Re: Troop Communications
Mon, 29 Jun 1998 23:06:53 -0500
Jason Cruse asked about a Roundtable on communications,
I too was a Roundtable Commissioner and Scoutmaster, and had some of the
same problems that you and your attendees have.
I had semi-annual meetings with the parents while the Scouts were with
the Assistant Scoutmasters. We requested that at least one parent
attend as this was a "stockholders'" meeting. This did more for
communications than anything else. We discussed everything from troop
program to dues, uniforming, camping policies (e.g., no electronic
games), etc. And we didn't even have to provide drinks or
refreshments. We also promised that the meeting would not last more
than an hour, and the parents were already there to take their sons
We also held information meetings with Dens of 2nd year WEBELOS ready to
cross over. We would hand out our Troop Nerwsletters, Troop Bylaws,
Troop Calendar, and Troop roster.
As for running the roundtable, I don't know your style. I found
overhead questions worked well and did stimulate conversation. I would
ask how many provide newsletters? Then have some of those who raise
their hands describe theirs (if they didn't bring copies that is). I
would ask at the August Roundtable that Troops provide enough copies to
hand out to each troop in attendance.
But do not go through them at the roundtable. This is for their use
later. I would also ask what should go into a newsletter, and have some
answers ready yourself. How about a camping checklist for new parents,
a list of outfitters in the local area for equipment, a short column on
first aid tips. Have the boys write an article on their last campout.
Pick one boy per event. How about a Scoutmaster's corner,
Commissioner's corner, Troop Committee Chair corner, or SPL corner. How
about a Scoutmaster's Minute column written by a different SM/ASM each
edition. There are any number of things that can go into a newsletter.
Who is the audience? Is it the boy or the parents. Target the articles
Obviously phone callouts and who handles that for the troop can be a
topic of discussion. Questions here would include:
What are apropriate items to use a callout for?. For instance, we have
an ASM call a Troop Committee Person when we break camp. The Troop
Committee than call parents with where and what time the parents can
pick up their Scouts.
Who makes the callouts?
When is the best time for a callout (I have found Sunday late afternoon
and evening the best)?
Another set of questions: Along with the message (newsletter, written
announcement poster, calendar, etc, what is the best delivery method?
Mail, send home with the Scout, give to parents as they pick up their
Scouts after the meeting, etc?
Hope this helps, and good luck!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City