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Need ideas for Scoutmaster Roundtables....

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  • Need ideas for Scoutmaster Roundtables....

    I am the new District Commissioner for a district that is in a rebuilding mode. We have not had roundtable meetings for about 3 years now, and I was wanting to get some ideas as to Roundtables that might "jumpstart" the SM's interest in attending. Sorry.... I do not yet have a Roundtable Commissioner yet.... So I am hoping to at least have a Roundtable every other month this year as at least a starting point, and then grow from there.

    So please if you can comment on some good topics that might generate some interest and attendance... Thanks everyone !!

  • #2
    Do a monthly theme of static displays from each troop: Tents, Chuck Boxes, Trailers, Typical Patrol Gear, Backpacks and any other equipment that scouters find interesting. This encourges each troop to send gear each month as well as see what other troops use. And it doesn't take up any program time, everyone can check out the displays before, during breaks and after the Round Table. Barry

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd encourage you - or your Roundtable Commissioner once you have one - to contact Scoutmasters and ask them what THEY are interested in, or feel they need help with.

      I generally don't attend Roundtable in our District. My ASM's or Committee Chair usually go to pick up paperwork. When I do go, it's either because the Troop has some responsibility for a District-wide event (like Camporee) or there's a topic on recruiting that I'm interested in.

      Comment


      • ghermanno
        ghermanno commented
        Editing a comment
        Why don't YOU attend Roundtables? It is not a representation item it is a sharing/mentoring/learning time for ALL positions. Maybe you should help your Roundtable to figure out what they need to get you and ALL your Scouter friends attending.
        Last edited by ghermanno; 10-29-2013, 02:24 PM. Reason: spelling

      • scoutergipper
        scoutergipper commented
        Editing a comment
        I typically don't attend because there are no subjects of interest from a sharing/mentoring/learning perspective. I always respond to requests for subjects that would be of interest, but I suspect there just aren't enough people at my experience level who want the same things. I am sure the Roundtable is trying to provide the greatest good to the greatest number.

    • #4
      Best one I went to a few years ago was a presentation about sucessfully crossing over Webelos to Troops. Even provided Webelos leaders with tips sheets to pass along to parents of Webelos on the meaning of boy lead. Not parent lead & driven. Other good ones would be cooking demos

      Comment


      • dedkad
        dedkad commented
        Editing a comment
        I was also going to suggest a Webelos transition topic. As a Web II den leader, I have been frustrated to no end trying to coordinate with the local troops to (1) allow the Webelos to attend a troop meeting to learn about the troop, and (2) encourage the troops to provide some sort of outdoor activity so the Webelos can achieve their Arrow of Light. My emails and phone calls to the SM's go unanswered, they have no interest in helping us with our outdoor AOL activity, and they don't seem to be too interested in building a relationship with my Webelos, which is probably one of the most important factors my Webelos will use to decide what troop they want to join. Granted, when we finally do get to one of their meetings, the SM's have been great and pulled the parents aside to talk about the specifics of their troop, but the coordination with them has just been disappointing, to say the least. I would love to see a Roundtable topic for the SM's about the importance of recruiting Webelos to their troop and how to go about doing it, such as building a relationship with these boys while they are still Cubs by providing den chiefs, encouraging joint activities, etc. No wonder so many Cubs don't go on to Boy Scouts.

    • #5
      We have simultaneous RT for Cubs and BS and I attend whichever one is not covered by another leader. We had a great one last spring on troop interent presence. Three troops demonstrated their solutions using a projector with lots of Q&A. It was great. Our district also offers pressurized fuel training immediately after RT most months. For cubs my favorite is to show me HOW to make it fun without spending tons prep time or money. Something the national should be doing.

      Comment


      • #6
        Make sure your topics are timely. I get so sick of going to RTs that are a month late on the topic; for example, troops are making their calendars and budgets in late June through July around here (and I gather nationally) then I get to the August RT and the topic is annual planning. Right, wasted time and gas.

        I'd follow scoutergipper's advice. Send out an email or letter, or, better yet hit the telephone and tell SMs you want to implement RTs again, and you want to know what topics would be helpful for them.

        Comment


        • #7
          I would start with general basic Roundtables with wide open topics that could get all programs to the meeting spot. Then start breaking them out into programs. A timely topic right now would be Leave No Trace. You could then get into First Aid Training, Camping Basics, OA. Even Austism and Scouting. How to help Scouts who are on the Spectrum. You could even teach a class on how to conduct Eagle Boards so you can staff those EBORs. Hold Merit Badge Councilor Training....

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          • #8
            Hands on training. Wood tools, training/mentoring youth leaders, knots, patrol competitions, troop games, backpack cooking ideas, Philmont preparation. Ask your SM's to nominate a topic that they feel proficient enough to teach, and delegate.

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            • #9
              We asked SMs and others to bring a list (and specifics) of camping sites, canoe trails, hiking trails, and other activities to create a district "Trail Book" that we update on the web for troops and others to visit. Geocaching is another great topic - sites and trails. Dutch Oven Cooking samples, Backpacking equipment comparisons. One that is good is MB Counselors for interesting subjects: Radio, Surveying, Orienteering, Astronomy. I agree with the other leaders who suggest asking SMs. One subject was COH and ECOH printed program comparison - plenty of discussion about great ideas was generated.

              Comment


              • #10
                Make it a true Roundtable. Have Scouters talk about what their unit did the past month - where did they camp? How was the location? What did you do there? Cost? Any interesting troop meeting activities? What's coming up? A sharing of ideas. Just don't put me in a classroom and treat me like a 12 year old. My time is more valuable than that.

                Comment


                • Eagledad
                  Eagledad commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This is a really good suggestion that could add a lot of value to unit programs. The HUGE challenge is finding a skilled facilitator to start and control such discussions. Time is very limited and the line between a sharing of ideas and a bunch of yaking Scoutmasters is thin. I would enjoy some ideas to facilitate eagle90's suggestion. Barry

                • dedkad
                  dedkad commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I think a good Roundtable is a combination of these things. Have a set topic, facilitator talks briefly about the topic, and then opens it up to the SM's to give their ideas. For instance, have a topic on recruitment. Facilitator comes up with some ideas and throws those out there, then give the SM's time to share ideas of what's worked and hasn't worked in that regard.

              • #11
                Originally posted by eagle90 View Post
                Make it a true Roundtable. Have Scouters talk about what their unit did the past month - where did they camp? How was the location? What did you do there? Cost? Any interesting troop meeting activities? What's coming up? A sharing of ideas. Just don't put me in a classroom and treat me like a 12 year old. My time is more valuable than that.
                Amen! That's what turned me OFF to roundtables. Dry 30 minute slide presentations on poisonous plants, etc, with mile long URLs on the screen. That's what you DON'T do!!!

                Comment


                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Good point Frank. If you do PowerPoints or provide urls, make sure you send out an email or such with the resources covered. You want them focused, not taking notes.

                  Our cub RTs generally have breakout sessions with a facilitator for each one. My problem is I can't go to all of the ones I want. Discussion is smaller groups of about 10 is great.

                • Eagledad
                  Eagledad commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The key words there for me was the "a sharing of ideas". You can't really have slide presentations or power points with a sharing of ideas. And, facilitator needs to keep the discussion on "sharing" and not let it get into a one man show or debate. A good facilitator is worht their weight in Gold. When I organized Council and District Traing courses, I always looked for skilled facilitators and teachers first. Barry

              • #12
                And don't do what one facilitator did recently at a Cub Scout Leader training. He gave us a handout with websites to go to for game ideas. C'mon, dude. Couldn't you have spent a little time researching those sites yourself and at least come up with a few specific game ideas to start a good discussion? Why send 20 leaders off to research your websites, when you could have spent an hour preparing for the class and saving the rest of us the trouble.

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