Scouting Forums

Let's use "Den Leader" across all levels of Cub Scouts

Depending on which level of Cub Scouting you are in, Den Leaders are called:

  • Lion Guide (LL)
  • Tiger Cub Den Leader (TL)
  • Den Leader (DL)
  • Webelos Den Leader (WL)

Assistant Den Leaders are called:

  • (no assistant clearly defined for Lion)
  • (no assistant clearly defined for Tiger)
  • Assistant Den Leader (DA)
  • Assistant Webelos Den Leader (WA)

Let’s be clear: the function is the essentially the same throughout all six years of Cub Scouts. Why do we have different position codes, different patches, etc. for certain levels? As with another thread here, I suspect it is due to how national appears to split management of Cub Scouts into 1. Lion, 2. Tiger, 3. Wolf/Bear, and 4. Webelos I/II.

My proposal: across all levels, just call it Den Leader and Assistant Den Leader. Single patch, single uniform, single position code.



The Lion Guide position was replaced with Den Leader when the Lion program existed the pilot phase. There are still Tiger Den Leaders and Webelos Den Leaders. There are no assistants for Lion and Tiger dens because each Scout is supposed to have an Adult Partner present

No one from the BSA reads these forums. You will need to make your suggestions through your council or the BSA National Council.

BSA has not figured out the Lion Guide position. As originally envisioned, it would be filled by an experienced Den Leader. The job is to mentor each Lion Adult Partner in how to lead a den meeting. Then, when the den promotes to Tiger, the new Tiger Adults can knowledgeably chose who will be the new Tiger Den Leader.

Currently, the BSA has not determined what to do with the position. The only training required for the position is YPT. The latest Cub Scout Den Leader training modules, CS19, is for "Tiger Den Leader, Den Leader, Assistant Den Leader, and … " [not visible]. The My.Scouting training pie chart ignores Lion Guide, but include Unit Scouter Reserve, which has the same training requirement, only YPT. And USR show a Trained patch; Lion Guide doesn’t.

BSA has not given an exception to the YPT rule requiring two registered leaders at all meetings to Lion or Tiger Dens. But the leadership in these dens is designed to not have assistants. The parents fill that role. However, the parents are not registered and, since 2018-10-01, are no longer allowed to fill that role.

The result of wanting a registered assistant at either level results in co-leaders - two Lion Guides or two Tiger Den Leaders.

BSA has not figured out the Lion Guide position. As originally envisioned, it would be filled by an experienced Den Leader. The job is to mentor each Lion Adult Partner in how to lead a den meeting.

Forming a new Lion den is like forming any other new den: it’s best to find a competent parent and mentor that parent into successful leadership. In other words, there is nothing about the Lion year that should prevent us from assuming that one of the parents will lead it under ideal circumstances. I’m unclear why BSA would want a different model.

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That is disappointing.

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@ArenCambre - the legacy forums along with the new forums have always been the purview of the volunteers. The paid national staff is not engaged here.

I concur with consolidating titles as this creates more “moving parts” to the pack management process. Much like uniforms per rank, we are all Scouts/ Scouters in the end…

I always try to have a couple registered committee members in each den.


Lion and Tiger Den Leader Information

Some references:

  • Lion Den Leader Guide, 39003, © 2018 Boy Scouts of America, 2018 printing, 84 pages (plus covers). The guide is sold by the Scout Shop as part of the Cub Scout Lion Kit (2018) (item 644816).
  • Tiger Den Leader Guide, 37002, © 2018 Boy Scouts of America, 2018 printing, 194 pages, appendix 69 pages (plus covers), SKU 646721.
  • Selecting Cub Scout Leadership - The Chartered Organization’s Most Important Responsibility, 510-500, 2018 Printing, 4 pages.

In reply to:

I believe they have figured it out. The “Lion Guide” position is now the “Lion Den Leader”. Per the Lion Den Leader Guide (2018), p. 16

Registration - The Lion den leader must submit an adult application to register with the pack as a den leader.

I interpret “den leader” to be Den Leader (DL). (See later post.)

In reply to:

Still true. The Lion Den Leader Guide, p. 16 states:

An experienced and engaging Lion den leader is recruited to take the lead on facilitating den meetings with assistance and support from parents.

There are also 10 characteristic of successful Lion den leaders listed at the bottom of page 16.

In reply to:

“Mentors adult partners in the delivery of Lion den meetings” is only one of 10 items listed under Lion Den Leader Position Description on page 16 of the Lion Den Leader Guide (2018).

In reply to:

There is more to the selection procedure. The Tiger den leader selection procedure appears to be the same as other den leaders. Per the Tiger Den Leader Guide, p. 8:

Is at least 21 years old, and should be an experienced leader and is usually the parent or guardian of a child in the den. Recommended by the Cubmaster after consultation with the parents and guardians of the of the Cub Scouts involved, and approved by the pack committee and chartered organization. Registered as an adult leader of BSA and current with Youth Protection Training.

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Ugh, just call it “Den Leader” and be done with it.

That is what ALL den leaders really should do. Ideally, the Den Leader of any den is not delivering all the den program but is rather coordinating the den’s parents as a team.

I had a den that varied between 10 and 14 members throughout all five of our years (they graduated in 2015, so before Lion), and at the beginning of each year, I shoved a form with all projecting meeting dates in the parents’ faces and had them sign up to do the program for two meetings. Then, my Den Leader role was more of a coordinator or pinch hitter most of the time, plus all the parents had a direct investment in the program. That was a great experience!

Lion Den Leader Training Requirements

in reply to:

Youth protection training (YPT) Y01 course, is required to join. Basic “Leader Position-Specific” is required to earn the “Trained” strip. That training is the same for all Den Leaders and Assistant Den Leaders per the current (3/7/2019) basic CS 19 CUB SCOUT POSITION TRAINED REQUIREMENTS:

In person class: C42 Cub Scout Den Leader & Asst. Den Leader Position Specific Training, or the online training for den leaders and assistant den leaders revised in 2019:


The C42 course appears to have been replaced by CUB SCOUT LEADER POSITION-SPECIFIC TRAINING, 515-215, ©2019 Boy Scouts of America, 2019 Printing, 199 pages, released in May 2019.

Per The Training Times - Spring 2019:

Scouts BSA and Cub Scouts. The Cub Scout modules have been totally rewritten with a newer interface and are even shorter than previous versions. Scouts BSA reflects the addition of girls to this program. Both have new learning plans and include Hazardous Weather training, so volunteers do not have to go to another learning plan to get this position-trained requirement.
Cub Scout Facilitator-Led Training. This course is designed to deliver training for all position-trained Cub Scout positions and matches the online content. The training is intended to help leaders begin a “path of learning.” The goal is to encourage and incentivize leaders to become continuous learners, providing the basic information and skills necessary to get them started on their journey and then give them access to and knowledge of additional resources and training opportunities available to them. …
This syllabus is now available at

Per the adult training page:

This course is intended to provide the following positions with the information and tools they need to conduct a successful Program:

  • Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Den Leaders
  • Cubmasters and Assistant Cubmasters
  • Pack Committee and Committee Chair
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Bill, thanks for posting all this. It is good stuff and does treat the leader of the Lion Den as Den Leader.

Some parts of the BSA are not on the same page, as evidenced by the My.Scouting training report page not including Lion Guide as a register leader either trained or untrained. I created a support ticket on this, and was called by the appropriate department folks to clarify this. Turns out, currently, there is no training required past YPT for Lion Guide.

And the CS19 Den Leader Training learning plan description starts its leader listing with Tiger Den Leader instead of with Lion Guide/Den Leader .

@DougWright The point is that Lion Guide no longer exists. The den leader by den is as follows:
Lion - Den Leader
Tiger - Tiger Den Leader
Wolf - Den Leader
Bear - Den Leader
Webelos - Webelos Den Leader


I am now not sure that this is correct. For example, BSA has the option of changing the position code :“LL” from “Lion Guide” to “Lion Den Leader”.

I have submitted the issue of how Lion Den Leaders should be registered to BSA member care help desk, request id: HD-162682

BSA Member Care Response to HD-162682

In the member registration system Lion Den Leaders are now called Lion Leaders. It looks like other applications have not caught up to the change to Lion den leader (lion leader).

BSA Member Care (and BSASupport), 5 July 2019, in reply to HD-162682:

Lion Den Leaders are called “Lion Leader” and must be registered as such. The new Registration Guidebook state that the Lion Leader position is the code “LL” in the unit. Please register the Lion Leader in the correct position.

Updated: 2019-07-06 5:43 pm PDT

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I have no information to share.

Let’s see if I can clarify Cub Scouting terms.

Youth and volunteer leaders appear to be grouped differently. Youth participating in the Lion, Tiger, Wolf and Bear sub-programs are Cub Scouts. Those in the Webelos sub-program are Webelos Scouts. All den leaders in the Cub Scouting program are Cub Scout Den Leaders (and Cub Scout Leaders.).

All Scouts registered in the Cub Scouting program are Cub Scouts (also know as “Cubs”) or Webelos Scouts per the Language of Scouting and BSA Style Manual*. revised November 2018. Per this manual a den is:

A neighborhood group of four to eight Cub Scouts or Webelos Scouts that meets periodically, usually once a week, and is part of a Cub Scout pack.

Image above: © 2019 Boy Scouts of America, from How Cub Scouting is Organized (downloaded 2019-07-06)

All Den Leaders are Cub Scout Den Leaders which is a sub-set of Cub Scout Leaders and other leaders in the pack are also Cub Scout Leaders per the Cub Scout Leader Book (2018). They all wear the blue shoulder loops (item 677) on a field uniform.

In the Lion Den Leader Guide (2018) den leaders are referred to as “Lion den leaders”.

In the Tiger Den Leader Guide (2018) on pp. 8-9 has:

Cub Scout den leaders (all den leaders) work with …

Lion and Tiger den leaders …
Cub Scout den leaders … (Wolf and Bear den leaders)
The Webelos den leader …

It appears in at least one publication “Cub Scout Den Leaders” (each word beginning with a capital letter) was used to refer to all den leader and Wolf den leaders and Bear den leaders are referred to as “Cub Scout den leaders” (with the words den and leader being in lower case.). However, this is not a consistent practice across publications.

The Den Leader Training Award Progress Record, form 511-052, 2018 Printing, released in September 2018 has the following instructions:

Select One
❏ Tiger den leader ❏ Cub Scout den leader (Wolf/Bear)
❏ Webelos den leader ❏ Lion den leader
Note: This award can be earned in each position, but tenure may be used only for one award.

“Lion, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos” are sub-programs of the Cub Scouting program. They are also ranks that Cub Scouts in those sub-programs are working towards. The Guide to Advancement, Mechanics of Advancement in Cub Scouting,, also refers to Bobcat and Arrow of Light as ranks. (Cub Scouts working towards Arrow of Light are in the Webelos sub-program.) A Cub Scout in the Tiger sub-program first earns the Bobcat rank, then the Tiger rank.

BSA has defined different colors to identify BSA, programs and sub-programs.

The den leader titles (and position codes) used in the membership database do not define the program and sub-programs. They do allow BSA to create sub-program contact lists and may be used for some analysis of packs and filtering of data.

Some world-wide history is available in the Cub Scout WikepediA page. From what I have read, I believe den leaders in BSA were older Boy Scouts, then Den Mothers, then Den Leaders. This discussion topic is about Den Leaders. If you wish to continue discussing Cub Scout history or the current Cub Scouting program, may I suggest doing it in another discussion topic?


My understanding agrees with yours. At the dawn of Cubbing, the den chief planned and led the den meetings. The den mother’s primary role was providing a meeting place and, perhaps, snacks.

When the den chief’s role changed to what is effectively a junior assistant den leader, the name of the leadership position remained the same, even though “chief” is probably too strong a word to describe what a den chief actually does.


Sub-Program den leader titles retired in 2018?

Ken Todd has posted:that the Tiger and Webelos den leader position titles were retired June1, 2018.

I have not yet been able to confirm this change.

2019-07-08 update:
A “den leader emblem” search at the Scout Shop returns a page showing badge emblems for:

  • Tiger Den Leader
  • Cub Scout Den Leader
  • Assistant Cub Scout Den Leader
  • Cub Scout Leader Neckerchief

A “webelos leader emblem” search at the Scout Shop returns a page showing badge emblems for:

  • Webelos Den Leader
  • Assistant Webelos Den Leader

When I searched for “leader neckerchief” I found a cub scout leader neckerchief and a wood badge leadership neckerchief, but no Webelos leader neckerchief. There is also a red new member coordinator neckerchief.

My understanding is that the separate position patches are retired, but the positions remain separate.

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