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Roundtable: What do YOU Want to See?

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@ John:


Rabblerouser? Hoseblast?

"Are you a RT Commish? Have you volunteered for Staff? If not, why not? Be an agent of chnage, working within the system, rather than a rabblerouser. The folks who volunteer RT staff are Scouters like you, with families, day jobs, and Scouting responsibilities. Friendly cups of coffee discussing how to better things are welcome, using the hose blast isn't."


Gosh, John. I've never considered myself much of a "rabblerouser". I thought this forum could be a discussion around a friendly cup of coffee, and certainly don't know how this particular question could be seen as a "hoseblast". In fact, it was an attempt to be just the opposite, an attempt to focus on the positive things we've seen at RTs or to bring up how folks would like to see RTs done. I don't believe I've accused or intimated anyone doing something unsatisfactory at all. I am a bit offended by the tone and am not sure where it's coming from...


Like you, I am a believer in not just complaining but getting involved and making a positive change. In fact, outside of the "Issues and Politics" discussions (which I don't read) I am often impressed with the help and advice you give here. So I'm a little surprised at your reaction. Isn't the purpose of this forum to have open, polite dialogue to provide the best program possible?


I'm not sure what my status has to do with asking for ideas about reaching adult leaders with topics they want or in a way they feel works for them has to do with anything but since you asked:


I am currently a volunteer - in multiple positions in my council.

I have been, but am not currently, a RT Commish in three different districts.

I am still a regular trainer at RTs and many other venues whenever asked.


If any have been offended by this topic, or felt I was directing a "hose blast" at them or anyone else in the program - I apologize.



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IMHO one of the things that really hurt roundtable is that in most councils only 10% of the unit leaders ever attend on a regular basis. So my first suggestion is to offer some real incentives to entice unit leaders to come, such as using part of the time to get these leaders trained without them having to go to a seperate council training, introducing some variety that the volunteers suggest that they need rather than leaving it entirely to the RT Comm and DE to decide, letting some of the attending leaders with a special expertise give presentations, and not doing the exact same thing every month. Good quality and knowledgeable guest speakers are also a must. As was stated in another thread , if you build it they will come, too many RT's get stuck in stale, repetitive, and monotenous routines that do not really benefit or interest the volunteers. The result is the RT becomes little more than a social coffee club for a small handful instead of helping instruct the volunteers to do their jobs better.

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For our BS Roundtable, November is our planning month. We all sat down (we had nearly 50 in attendance) and discussed what we wanted over the next year. The BS Commish (that's not BS for Buffalo Skipper, by the way) wrote down all the ideas, and will now try to prioritize them and when applicable, place them in the best month. We typically use December as a social (pot-luck) and is as well attended as any other month. Some of the BS leaders agreed to do some dutch oven meals. We typically also have a similar gathering in July, but decided this year to suspend that meeting as many would be readying for the NJ.


Our BSRTC has had the job for at least the past 5 years and does a terrific job. We meet together with the CS leaders for the first 15 minutes (occasionally longer) to review upcoming events, pass out awards (unit and personal). Once a year, the SE makes a 20 minute presentation on the "state of the council." Then we divide into CS, BS, Venturing and/or SPL roundtable groups.


As I have said before, our RTs are well attended (collectively 100+ a month), and our respective staffs so a fabulous job. I think our RTs are so productive because we set our program on what WE (the unit leaders) want to have presented.

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BadenP - I agree, attendance is usually pretty poor at a lot of RTs. Getting leaders to come is key to their success. I've seen different strategies to address this but the number one issue must be making sure the attendees leave feeling like it was worth their time.


Buffalo - sounds like a great way to make a plan.


Any other ideas out there? What topics would make you come to RT? DO cooking, G2SS, equipment classes?



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I would really like to see Roundtables function as they should by offering quality resources, knowledge, and skills to help unit leaders to deliver outstanding programs to their Scout troops. I would like roundtables to be fun and exciting while offering practical Scouting skills. I would like Roundtables to focus on the program highlights of the upcoming months.


Yes, that is what I want to see.


What I dont want to see is Roundtables being taken over by the training committees so the Roundtable becomes simply training. I dont want Roundtables to be taken over by the DEs when they use them for annual re-chartering. I dont want Roundtables to simply be a place to manage popcorn sales.


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I talked with our RT Comm. and she said that we are going to start doing things a little differently.


We will have the general business for all


Then go to breakout sessions for BS & CS


At the CS we will start with some short training on things that people tend to forget about. Next month we are going to talk about Leader awards. We also have a block of instruction coming up in a few months for CS forms (other than Tour PErmit, we covered that a couple of months ago)


In march or April we are going to do safe swim and safety afloat training. Yes I know it is available online, but not everyone has internet access.


We are trying to break up the monotany of the Theme based learnuing only. We are trying to bring things in that the leaders can actually use.

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  • 1 month later...

I have to admitt, I don't go very often (yes, shame on me!) The times I do go, I feel like I could be doing something much more productive. IMHO, talking about scout skills and YP is a waste when someone with a half of a brian can easily find the information elsewhere.


My sugestions would be


#1 Have a published yearly calander with the topic of the month. That would give some of us a chance to look and say " Hey, I need to go to that meeting, that will help me help the troop!" (Sorry, I'll pass on the adult cooking competitions)

#2 The topics should be things we can't find in published BSA documents.

How about an expert on ADD or Asburgers. How about bullying or dealing with peer pressure? The most important training any leader could have is first aid and cpr.(sorry wood badgers) Lets discuss the importance of having the knowledge to save someones life. How about a Lawyer to discuss personal liability for volenteers for non-profits?

#3 Maybe review the BSA Advancement Policies and Proceedures. Discuss National policies vs. those that council has. How about what really happens when you have to take a boy for medical attention?

#4 Gotta loose that good 'ol boy, coffee club network steriotype. It should be more of a business meeting than a social event.


Gotta think outside the BS Box.


(Sorry about the spelling, spell check doesn't seem to be working)

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