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2000eagle22

Weeknight Meetings

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Looking for some feedback from those who have weeknight meetings. I currently am starting this year as the Tiger den leader. We usually have our meetings on Sunday afternoon, however I have the chance to change the meeting to weeknights to use our dedicated scout room. What are the pros and cons of weeknight meetings? Do you find the boys are still active even after a day at school? Are the parents active? Do you find any of  the activities harder to do in the evening, like hikes or outdoor activities, due to it being dark out? Example, plant a tree. That seems like its not so fun in the dark.

Thanks for the input.

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Welcome!

 

So, let’s look at the Pros and Cons for WEEKEND meetings

 

PROS

- Parents may be more active due to possibility of being off.

- Scouts won’t have much homework

- Scouts won’t be as tired

- If morning or afternoon meeting, allows more activities to be done.

 

CONS

- Parents might have plans

- Weekend camping trips will interfere

- Parents want to spend time with their scout

- Less will show up most likely

- Parents may work

 

 

Weeknight Meetings

 

PROS

- More active parents

- Scouts will not be completely full of energy

- Sports, after school activities, weekend trips, will not interfere

- Access to your “dedicated scout roomâ€

- Scouts will be able to have plans with family or friends on weekend

- And more I can’t think of.

 

CONS

- Scouts may be extremely tired

- Homework

- Dark

 

You can work around planting trees at night, by having a weekend activity day and do all the stuff you can’t do at night on that one day on a weekend every so often if needed.

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Adding on, most Cub Scout packs have their den & pack meetings during the week. It worked the best for my pack when I did Cub Scouts. (Now almost Eagle.)

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Because of the schedules of my families, and the fact that my Ward (= local congregation) has a designated night of the week to use the local meeting house, I hold my Webelos meetings every Tuesday at 7, excepting weeks when we have Pack Meeting. This is later than I would like, but since it's the same time and place as all the Boy Scout, Young Women, and adult activities, it means that many families are already there anyway, so it's not much hassle to get the kids there. It's late, yeah, but there's nothing stopping us from having a Saturday event here or there as long as we communicate that to the families (more on that in a bit).

 

A key factor to ensuring attendance, however, is consistency. We ALWAYS meet Tuesdays at 7 (except when we have Pack Meeting, which is ALWAYS the third Thursday of the month). I almost never change that, and so it has become an established routine that parents never have to ask about, never have to question, and never have to doubt. It's ALWAYS Tuesdays at 7. Because I have made it so dependable, my families feel more confident sending their kids in every week, because they know that unless something big happens, Webelos is Tuesdays at 7 (except when we have Pack Meeting, which is ALWAYS the third Thursday of the month). See how nice and dependable that is? Parents love that.

 

And what about when something big DOES happen? Halloween is on a Tuesday this year. The eclipse was on a Monday. Sometimes our weekly activity is a Saturday hike. What then?

 

COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!!!

 

I have all my parents e-mails and phone numbers - for both parents where that is possible. Any time I know something is going to change, I let them know the week before with a note sent home with every boy, then again with an e-mail a few days before hand. I send another e-mail letting them know about the change the night before (and a text to those who don't have e-mail), then the morning of I call or leave a message to each family. In every case, I explain the reason for the scheduling change, and give the information for any alternative activity if applicable. During my first few months I worried that my parents would be sick of hearing from me (sometimes I still worry that!), but they have actually been overwhelmingly grateful for the near-torrent of updates I send every week - parents want to know what's going on with their kids! These people have lives, so the easier we make it for them to live them, the more willing they are to help out and  get their kids to my activities. 

 

Mind you, I don't only communicate with them when there is a change coming - I send weekly e-mails discussing upcoming events and what we are working on each meeting, I have a hard-copy monthly newsletter that goes home with each boy at the start of every month, I talk with them personally whenever they drop off or pick up their kids - I try to make "Den Leader" a family role. And it works! Parents are more than willing to step in if needed because they can see, almost daily, how hard we are working to deliver a good program. They also have time to plan opportunities to get involved since our meeting times are so reliable, and changes are only made with plenty of notice. There's a sense of security that comes with being informed about what's going on by caring leaders. So whether your group chooses to meet on Saturdays at 10 am or Thursdays at 7:30 pm, the important thing is that you establish a routine, and keep your communication as open and frequent as possible - and that you take the time to get to know your families. If you can do those three simple things, you'll find attendance is relatively easy to manage.   :)

 

Hope this helps!

Edited by The Latin Scot
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Never did the Tiger program so can't comment on that age but our cubscouts and webelos always met on Tues.at 7pm.  My scout usually complained about being tired and did not want to go but once we got there, he was a ball of energy with the other scouts and was begging to stay when it was over.  As parents, we preferred the weekday evening because it did not take away our hard earned weekend.  Our scout troop at another church meets the same time and date because everyone crosses over from that pack.  We've known that Tues. at 7pm is booked for the past six years.

 

Why not poll the parents of wolf or bear and see what they think?  Now that they've been through a year or two, they may have some incite and agree a change should be made or recommend to keep what you've got.

Edited by thrifty

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Thanks everyone, I did ask the returning parents, and they would be willing to change. I also believe that the boys NOT being full of energy is a "PRO"! Of course it is my full intention to be very consistent with our schedule once it's set, i.e. every Tuesday @ 7. I also feel that the program has always been flexible enough to adapt to any time and place, for example, in the meeting for planting a tree it says if that's not possible you could start seeds and have the boys grow them at home. So, I feel like we wouldn't be missing out on anything. I also have a great Asst. Den Leader who's willing to help make our meetings great, whenever they might be.

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Had weeknight meetings but was a challenge due to school and work/life balancing for parents. Decided to have the first part of the meeting be dinner. Parents rotated making/bringing dinner. The boys would take 20 mins to eat and watch something Scouting-related. Used to call it "dinner and some learning". :) Very popular. By the time the kids were Webelos it was practically a banquet.

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Had weeknight meetings but was a challenge due to school and work/life balancing for parents. Decided to have the first part of the meeting be dinner. Parents rotated making/bringing dinner. The boys would take 20 mins to eat and watch something Scouting-related. Used to call it "dinner and some learning". :) Very popular. By the time the kids were Webelos it was practically a banquet.

I like that idea!

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I've got to say, folks, I am very impressed with @@ItsBrian 's maturity and well thought out comments. I assume he is under 18 and he is giving us some great food for thought. 

 

Brian, thank you for your input, not just in this thread but in  just about every one of your responses. Your unit is lucky to have you and I'm sure your parents are proud of you. 

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I've got to say, folks, I am very impressed with @@ItsBrian 's maturity and well thought out comments. I assume he is under 18 and he is giving us some great food for thought. 

 

Brian, thank you for your input, not just in this thread but in  just about every one of your responses. Your unit is lucky to have you and I'm sure your parents are proud of you.

 

I think he's a bit older giving his nursing school comment. But I agree with you. Finding anyone under 40 who can articulate anything that's not blaming others for society's ills is impressive.

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I think he's a bit older giving his nursing school comment. But I agree with you. Finding anyone under 40 who can articulate anything that's not blaming others for society's ills is impressive.

 

I must have missed that post. I thought he posted somewhere that he was the SPL for his troop. Maybe he meant a long time ago. 

Edited by krikkitbot

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I must have missed that post. I thought he posted somewhere that he was the SPL for his troop. Maybe he meant a long time ago. 

You got it right 'krik. But, I don't know why anyone is surprised that a candidate for Eagle and erstwhile camp staff is so articulate. Most such boys would be. We're lucky that one or two of them are willing to participate in this thread from time to time and put us in our place! :dry:

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