Being a den leader is a rewarding experience. Watching the kids earn their badges and take pride in what they're achieving is wonderful. With some planning and a bit of knowledge you can do some fun and exciting activities with the kids. You'll create lasting memories that these kids will have forever.
The first thing for ALL new cub scouts, regardless of age or rank, is for them to achieve the Bobcat Rank. This means that they need to complete the Bobcat Trail. At the resources section below there is link to a printable document that you can hand out to the scouts about the Bobcat Trail.
When starting a new den, you'll need to have the scouts create a den flag. This can be done at your first den meeting. You probably want the flag to stand up on it's own, so building a base for it is a good idea. You'll be bringing the den flag to every pack meeting, along with a blanket for your scouts to sit on. The den flag should have your den number on it. The flag should not have any scout's names or photos of them on it. Other than that, make the flag any way you want.
All dens should create their own "Code of Conduct". It is a useful way for them to decide how they should behave in cub scouts. Involve the scouts in creating the code of conduct. Allow each scout to add his own words to it. This is an example of a code of conduct: "1. Respect others and their stuff. 2. When someone is sharing, everyone should be listening. 3. Have fun. 4. No Stealing other people's things. 5. Always be ready when you are adventuring in the woods. 6. Treat others the way you want to be treated. 7. Don't be rude".
All dens have a "den cheer". They do the cheer at the pack meeting and at den meetings. Below, there is a link to some sample den yells, cheers, and skits.
Tigers work on their "Tiger Cub Achievements" which are 5 family, 5 go-see-it, and 5 den achievements. Encourage your scouts to work with their adult partner on the FAMILY achievements at HOME.
Tigers also work on their electives. A tiger receives a yellow flat bead when they have completed 10 electives. Electives can be repeated in different sets of 10. Achievement and Elective beads are awarded at den meetings. Bobcat and other badges are awarded at pack meetings.
In addition to earning achievements and electives, tigers can earn academic and sport belt loops and pins (see link below). The focus should not be on these though because these achievements are part of some badge requirements that they will have to achieve (or repeat) later on.
Other things you should know: 1. When in uniform, people salute the flag during the "Pledge of Allegiance", and if you are not in uniform, you put your hand over your heart. 2. Tigers attend one den meeting, one go-see-it activity, and one pack meeting each month. 3. Each scout gets a turn hosting a den meeting. 4. Ask the host to help you plan an activity, and to plan a go-see-it activity. 5. An adult partner (a parent) attends all activities with their tiger scout: den, go-see-it, and pack meetings. The adult partner should be along side their scout, ready to assist if needed. This changes after the tiger year. 6. Tiger scouts give a "Denner Report" at every pack meeting. The scouts pass the microphone around and say what they did this past month. They can also bring something that they made to show the pack. 7. Learn and use "PackMaster" (or whatever tool your pack uses) to record attendance, achievements, electives, training, and other badge information.
Most importantly make sure the kids are having fun and are safe!!! The kids will also enjoy attending summer camp if it is offered in your area. It is a great experience for the kids. The pinewood derby is also a wonderful opportunity for the scouts to build their own car from a piece of wood. They can saw and cut away at the wood to make a car that they can race on pinewood derby day.
I have found that the scouts learn to take pride in themselves for their accomplishments. It is a great self-confidence and motivation booster.
Den Leaders must complete certain training courses: Fast Start Training, Youth Protection Training, New Leader Essentials, Tiger Cub Leader, or your specific rank. The first two courses can be taken online. Additional training is available for other things such as CPR/AED Certification, and other scouting subject areas. There are other awards the scouts can earn, such as the Rudyard Kipling Award, and many others.