Rotatin' Roundtables (was Intro, Problem and Re)
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Sat, 19 Feb 1994 00:54:57 CST
I didn't see very many replies to your series of questions, but I'll only
answer your questions about Roundtable meetings rotating and trust that
you've heard from our resident "Cub Scouting expert", Kathie, about the
Cub Scout Leader's Woodbadge course you've been invited to attend. It's a
GREAT course, and she can clue you (and others) in on that.
Let's talk about "rotating Roundtables". I'll base my comments on the
fact that for three years, I supervised Roundtable meetings in eastern Kentucky
where the distance between units was as much as 70 miles one way...
We tried in three Districts to rotate the monthly Roundtables so that each
county (because in Kentucky, you identify with a county, and NOT neccessarily
the largest city or the county seat. For instance, I'm from Hardin County
even though I am from Rose Terrace; I live now in Warren County, if I'm talking
with a fellow Kentuckian...) had a chance to host a Roundtable twice in the
year (there normally aren't any Roundtables in June or July due to summer camp
and vacations). So, in a five county District (as was the case then), each
county got to host a Roundtable twice a year.
Now, here's part of the success of the Roundtables. First, DON'T HOLD THEM
AT THE TROOP MEETING SITE! You'll get the "Showcase" effect if you do.
(what's the "showcase effect"?? That's when you show up at the Troop meeting
site, and for the first half of the meeting, you're barraged with more "This
is what *our Troop* did for X, Y...." ). Hold the Roundtables at a downtown
meeting site (good places are the "community center", the city fire station or
courthouse conference room, or at a church or military reserve center. )
Second, pass out the program "themes" for the Roundtables AT LEAST SIX MONTHS
in advance. Don't try to come up with a theme three or two months before the
meeting...give each unit a chance to come up with how they are going to present
the program. Emphasize that "this is NOT a contest to see who can put together
the best program...."; rather that this is a chance to share what you know
with the other Scouters.
Third, be ingenous about where to hold them at. There are some themes that
will lend themselves to going to a park or a wood area; others which HAVE to
be done inside...try to match the meetings to the time of the year and the
theme of the month...NOT to the personalities of the "Roundtable Staff".
Fourth, IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZE the presentation and the presentors. I had
these great "Roundtable Staff" certificates that I always carried around,
signed by the District's Commissioner, the District Executive and me. I
filled out the names, dates and presented them on the spot at the Roundtable.
That way, they don't feel that they've done this for nothing! (now, with all
of the computer stuff I know, I would have followed it up with a personal
form letter to each presentor. People stuff certificates away....they
*read* letters though, especially those with a personal touch to them!)
Fifth, INFORM THE PRESS....the local paper (county paper) should know IN
ADVANCE that their Scoutmasters and Assistants or Cub Scouting Leaders will
be TEACHING AND COACHING OTHER SCOUTING LEADERS FROM A FIVE COUNTY AREA
during the "Roundtable Meeting" which will be held on a given date, at a
given time at a given location. This is a continuing education program
for Scouting leaders in the community and is designed to inform and
share experiences and opportunities to teach youth. Teachers, church
school ministers/teachers and others interested in youth programs are invited
to attend. There will be a small cost to cover refreshments at the conclusion
of the Roundtable meeting and there will be opportunities to talk with local
and area-wide Scouting leaders.
You would NOT believe what leads the District gets from such an invite!
Finally, Roundtable should be FUN, FELLOWSHIP, unit "FITNESS" and FORECASTING
what the upcoming program is going to consist of. Keep that (in that order)
in mind as you start planning how your District is going to do "rotatin'
I hope that this information helps...and don't be discouraged if when you
start rotating that you get only the "core". If your Roundtables are great,
and you followup in your District's newsletter (or section of the Council's
newsletter) with how great it was in Inez, or Martin, or Prestonsburg....
folks will be calling *you* and asking where the next one will be. And to
those that complain that "you always have things at the (main city of the
District)", here's their chance to shine...in their home "turf" (but please,
NOT at their unit meeting place if you can help it...EVERYONE needs a
Mike L. Walton
former Roundtable Commissioner and Paraprofessional
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City