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What do you expect to get from RoundTable?

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So I got into some poisoned pen letters with our RoundTable Commissioner.. Seems we have very different opinions of what round table is all about..


For me it is so that

* people in the district get together to share ideas and get answers to current problems int their units.

* Get information about important changes that are happening to the program, and how to handle and react to them..

* Hear about the District & Council programs (Camporees, Klondikes, trainings)

* Fellowship with other scouters..



I don't quite know what our Round Table commissioner thinks it is, but for him the planned program is ridgid and cannot be changed for getting information about important changes that are happening to the program out..


I asked our DE & RT commissh if they were ready to present information about the comming Med Form changes and Tour Permit to Tour Plan changes to Round Table.. When they were not I offered to do the presentation since I knew alot about it. I was thanked by the DE, but he understandably deferred the decision to the RT commish.. I was told by the Commish that I was trying to Highjack RT for my own Training purposes.. To set up a date outside of RT if I wish, and they would inform those at RT to attend my training on it.. They have their program set and I was short Changing those who come to RT from the planned program..


So I don't see this as a training, but of passing out important information. Am I wrong?

I also don't see the point of wasting our districts volunteers time by having them waste a Saturday to drive maybe 1 hour or more (our district is a large geographical area) to come to a 30 minute meeting so that the District Training group can inform them of program changes that will effect their operation. Am I wrong?


I personally feel like there is no reason for me to go to RT any more. I don't belong to a unit, so I don't need to be pitched their promotional retoric.. I went to answer questions and help the volunteers where I could understand the program.. But, if that is not a part of what RT is about, I guess I freed up a Monday night once a month for myself.


I waited a few days to write this and probably I still show alot of anger and frustration about this, but believe me, it would have been alot worse had I written it Friday night.(This message has been edited by Moosetracker)

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Roundtable is absolutely part of training--that's why attending 4 roundtables is an option on the Leader Awards under training. Weird that the RT dude doesn't realise that.


I would expect Roundtable to include a mention of new forms, or old forms being changed. I attended our district's February one, and we were told there's a new health form coming. Nothing was said about the new tour plan.


If you are at Roundtable, you are available to the volunteers before & after the scheduled program.

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I would also think that having your scouts & scouters going to their annual physical with med form in hand, to be shocked then if the Doctor refuses to sign it would make people angry.. Especially if uninformed, I had already payed a percentage of my camp fees early, for a discounted pricing, to find out if the form is not fixed, I was going to loose my deposit..


The District should be letting people know of the problem, that the council is on their side lobbying for a fix. And that National was rethinking the way the dr. signature was set up. I would also come with information such as go to the Dr. appt if you have it set up, but hold off on the med form if you think you won't pass.. And if they should pay for the Early bird discount or not if they think they won't pass.. Will the council reimburse them if the med forms aren't fixed? Will they extend the early bird discount for until word is out that there is a fix? Or should they just plan to pay full price if they have medical issues. Personally that is a sticky situation I would not leave to sending out email. But, I would think it warrents person to person discussion so that the volunteers know the council is as concerened as the volunteers about it.


As for the Tour Plan, maybe an email will be fine, but even with this there are people with alot of concerns and questions. So discussing it in an open forum so everyone can hear the answers seems better then getting a ton of email on similar questions and haveing to answer them all individually.. With the fact so many people have been lead to believe the Tour permit was tied to insurance.. There is going to be alot of concern about the fact it is not required for everything.. Also there was other concerns addressed on this forum, I am sure that the unit volunteers will have.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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The medical form and Tour Plan are in a state of flux. When our RT people talk about some kind of change or something new, questions come up to which there is no clear answer and people look at one another like "what's he talking about? How does this affect me? What do I do?" And I roll my eyes and wish to goodness that they just would NOT tell us about changes coming down the pike until they are all worked out, questions answered, and ready to implement. Only then is there really anything to say.

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So I don't see this as a training, but of passing out important information. Am I wrong?


No, you are right. A roundtable is supposed to be a flow of ideas with the flexibility to accomodate topics in addition to whatever the central theme is. I'd be frustrated.

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My expectations for Roundtable are nill, which is why I don't attend.


Moose, I think it's great that you're willing to help, but drop this one. This isn't a hill you need to die on. Yes, you can make a case that presenting the new med forms or tour plans should come under training, but not necessarily so.


With the challenges you already have trying get the priority classes up and running, you need a hassle with the RTC like a sucking chest wound.


You offered. They declined. Move on.

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FScouter - I understand what you are saying.


The tour Plan should be a straight discussion and they should have all the answers..


With med forms - the Problem is the med form is already live. Summer camp early bird pre-payments are due next month, and people are printing those med forms out and taking them to the Doctors.. Therefore the Councils should be discussion what the plan is for the units to do while waiting to see what national will do and bringing that information to the unit leaders..


They should say something like there is hope that this will be resolved before camp. In the meantime..

A) go to the Doctors but if you wont pass, don't give him the med form until hopefully it is fixed.. Then mail it to your doctor for him to fill out & sign..

B) Look at your unit leaders and figure out a game plan of who can take the boys to summer camp, if your normal volunteers can not pass the physical.. Have a plan A for if the med forms are fixed in time, and a plan B for if they are not.

C) Individual to each council would be how those who can not at this time pass a med form should do about any early bird discount program the council offers. But this should be discussed and they should have an answer on a council for council basis.

D) Have an answer for if the council camps will offer more provisional camping opportunity for units who will now have no adult leadership to attend.. (Probably not since their staffing may also become tight, if their normal staffers can no longer attend..)


Your right FScouters, they should have answers for possible questions.. But, I am sure they will not think of all the questions that might be asked.. But sticking you head in the sand and not informing the units, is a worse move.. At least if the units have the knowledge and Council doesn't have the answers then the extra people will ask the questions that will get them to think about their plan of action, for those things they did not think about. Also units can start coming up with their own game plan.. Even if that is to forewarn the parents of the kid with asthma not to put in an early deposit for camp this year.. Or can troop A group up with troop B and together get enough adult leadership that will pass the medical form..


I truely detest keeping people in the dark about a situation, and not allowing them time to plan accordingly.. And really I don't think that is the Councils intent (though I am unsure why they did not organize a game plan at their council meeting to address the issue.)


This is more what I consider a RT commissioner who is way out of sync with what the unit volunteers expect their round table should provide. It really shouldn't be a rehash of the changes to the med forms & Tour permit.. That is just what is the kicker right now.. For all I know this RT commissioner may have know about the required YPT training, and decided not to use the time to mention it at RT because it would throw off the timeing on the program.. And besides it is all about "yuck poo" Training.. Which is not an issue for RT..


I was yelled at before for putting a YPT training on a RT night.. As far as I was concerned those going where not the normal people who went to RT.. Sue me, I brought in different people, who might learn about RT for the first time, and start showing up in the future..


I also am guilty of planning to do a pre night Intro to Outdoor Leader Training outside the RT in May.. I will definately be moving it to a public park.. Again, we don't want to encourage anyone new to learn about RT and find it interesting enough to return in a different month to learn more about it..

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twocubdad - You are right.. I have already decided that given this attitude, RT is just not a necessary place for me to attend. Which gives me, as I said, and extra free night a month..


I basically sent an email to him showing him the letter from National to Council stating it was Councils responsibility to get the word out in newsletters, websites and ROUNDTABLE.. That it was not the District Trainers job to inform the units of the upcomming changes. I had just made the offer to help him out since he was not prepared to do his job, and that I was sorry to do so, in the future I will know better then to offer him help with anything.


I know others think it is the District Trainers position to go to RT to promote up coming trainings and answer questions.. But unless someone sits this guy down and gets him straightened out, I will do my job by sending flyers to the RT promoting the Trainings and sending out emails to the units about upcoming trainings..


I now have the opinion if I open my mouth to sneeze during a RT it will be looked apon as my Training someone on the art of sneezing..(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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You may not be aware of it, but BSA distributes a suggested program for Roundtables like the "Program Helps" series.


That program concentrates mainly on examples unit programs for the next month ---- my roundtable did program themes for March at the february Roundtable.


There is a segment suggested at about five minutes for "announcements."


If that is what your Roundtable Commissioner does with his program, he is following the BSA program.



Frankly, however, I have aimed my Cub Scout Roundtable Program more at the kind of training you have described. My March Roundtable is planned to be a model Recruiting night, for example. Adult leaders and their Cub Scouts will be invited to make stomp bottle rockets together (a great recruiting night activity) and then while the Cub Scout are launching their rockets I will be demonstrating other elements of a good recruiting night program.


Our February Roundtable included a presentation by the DE on the new Quality Unit Program and how that can be used by units to help improve their program.


The DE also discussed the replacement for Trip Permits, discussing when permits were NOT required. THAT was popular!


My personal aim has been to use Roundtable to expose units to the best practices available on how to manage and lead their units. Last month we had a talented Cubmaster go over the elements and methods of putting together an effective Webelos program, and December had a district volunteer describe the methods of recruiting additional volunteers.


So my style and method would conform to the expectations you outline for Roundtable. But your Roundtable Commissioner may well be following the BSA Roundtable plan.


(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Here's an example of the Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide:






Due to popular demand at our February Roundtable, I am planning to make the August Roundtable revolve around the best ways to organize a popcorn sale. That would include having the most succesful packs in the district describe their methods and topics raised in these forums such as ways to minimize the risk of fraud and theft of funds during the popcorn sale.(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Hello Moose,







Our Roundtable starts at 7:30. When we do trainings they have usually been scheduled for 6:30 with the aim of encouraging the newly trained to move to the remainder of the Roundtable after the training is completed. That exposes new people to Roundtable. Whether that encourages people to return or stay away might be an interesting question some times!


I might add that one of my most popular policies as Cub Scout RT Commissioner has been limiting rounftable to no more than an hour. The Boy Scout RT goes on for 1.5-2 hours, and I think that discourages people from attending.



Sorry to hear about your conflicts with the RT Commissioner. One thing to do would be to ask the District Commissioner to encourage more cooperation with other Scouters.


Also --- how many people attend this Roundtable and does the RT Commissioner have a quality program? If he attracts a good turnout and has a good program you might want to cut him some slack.


For What it's worth (not a lot) The Cub Scout Roundtable Planning Guide for the February Roundtable suggests allowing five minutes for announcements "Spokespeople for upcoming events make announcements. Make sure they are available for questions after the meeting."(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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The Cub breakout I think sometimes goes by that plan Seattle.. The BS doesn't.. But CS isn't so rigid either. I think last month they had camp promotion..


BS breakout is more loose flowing.. They have dragged my husband & I in off the streets so to speak because nothing was prepared for the breakout session (or maybe whoever they planned didn't show up?)


The RT commish himself deals with rechartering, so will spend time passing out the rechartering forms during RT which usually kills the breakout time by half an hour every single year.


Last Fall we had Council come in to promote the Blue Angels which was a fundraiser for Council.. And again half an hour or more was killed promoting it and passing out to each units the promotional kits and having each unit decide how many tickets they wanted for selling (they each had to sign a contract to get the tickets, so they were accountable for the money or the return of the tickets that were not sold.


The Break out groups usually leave some time for people to come in and make announcements at their breakouts that is specific to the Pack, troop or Crew.. Before the breakout there is about 20 minutes of general announcements..


Believe me, if he tried he could squeeze the time in for getting important information out. Believe me it definately does not need to be me doing the public presentation. In fact I would prefer it not be me.


I think it may be more of a personal issue with me.. I have been meaning to talk to the DE, as he has been treating me like the golden girl who can do no wrong during District Committee meetings, at first it gave be confidence that although I thought I was screwing everything up, I must have been doing something right.. Then it got embarrassing, and I am beginning to think I am not making friends with my peers because of it.. If the UC (who is also the RTC) feels threatened by me also, it is affecting more then I think..


It just kills me that the unit volunteers will suffer over some Adult ego thing.


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I wish Round Table was run correctly!


Our Round Table has become the fast food of scouting. There's some nutrition there, but it's not the best. 35+ minutes of announcements, Eagle Boards, Commissioner meetings, camporee planning, Trail to Eagle briefing, cub scout RT, venturing crews meeting on site, district members-at-large meetings, OA chapter meeting -- all in the same building.


Many are frustrated that it's become this way, but the concerns have fallen on deaf ears despite people sharing the Round Table planning guides, and training materials from how other districts in our council have succeeded.

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Is fence mending a Pioneering activity?


The Blue Angels thing sounds like it probably wore out it's welcome at that Roundtable. Boring people at Roundtable simply insures that a lot of people wont come back again. I would have been very unhappy with that one as RT Commissioner!


Good luck in getting the word out to units. We really need to start a new thread on how to do that effectively....




And jhankins,



What would you like to see presented at Roundtable? How long should Roundtable last?(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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