Den Chief Guidelines
An Overview for Cub Scout Leaders
Den Chief Pledge
I promise to help the Tiger cubs, Cub Scouts, or Webelos Scouts in
my den to the best of my ability; to encourage, guide, and protect them
in all den and pack activities.
I will strive to be prompt and dependable, and to cooperate with the leaders in carrying out the den program.
As they become eligible, I will encourage boys in the den to join a den of the next rank in Cub Scouting or to become Boy Scouts
What is a Den Chief? A Den Chief is a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer assisting a Cub Scout or Webelos Scout den.
How do boys become a Den Chief? Cubmasters request Den Chief help
from Scoutmasters, Varsity coaches, and Crew Advisors. The Scoutmaster
will appoint the Den Chiefs. Scouts cannot become a Den Chief without
approval from the Scoutmaster.
What if you have someone in mind for a Den Chief? A den leader may,
through his/her Cubmaster, request a specific Scout for a Den Chief.
This occurs sometimes with siblings or family friends. The procedure is
very similar…The Cubmaster passes the request on to the Scoutmaster. In
most instances, the match will be made.
Why do boys want to be a Den Chief? Most older boys want to be a Den
Chief because they enjoy working with the younger Scouts. This gives
them an opportunity to demonstrate and practice their leadership skills
with younger boys. Serving as a Den Chief is not a specific requirement
for advancement, so they are not helping because they “have to.”
Who provides supervision for a Den Chief? The Den Chief first looks to the Den Leader for guidance, then to the Scoutmaster.
What happens if a Den Chief isn’t working out? If you are having
problems with a Den Chief, you need to explore the reason. Does the Den
Chief not fulfill your expectations? Are your expectations realistic?
Are you communicating them well? Does he know your expectations? Does he
understand his job description? Talk to your Den Chief. Speak to his
parents or his Scoutmaster. You may talk to your committee, also, but to
be fair, be sure to include the Den Chief and his Scoutmaster in those
discussions. This gives the youth a chance to offer his point of view
with an adult leader present who is supporting him. If it simply is not
working for some reason, the Cubmaster may ask the Scoutmaster to remove
the Den Chief from that position. (Bear in mind…you requested a Den
Chief from the Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster selected the youth he/she
thought would be a good fit. The Den Chief did not come to anyone asking
for the job.) This should be done discreetly and politely. Remember,
our purpose in Scouting is to build young men up, not to tear them down!
What is the job description for a Den Chief?
The Den Chief:
• Holds a leadership position in the troop, team, or crew.
Leadership is a requirement for many steps in Boy Scout and Venturer
• Knows the purposes of Cub Scouting.
• Helps Cub Scouts advance through Cub Scout ranks.
• Facilitates and encourages the transition of Webelos Scouts into Boy Scouting.
• Assists with activities in the den meetings – helps lead activities, games, and ceremonies.
• Is a friend to the boys in the den.
• Helps out at weekly den meetings and monthly pack meetings.
• Is a model for the boys in the den, as well as the entire pack –
sets an example, wears the uniform correctly, lives by the Scout Oath
and Law, and shows Scout spirit.
• Promotes Scouting in general and the local troop in particular.
• The Den Chief IS NOT the primary planner, nor is he in charge of correcting behavior.
How can you utilize a Den Chief in the different portions of a den meeting?
Make sure you have reviewed the procedure for these before the den
meeting begins! If you want the Den Chief to teach a skill, tell a
story, or bring materials, you need to let him know at least a week in
• Before the meeting: Review the meeting plans with him to be sure everything is ready, have him help set up the room.
• Gathering: The Den Chief can check achievements, lead game time,
work on puzzles, conduct uniform inspections, teach boys skills, or
• Opening: The Den Chief can assist Cub Scouts with the Pledge of
Allegiance, flag ceremonies, reciting the Cub Scout Promise or Law of
the Pack, recite the Boy Scout Oath or Scout Law (for Webelos), or teach
or lead ceremonies.
• Activities: The Den Chief can assist the Den Leader with games,
crafts, storytelling, tricks or stunts, skits or songs, or practice for
the pack meeting. He can prepare the materials for the activities, or
you may want to request him to work with some of the boys who are having
difficulty. Perhaps a Cub Scout missed a meeting where you covered an
advancement requirement…you could have the Den Chief work with that
• Business: Webelos Den Chiefs might help a den prepare for an
outing by teaching them how to pack for a campout, make a list of things
needed for a campout, or plan a menu. Den Chiefs might record
advancement, update Cub Scout handbooks, or help plan for a special
• Closing: The Den Leader is primarily responsible for the closing,
but may ask the Den Chief to assist. He might have a closing thought,
help with a flag ceremony, help recite the Cub Scout Promise of Law, or
lead a closing activity.
• After the Meeting: Discuss how the meeting went…especially the
good points and any problems, discuss plans for the next meeting, assist