Each den is led by an adult den leader in addition to other parents, together they plan and carry out a year-round program of activities for the den. Many parents serve as a Den Leader or Assistant Den Leader.
Kindergarten – Lion and first-grade – Tiger dens use a shared-leadership model, which means that the den leader works with a different Lion/Tiger adult partner each month to plan the den’s program. This team hosts that month’s den meetings as well as the den’s part in the pack meeting.
In second-grade Wolf, third-grade Bear, and fourth/fifth grade Webelos Scout dens, the den leader works with an assistant den leader or co-leader and potentially, a den chief (an older Scout from a troop, crew, or ship). The den may also elect a denner and an assistant denner, who are Cub Scouts in the den, to work with the den leader and den chief.
While the meetings include games and other activities that are fun for the Scouts, program delivery is the main goal. Scouts participate in activities and work on projects that are related to an adventure and that help them learn the skills they need to progress in rank.
Most den meetings are held twice a month but the frequency of meetings is up to the den leader and the families in the den. On average a den meeting lasts about an hour with some lasting longer based on the size of the den and the activity planned.
When and where the den meets is also up to the den leader and the families in the den. Some may already have an established meeting location provided by the chartered partner or it the den may meet at one of the families home.