Re: Roundtable Help!
Marc W. Solomon (m_solomon@ALLI.COM)
Tue, 30 Jul 1996 10:14:44 -0500
At 02:45 PM 7/29/96 +0100, R. D. \"Mike\" Kemp wrote:
>This year I am considering trying something new - rotating roundtable
>location among different Troops. This will vary the geographic location.
> Also, host Troop can choose day and time as long as it is scheduled
>during the third week of the month.
With a district your size, rotating meeting locations might be feasible, but
I would still advise against it. As a rule, some of your intended audience
will not get the information and will be miffed when they show up a the
wrong location or, even if the get the correct information, will be miffed
that they had trouble finding the location. Disgruntled Scouters will
spread ill will towards the roundtable and that will defeat your purpose.
As for changing which night of the week the meeting is on, this is even
worse!!! Not one unit in out district meets on Thursday nights because that
is when district holds their meetings (committee on first Thursday,
roundtable on second). This way no Scouter has a conflict between unit
meetings and district meetings.
Since your goal is to have as many Scouters at your roundtable as possible
each month, scheduling roundtables on varying nights counter-productive to
your goal. Given that 'most' troops meet (I know of) on a Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, or Thursday, on the average night you reduce your audience by
25%. Finding which night of the week has the fewest meetings will greatly
enhance your capability of increasing your audience. Varying which night
will a) reduce your audience and b) irritate the Scouters.
One of the reasons our roundtable has been so successful is that we have
held it on the same night each month at the same location (or across the
street if we need to do outdoor activities) for longer than I have been
involved with my current district. I have met Scouters who have not been to
a roundtable for years who showed up out of the blue (not that their unit
was not represented, but just not by them). They knew exactly where and
when the meeting would be. Everyone is comfortable and familiar with it and
that builds a level of trust between the unit Scouters and the district
Scouters (even though these groups greatly overlap, those who are strictly
unit tend to see these sets as disjointed).
>Suggestions on program ideas, how to build attendance, etc. are
My Roundtable Commissioner (I am on the staff) is continually saying "Give
this something to take back to their units!!!" If you are doing cooking,
give them some recipes (I gave out the dutch oven cookbook I received from
someone on this list!!), If your are doing pioneering, give them plans for
some projects. If you are doing water safety or first aid, find some
pamphlets on the subject (I found the Coast Guard and the Red Cross very
Make the meetings informational and instructive and try to have something
for everyone at every level. You will have new Scouters that still need to
learn knot tying skills and very experienced Scouters who will be bored with
knot skills but find information on planning high adventures treks very
helpful. While, with a district of your size, it might be more difficult to
have that many presentations, keep it as a goal as things grow. Check out
your resources. I have had people from te local conservation district, the
Coast Guard, and the Red Cross come do presentations. You do not have to do
it all yourself! Look for experts within your units that can help (or do)
presentations on upcoming themes. For some reason, I get cornered into
doing a presentation on Computers once every year or so.
Lastly, make them fun and light hearted. Just like the Scouts, the Scouters
will be more likely to join in if they hear what fun the others had doing it!
Marc Solomon Unit Commissioner
firstname.lastname@example.org Sycamore District
email@example.com Blackhawk Area Council (IL)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City