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Roundtable goes the way of the Dodo......

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Hello Basement,



That's a sad story.



I last used "fuzzy sticks" in early July when I was serving as Camp Commissioner.


I heard that a Scoutreach troop had been unable to get a fire started to cook their dinner the night before. When I visited their campsite there was no one there and just rather too large chunks of wood in the firepit they hadn't been able to light ---no surprise.


I spent about fifteen minutes splitting kindling and making some fuzz sticks and building a fire that would start, and left it that way as something with which they could experiment.


When I stopped by the next day, they had the burned remains of a fire in the fire pit.


I've been slowly building attendance at my Cub Scout Roundtable. August the subject was how to improve your unit popcorn sales, September we had a model recruiting night using a rain gutter regatta as an event to attract families --- and an ice cream social.


This monthe the program is how to recruit new adult leaders.


My aim is to answer questions new pack leaders will have and to have fresh ideas that experienced leaders can learn from.


Still, attendance has been mediocre. I haven't even had other leaders from my pack attend.



Roundtable is a great idea but a hard sell. Few people want to invest another evening in Scout it seems.





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It sounds like I need to count myself lucky. Our district has a very well attended roundtable (better then 50% of units represented) They are interesting cover things we need to know and a great chance to network with other people "doing the job"


I value the personal interaction and I would be less inclined to participate if it were a video conference. I supposed I better email my info and state as much


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Basement, that is quite a RT experience! I can't top that or come close, but I sure can relate to the general vibe of loutish, patronizing behavior towards newcomers.


Looking back on my last three districts, in three different regions of the US....


There are always a few salt-of-the-earth folks that embody the scout spirit and welcome you on board and show you the ropes. However, more than a few old timers a) are overly impressed with themselves and the state of scouting in the district b) will openly scowl at you if you walk up and shake their hand, c) look at your uniform and upon seeing the strange council patch and lodge flap, look at you like you came from outer space and d) gaze at you with shock if you make an occasional comment or observation...after all, what the heck do you know about scouting?


It bears mentioning I am not a WBer, and in two of my previous districts, this was a show stopper for some of my fellow scouters. No beads equalled no credibility and minimal social interaction. So be it.


I'm glad to report in my current district, the WBers are very reasonable, welcoming folks, and I nearly fell out of my folding chair when I heard the WB attendance pitch a few months ago. Why? It was the most down to earth, realistic, respectful WB sales pitch I'd ever heard. I was very impressed with the brief and how they outlined the local WB experience to be. One class was already full and the other nearly so. I can understand why.


Previous two districts' WB pitch? Ugh.


All this aside, I do not let the human dynamics dissuade me from being involved. I'll be friendly and respectful. Also, I'll move again soon, and will see what the next council and district has in store.


PS Can't forget Mrs Eagle Scout Mom and her son. What a duo! So they had to show off their encyclopedic knowledge of fuzz sticks, and talk trash about fellow Eagles? Whew.


They made a common mistake: just because a scout could earn Eagle in the '70s and not go camping doesn't mean it was common. In fact, I don't recall one Eagle making the rank that route. All the Eagles I knew were solid outdoor experts, with lots of time on the trail. Just because the official advancement program was watered down doesn't mean the troops followed suit. Many troop level scout leaders ensured the scouts got an old-school scouting experience, which means "get outdoors!"

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desert, I took woodbadge so I would be permitted to put on cub programs at the district level. Well the old district folks moved the target.....I am over it now, no desire for district programs.


Initially I joined scouting for my son, we have had a bunch of fun together.....I am seeing he is a growing into a fine young man, to be honest he really doesn't need much from me anymore, the occasional good job from dad and a glance to see if I am watching him complete a difficult task.


I am staying for the others scouts who are not as lucky as my son.


I wasn't telling the story for sympathy, No point to the story, just sharing my first experience at roundtable. I forgot all about it, till we started talking about new faces and how we treat them.

(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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I understand Basement, your post really struck a cord.


You mention the moving target...my previous district needed trainers. No problem! I'm military, and worked with a unit level scout leader who was looking for a new challenge. To sweeten the deal, this particular leader taught skills courses to deployers, he was great with people, comfortable in the outdoors, and off duty was a superb scout leader.


How can you go wrong?


I contacted the district. Nothing was heard for a couple weeks. Tried again. Nothing. Tried again. Nada.


Long story short, after several months, I finally gave up and so did the volunteer. Could never get a soul on the training staff to so much as return an email or a phone call.


Looking back, this district was a tough nut to crack on any front. Very frosty. They may have needed trainers, but they didn't want anything to do with my comrade. He would not have fit in all, which is a shame.(This message has been edited by desertrat77)

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Basement - I was not promoting to HAVE a council wide RT.. Those are district wide here too.. But for those of us that work at the district/council level their IS a council wide meeting called a "Planning Meeting" rather then RT..


I was promoting if they want to try virtual this would be a safer first thing to try it out in.

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