Want to know the best way to engage the other parents in your den? Talk with them. Yep, it seems pretty obvious, but I’ve known den leaders who don’t even know the names of all the parents in their den after several years!
Parents play a vital role in a successful cub scouting experience. Without them, how would the scouts ever get to your meetings? But seriously, if you want to run a fine-tuned machine of a den, you need to get the other parents involved from day one. How do you do this? Communicate with them about everything that is happening with the scouts, and include them in planning and conducting den activities.
Some parents will be incredibly helpful and accommodating with their time, while others might take a bit more nudging, but keep at it and you will get them all working with you in no time! At your first meeting, be sure to get the email addresses of all your den parents and send out weekly updates to keep everyone in the loop. I like to employ the “Who, What, Where, When, and Why approach in my emails, which answers most questions the parents might have, while reminding them of future events. Here is an example:
Hello Den 3-
We will have a den meeting this week.
Who: Den 3
What: Den meeting
Where: School playground
When: Thursday, April 4, 7:00pm
What to wear: Class A uniforms
What to bring: Kite that you made last week’s den meeting
What we will do: Kite flying, field games
If you missed the last den meeting, you can find the kite making instructions on page 122 of the Handbook.
Janet – Could you bring a water jug and some cups?
Bill – At least week’s meeting, Jaiden mentioned he had a Spider-Man kite with a super long tail that he wanted to bring.
Reminder: Next Friday is the pack meeting, and the campout is on 5/1.
See everyone on Thursday!
By including all the parents on a regular basis, you will find that they start to feel like part of this whole cub scouting “family,” and they will quickly realize that this is not a one-person show like school or a sports team, where you have a single teacher or coach responsible for everything. Do what you can to keep the parents informed, and everyone will be much happier.