February 2009 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue
March 2008 Theme
Theme: "When I Grow Up"
Athlete and Engineer
Tiger Cub Activities
deserves a Safe Haven.
Bill Smith, the Roundtable Guy
should feel safe: no monsters under the bed, no bullies or predators lying in
wait, no cruelty, no rejection, and no intolerance.
Every child deserves a Safe Haven.
Our dens and our
packs must provide this to each boy. He must always feel welcome, respected,
and safe whenever he enters into our meetings and events. No exception is
A Special Place
The following is from an earlier Scoutmaster’s Manual and has been
often reprinted in Scouting venues.
a special place. The rules are the ones we know well: the Scout Oath and the
Scout Law. We create a safe haven in Scouting, a place where everyone
should feel physically and emotionally secure. We do this in several ways:
We set the
example for ourselves and others by behaving as Scouts should. We live by the
Scout Oath and Law each moment of each day, to the best of our abilities.
We refuse to
tolerate any kind of inappropriate put-down, name-calling or physical
communicate our acceptance of each participant and each other through
expressions of concern for them and by showing our appreciation whenever
We create an
environment based on learning and fun. We seek the best from each participant,
and we do our best to help him achieve it.
When Dave Lyons added this to a Training Tip years
ago, he emphasized that rules implicit the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the
Pack were just as viable. It equally applies to Cub Scouting as well.
Just how can we turn our dens, our packs, our schools
and even our homes into these safe havens? How do we recognize and then
eliminate the conditions and situations that cause fear, intimidation or
rejection? Like many other aspects, it takes commitment, planning and
perseverance by all of us.
Start At The Top
We must start by recognizing that establishing quality is a
top-down process. The Pack Committee, top leadership and even the Chartered
Organization people must work together to get it off the ground. These are the
adults who must show the example by behaving as Scouts should.
Buy-in By All
It is important that every leader – indeed
every parent – in the pack agrees to our plan to make our pack a safe
haven. That we will faithfully follow the rules in The Guide To Safe
Scouting, and that we will do our best to ensure that each Cub Scout feels
welcome, safe and secure
They need to make scouts feel:
of physical and emotionally threats and intimidation, and
welcome, accepted and respected.
Once they agree that our pack and our dens will be
safe havens and then act that way, things are off and running.
Choice of Activities
Scouting events need to provide a friendly, cheerful
and affirming environment for ALL scouts. In our own conduct we must avoid unnecessary
roughness, physical and verbal threats, foul language, and disrespect, and we
should not tolerate such behavior by others. Cub Scouting should be fun, it should build character, and it
should give scouts opportunities to gain confidence and self-respect by their
Avoiding negative behavior is not enough. We need to look for ways to make every
boy feel welcome and respected. To
see that all Cubs feel included and are encouraged by their involvement with
the pack we can —
Actively welcome and attempt to draw all
boys into den and pack activities.
Watch for those who feel left out because of
their own limitations and interests, or because of something that happened;
then we can intervene to give help and good will to such boys so that we can
bring them back into our group.
Adapted from Jery Stedinger,
Baden-Powell Council; www.Scoutmaster.org
Communication Is Important.
The better that the families in each den and in the entire
pack know each other, the easier it is to establish safe havens. If you know a
boy and know his family, you are more likely to watch out for him and keep him
safe. He is more likely to trust you and come to you for help. Activities that bring families together
– like Blue and Gold Banquets, pack picnics and campouts – foster
good communication channels. When
you plan these events, look for ways to mix families so they get to meet different
people and get to know each other. Just knowing a boy by name encourages a
certain guardian relationship. This is another good reason to always emphasize
his name when honoring a Cub Scout in a pack ceremony.
Know Your Children’s Friends
Parents must be vigilant. You have to be aware of who your children associate
with both in and out of school. One of the huge benefits of Cub Scouting is
that parents are forced to meet and communicate with other neighborhood parents
which puts you one good step ahead. After a year in Tigers, two Cub Scout and
two Webelos years, parents should feel comfortable checking with each other on
all sorts of subjects that concern them. These relations can be invaluable to
parents as their kids enter the teen years.
Den Codes of Conduct are Essential Tools.
Boys feel more secure when things are orderly and routine. It
is important that Cubs not only are safe but that they also feel safe. Your den
Code of Conduct should do just that. It should have a lot of boy-input so they
feel ownership and should also address interpersonal relations that may be
intimidating or threatening. At
every den meeting a boy should be able to say, “I’m safe, I’m with friends, I’m
having fun, and I belong.”
What are YOU going to do now?
Go get ‘em. We need all
the help we can get.
best gift for a Cub Scout.......
his parents involved!
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