Boy Scout Roundtables
John Carminati (EP60JRC@SHELLUS.COM)
Wed, 31 Jul 1996 07:29:35 CST
SUBJECT: Boy Scout Roundtables
My district is also a rural district. It consists of two major towns about 60
miles apart, horse ranches, dairy farms and nurseries. The southern town is
close enough to New Orleans that it has developed into a bedroom community. I
was roundtable commissioner for 1-1/2 years for this diverse group. The
district has less than 25 troops. Attendance was about one third consistently.
Here are some of my observations.
1. Evening programs did not appeal to the outlying troops. Programs around
5pm did not work for the "commuters" and the SPL's conflict with sports
practice. I was never able to find a good solution to this one.
2. Inability to get involvement of SPL's killed us. Other districts in our
council had success if OA chapter meetings were held right before RT. A very
successful district has theirs right before their district committee meeting.
The key here is; if they travel, combine the meeting to make the evening more
3. Do not rotate your meetings to troops. The "willing" volunteers will be
mined out in the first six months and then you have no program.
4. Stay in one place and at the same time. Communication in rural areas is
poor at best.
5. Offer worthwhile programs. Don't rely upon troops for all of your staff.
Some of our best meetings were when we had state agency reps speak. Cover
programs such as Project WILD, shooting range officer, even an agency to
promote fishing (like Louisiana needs more boats), safety afloat from the
Coast Guard, etc. Also, don't forget the talents of Explorer Advisors.
6. Talk up camps, even those out of council and don't forget High Adventure.
7. Our poorest meetings were with topics that troops do routinely. Examples
are first aid, cooking (except backpacking recipes), open discussions on
leadership skills (not enough attendees to generate diverse views), common
merit badges (hiking, canoeing, etc.). These things rated high on my survey
before I started RT. In the end, I guess people did not really want these but
selected them because "they were familiar."
I hope this gives RT commissioners some ideas. My best in "Delivering the
ASM-Venture, Troop 85
.......... John Carminati ..........
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City