settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Sun, 26 Apr 1998 20:58:24 -0500
Sorry for the late response......
Joe Olivo stated here a while back:
> If this list represents a "virtual roundtable" then I feel that some of us
are >deviating from the above charge. My understanding is that the
>roundtable setting is used as a time to exchange information on how we, >as
leaders, can improve and enhance the program we >are bringing/supporting to
the boys by sharing ideas and information >with other scouters (with some
time set aside for national and council >news updates on policies & procedures).
I guess Joe, your District's Roundtable meetings are pretty dry, huh??
*laughter* Seriously, you bring up a valid point, the reason why I have
kept your posting and is now getting back to responding to it.
The BSA, in various books and manuals over the years, defined a Roundtable
as a "forum for planning special events and programs", as "a method for
uplifting and encouraging Scouters...", and as "a method of sharing
information between the units and their chartered partners and the local
Council and it's District organization".
My favorite definition, Joe, is taken from the 1954 printing of the
Cubmaster's Packbook. It is the working defination for what we all do here
on Scouts-L and what I try to encourage privately and publically:
(p.155): "A real (Cub Scout leaders' ) Roundtable is an occasion when all
(den and pack) leaders come together for fun and fellowship while learning
all the tricks and ideas they can to help them put over the program theme."
"This they accomphish by group planning and by assuming a share in the
leadership of the projects. By rotation among the packs of a District, the
leadership is divided so all (Cubmasters, Den Mothers and other pack)
"This is wonderful training for your leaders, because in teaching others
they learn to perform better themselves."
Every day, Joe, this forum addresses issues and ideas that come from you and
other Scouters out there...from the United States, as well as from a number
of other countries around the world. We talk about serious topics, things
that if we don't try to handle them in the right or appropriate ways, can
potentially do some harm or damage to our program or to a child or adult.
We also talk about issues that have a national slant to it, as the recent
"3G" discussion (and I'll get to that in this posting a little down a couple
paragraphs) and proposals to change or modify our programs. And because
we're not just Boy Scouters here, we get a lot of reflection and thoughts
and input from those outside our program.
And we talk about silly stuff, things that to our non-youth program friends,
would idenify us as candidates for the "psych floor" in our community
hospital, or would be received by glazed-over eyes by our families and spouses.
We talk about those issues and problems -- and their solutions -- only
because we cannot or choose not to discuss with our local youth program
management. Or because we discussed (or attempted to discuss the issue) and
only received a raised hand with the statement "talk to the hand because the
ears aren't listening...."
We all share in the information given and received, we all share in the
ideas forumlated and discussed out in the open, and we all benefit from some
of the best Scouters in the world advising ME and you on "how they would
handle it" or "how the game is played" or "why or why I shouldn't do"
whatever it is I'm asking. I learn and I share.
That, Joe, is the beauty of the Roundtable. It's not a static "okay folks,
here's the information, here's the answers, and here's the plans...good
night and we'll see you tomorrow". I've been around in Scouting long enough
to know that a lot of REAL Roundtables are done just *like that*.
That's what brings people here everyday: to not just "get and glean the
information", but to activily THINK and REFLECT upon it (even if they don't
post but instead nod their heads up and down or throw pencils at their
screens while yelling "YOU IDIOT!!!! WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM!!")
This list grew and continues to grow because of three elements, which I view
are the key ingriidents in ANY mailing list:
*a core group willing to not just answer questions, but to provide insight
and emphaty and suipport and praise and a swift kick in the rear end (if you
need it). One of the comments I get frequently is "I love the idea of
getting SEVERAL answers to my question. It gives me the chance to examine
each, to think about the merits, and to finally be able to recommend a way
that would work WITH US". Some questions are cut-and-dried, Joe; others are
hard to answer and harder to explain in a simple couple of paragraphs. But
those great Scouters here that try to answer them, based on their own
knowledge, experience and reference materals handy, are really trying to get
YOU to do more than "open a book" or "ask once and don't get an answer at all".
*people asking questions as much as people getting answers or waiting around
for answers. This list THRIVES on questions about a wide variety of topics
dealing with YOUTH PROGRAMS (remember, Joe, Scouts-L is NOT just a "Scouting
mailing list"; it is a YOUTH PROGRAMS DISCUSSION LIST. You'd be surprised
at the number of questions that those OUTSIDE of the BSA or GSUSA would have
that would have DIRECT CORRELATION to what we do in our programs, in our
roles in those programs)!
*and a resolution that there are simply some things that we can NEVER come
to a consenous over or that by their own nature, tend to "shut the list
down" and turns us from a "daily roundtable meeting" into a "daily shouting
match" or "daily Crossfire forum" (Crossfire, for those not aware, is a
daily Cable News Network (CNN) program which has two guests from opposing
points of view arguing with the hosts, whom likewise have two different
points-of-view on the topic of the evening. It starts out calm,
degrenerates into a shouting and arguing match, and ends with the hosts
calmly throwing verbal jabs at each other....30 minutes of "managed anger
and frustration"...good TV ! *heheheheheee*)
With regards to the recent 3Gs discussion and the "survey", while discussion
over the role that religion plays in Scouting programs is important, we've
learned from trial and error that it's a topic that would better be left to
a forum whereby participants can best and openly express their emotions,
without fear of reprisals and without fear of "being shut off" by someone
"in the shadows" with their hands on "the kill switch".
The same goes for discussions dealing with homosexuality/bisexuality in
Scouting programs and whether or not it should be
tolerated/permitted/encouraged. And the same goes with discussions dealing
with the appropriate role of female youth members within the BSA's programs
and how it's different from other youth programs around the world.
Don't get me wrong: ALL OF THOSE TOPICS ARE VALID TOPICS for discussion
here on Scouts-L. They all deal with youth programs. They all deal with
issues within a youth program. They *should be* addressed here, if we're
talking about a youth programs *discussion group*.
But let's not talk about those issues here within this Roundtable meeting
for the same reasons that we don't talk about family scars or gross foods or
the colors of various bodily fluids during REAL Roundtables or other "public
forums"!! It's a simple act of respect for the more than 3000 people
reading and posting here, many of whom don't really care or have an opinion
one way or another.
"You're discriminating!!! This is AGAINST WHAT THE NAME OF THE LIST IS!!!",
some of you are screaming right now (I can hear you just fine). I don't
make the rules, gang. We hold our "Roundtables" every day in the "facility"
of our Listowner, Jon Eidson, and at the will of the university where he
works. Jon has the ulitamate decision, and it was *his* decision four or so
years back that we try to move discussions dealing with those topics over to
another more open, unmoderated, free forum.
He didn't make this decision in a "secret room" somewhere on his campus, and
the fact that his school is only minutes away from the BSA's national
headquarters doesn't even come into it. Jon spent a couple of WEEKS asking
each of the "main contributors" at that time (and yeah, I was one of them)
for advise. We all gave it to him and he read through each and even asked
followups to us before he decided.
What he says, goes. It's HIS LIST.
Those of us that battle those topics, Joe, do so on the USENET NEWS forum
called "rec.scouting.issues" (RSI). I was one of several that wanted a
free, open and unmoderated forum so that my opinions and comments would not
detract from the 50 postings a day here and that others can respond to my
comments without fear of being "removed from the list" or "getting a lot of
spammed mail" from those that disagree (or agree!) with them.
If your Internet Service Provider doesn't offer USENET NEWS, you can access
it via DejaNews on the web (www.dejanews.com) or through third-parties like
America Online (tm) or Prodigy (tm).
Roundtables -- our electronic one here, as well as the REAL ONES that you
and I should be going to monthly, put on by carbon-based life forms with
smiles -- are there for you to LEARN AND SHARE AND BE INSPIRED from. As the
Packbook stated, when you teach and coach others as to how *you* do things
or handle things, you learn to do things and to understand things better
>It's time to get back to our reason for getting involved in the first place -
Those that offered "surveys" or wanted to discuss timely public youth
programs issues here, Joe, aren't doing anything wrong....and if you posted
and felt the heat from other Scouters here, it's not because you're done
....its just that in *this discussion mailing list*, the owner of the list
decided that those topics would be better off somewhere where he (or his
"staff") didn't have to concern themselves with trying to "police" behavior,
emotions, language, or other things that would get into the way of a daily
Clear as mud, right??
Again, sorry for the late response!
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
241 Fairview Dr., Henderson, KY 42420-4339 firstname.lastname@example.org
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