in a "Go See It" outing, and take part in
at least two den meetings.
The program section of the Tiger Cub den meeting is usually divided into
three parts, corresponding to the Tiger Cub motto:
- Share. The Share part of the den meeting gives each boy
a chance to share something that he's done since the last meeting.
This activity gives boys time to share family experiences.
- Search. During the Search time of the meeting, the
leaders will talk about plans for the Go See It outing. This
activity could fulfill one of the achievement requirements or one
of the elective requirements, or it could relate to the monthly
- Discover. During Discover time, the den leader may introduce
the monthly theme and talk about what the den will be doing for
the pack meeting. Then the boys will play games, work on craft
projects and puzzles, take part in outdoor activities, or work
on advancement requirements.
Wolf and Bear Cub Scout Program
Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts devote part of their weekly meeting to "business
items" such as monitoring the boys' progress toward rank advancement and other
awards and choosing, planning, and preparing their activity for the upcoming
Every den meeting should include at least one game, to be conducted by the
den chief; craft projects that are started at the meeting and completed at
home with the boys' families; and other group activities such as songs, stunts,
and puzzles related to the monthly theme.
Often, den meeting activities enable the Cub Scouts to complete some
requirements toward an award or rank. The den leader can initial the requirement
in the boys' handbooks, but it must also be signed by a parent or guardian to
indicate the requirement has been completed.
Webelos Scout Program
The program activities in a Webelos den meeting often focus on "Activity
Badge Fun." It's a time for instruction, practice, games, and contests related
to the activity badge of the month. It's a chance for the boys to learn by
The Webelos Leader Guide provides den meeting outlines for each activity
badge. Many Webelos den leaders use these outlines as guides and incorporate
ideas or plans they develop themselves. A well-planned den meeting program
will ensure that most of the boys will qualify for the activity badge by
the end of the month.
Webelos Scouts also prepare for the den's part in the next pack meeting.
They may work on projects that they will exhibit, or practice ceremonies,
skits, songs, and other activities that they will conduct.
Finally, the den meeting is a good time to plan and prepare for other
activities, such as service projects and outdoor events, that are also key
parts of the Webelos Scouts' experience.
Den Meeting Activities
The range of activities that may fit into a den meeting is as wide as
imagination itself. Many suggestions for activities can be found in the Cub
Scout program literature, childrens' books and magazines, and many other
Any activity you can imagine can be incorporated into a den meeting, so long
as it is age-appropriate, safe, and—most of all—fun. Ideally, the
activities included in a den meeting reinforce the values taught by Cub Scouting
or match the monthly theme. But sometimes, "just for fun" is all the reason
Here are some activities commonly included in Cub Scout den meetings.
Crafts are an important part of Cub Scouting because they help a boy learn
new skills, follow directions, work with his hands, appreciate and value
materials, and use and care for tools. Boys usually start their craft projects
during the den meeting and complete them at home with help from their
Crafts and projects in Cub Scouting may relate to the monthly theme; relate
to achievements, electives, or activity badges; or be done just for fun. The
monthly theme is designed to suggest opportunities for handicrafts and other
activities. For a well-rounded program, two den meetings might be devoted to
crafts. The other two can be devoted to games, fitness activities, a trip, or
a service project.
Most dens operate on limited funds, so craft projects should be simple and
inexpensive. Scrap materials can be put to good use and are readily available
at little or no cost. Some den leaders ask boys to bring scrap materials or
equipment from home. All den families can help fill a den craft-supply box.
When tools are needed for crafts and projects, call on a parent, neighbors,
or other adults to help.
For help with craft project ideas, see the Cub Scout Leader How-To
Mention the word "game" to most boys, and their eyes light up. Whether they
are physical outdoor events or simple mental challenges, games are an important
part of Cub Scouting because they help a boy
- Learn good sportsmanship, self-confidence, and patience
- Develop consideration for others
- Learn to follow rules, to wait their turn, and to respect
the rights of others
- Learn give-and-take and fair play
- Improve his physical and mental health
Many games combine fun and fitness. They provide a chance for every Cub Scout
to learn the basic skills of a sport, game, or competition while learning good
sportsmanship and habits of personal fitness. And all of this takes place in an
environment where participation and doing one's best are more important than
Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos dens may be asked to present skits or
demonstrations at the pack meeting. These can be pantomimes, sketches, or
short plays. The main purpose of skits is for the boys—and the
audience—to have fun. But as boys practice performing in these informal
skits, their confidence and leadership skills begin to develop as well.
Skits usually are based on the monthly theme. A Webelos den skit or
demonstration might be based on the monthly activity badge area. Boys will
have the chance to plan, rehearse, and make props and costumes during den
meetings. The final presentation can be made at the pack meeting.
Some Cub Scouts may want to just watch rather than take part in the skit.
Ask them to handle the lights or offstage sound effects, or watch the time.
Sometimes, playing a character who wears a mask or uses puppets helps lessen
a boy's self-consciousness.
Group singing at a den or pack meeting adds to fellowship and a feeling of
togetherness. Most boys enjoy singing. For a leader, music can help lift
spirits and create a happy atmosphere for teaching the more serious parts of
the program. You can use songs to help set whatever mood you want—serious,
patriotic, inspirational, or theme-related. Boys especially like action songs
that give them a chance to move around. They also enjoy seeing their families
taking part in action songs at pack meetings.
Some packs have enough copies of the Cub Scout Songbook (No. 33222)
to use at den meetings. When people know the song or have the words, they are
more inclined to join the fun. Also, the singing at pack meetings is greatly
improved if the dens know in advance which songs will be sung and can practice
them in den meetings.
Storytelling is a good way for a den leader to introduce the theme for the
next month. Depending on the theme, the leader might tell a true story from
nature or an incident from the life of a famous person, a myth, or an American
Indian legend. The Cub Scout Promise, the Law of the Pack, and the Cub Scout
motto all can be explained and illustrated by stories.
A story can set the scene for a special outing or trip. It can meet a special
need, such as a behavior problem. It can help you get a point across without
singling out a particular boy or incident.
One of the best reasons for telling stories is because they are fun and boys
enjoy them. Stories are sometimes just the right thing to change the pace of a
meeting from noisy to quiet, or to put a finishing touch on a pack campfire.
Stunts, Tricks, and Puzzles
Stunts, tricks, and puzzles brighten meetings and put the group in a happier,
livelier, more receptive mood. Use them as icebreakers to get the meeting off
to a good start or as an element of surprise or excitement when people get
restless. There are several different types of stunts:
- Those that the boys perform for an audience
- Audience participation, in which everyone joins in by making
sound effects or some other type of response to a leader
- Applause stunts, which are especially useful for recognition
These activities should be fun for the boys as well as the audience. Because
stunts are simpler than skits, they usually don't require as much preparation
and rehearsal. All stunts, however, should be positive in nature and encourage
a boy's self-esteem.
Use simple ceremonies to open and close den meetings and to mark important
events in the lives of the boys and the den. Den ceremonies should be
short—no longer than two or three minutes—and varied. The same
opening and closing each week will become boring. Occasionally, the boys
should have a chance to help plan and lead den ceremonies.
Here are some types of den ceremonies to consider using in your den
- An opening ceremony, often a flag ceremony, signals
the beginning of the den meeting.
- A Progress Toward Ranks ceremony can acknowledge a boy's
progress toward his rank advancement.
- A denner installation ceremony recognizes a boy leader
and the importance of this position in Cub Scout and Webelos
- Special recognition ceremonies can mark special events
such as birthdays and holidays.
- Closing ceremonies can emphasize Cub Scouting's ideals
and bring a quiet, inspirational end to the den meeting.
Ideas for ceremonies can be found in Cub Scout Ceremonies for Dens
Planning Den Meetings
A Cub Scout den leader is not expected to find and develop all of the ideas
and materials needed to run lively den meetings. The Cubmaster and pack committee
members work with den leaders to develop den meeting programs. Much of the
planning for the den and pack is done at the annual pack program planning
conference, the pack leaders' planning meeting, and the den chief planning
Cub Scout Program Helps and the Webelos Leader Guide provide
four monthly den meeting outlines based on the monthly theme. Most leaders use
these outlines as guides for planning their own den meetings, but they are also
free to incorporate their own ideas in the den meeting plan.
Remember that sometimes a den trip or other special activity might take the
place of a regular den meeting. If the den meeting program is well-planned,
interesting, and fun, the boys will be more likely to attend.