Re: Committee Meetings
Dewitte A. Baisch (dbaisch@DATASYS.NET)
Tue, 25 Nov 1997 19:00:52 -0500
When I first joined our troop and became an ASM, the troop committee
meetings were held on the same nights as our troop meeting but scheduled
to begin 30 minutes to an hour earlier. The 30 minute prior committee
meetings frequently went long and the SM and his ASMs had to dismiss
themselves to attend to the troop meeting. We missed out on a good deal
of material, information, etc., and would have liked to have had input
to many of the issues that were discussed in our absence. The
hour-prior committee meetings were simply too early for many of us (SM's
and committee members) to arrive at on time, and again, much was missed
by those who showed up late.
We opted for the third Tuesday of each month for committee meetings.
(The first Tuesday is our council training committee meeting [I'm our
district training chair]. The second Tuesday is Roundtable. Nothing
happens on the fourth Tuesday, yet...). These meetings begin at the
same time as a normal troop meeting but run from only one hour to as
much as two and a half hours, depending on the agenda topics. As many
of my Scoutmasters attend as possible since we are in the most direct
contact with the boys and have a feel for their successes, failures,
behavior, wants, needs, etc. (We're a troop on an Air Force base and my
ASM's are all military and tend to get sent on temporary duty
assignments rather frequently. I'm retired military and don't seem to
go anywhere except with the troop. Hmmm, maybe that's why they made me
We recently changed our committee meeting day to the second Wednesday of
the month to accommodate the schedules of a couple of the committee
members. Guess what? Attendance dropped off! We'll probably go back to
the old reliable third Tuesday in the near future.
The SPL can attend any meeting he desires but he is encouraged to attend
at least quarterly meetings to present either a "State-of-the-Troop"
message or talk about what the troop wants to do during our annual
planning conference (the PLC annual planning conference occurs prior to
the troop committee annual planning conference and we try to blend the
calendars from both groups with the council's calendar of events).
Parents are invited to attend any and all troop committee meetings...we
keep plenty of adult leader application forms readily available!
Chuck, you are right. The troop committee meeting does need to be held
at a time other than the troop meeting, and specifically for the reasons
you mentioned. We tried it that way for years and it really frazzled
and frustrated the SM's because they were being left out of some
important decision-making where their inputs would have been very
valuable. And pull the SPL away from a troop meeting to report to the
committee? Never! The SPL doesn't "work" for them, he "works" for me,
well, the troop (and I'm not sure "work" is the appropriate term in
either case.) A separate day for the meetings is best. Trying to
schedule one meeting on the same day as the other at a time prior to or
following the troop meeting makes for either lots of late arrivals for
one meeting or a REALLY long Scouting day!
Dewitte A. Baisch (Sandy)
Scoutmaster, Troop 411, Circle 7 District, Alapaha Area Council, Georgia
"..if it ain't raining, we ain't camping!"
Visit Troop 411 at: http://www.datasys.net/~dbaisch/troop411/index.htm
firstname.lastname@example.org (..and one of them good ol' bobwhites)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City