Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Fri, 8 Sep 1995 10:49:42 CDT
The questions were "How does the information flow works from National
to the units through the Roundtable meetings" and "What do you do at
your Roundtable meetings to get/keep those "experienced Scouters"
coming since they are "experienced" and not "new"?
During Roundtable meetings, time should be set aside for your
District professional/professional team to share with those in
attendance new National policies and how your local Council will be
interpreting those policies. They should be prepared not only to
explain the new policy or rule, but also to share with you how the
Council views the policy in light of existing programming, what it
means to "Joe or Jane Scouter" and what it means to the youth members
in your District. In this light, your District
professional/professional team is "speaking for the Council Scout
Executive" and therefore for the Boy Scouts of America. View this
time as not a time for him or her to "wax poetic" on how well his boss
sees the District nor how we need to do more to raise money or to get
kids. View this time (and it should be SHORT and TO THE POINT) as his
or her time to express what "National's thinking" with all of you.
If this time is NOT being used in that kind of framework, and is
instead being used to either berate volunteers into "doing more", or
spent presenting awards, a talk between the Roundtable Commissioner
(whom should be presenting those awards -- it is HIS OR HER's
MEETING!), the District Commissioner or ADC in charge of Roundtables
(this is the alternate person to present those awards during the
meeting) and the District Executive or Executive team in order to get
this resolved. This is NOT the "DE's Roundtable"...it is the
District Roundtable, hosted by the District Roundtable
Commissioner(s) and their staffs.
Likewise, your District Commissioner should be emphasizing that the
Roundtable, like this forum, is a period set aside for EXCHANGING as
well as GETTING AND GIVING INFORMATION. This is what brings folks
back to Roundtables, like which what brings you back to Scouts-L each
and every day (besides the fact that if you don't read the stuff here,
you'll really miss something GREAT!). I've found that if you set
aside some period of time in which Scouters can just SIT AND TALK with
each other, during the meeting, this helps a LOT more than even the
best of programs. Scouters, like people everywhere, want to spend
time in just comparing program, in talking about great places to camp
or hike or fish...or the reverse, places to avoid, places that charge
above a "normal amount". If you listen carefully to what happens "as
the participants gather", not only are they gathering paper products
(handouts), but they are talking about upcoming programs, problems
that they have and how others have worked with them.
If you look at your Roundtable meeting as a "monthly conference on
Scouting", this will give you a clue as to how the topic areas should
be handled and how much time should be allocated to the various areas
of the meeting.
I keep "harping" on this, but everyone in the USA should go on any
given month to one of the four (yeah, four) monthly Roundtable
meetings in the George Washington District in the National Capitol
Area Council. The Roundtable meeting is held at a middle school, and
starts promptly at 7pm. There's an agenda with all of the handouts
provided to as many people as the "handout person" made copies for
(and attendance is high, about 500 Cub and Boy Scouters COMBINED,
along with "straphangers" like myself and others). The meeting starts
with a bang, "announcements" are short, sweet and emphasize
information that Scouters NEED to take back with them. Longer things
that needed to be explained are explained on paper, and contained
within the Agenda "book" that each person received when they
signed-in. Other matters, like SME/FOS, charter renewals, summer/day
camp registration and fee payments, and the like are ALL handled
OUTSIDE the main room (the cafeteria), as well as the coffee and
donut area (this allows those that want to exchange information to do
so WITHOUT conflicting with the main meeting). The program for the
evening is challenging and varied, are topics of ADULT interest (even
though there's a lot of youth members in attendance), and are NOT
always "Boy Scouting related" (for instance, one month's Roundtable
included a frank discussion on the topic of sexual harrassment and how
it related to the-then newness of having women serve as Scoutmasters.
They brought in two personnel professionals that facilitated the discussion
and while they had to be coached as to "Boy Scouting terminology", the
discussion was great and different than "let's tie three new knots
There are separate breakouts for Cub, Scout, and Varsity Scouters and
for those Exploring leaders that want to attend instead of attending
the Leader's Exchange meetings done on a quarterly basis by the
Division's Exploring team.
The District Executive has the last ten minutes of the meeting, and if
his ten is not used, then the meeting closes that much earlier. Each
month, they have to literally "throw the Scouters out" of the building
because while there's a HOUR left over for Scouters to talk with each
other after the meeting, you can STILL find Scouters standing or
leaning in the hallways or near the doorways, talking and sharing
information with each other.
I came back from every meeting with so much information about what the
BSA is doing, how the NCAC is handling it and how I can make my unit
the best units in the District, that I literally had to sit and
reflect when I got in the door!!
*That's* a Roundtable meeting!!! *hehehehee*
The keys are to keep it focused, keep the distractions to a minimum,
and vary the program so that those attending each month are surprised.
Kinda like here, gang. By keeping it focused, keeping distractions to
a minimum, and varying the "content" so that people will continue to
come back and say "HEY! That's neat!! Let me turn on my printer!",
people come back to this list, the "Roundtable meeting that NEVER
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services ___)_
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