"What Makes a Great Cub Scout Roundtable?" This is a question that I have been asking both myself and others a lot lately. Well, it is only fitting since I have just become the new Pioneer District Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner. My first meeting is the September meeting.
The last two Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioners are the only ones I have known and they have been great! Stephaney Mackey and Sakiko Wehrman have left me big shoes to fill! This is my second major Cub Scout role, the first being Cubmaster of Pack 374 in the Cambrian area.
My Roundtable Vision
Every Roundtable Commissioner brings their own unique style and strengths to the position. My simple vision for Roundtable:
- I want folks to leave thinking, "That was a GREAT meeting!"
- I want leaders that miss the meeting to say, "I sooooo wish I could have been there this month."
- I want the word of mouth to be, "You NEED to go to the Pioneer Roundtable. It is so worthwhile and a lot of fun!"
I am not saying that our Roundtable meetings have been bad, because they have not been. We have had great Commissioners and wonderful staff members! However, Cub Scouts is evolving and so should we. This is the perfect time to reinvent Roundtable for the new Cub Scout 2010 program and beyond!
What Do People Want?
We have asked this question many times over the years and mostly get silent shoulder shrugs! Personally, I have been asking numerous leaders both in and outside of my pack. I am a member of multiple Cub Scout online communities and have asked the question there as well. At the August Roundtable the staff elicited feedback from those who were there.
From the feedback we have collected so far, I can group the major items into the following:
Breakout Sessions: These are important, so make sure you keep these! One of the best reasons for attending Roundtable is to share ideas with other leaders in similar roles.
Idea Takeaways: Leaders want to be able to walk away from Roundtable with multiple, actionable ideas that they can use in their own pack or den.
Fun: If a leader is giving up yet another night for Cub Scouts, they want to be entertained. Information transfer is required, but if it is not fun then they will likely skip the meeting.
Better and Modern Communication: Leaders want us to utilize not only email, but the web to let them know what is going on. They want agenda information in advance as well as a website to download handouts, look at the calendar, read up on a missed meeting and more.
Special Guests: From time-to-time, folks would love a guest speaker. Things like First Aid & CPR or someone talking about a special skill, event or Go See It opportunity.
What Does Your Pack Do?: Leaders are interested in knowing how other dens and packs shape their program year. Knowing what activities, trips, games and crafts others do will help leaders know what is out there and plan better programs themselves. Also, there may be opportunities for units to team up. It is good for scouts, especially scouts in small packs, to share experiences with scouts they are not familiar with.
Better Game & Craft Q&A: Not only do leaders want game and craft ideas, they also want to know details. Instruction sheets are great, but sometimes there are unanswered questions like: What were the "gotcha moments" with this craft or game? Where are good places to get the supplies? What are other things I have not thought of but you may have? Better discussion around some games and crafts is needed.
There is more feedback than this, but I feel these are the major areas. My staff and I will continue to take in feedback and adjust the program accordingly.
By the way, this feedback does not mean that the Roundtable had not been doing these things before I showed up. Yes, some feedback we received is asking us to come up with a new spin on an old idea or branch out in a totally new direction. However, a lot of feedback that we collected was validation on parts of the program that were already in place!
The new Cub Scout Program requires us to change it up a bit. The new program isn't radical or a major overhaul. Put simply, the BSA is trying to reenergize Cub Scouts for our second 100 years! I want to do the same thing for our Roundtable. That being said, it won't happen overnight. I don't have plans to radically change things in September, but you will see flashes of my own personality and touches entering into the program.
The current Roundtable staff is wonderful and I am excited to be working with them! I know that together we will build on the great Roundtable program that we already have to be ready for the next generation of Cub Scout Leaders!
I would love to hear your thoughts on Cub Scout Roundtable. Feel free to comment on this post, or contact me directly: email@example.com