8/19/2008

Notes on aug 19 2008

I was able to make some good progress last night and this morning -- not on Wood Badge tickets, but on important stuff nonetheless.

First up was as the Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner. I've got calls out to our supporting units for September (late, sorry) and October. I've really been studying the Boy Scout Roundtable Planning Guide and I'm convinced we can do a better job of making this meeting more fun and effective. One thing I'm driving for is moving away from the monolithic lecture format that we've been in since I've been going to Roundtable. For the next two months, I'm shooting for 3-4 presentations/activities led by different leaders and separated by songs or run-ons. I'd like to add a contest or skit at each meeting as well. What kinds of activities do you enjoy at your roundtables?

I also got myself registered for the Commissioner College training this weekend down in Richland, UT. As a new commissioner, I'm feeling a bit unprepared. I sure hope this training will help me figure out what I should be doing and how I should be doing it.

Finally, I've also been working with my OA chapter about an Ordeal in October. It looks like things are coming together. I've contacted the couple of people that had been asking about it.
Now I need to get it (and other scouting activities) onto my google calendar.

2 comments:

Mr. Bunker said...

I haven't always been a regular Roundtable attender. My first adult leader position was the 11-yr-old scout leader. I really didn't know what Roundtable was nor was I aware of where and when it took place.

When I did learn about Roundtable my initial impression was, "Once upon a time I was a scout, so I know what I need to do. I don't need further training" Even though I had a fantastic Scoutmaster and his as been a great model for me, now that I down the road of experience a number of years, I can see my thinking was wrong. To put it simply, it was like saying, "I've seen Judge Judy on TV so I know what it's like to be judge." Being an adult scout leader is very different than being a Boy Scout.

I really didn't see the benefit of attending Roundtable regularly until I was a Cub Scout leader. Each time I went to Roundtable, I came away with more than enough material to have my program planed for the next month. Roundtable had become the "Killer Application" to my scouting position. I couldn't live without it.

When I became a Varsity and Boy Scout adult leader, it was just natural to continue attending. I realize graduating cub leaders to become Boy Scout, Varsity, & Venture is unlikely to happen; many of them wouldn't be caught dead doing cheers and songs.

Here's my suggestions for what they are worth:
1. Get the word out. Let the SMs and ASMs know about Roundtable. Electronic groups, email lists, and web pages are great but seem to be a tool better suited to getting people back to Roundtable. To get the new adults leaders to come, they need a personal invitation from a friend or someone in authority—that is what got me there the first time. Naturally this is where unit commissioners and ADCs should step in. Unfortunately only a few of them in our district are doing what they should be doing. In addition Bishop's and 2nd Counselors (CORs) should be promoting Roundtable. What if we created patrols for each stake, choose patrol leaders, and had them personally invite the new leader. We could go all out with patrol flags and yells or have it more of a subliminal element.

I like the idea of having trainings (ie. New Leader Essentials. Outdoor leader Skills, etc.) as part of Roundtable because the proverbial horse gets it first drink of water and will know where to come again for the succeeding drinks.

2. Make every roundtable a "Killer Application." I realize this can be a challenge because attendees are somewhere on the neophyte to know-it-all continuum. Outdoor Leader Essentials Training could be for the neophytes and Boy Scout Roundtable could be for the rest. I like they way our Outdoor Leader Essentials goes in-depth for each training session, but I am not a neophyte. I wonder if the presenter should give more hands-on examples of how tenderfoot through first class scouts skills should be taught and leave the in-depth topics for Boy Scout Roundtable sessions.

I like the idea of mixing the Boy Scout Roundtable up and departing from the monolithic presentation format. All too often Troop meetings mistakenly follow this same pattern. Even though Rob Eastmond's recent compass/map presentation better fit the neophyte niche, he did a great job of getting us up and moving; changing from one hands-on activity to another. A definite positive by product of this approach to Roundtable would be modeling what a troop meeting should feel like.

BRW-About two years ago (when we met at the Oak Hills Stake Center), the OA group did a Roundtable on Fly Fishing where we rotated between centers where participants got to tie fishing knots, fly cast, and see a demo of fly tying.

Having Roundtable follow the nationally prescribed topics has the advantage of providing great national resources (ie. program helps, troop meeting plans) on a pre-determined schedule. This works perfect for Cub Scouts because their youth do very little in planning their den and pack meetings. In contrast the Boy Scout program encourages the youth to take a greater part in choosing when and what they do. Therefore, as adult Boy Scout leaders, we need to understand that we may have to file away the great Roundtable resources for another time.

I don't have a problem departing from the national schedule for Boy Scout Roundtable, just make sure the BSA resources are present and a predetermined schedule is followed. Additionally, having a predetermined monthly topic schedule allows the return attendees to plan to attend.

Here is another insight. I find that the best presentations (professionally and in scouts) I have attended were those that focused more on to teach something rather than just to teach.

Mr. Bunker said...

I haven't always been a regular Roundtable attender. My first adult leader position was the 11-yr-old scout leader. I really didn't know what Roundtable was nor was I aware of where and when it took place.

When I did learn about Roundtable my initial impression was, "Once upon a time I was a scout, so I know what I need to do. I don't need further training" Even though I had a fantastic Scoutmaster and his as been a great model for me, now that I down the road of experience a number of years, I can see my thinking was wrong. To put it simply, it was like saying, "I've seen Judge Judy on TV so I know what it's like to be judge." Being an adult scout leader is very different than being a Boy Scout.

I really didn't see the benefit of attending Roundtable regularly until I was a Cub Scout leader. Each time I went to Roundtable, I came away with more than enough material to have my program planed for the next month. Roundtable had become the "Killer Application" to my scouting position. I couldn't live without it.

When I became a Varsity and Boy Scout adult leader, it was just natural to continue attending. I realize graduating cub leaders to become Boy Scout, Varsity, & Venture is unlikely to happen; many of them wouldn't be caught dead doing cheers and songs.

Here's my suggestions for what they are worth:
1. Get the word out. Let the SMs and ASMs know about Roundtable. Electronic groups, email lists, and web pages are great but seem to be a tool better suited to getting people back to Roundtable. To get the new adults leaders to come, they need a personal invitation from a friend or someone in authority—that is what got me there the first time. Naturally this is where unit commissioners and ADCs should step in. Unfortunately only a few of them in our district are doing what they should be doing. In addition Bishop's and 2nd Counselors (CORs) should be promoting Roundtable. What if we created patrols for each stake, choose patrol leaders, and had them personally invite the new leader. We could go all out with patrol flags and yells or have it more of a subliminal element.

I like the idea of having trainings (ie. New Leader Essentials. Outdoor leader Skills, etc.) as part of Roundtable because the proverbial horse gets it first drink of water and will know where to come again for the succeeding drinks.

2. Make every roundtable a "Killer Application." I realize this can be a challenge because attendees are somewhere on the neophyte to know-it-all continuum. Outdoor Leader Essentials Training could be for the neophytes and Boy Scout Roundtable could be for the rest. I like they way our Outdoor Leader Essentials goes in-depth for each training session, but I am not a neophyte. I wonder if the presenter should give more hands-on examples of how tenderfoot through first class scouts skills should be taught and leave the in-depth topics for Boy Scout Roundtable sessions.

I like the idea of mixing the Boy Scout Roundtable up and departing from the monolithic presentation format. All too often Troop meetings mistakenly follow this same pattern. Even though Rob Eastmond's recent compass/map presentation better fit the neophyte niche, he did a great job of getting us up and moving; changing from one hands-on activity to another. A definite positive by product of this approach to Roundtable would be modeling what a troop meeting should feel like.

BRW-About two years ago (when we met at the Oak Hills Stake Center), the OA group did a Roundtable on Fly Fishing where we rotated between centers where participants got to tie fishing knots, fly cast, and see a demo of fly tying.

Having Roundtable follow the nationally prescribed topics has the advantage of providing great national resources (ie. program helps, troop meeting plans) on a pre-determined schedule. This works perfect for Cub Scouts because their youth do very little in planning their den and pack meetings. In contrast the Boy Scout program encourages the youth to take a greater part in choosing when and what they do. Therefore, as adult Boy Scout leaders, we need to understand that we may have to file away the great Roundtable resources for another time.

I don't have a problem departing from the national schedule for Boy Scout Roundtable, just make sure the BSA resources are present and a predetermined schedule is followed. Additionally, having a predetermined monthly topic schedule allows the return attendees to plan to attend.

Here is another insight. I find that the best presentations (professionally and in scouts) I have attended were those that focused more on to teach something rather than just to teach.