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Roundtable topics needed for new commissioner

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Our District Roundtable staff annually hands out forms at the planning meeting. it has a list of topics and spaces for write ins. Then a schedule is set, and troops "volunteer" to present the topics. You can start with a few ideas of your own, add what the scouters suggest, and go.



Eagle project ideas

Troop Level Boards of Review,

Local Campsites

Local Lakes that feature canoe rentals


A "meet the troops" night for Webelos and parents, troops set up displays and the Weblos wander amoungst the troops and talk to the adults and scouts about troops to see which ones they may like. Our Council sends all Webelos a postcard talking about the meeting.


Another well attended meeting is an Eagle Project "Association" night. Associations from the area come and talk about what they do and past Eagle projects and what they may need in the future. Its attended by leaders and scouts alike. Scouts are invited to all meetings, and we are trying to get more scout led presentations,


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BSA publishes a very comprehensive manual for Roundtable Commissioners with everything you need. Your District Commissioner should be able to get you one of these manuals. It has many examples of how to plan and run a Roundtable meetings. This manual is considered an essential part of your training, which should also include district level participation on their committee where you may get specific assignments for the content of your Roundtable.

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Here's some topics.....


Safe Swim Defense

Safety Afloat

Trek Leader

Climb on Safety

Belay Training

Wilderness/Backcountry Risk Management


UTM co ordinate system

Gearing up the Unit


Backpacker's Stoves (types, pros and cons, how to use, safety, cooking techniques, proper storage).


Basic River Rescue Awareness (order of rescue, throw lines, hand and whistle signals, types of PFD, rating systems, fundlemental river dynamics)


Simple Astronomy Techniques for direction finding




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Just went through this one at our Scout office and figure I can save you some time and trouble.


The ideas presented so far in this forum, Roger, are good ones. However, the Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide is probably the most comprehensive.


It is available on-line. That's the good news. I don't know that it can be ordered anymore.


However, it is available online only to professionals.


Here's how to get a copy.


Go to your District Executive (if they don't have access to Scoutnet for whatever reason, they can lead you to someone who does.)


Have them go to Scoutnet, then BSA Info, then Boy Scout Division. Under the Boy Scout Division there are links to several pdf documents. One under the heading of training is the Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide. It is available for the 2003-2004 year as well as the 2004-2005 year in pdf format. Download the documents to a diskette and you're ready to go.



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  • 2 years later...

I'm a serving roundtable staffer. I have physical arrangements as my area.


First, if roundtable is not ONE STOP UNIT SERVICE for your Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Crew Advisors, Committee Chairs, and Scouters in general ... point yourself to that goal.


Here are the monthly things that happen at the roundtable site, on roundtable night, that are actually furnished by the District Committee and its operating committees:



- Eagle Leadership Service Project review and approval.

- Merit Badge Corner: Bring in a counselor to show his passion in one of the non-Eagle MBs. Consider, since National seems to be revisiting every Eagle required badge, providing update training on them as well.


- New Leader Essentials Common Core.

- Merit Badge Counselor Training

- Youth Protection Training


- Membership chairman has a table with recruiting/retention promotions.


- RED Team

Camping and Activities

- Camporee Signup, Klondike sign-up, GTFA publicity

- OA Chapter meeting.

Key 3: Always around to chat and take notes.


Building synergy helps give people a reason to attend roundtable. They KNOW they can get their business done.


As far as program ideas go, the sky is the limit. Last year we had a night of cooking demos. Dutch ovens, camping stoves, backpacking stoves.


Last year we also had a car show during "mechanics" themed month. Went over really well. :)


Indian attire in support of honor camping organizations is always a hit. We're in a Mic-o-Say council, and we have a large OA lodge, so we get double payoff.


Fitting backpacks has long been a program we give in January (just after kids get their Scouting Christmas) ... goes over huge with adults and youth.


For Cultural Diversity (March 06 theme, RT in 2 weeks), the SM for our 2007 World Jamboree Council Troop is coming to promote a trip to Gilwell.


"I'm going to Scout Camp, and in my Camp Box I have..." One of the Camp Directors for the H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation is a UC in our district. He's going to have a talk with first year Scouters and first time Camp Scoutmasters ... not the drone heard at Council orientation, but the tried and true survival hints.


- A standing feature is "Scoutmaster to Scoutmaster." Improve how units get to true boy run units by sharing what works and getting feedback on the challenges.


Training IS available for Roundtable commish and staffers. Philmont Training Center offers both a Boy and a Cub Scout Roundtable Course.


(this won't hyperlink ... cut and paste to your browser)

For 2006 the course is 11-19 August.

I'll also invite you this November to the Heart of America Council Commissioners College course: Bachelor in Roundtable Service. Cheaper than PTC (but not "out in God's Country... tonight!, either). Our council website is http://www.hoac-bsa.org .


Have fun with your journey as an RT Commish. You are a key resource to your District!!



A Good old Owl Too(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Don't forget the cub program. Our district has pushed hard to get cub leaders to RT but for a long while, when cub leaders showed up there was no specific program for them. I'm all for learning about the boy scout program too but if I have a 7 year old in a wolf den, I'm going to expect the RT program to be of immediate use to me or else I'm just not going to attend in the future.


Once our RT staff started running separate sessions for the cub program, not surprisingly, cub leader attendance increased. The way they currently do it is to hold a common opening and closing and then split off into separate groups for the middle.


On the cub side of things, topics can be tied in with the monthly program helps. Show leaders how to make some of the crafts; play a few "new" games, teach a new skit or song, etc. (all stuff they can take back to their units and actually do with the boys).


Other hot topics:

*Blue & Gold planning


*Pinewood derby/Raingutter regata/Space Derby (last yr. I went to a RT where we made boats out of craft material and had a regata on the spot. It was so much lower stress than the "official" version where parents and boys get way too wound up about rules and results - I took that back to the pack and the boys had a ball with it. So feel free to improvise on the traditional versions of the above too)


*webelos/scout transition planning from the cub side


*Cub Camping(hands on how to set up tents, etc. - this doesn't have to duplicate BALOO, OWL, or other training, just a chance for newbie campers to give things a try and get them excited about taking the boys out)


*Cub Outdoor program info


*New cub awards overview - seems like several new things pop up each year and only about half the leaders know anything about them.


*beltloop/pin workshop for some of the less commonly earned categories. Maybe they're not earned because people need ideas/help doing them. Example: we did something like this for the language&cultures loop and had a lot of fun with it. Several packs then went on to use the blue print themselves.


Have fun!



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Lisa'Bob is certainly right.


In fact, for maximum synergy, and to keep your "one hours a week" in check, ALL THREE PROGRAMS should roundtable the same night, at the same site.


Our Cub RT commish runs her meetings as a model pack meeting. ... skits, songs, the works.


We're blessed to have a not quite mega-church as our facility host: Cubs get a large room (100 seats or so) and 4 20 person breakout rooms; Boys get the gym and 3-6 20-40 person rooms, and Venturing has its own 40 person room.


(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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Our R/T commisioner is trying to offer leadership specific training at R/T several times a year during "break-out sessions", to assist those that can't always attend a Saturday "out of town" training program. There's talk about offering Merit Badge Counselors a helpful evening's seminar also.

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To GreenEagle....


From my districts' experience, following trainings work very well in the roundtable environment:


- New Leader Essentials Common Core (the stuff that all of us take across the 3 programs).

- Youth protection for Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting (Venturing has a different and specialized package for YP).

- Merit Badge Counselor training.


Again, from experience, position specific training does not work so well at RT.

- The biggest reason for this is you need SPECIALISTS ... the guy who handles SM fundamentals may not be the gal who handles Troop Committee Challenge, who may not be the gal who handles Cub Pack Leadership, who may not be the guy who handles Tiger Cub Leader.


- A secondary reason is competition for space and time. Yes, your commish is planning breakouts for these trainings, but most of the trainings I've been to take 2 to 2 1/2 hours for a session.



Additionally, Roundtable has specific purpose in the adult support program:

- It introduces the theme for the program 2 months out, giving first line leaders good ideas.

- It allows informal cross-fertilization amongst experienced and newer program leaders.

- In our District, it allows unit-serving leaders one stop shopping for any support the District can provide. Each District operating committee, the Commissioner's service, and the professionals are on hand to support that leader in the unit.


Just some thoughts.


SOME position specific trainings may work at RT: I recently took COR training. The other side of that coin was a small group of experienced Scouters, so we could blast through some of the information, and dig in where needed.


Let us know how well position specific training at RT works out.



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