Parents' Night: Sep 2008

Last night, Troop 37 stretched themselves a little bit more. For the first time in several years, we held a parents night. 80% of our scouts were there, and all of their parents made it too. We even had a member of our chartering organization make it out.

Without having any real experience in running (or even attending) something like this, it was a big step for the boys to plan and conduct the meeting. I think they did awfully well though. Some things ran a bit long and others fell off the agenda, but we ended on time, provided some value to everyone who came, and enjoyed peach cobbler when it was over. I don't think you can ask for too much more than that.

I'm certain our next parents' night (in Mar 2009) will be better planned, better run, and better attended. I don't think I'll be any more proud of my scouts for the way they handle it or the things they talk about though.

The agenda our Senior Patrol Leader and I came up with looked like this:
  • Opening — prayer, pledge of allegiance, scout oath and law
  • Welcome the attendees
  • Review last 6 months activities — The boys ran this presentation, they focused more on the outdoor activities and less on weeknight stuff, next time I'd like to balance this better. We also ran too long, a rehearsal will probably help that next time.
  • Preview of the upcoming 6 months — I think better rehearsal, and more reliance on our program plan will help make this more useful next time. The boys did a good job though.
  • Scoutmaster's corner — I sprinted through six topics in six minutes. Hopefully it was as motivational as I wanted it to be, we'll see how many of our parents step up and get more involved.
  • Closing and refreshments — Our chartering organization representative gave us a closing prayer, and the boys served up the cobbler they made. I think we ended on a high note.
Next time, instead of a lecture format, I think it might be fun to run different stations presenting what we've done, what we're planning on doing, and how the parents can be more involved. Promoting Timberline is going to be another important goal in March.

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