DEN LEADERS & ASSISTANT DEN LEADERS
Den Leaders and Assistant Den Leaders are the ones who make scouting what it is, FUN! Plus, they are the ones who directly keep a Pack operating weekly. It is known that without Den Leaders, we can't have a program, no matter how many willing hands we have on the sidelines. Having Trained Assistant Den Leaders makes the program that much better. When the Den Leader is stuck at work, traffic, away on business, on vacation, ill, etc., it’s great to have an Assistant Den Leader who’s aware of what is taking place, knows the boys, and can quickly take over on any activity or event and the scouts will not miss a beat.
It’s great to have the Den Leaders present at every event, but in reality, that isn’t always possible. We all have other family/life activities and situations where we just cannot attend every scout function. Den Assistants can easily be there when the Den Leader can’t. It is important that each den has a leader present at all scout activities. Leaders taking turns in participating makes this possible. There have been situations where the Den Leader is transferred out of the area for work or military assignment and with no Den Assistant(s), the den usually dissolves, unless a brave parent takes over. This situation can easily be avoided where den leader assistants are actively present, or involved parents take the lead. Often a parent or parents do all the work of a den leader assistant, they just don't want the title, which is fine. A den leader will always welcome and appreciate the help and support of the den parents.
Having enthusiastic leaders is KEY to the scouting program. It can be terrifying to anyone who's never done it before, but in a way, most parents have been a Den Leader for quite a while with their own children. There may be a bit of a difference in planning & executing the weekly activities, but that's the fun and easy part. That's why we have "Den Leader Guides" and if you're up to-date with technology...the internet! Our council and many others have made training easily available, den leader guides and resources are abundant.
Having trained leaders is like adding salt to your food, and it won't be as good without it. The BSA offers plenty of opportunities for training, including online training, and it's free to each new registered den leader. Yes, you'll have to dedicate a few hours, days, weekends and sometimes more time towards the training; but the opportunities you'll enjoy with your scout will be immeasurable, memorable and the impact you'll make in the life of many other scouts and their families in the long run are well worth the effort. Every time.
We challenge parents to take the training, even if you are not the leader; as it allows parents to better grasp the program and helps to know how to best serve and help the current leader. Most den leaders have full time jobs, they don't necessarily have the "extra time", but they do have the "heart". Work will always be there, even after our scouts are long gone from home, but this time spent with them intentionally, on purpose, day in and day out until they reach adulthood is priceless.
The first step is to take the Youth Protection Training class available via scouting.org. Establish your new account and begin today. You can also take this training in person at area locations. Check the NCAC website for the next available session near you. Once YPT is completed, you must submit YPT Certificate with your registration form to Membership Chair (or Committee Chair), attend the next Committee Meeting and begin getting involved. It’s a gradual process, and you have time to complete your leader specific training; however, the sooner, the better for you, your scout, your den and the Pack. Everybody wins!
We require that at least 1 participating parent/adult from each family take the Youth Protection Training. Every Parent Adult should take the YPT.