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Cub Scout Roundtable

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A lot of people seem to be unhappy with their district Roundtables. That's unfortunate, especially if it's because the program is unappealing or boring.


I've been our district Cub Scout Roundtable Commissione since August, 2010, and recently I've been helped by having a co-leader who is a lot more experienced with Cub Scouts them I am.


Last night, we each did about half the program.


The first half which I did was a demonstration on how to make den flags. I had examples of four den flags made by boys in my pack to use as examples. This was a real "hands on" program!


There were three parts to that, and we did each.


First we made a stand for the flag using pieces of wood cut with a saw and nailed. Boys LOVE sawing, hammering and nailing, and the adults got a "bang" out of it too. I had a bunch of moms swinging hammers for the first time in years! A hole was drilled in the middle using an 1.25" spade bit and power drill.


I had an axe and showed people how the timber base could be trimmed to fit in the hole in the base. But that's probably not a task for Cub Scouts, so I didn't do that.



Then we made the skeleton to support the flag. While you can use lumber for this, I favor cutting branches out of trees. Roundtable participants decided how long they wanted their flag staff, and cut it to length.


Then they decided how they wanted to support the flag, and we used a square lashing to hold a cross support on the flag staff.


The we designed our flag. Since we don't have a den, we decided to make a Cub Scout Roundtable flag. Adults decided on what fabric and materials they wanted to use in our flag, including using a paper plate as a "roundtable" which will be surrounded by Tiger, Cub, Wolf, Bear and Webelos stickers.


We didn't get everything completed. Just like when making real den flags, we can finish at our next meeting.



The second half of the meeting was led by my co-leader, and she started out with everyone introducing themselves. Her program was identifying and recruiting new adult leaders, a great follow up to last months recruiting program and the beginning of the rechartering season.


Our last segment was an opportunity for people to raise questions they have on Cub Scout issues they don't know how to deal with. Roundtable should be a place people can come to get ideas on how they can solve problems they see in their pack. We had three people raise questions like that, and had a good discussion about them.



My usual plan is that Roundtable should last no more than an hour. This one went on for 75 minutes. Despite that, I think we did well.


We had about a dozen people attending.

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Hello rkfrance,



Yes, it's tough.


I have a good e-mail list of pack leaders, and I usually send out two e-mails promoting our program for the month.


As a unit leader myself, I know I have to be choosy about promoting things to pack families. You can easily inundate families with e-mails and they will just quit reading the stuff you send.


We do our best.



Yesterday our council had its council wide training event for the year with 700+ people attending. One of the sessions I attended was a Meet & Chat session with the council executive, council president and council commissioner --- the top brass.


Two people repeatedly complained about not being informed of changing council policies. One person complained that they hadn't heard about the changes in the outing permit system, but did hear that the changes had been abandonned or heavily modified again.


It was perfectly obvious that these people didn't attend Roundtable, or bothering to read the council monthly e-newsletter and were depending upon gossip for their news.


They were uninformed and out of the loop, and willfully so.


Of course, people are busy, and lots of people just don't want to attend more meetings. But if you don't want to use the channels of communication that are available, don't be surprised if you don't know what's going on and that the things you do know often may be wrong.



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Well, we have great rountables, but they didn't used to always be that way.


What changed things was our DE had everybody write down 3 things they would like to learn about at RT and used that for the next years RT schedule.



Now, here's my input:


I don't want to hear a lecture about why parents are just waiting for you to ask them to volunteer. It's not true. Parents who want to help step up or step in. They do not just sit there.

Don't waste 30 minutes of my time telling something we both know is not true.


I also do not need to have an entire hour wasted about why TE's popcorn is the best popcorn on earth. Just tell me what the sell dates are, the prizes, and how much the price jumped. I am a consumer too, I just happen to wear a tan and green uniform. I know wether it is a great deal, and just because we are selling it does not mean people are lining up around the block to buy it. Just tell me the important facts and skip to the next topic. We don't need 1 1/2 hours of popcorn school.


Well, I could go on and on, but basically it comes down to this: Don't talk to me in a patronizing tone, and don't try to sell me something I don't need ...I mean, if I am at RT, I am already sold on the program. I already hyave time and training vested in the program....I have also ben approved by my CO and the council to be a leader....so don't keep trying to sell me something I already bought. Just tell me the important details and leave it at that.


Like I said, our RT's are great! Cool stuff, fun stuff, and stuff that works but is not covered in BSA publications and leader books.


WE let people who have done something different that works , tell everybody else.


For example: Our boys all but fell asleep while watching Down and Derby. You know why? Cause the average Cub Scout will not be interested in jokes and dialog that is mature in nature.


So what did we do? We watched "The little Rascals movie" which is about a downhill soap box derby and is designed for, target too and spoken in a language that our scouts understand. Oh, and you watch the movie while eating popcorn and drinking bottled water while sitting in your drive in movie car. Drive in movie car? Yeah, you get a box, decorate it like a car, truck, bus, boat, plane, rocketship, etc.. The more bling, the better!


KIds laugh and watch the whole movie while munching on leftover Trails End popcorn .

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Well, the people who come each month are sold on the program.


The person attending the first time is deciding whether it's worthwhile or a waste of time.


Most unit leaders other than CC and CM never hear about it or never give it a chance if they do.





Good idea! As Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, I've been doing programs on the things I needed to learn about. But I'm out of ideas. Next month I'll use your suggestion --- something that hadn't occurred to me!




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"The person attending the first time is deciding whether it's worthwhile or a waste of time."


No, I mean sold on scouting, not the RT meeting. If you have an adult at RT, they are already sold on scouting. But this is a big pivitol moment: If the adult who shows up at RT is being siold on the scouting program that they are already a part of...then what have they gained by going to RT?


This is the point that the selling is over and the usefuls info nees to start being given out. REal world stuff too, not the sales hype the books show.



"Can you give some more examples of this kind of thing? Whqat kind of format does your Roundtable typically follow? "


Standard format: We all get together, discus some council/ district stuff, then have breakout session specific to wether you are a pack troop, crew...whatever.


Popcorn, and camping money is one thing we talk about. Bookms just say how you should all hod hands, sing kumbaya, and the money will flow in. At RT, we talk about new ideas and ways to sell, where, and issues dealing with money, people not wanting to pay, exces popcorn because people backed out of deals, etc..


We discuss potental camp issued that can happen at registration, units that think camp is all about their unit only, and when and where to stand up and be ready to send people packing.




Another thing we do at RT is really look at wether it's a cub scout thing, a boy scout thing, or something that covers both. A few meetings ago, we had a Summit Corps scout talk to us about Betchel. Sure, it'[s a boy scout thing and nothing to do with Cubs right?


WRONG! By the time World Jamboree cames around and is held at Betchel, half the scouts in a pack should be scouts in a troop and possibly going to Betchel. Time to start thinking and p[lanning now!]



WE do not have a July RT, So the RT in June, we have ice cream and lemonaide while we talk about whatever.


Last month, somebody brought a ton of...I forget what they were called'''cinnimon gooey globs? G really thick glazed cinnimon bun looking things with glazing and caramel on them. And we drank fresh cider too. You had to fill out a release agsinst suiong in case you developed diabeties from all the sweetness! :)



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it isn't the program that is the problem.....it is the rest of the garbage that comes with it.



The unfriendly scouters.


The Good old boys.


The long time Female scouters who are very catty with any new gals showing up.


The hour of announcements and introductions


The Inside jokes


The 40 somethings that still live a high school life with high school rivalrys.



The bad out weighs the good

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