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stevejb

Rountables

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Do you attend the monthly roundtable meetings?

Do you even know what they are?

Does your roundtable staff conduct good meetings?

Are they worthwhile attending?

 

I am not sure why, but lately I have been thinking about the monthly roundtable meetings. In fact, my last three entries to "A Scoutmaster's Blog" are about this subject. I invite you to read them and see if we share similar thoughts.

 

http://melrosetroop68.org/blog.html

 

Roundtables: My First Years

Roundtables: On Staff

Roundtables: Keep It Fun

 

Steve B

Scoutmaster, Troop 68, CMC

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I think you pretty much have it posted. I would add, as my preferences are, that a staff diverse enough to allow that the same people aren't making presentations each month, maybe on an every three schedule. Fresh faces make more interesting evenings.

 

One more idea that I thought was a good one, have a Q & A session at the end that has no scope, save scouting in general. This was brought up by a scoutmaster of another troop one night because he had some issues he wanted to sound off of others in the group. They incorporated that in the next RT and it's been a hit since. It's like a live BBS or forum.

 

Nice blog by the way.

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Do you attend the monthly roundtable meetings? Yes

Do you even know what they are? yes

Does your roundtable staff conduct good meetings? Sometimes

Are they worthwhile attending? To me yes but I can see where others might not.

 

I have been a round table regular since becoming a WDL couple of years ago at that time the Cub Scout roundtable had a real dynamic and very successful cub master as the leader.That only works for a while though when the person leaves the group is back to square one. When my son crossed over so did I. Round table became less dynamic and less predictable as far as things I could use. The incorporated trainings were great for the first year as I had not had them and it was another piece of the puzzle. A lot of time seems to be spent on the social portions i.e. district banquet when and where commissioner and exec. comm. meetings and district event planning. I would like to see the roundtable staff and district comm. establish better communications with the unit leaders like an email loop system to keep one and all up on events. How do the troops that never have anyone at round table find out about district events?

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Do you attend the monthly roundtable meetings? No

Do you even know what they are? yes

Does your roundtable staff conduct good meetings? No

Are they worthwhile attending? No

 

I don't consider them "training". Just an information passing meeting. Could achieve the same end by sending me an e-mail and saving me a night out.

 

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Do you attend the monthly roundtable meetings? **Seldom

Do you even know what they are? **Yes

Does your roundtable staff conduct good meetings? **Sometimes

Are they worthwhile attending? **Sometimes, but my experience is that RTs are nothing like the interesting and often thought-provoking exchange of ideas that occurs here on this forum.

 

In the past our RT was located about a 30-40 minute drive from my town and was always on the one night of the week that was the most difficult for me to attend. So I seldom went. When I did, the program was of variable quality. Cub RT seems more focused; these are people who want ideas and answers right now. Troop RT always strikes me as mainly an old-boy network/social hour punctuated by long-winded speechifying about this one's or that one's pet project or gripe over how things "used to be better." I really don't have patience for that. Especially since my poor kid has to attend with me if I'm going to get there at all.

 

Starting this month our district RT are moving to a location that is a 10 minute walk from my front door. They're still on the worst night of the week for me and I'd still have to drag my son with me in order to attend. But, without the driving time it goes from a 3-4 hour commitment to a more reasonable length and we'd be home before 10pm on a school night. So I am considering giving it another try. Maybe the program has improved, we'll see. (ever the optimist!)

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Do you attend the monthly roundtable meetings? >>Every month.

Do you even know what they are? >>Yes.

Does your roundtable staff conduct good meetings? >>Cubs, yes, Boy Scouts, not so sure.

Are they worthwhile attending? >>Definitely.

 

Our District used to offer Cub Leader training at the same time, just down the hall from RT. This exposed a lot of leaders to RT, in that they saw what it was and where it was. Attendance at training dropped off, so the training sessions stopped. Attendance at RT has since dropped.

Most units think if they send one person to RT, they are covered. They are missing the whole point of RT. It is for leaders to come together to share ideas that worked, and those that didn't. For Cub leaders, it is a great source for new ideas. I'm afraid our Boy Scout side has grown stale - they offer sessions on topics that most Boy Scout leaders know by heart. Instead, I wish they would suggest holding discussions on topics like we see here - NSP vs. vertical integration, which boys make the best TG's, really successful camping trips, etc...

One big benefit of RT on the Cub side is finding staff for Day Camp, Cuborees and Webelos Woods. It is extremely hard for a Camp Director to pull together a staff from only his unit; he needs to be able to identify strong, dependable leaders from other units. RT is a great way to start identifying them.

 

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>One more idea that I thought was a good one, have a Q & A session at the end that has no scope, save scouting in general.

 

That became a popular feature when I was the roundtable commissioner. You just have to steer it so it doesn't become a flaming gripe session or a good ole boy chatup. I usually started it by asking who had done something interesting lately- trying to share ideas. Or; soliciting ideas for future roundtables.

 

Ed

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Do you attend the monthly roundtable meetings?

not consistently

Do you even know what they are?

oh yes

Does your roundtable staff conduct good meetings?

somewhat

Are they worthwhile attending?

when there is planned training involved, YES!

 

May I digress for a moment - but staying close to the topic...

 

A young WDL spoke up last night at our District mtg and suggested that if we wanted increased participation, that we should allow parents/leaders to bring their school age children.

 

The DC and one other leader said that they had tried this many years ago and that there may be too many hurdles to jump, in order to make this happen since it is a District function. (ie, certified day care provider, certified cpr person, etc.) I think that they were trying to discourage it, but handled it tactfully.

 

Just as Lisabob mentions dragging her son to the roundtables, I think that many leaders/parents are in the same boat and it may encourage participation if generally accepted.

 

Does anyone have experience, rules and references?

 

Thanks

Scoutndad

 

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Do you attend the monthly roundtable meetings? As much as possible

 

Do you even know what they are? Yes, but only because I read about them in the CSLB and asked my CM about them.

 

Does your roundtable staff conduct good meetings? They are certainly not like the ones in the Roundtable guide from National and typically are combined with the Boy Scouts. The Cub RTC does try to make sure we get the Helps, Webelos Activity Badge and Belt Loops information for the next month, but it is a lecture/brief, not hands on.

 

Are they worthwhile attending? Yes, but...

 

As a new leader, I've found the RT's to be good for networking. I actually met a leader from our Troop at the last one! He was as surpised to see me as I was to see him. I will be the Twilight Camp Director this year and as was mentioned earlier, I'm trying to a) line up staff and b) get the word out.

 

Our District covers two counties and quite honestly we only have 1 CS leader from right across the county line attend, the rest are from our admittedly larger county that hosts the RT's. Unfortuantely, it seems to be accepted that the others just won't come out for the meeting. I've tried to talk up RT to the other leaders in our Pack, but get the "other committments, no time, can't bring the kids, etc.", plus it can be hit or miss whether it's a good program or not. I even get static from my wife about putting on my uniform to go to it, but I tell her that most of the others wear it, it's a uniform function and, well.... that's about it.

 

We have some folks who bring their kids and they usually play quietly in a far corner of the church hall, so it hasn't been much of a disturbance. In fact, 2 RT's ago, they helped out the Climb On Safely instructor by passing out the climbing gear and paperwork for the leaders to look at. It could get out of hand if a lot showed up, but personally, I'd rather see the kids and leaders there, than not. I'm fortunate to not have to do that this year.

 

I definitely think there's room for improvement in our RT's and as I get more comfortable with the other leaders, I have made it a goal to help with that improvement.

 

John

Tiger Den Leader

Pack 13

Potomac District

Shenandoah Area Council

 

 

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