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pargolf44067

Plc Meetings

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When we get together with the new PLC in a couple of months for our Annual Planning Meeting for the boys to determine what they want to do for the upcoming scout year, I want to talk to them about having monthly PLC meetings.  They really haven't done them on a regular or semi-regular basis since I stepped down as SM.  In the past I have tried two different schedules.  The first that I did for the first few years I was SM, was meeting 30-45 minutes before one of the regular troop meetings.  The problem with this was that we never seemed to get through everything that we needed to and things were left unplanned.  The last couple of years we took one of our weekly meetings and turned it into the PLC/Advancement meeting.  So we had the PLC meeting and the other scouts could come in and have a SM conference or BOR or work on MBs, etc.  That was great for getting through our agenda and getting everything planned out.  The one downside, is it was one less troop meeting that we had in a month and that could sometimes, not always, impact what we would try and accomplish in a month.

 

I am going to leave it up to the boys, but I just wanted to know what some of you folks on the forum do.  I know some do it before a  meeting and some have a separate meeting either a set week of the month or the week after the campout.  Some of you with more experienced boy-led troops, especially, might be able to provide some thoughts on what works for you.  That way I can give the boys some pros and cons for each choice.

 

Thanks!

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In the past, we've had it on a Sunday afternoon.  We would use it to plan a month's worth of meetings plus have some Patrol Leader training. 

 

Starting in June, we're moving it to the Monday after camp out.  We do not have regularly scheduled Troop meetings on that night.  Now we use that night for committee & PLC meetings.

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Last meeting of the month is PLC. SPL, ASPL, Scribe and PLs attend and plan the next month. The troop does scout skills and a game run by the Instructors and JASMs.

 

Used to have a similar format but was the week after a camp out. PLC met, the troop did gear cleaning or "scout room" clean up. For obvious reasons few scouts attended...who wants to clean? Changed five years ago to the above format. Works much better.

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As you've seen, no schedule is perfect. We've tried all different kinds of things ... including a meeting at a coffee shop by the grocery store so the PL's can plan the next few months, then provision for the weekend's troop activity.

 

Try to guide boys in running meetings more efficiently. It's a very challenging skill, which I confess to doing poorly.

 

Get a sense of their priorities, and guide the SPL in ordeing the agenda accordingly.

 

We do try to have the boys bear the brunt of poor planning. This is very hard with adults on your committee chomping at the bit to fill in some gap.

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Last meeting of the month is PLC. SPL, ASPL, Scribe and PLs attend and plan the next month. The troop does scout skills and a game run by the Instructors and JASMs.

 

Used to have a similar format but was the week after a camp out. PLC met, the troop did gear cleaning or "scout room" clean up. For obvious reasons few scouts attended...who wants to clean? Changed five years ago to the above format. Works much better.

 

I assume you have multiple rooms to meet in as it could be very disruptive with all activities going on in the same place.

 

 

As you've seen, no schedule is perfect. We've tried all different kinds of things ... including a meeting at a coffee shop by the grocery store so the PL's can plan the next few months, then provision for the weekend's troop activity.

 

Try to guide boys in running meetings more efficiently. It's a very challenging skill, which I confess to doing poorly.

 

Get a sense of their priorities, and guide the SPL in ordeing the agenda accordingly.

 

We do try to have the boys bear the brunt of poor planning. This is very hard with adults on your committee chomping at the bit to fill in some gap.

 

I can picture some of the adults that would do exactly that.  I also think that it is unnatural for adults to let the boys bear this brunt.  It is in most people's nature to make sure things go right for the kids so they have a "good experience".  Instead we should make sure they have fun, but also have a "learning experience". :D

 

Appreciate the feedback from both of you.

Edited by pargolf44067
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As I look back at the OP I see another issue other than schedule: Goal of PLC.

 

We try not to make the meeting too strenuous. We focus on planning the next month's meetings (usually 3 meetings). We make assignments for completing the meeting plans. We ask that the attendees come with ideas so that we avoid brainstorming during the meeting. The PLC knows to use the Troop Program Resources as a template; helps give them structure. The outdoor plan for the monthly camp out is also drawn up and then assigned to a group to plan.

 

In short, the PLC is a place where we the boys accumulate ideas, discuss high-level options, make assignments and then move on. Management of the meeting and outdoor plans falls to the SPL to work with the assigned PLs and ASPLs. The duty roster for meetings is made at the beginning of the year and rotates each month (e.g., honor patrol, service patrol, etc.).

 

The challenges? Making sure the boys come prepared to discuss ideas. Follow-up on meeting and outdoor plans. Helping the leaders plan and execute. Communication in a timely manner. When these things fail the meetings fail. Rather than step in we let the failure happen, then we discuss after the meeting to take our lumps and learn our lesson.

 

Nearly every election cycle we re-learn these things, BUT by the end we end up with guys who know how the system works. It gets better and the boys are learning...that's the key!

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I assume you have multiple rooms to meet in as it could be very disruptive with all activities going on in the same place.

 

 

We do have multiple rooms. We are lucky in that. The troop tries to meet outside as much as possible though.

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When I was in an adult-led troop, the first meeting of the month was a leader planning meeting which basically accomplished nothing because it was open to everyone to attend.  Just a free-for-all thing just to say they had a meeting.

 

In my second troop where I was SM and used the patrol-method, we had only one patrol to start, No PLC needed.  Then we added a second patrol, the two PL's coordinated everything over the phone.  No PLC needed.  When we got to three patrols, the PL's came in a little early when they deemed it necessary to have all three sit and talk.

Now I'm back to one patrol, No PLC needed.

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As I look back at the OP I see another issue other than schedule: Goal of PLC.

 

We try not to make the meeting too strenuous. We focus on planning the next month's meetings (usually 3 meetings). We make assignments for completing the meeting plans. We ask that the attendees come with ideas so that we avoid brainstorming during the meeting. The PLC knows to use the Troop Program Resources as a template; helps give them structure. The outdoor plan for the monthly camp out is also drawn up and then assigned to a group to plan.

 

In short, the PLC is a place where we the boys accumulate ideas, discuss high-level options, make assignments and then move on. Management of the meeting and outdoor plans falls to the SPL to work with the assigned PLs and ASPLs. The duty roster for meetings is made at the beginning of the year and rotates each month (e.g., honor patrol, service patrol, etc.).

 

The challenges? Making sure the boys come prepared to discuss ideas. Follow-up on meeting and outdoor plans. Helping the leaders plan and execute. Communication in a timely manner. When these things fail the meetings fail. Rather than step in we let the failure happen, then we discuss after the meeting to take our lumps and learn our lesson.

 

Nearly every election cycle we re-learn these things, BUT by the end we end up with guys who know how the system works. It gets better and the boys are learning...that's the key!

 

That's what my goal always was for the meeting was planning the next month's meetings.  We have used the Troop Program Resources as a guide and will use those again.  This time the SPL will have a copy of his own  :D !

 

I think it goes back to the point that @quazse made as well as yours and that is being efficient.  Maybe in the past we tried to do too much, but your point about high level assignments with follow up by SPL makes a ton of sense.  The good news is we have a lot of boys that want to learn and want to lead.

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That's what my goal always was for the meeting was planning the next month's meetings.  We have used the Troop Program Resources as a guide and will use those again.  This time the SPL will have a copy of his own  :D !

 

We posted the PDFs to the troop website. The boys all have smart phones so they like that. Converted the meeting plan to an editable pdf file (a Scout's project) so the guys can make the plans easier.

 

Good luck, sounds like you are on the right track.

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Our monthly themes and outings are selected by the PLC in September and January.  We have four patrols and each patrol is responsible for running the Troop portion of the meeting each month in conjunction with the selected theme.  I think that the planning meetings take longer and it makes sense to have those at a time and place where you aren't rushed.

 

PLC meetings are the first Tuesday of the month before the regular troop meetings.  PLC meetings are mostly evaluation of how things went in the past month and idea sharing for the next month so there isn't any overlap in the weekly programming.  That portion of the agenda is handled by the SPL.  After that, the SPL asks if the adults have anything they want to discuss (typically the SM, the CC and 1 to 3 ASMs are in attendance).  Those discussions tend to be adults bringing ideas to the PLC for their consideration (e.g. the local fire department has offered to do CPR / First Aid training -- is this something you want to do and if so, who would be responsible for making the arrangements? or We've received a request for scouts to help out at an event, is this something you wnat to do).  Occasionally, they include adult concerns put forth for consideration of how to address them by the PLC.

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We posted the PDFs to the troop website. The boys all have smart phones so they like that. Converted the meeting plan to an editable pdf file (a Scout's project) so the guys can make the plans easier.

 

Good luck, sounds like you are on the right track.

 

Great idea.  Definitely will look into that!

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Great idea.  Definitely will look into that!

 The forms/calendars/etc. I have created for the boys are Excel Spreadsheets that they can readily modify.  If they put their patrol ID in a certain cell, it populates the form with all the boys from that patrol, etcl  They pick a menu item ID, it populates a shopping menu, etc.  I just keep adding to the forms as I have time.  I used to do that sort of thing for work, now I do it for fun.

 

For all the boys that don't have Microsoft Excel, Open Office Calc works just as well, and that's free software that will work for any computer or smartphone..  Basically the boys put in the patrol ID, the menu ID and the number of boys going and it produces a shopping list for that meal.

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 The forms/calendars/etc. I have created for the boys are Excel Spreadsheets that they can readily modify.  If they put their patrol ID in a certain cell, it populates the form with all the boys from that patrol, etcl  They pick a menu item ID, it populates a shopping menu, etc.  I just keep adding to the forms as I have time.  I used to do that sort of thing for work, now I do it for fun.

 

For all the boys that don't have Microsoft Excel, Open Office Calc works just as well, and that's free software that will work for any computer or smartphone..  Basically the boys put in the patrol ID, the menu ID and the number of boys going and it produces a shopping list for that meal.

 

kinda OT, but you just blew my mind with that spreadsheet example.  Imagine...the boys not having to recreate the wheel (meal planning in your example) every month...wow

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3 hole punch and a loose leaf notebook holds all the breakdowns for the past 3-4 years.  

 

What totally blew the minds of my boys was they had "left overs" from a number of meals from the commissary at summer camp.  Let's see, they had eggs potatoes, cheese and bacon, okay, find some wild onions and we're heavy into Mountain Man Breakfast just from leftovers.  I whipped it up for the two adults and had a ton left over that the boys were invited to "try".  Well, they pretty much cleaned it up.  :)

 

So did they pay attention?  Well, they were 3 months into scouting, and my ASM told me that one of the boys got a new Dutch Oven for a b-day gift and the first thing he did was make Mountain Breakfast for the family.  It had been 6 months since I demoed it, but he remembered because he wrote it down in his summer camp journal.

 

Records are vital for making life a lot easier.

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