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Looking for Lots of Lion Scouts!

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With the start of a new school year approaching, we’re getting excited in anticipation of welcoming a whole lot of new Lion Scouts and their families to the Cub Scouting program this fall. As many of you may already know, our council is participating in the nationwide pilot program for kindergarten-age boys.

Lion is a family-oriented program.  A youth and his parent or caring adult join Scouting together.  A group of six to eight boys and their adult partners meet together in a Lion den, meeting approximately twice per month.  They have fun participating in den meetings and outings while making memories together.

One of our goals, as a council, is to have as many new Lion Scouts participating in the program as we can, provided that this pilot program is delivered properly.  It is, after all, still a pilot program and being evaluated.

It is important for Cub Scout packs to note that all packs in the council are not automatically going to be able to offer the Lion program in their pack.  Packs wanting to offer the Lion program need to meet locally-established criteria to participate in the program.  There is an application that packs interested in offering Lions need to complete and return to the council by July 31, 2016.  It is important that every pack that wants to offer the Lion program responds no later than July 31!

To review more details regarding our council’s criteria for participation and obtain the application for Lion participation, please read and download this document.

Our council’s criteria for packs wanting to participate in the Lion were program were carefully chosen and kept to a minimum.

  • An experienced leader must serve as Lion Guide.  The name of this leader in each participating pack needs to be provided to the council prior to recruiting new youth and adults for the Lion program.  The Lion Guide must complete Youth Protection Training and Lion Den Orientation (a brief on-line video) prior to the start of the program (along with providing all PA-mandated background checks).
  • Registration fees cannot exceed $55 for new Lions.  This registration fee includes $10 for the Lion book set for each boy and his parent.  To make the Lion program affordable to as many youth as possible, our goal is to minimize the upfront costs of participation.
  • Program Planning – packs will need to submit a Lion Den Calendar to prior to recruiting new members, showing the 2-3 pack meetings the Lion Den will be attending.
  • Camp Promotions presentation – the pack agrees to hold a summer camp promotion presentation to include the Lion den before February 2017.  Our goal here is to be able to make sure that all Cub Scout families, including Lions, know all about the council’s available summer camp programs.

That’s it for the criteria – simple and straightforward.  We want to make sure that every pack that wants to offer the Lion doesn’t have to jump through a lot of hoops to do so and we’re not trying to limit the number of packs that are able to participate.  We want more young people and their families participating in Scouting and we are hopeful that expanding the availability of Cub Scouting to kindergarten-age boys does exactly that.

Packs can submit their application to their district executive, drop them off or mail them to the council office, or feel free to scan and email to me at ron.gardner@scouting.org.

I keep using the word “excited” over and over when it comes to having lots of new Lions as part of the New Birth of Freedom Council Scouting family.  It’s truly a great opportunity to reach out to a new age group of boys and their families.  It’s a chance for packs to talk to new Lion parents about becoming leaders in the pack before they commit to coaching youth sports or leading other activities.

By the way, both Scout Shops now have the Lion book sets on their shelves and are available for purchase.  Other Lion wearables and goodies will be in stock shortly.  To find out more about the Lion program, please visit www.scouting.org/lion.

Thanks for taking the time to read this message and please don’t forget the deadline for packs to apply to participate is July 31!

Ron

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