Back to School Night(long)
Mon, 8 Sep 1997 12:17:20 +0100
With all the discussion lately about Back to School Night, I'm surprised I
haven't seen the system used in Del Norte District.
The September Pack Meeting is called the Round Up. We have a District
Round Up Organizing Committee of 3 people. They make contact with each
unit (CC or CM) and make the support arrangements for that unit. Round Up
volunteers from each unit make up the Round Up Team. Members of the team
attend another Pack's Round Up and provide service in whatever areas that
Pack has requested assistance in.
This year they had sign up sheets at the August RoundTable. It was a neat
little form with all the different jobs listed. A unit representative
could fill it out and turn it in that night if they wanted, or take it to
the next committee meeting and get it back to the Round Up Committee after
The Committee coordinates and schedules team members to attend each Pack's
Meeting (Round Up) filling the positions they requested.
At the Pack Meeting we start out with the regular CM or a dynamic visiting
CM (or the DE) opening (Den Chiefs or Webelos are good to have do the flag
ceremony) the Meeting as a Regular Pack Meeting. Introductions are made
and a short general informational session follows. The boys (and sibs) are
then taken outside where the Den Chiefs and a/some team members and/or unit
members play games with them and really hook them on Scouting.
Meanwhile, the adults are involved in another, adult oriented, short
informational session with questions and answers. We then split into
groups by rank. Parents of Wolves go to room 1, Bears room 2, Webelos I's
this corner of the cafeteria, etc. There are enough people with Pack
Leaders and Team Members to adequately cover all areas. The question
answerers aren't guessing. They are trained, experienced people
(RoundTable Staff is usually on the team) and give the correct information.
We give more detailed info about the program for each age group to those
parents. We show them some of the resources available and let them know
the amount of support there is for them. We have them look around and
group themselves with people they know to be parents of boys their son is
friends with. (It's amazing how many parents don't know!) They are told
that among the 8 of them, there is one Leader and the rest are assistants.
They need to figure out which one's are which. We TRY not to let them out
of the room until someone has signed on the Den Leader line although
sometimes they do escape. Historically, that den never gels. Some groups
need lots of counseling to work it out ("We all work full time and have
families, none of us can do it!") and some are already planning outings
within 10 minutes.
We have the paperwork there and lots of pens. They can pay next week if
they need to.
Sometimes there is a person willing to be a Leader but they don't know
anyone else. This set-up seems to help get over that. Sometimes two
people wind up co-leading.
>Could anyone give me some ideas 1) how many leaders to have there. We
>had all that were available and it still wasn't enough.
One or two for each rank (one is really enough if they are experienced and
knowledgable). Our recently retired DE attended as many as possible and
was an incredible recruiter. I have a feeling our new guy will be too.
>2) How do you deal with the 40 potential scouts and all their brothers and
>sisters who showed up and ran around the half of the gym and wouldn't
>listen to your helpers. Note: Webs II aren't old enough to handle a
>crowd like that. I had to put our Unit Commish to work and he stepped in
>with a story. (Thanks Jeff!!!!!!) They wouldn't be interested in game or
>craft and broke every school rule about climbing on the gym equipment.
Den Chiefs! Have each one bring a buddy Scout. If you don't use Den
Chiefs (Shame On You!) then ask for local Boy Scouts to come and help.
Maybe you'll get some Den Chiefs! It's amazing how Cub Scouts (especially
Webelos) will act when there are Boy Scouts around.
Most members of the team attend at least 3 Pack Meetings. It's important
to have the unit's specific info written down for each of the visitors so
the correct costs, etc. will be used. One time a leader was telling new
Tiger parents the cost was that of her unit rather than the cost in the
unit she was assisting. Boy, was I embarrassed!<g>
This system seems to take the pressure off the leaders of a unit to
pressure new parents to be leaders too. The team members are convincing
people in a different unit than their own to take responsiblity for their
own son's experiences. It seems much easier to do with someone else's
unit. It seems to help build comradery among leaders throughout the
district (like RoundTable does) and units feel supported instead of being
"out there on their own".
Hope this helps someone out there.
Robin Church Haeuser, Chair
Del Norte District Advancement Committee
Los Padres Council **** Atascadero, CA
Philmont 1997 (Philmont Phanatics)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City