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Indian Nations CouncilThe Greatest Show on Earth

DEN CANDLE - Light a candle at the beginning of the den meeting.  The goal is to keep the candle burning.  If a boy misbehaves, the candle is blown out.  When the candle has completely burned down, you can celebrate with a field trip or a special treat.  The disadvantage with this method is that one boy's misbehavior can spoil it for the whole den.  Also, it's hard to keep the candle lit if you are meeting outdoors.

COUP AND BEADS - An Indian coup and beads can be used in conjunction with any of the above methods.  The boys can make their own coups out of leather or vinyl.  They could be worn on their belts or around their necks.  The boys can earn beads for:

¥ÊAttending a den meeting

¥ÊComing in uniform with their books.


¥ÊPack meeting attendance

¥ÊParticipation in pack events (Pinewood Derby, fund raisers)

¥ÊParticipation in district or council events

¥ÊHaving no "strikes" at the end of a den meeting

Den Methods

Here are some proven methods that you may want to try with your den:

Use the Cub Scout sign.  Don't raise your voice!  If you use the sign consistently, the boys will respond to it.  If they seem to be becoming lax in their response, make a contest out of it.  Se who will respond to the sign first by becoming quiet and holding up their own sign.  You could give a special treat at the end of the meeting to the boy who was first the most times.

Make den awards really special.  Have a ceremony for Instant Recognition, Passing of the Denner Cord, etc.  Just because these awards are made at a den meeting doesn't mean they aren't special and important.

Have a special opening and closing ceremony for each den meeting.  This can set the tone for the meeting as well as signa.l the boys that the meeting has started.

Know your boys!  Knowing them will help you understand him better.  REMEMBER, every boy is different.

LET BOYS BE BOYS! Let them be rowdy when appropriate.  Be sure to give them a chance to let off some steam through songs and games (especially if you meet right after school).

Use a TALKING FEATHER (or stick). A talking feather is a large feather that the boys can pass around.  Only the person with the feather may speak.  The boys really respect this because they all want a turn.

Make sure your projects are suited to the age and ability of the boys in your den.  Don't make it so easy that they could become bored.  On the other hand, don't make it too hard.

Supervise ALL activities.  Don't just send the boys outside to play.  Utilize your assistant den leader and or den chief.

Deal calmly and reasonable with any problems that may arise.  Give the boys a chance to tell their side of the story.   Your example of fairness will carry over into other aspects of their lives.  

Explain the reasons for your rules.  Let the boys know there are choices that are made by the leaders and choices made by the boys.

Be aware of your limitation.  As a leader you may never know what an impact you could have in a boy's life.  However, some things are beyond your control.  Do whatever you can do to help a boy but realize that you can't do everything.  He will be aware of and remember your kindness and caring.

Positive Statements

I like you!I can tell you really worked on this.

I'm glad you're here today!Way to go!

I'm glad you're in my den!That was the best ever!

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