Rdtble Characteristics & Needs Pt 4/4
Gary Apfelstadt (apfelsta@UIUC.EDU)
Sun, 12 Jul 1998 23:35:26 -0500
Hello Part 4 of 4
Recently, I posted three sections for an E Rdtble Survey. With some members
on Scouts-L I hoped to learn about your experiences with District
Roundtables, to gather information that will be useful for the building of
and reflection on my district's Cub Scout & Boy Scout Roundtables, and to
post the gathered information on SCOUTS-L to aid your program reviews as well.
As with surveys generally, I have ended up with more questions from the
Many thanks are owed for the cooperation of the wired Scouters on SCOUTS-L
Please feel free to contact me by email if you have a question, or further
YIS, Gary Apfelstadt, Prairielands Council, Champaign, IL
Included here will be some observations drawn from the Surveys, and all the
comments shared from your experiences.
E II - Other comments ?
- It's a great place to come and find fellowship and to find out who's
our newest District Executive.
- From what our District Executive says, our district has one of the best
Roundtables in the council. I think that attendance could be much better.
I try to
encourage my Den Leaders to come but most of them are also involved in
other Youth programs and find it difficult to get away on an additional
night for a Cub Scout Roundtable. All of my leaders have at least been to
Basic Leader Training and over half have been to a Pow-wow so I don't push
the issue too much.
- In general the stronger troops attend - probably because these SM's are
willing to put in the necessary time and effort.
- Even though we get a good caliber of presenters, the number of units
represented at the Roundtable continues to dwindle. Unit leaders attend
because of the resources available to them and the amount of fun that they
- The Roundtable is organized into patrols, according to Troop#. Each
Patrol has a responsibility for the meeting. (setup, opening, prog 1-4 -
etc.) I am
personally not in agreement with this method
- We are suffering the after-effects of a rancorous merger. Most
attendees see the current RT as an extension of _one_ of the two districts
merged. "We lost, mentality. It was definitely poorly handled.
- Only attended year-end district recognition event once, when one of our
Scouters was being honored.
- We have a new Boy Scout RT Commissioner who is going to start planning
the RT's around the program helps themes (beginning in Sept.) We are also
begin a weekly e-mail reminder that we hope will help with RT attendance,
which has been flagging of late.
How do you pay for Roundtable supplies ?
-Cake Raffle and donations
- I use company supplies but as little as possible
- out of pocket
- I generally pay for them. I get the copying done for free at the office
as long as I don't go overboard.
- The staff is responsible for their own handouts and supplies. (and yes,
it can get costly).
- RT Staff submits request for reimbursement to Council.
- Donations and a little from council.
- Donated by businesses of staffers ... or by staffers. Some materials
paid for by training budget.
E III - Other comments ?
- Roundtable doesn't seem to have the same support that Council once
placed on its importance since it's returned to 'Training instead of
Commissioner' heading. With the supplemental training (required) provided
at Roundtable (for Cubs) it definitely takes a lot away from the "fun" part
of Roundtable Program and adds somewhat of a nightmare to the tracking of
who's trained and who's not or what now constitutes a Trained Leader.
Roundtable is a monthly training session but before now it has been
more like the boys receive the program, learning through fun. I just
hope they know what they're doing and not just trying to justify the 4
hour Basic Training and causing another failure.
- On copies, I provide my own handouts. Others provide theirs, the church
where we meet allows use of their copy machine if you bring your own
- Also, 6 of 10 staffers are Woodbadge trained, 4 Cub Scout, 2 Boy Scout
and one both.
- The DE usually has about 5-7 minutes of announcements.
- We just started for the summer meetings which are outdoor potlucks. I
plan to publish a list of the Cub RT meeting themes and/or special
presentations for the year (Sept-Aug) to be handed out at the Aug RT
- Next year, I'll take what our council calls Master of RT Comm training.
- We generally get the same people to attend month after month. I'm
looking for ways (inexpensive) to blow new life into the meetings to
increase attendance. On a good note, there is probably only about 3 Cub
units that never attend any session in a given year.
- I make out the topic, opening and closing assignments and then present
them to the staff. It makes the planning meeting extremely short as they
usually have no problem with it and appreciate knowing several months ahead
of time what
- Our district exec makes his announcements and is available during the
meeting /breakouts for anyone that wants to talk to him.
- We have the staff wear neckerchiefs, slides or hats to match the theme.
- Themed activities are extensively covered in the 50+ page handouts we
produce.Training sessions at RT may include themed activities (ceremonies,
but often do not.
- Our old District (gone) used to have the program planned by the RTC.
Attendance was sporadic, and seating was open. After a merger of Districts,
we began to do RTs the 'other' way. They organized RT patrols by troop
affiliation. Every patrol consists of 8 or so units. The problem that I
have is that RT attendance is volatile. Some troops send one leader to RT
each month (& rotate the leader). This not surprisingly breaks continuity.
- (cont'd) Another problem that I see with this Patrol/troop method is that
the program presenters generally miss out on the other important programs.
Our last RT was on Safe Swim Defence. I provided handouts courtesy of my
employer. There was no reason to have my whole RT Patrol there for the
presentation so I sent them to other sessions to pick up on that information.
- (cont'd) We would be better off having a longer program without breaks,
but I don't complain too loudly because I don't want to be RTC next year.
- (cont'd) We still do have a 50/50 raffle at RT. We had door prizes in the
Old District as well as refreshments. Now we have none.
Appropriate(d) Quotes from E Scouters:
The nice thing about teamwork is that someone is always on your side!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City