A Den meeting is supposed to be made up of activities related to the Pack's monthly theme and upcoming Pack meeting. Not requirements! When you work on rank requirements in Den meetings, did you know you're actually undermining a central aim of the Cub Scout program, that being to strengthen the bond between the boy and his parents? That's not my opinion, either—that's a BSA-stated aim! Here are three key quotes from the BSA: "Cub Scout advancement involves PARENTAL approval of requirements," "A parent or adult family member should approve his work and sign his book, signifying completion of the requirement," and "Cub Scout leaders approve only a few requirements, which are indicated in the book." Got it now? Good!
If you want to work on "requirements" and "advancement-type stuff," and there's time in the Den meeting after getting ready for the Pack meeting, then have your Bear Cubs work on BELT LOOPS & PINS. There are two programs for this—one is ACADEMICS-oriented and the other is SPORTS-oriented, and they're both great "supplemental" programs for an active Cub Den. You and your Den can choose from over 30 different activity areas, ranging from Art to Basketball to Chess to Geography to Physical Fitness to Science to Weather. There are activity areas that can work beautifully "inside" and a whole bunch that are "outside." Doing these as a Den does NOT get in the way of a key aim of Cub Scouting. Check these out. There are belt loops (and pins, too) and books on every one of the 31 activity areas available at your local Scout Shop or at "scoutstuff.com."
Rank advancements for Wolf and Bear and Arrow Points aren’t done in Den meetings—This is one big No-No! These are done at home, with parents as Akela (Yes, this includes signing his book, too!). You actually are interfering with the program as it's intended to be delivered when you take away the parents’ jobs by doing pre-Webelos advancement stuff in your Den meetings. Now, just in case you're thinking, "If I don't do it, these boys won't advance!" I'll remind you that your job, as Den Leader, is to counsel the parents and tell them flat out what their own responsibilities are. And, yes, if they don't do it, their sons won't advance, and it's absolutely NOT your job to "rescue" anybody—parent or Cub! (This isn't my opinion—This is how the BSA designed the Cub Scout program to be carried out!)
Cub Scouting Has an Advancement Plan
The advancement plan recognizes a boy's efforts and achievements. It provides fun for the boys, teaches them to do their best, and helps strengthen understanding as family members work with boys on advancement requirements.