THE GOALS OF THE LION PROGRAM
Research shows that childhood development accelerates around ages 4 and 5, about the time youth begin formal education. That’s where Scouting comes in. Like many of the BSA’s programs which supplement the learning and growth boys experience at home and in an educational environment at that age, the Boy Scouts of America has developed this pilot program for 5-year-old Kindergarten boys.
The NEPA Council is pleased to offer this great scouting program. This is the first year we will be running the Lion program having become part of the national pilot program. The Lion program has the same mission as the rest of the Scouting program, but is simple, extremely flexible and a great way to introduce families to Scouting. A Lion learns by doing things himself while having fun. As he learns and grows, the relationship with their adult partner grows as well. We hope to have the early enthusiasm caused by this, stay with the boy through the rest of his Scouting experience. At the conclusion of their kindergarten year, the Lion will transition to Tiger Scout and continue on their journey through Cub Scouting.
Not all Cub Packs in NEPA will be participating this fall in the Lion National Pilot Program. In order for packs to participate in the program, they must have applied and have been accepted by the NEPA Council Membership Committee. There is a set of criteria that packs must meet in order to start a Lion program this Fall. Contact the NEPA Scout Service Center and/or your District Executive to find a Cub Pack near you that has been approved to run the Lion program.
Lions is a family-oriented program. A youth and his parent or caring adult partner join Scouting together. A group of six to eight boys and their adult partners meet together in a group called a den. Dens will meet approximately twice per month. They have fun participating in den meetings and outings while making memories together.
WHAT ARE LIONS?
The Lion pilot encourages boys to learn and explore through hands-on, high-energy activities. Adult partners take turns leading a den meeting or outing during the year. Most meetings and outings are approximately 45 minutes in length.
Boys are recognized for their accomplishments as they work toward the Lion badge. The Lion badge is earned by completing five adventures. Adventures are completed during the den meetings and outings. When an adventure is completed, the youth receives a sticker to put in his keepsake Lion Adventure Book.
Den meetings and outings are facilitated by a Lion Guide and participating parents. The Lion Guide is an experienced Cub Scout Leader. He or she will lead the first den meeting of the year. The Lion Guide will help each adult partner lead one of the following meetings. The den meeting plans are provided in the Lion Parent and Leader Guidebook.
The adult partner participates with the Lion in fun meetings and outings. He or she takes turns with other adult partners to lead a den meeting and/or outing.
The Lion Coordinator:
- Is an experienced and successful den leader
- Understands den and pack operations within the overall structure of Cub Scouting
- Demonstrates excellent communication and organization skills (and will remain in at least monthly contact with the Lion Cub dens)
- Participates as needed in the unit’s School Night with all new Lion Cubs and their parents
- Assists the Lion Cub Guide in hosting the first orientation meeting for all the individual Lion Cub dens in their pack
- Serves as a coach and mentor for Lion Cub Guide
A Lion Guide is a volunteer leader who provides direct support to your Lion Den.
The Lion Guide:
- Has previous successful experience as den leader
- Works directly with other den and pack leaders to ensure that the den is an active and successful part of the pack
- Plans and prepares for initial Lion den meeting and outings
- Mentors adult partners in the delivery of Lion den meetings
- Attends the pack leaders’ meeting Leads the den at the monthly outings and other pack activities
- Ensures the transition of Lion Scouts to Tigers at year-end
- Prepares the Lions for day camp at the end of the Lion year if appropriate Coordinates shared leadership among the Lion adult partners in the den
- Ensures that each Lion and his adult partner have the opportunity to be the host team, which plans and executes the den activities, and rotates responsibilities monthly
The Cubmaster serves as the master of ceremonies for the monthly pack meeting. The pack meeting is an event where all of the dens in a Cub Scout pack come together for fun activities and awards. For the Lions, each month one meeting will be a den meeting and one meeting will be an outing or pack meeting in the spring months.
In order for a pack to be included in the Lions pilot program being offered by the NEPA Council of the Boy Scouts of America for Kindergarten boys and their adult partners administered by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, they must have committed to the following:
- Recruit Kindergarten boys to the Lions program being offered by the pack
- Provide the Lions program from September 2016 through June 2017
- Use only the materials being provided by the National Council Register Lions and their adult partners using a BSA youth application
- Collect and submit the annual BSA registration fees to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council
- Attend a Council Lion Pilot Program training/coaching session
- Lion Coordinators and Lion Guides are required to complete Youth Protection training, be in compliance with their State laws and other BSA adult leader requirements
- Complete the feedback forms requested by the National or Local Council
- Have an active email address for your Lion Guide and Lion Coordinator
- Commit that their pack will not deviate from the program provided
Contact the NEPA Scout Service Center and/or your District Executive to find a Cub Pack near you that has been approved to run the Lion program.