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Cub Scout Roundtable

cub scout roundtable

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#1 Anita1216

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:01 AM

My sister and I agreed last night to take over the Cub Scout Roundtable break out session. We feel like we've done all the topics known to man and are looking for some topic ideas. We know some topics will naturally come up with the new program but we obviously need to plan ahead. Any ideas?

We are also trying to get more leaders to come to Roundtable. Our district has the highest attendance in the Council but it feels like it's always the same people. I know there's a common misconception that RT is for Committee Chairs and Cubmasters only, but that's not true. Our topics benefit everyone. Any ideas on advertising Roundtable and entice people to come?


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#2 blw2

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:22 AM

I can't really advise on topics too much

but my advice

keep it short, keep it fun.  We're adults and not the boys, but we still want to have fun!

 

I attend ours when I can, which isn't every month due to my wife's work schedule mostly, but also it was dependant on my time commitment to the pack.... some weeks it was just too much.

 

Oh, one more thing.... noticing that our RT Cub chair has recently recruited a great team of folks helping her.... I suggest you do that too.... use those same people that always show up.

 

She always pulls together an opening skit or ceremony as an example for us to use the next month.... using attendees in place of the boys....

 

It seems the general outline here is 

planning for the following month's pack meeting and pack activities

so the Feb RT was for the March Core Value and March meeting plans....

This month they focused more on Summertime awards, planning and dates for popcorn and sign ups in August / Sept, etc....

 

I find that our RT chair is very positive and high energy.  She comes at it with a smile and high energy....the attitude that we should be doing at our meetings.  Personally, I find that she does re-energize me to have a little more positive attitude and to dig down and get some more to give in planning and such....

 

Oh, & i have to imagine that the BSA has some training or guidelines that map all of this out....


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#3 blw2

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:28 AM

One more comment re your desire to bring more folks out....

I'm the only one from our pack that has attended at least somewhat regularly.... out of the recent past and current leaders

I have noticed that some of our retired leaders that have moved on to troop leadership, now attend RT more.

 

Can't say for sure, but that seems the case for other units as well

 

I don't really know why that is..... but it seems from my experience that a majority of cub scouters don't have the energy level for it, and get burned out so quickly because cubs takes a lot out of them.


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#4 Anita1216

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 08:35 AM

Our Roundtables are definitely short and sweet and used to be full of opinions and ideas but since the topics have been used over and over again, it's sometimes a drag. My sister and I attend Roundtable monthly (except in October when they review rechartering) and even though it can be a drag, we still go because we want to be there. It's hard to find more than 10 people who want to be there and want to actually engage in a really good Scouting conversation.

 

BSA does have ideas to follow and not to 'bash' the BSA (because trust me, I love them) they can get so boring. It's not what people want to talk about. Some of our topics in the past have been about skits and songs, networking (where we basically said here's what you come to me for if you need help. If you need help doing this, definitely go here, etc), campfire programs, Blue and Gold, etc. After each topic is over there's usually an open discussion and that gets 1 or 2 people talking because they have a question or want an opinion. I like the open discussion but when it's the same people, you run out of topics to openly discuss! 

 

We're trying so hard to think of ways to revitalize it because we think it is a great tool. When we first signed up to be leaders, we relied so much on Roundtable and what it had to offer. Almost 5 years later, we have everything down to a science and don't have questions nor does anyone else!


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#5 packsaddle

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 12:39 PM

Back when I still went to RT, the cub breakout was best when it was short and sweet, as already mentioned. The person conducting that part had the theme and some suggested activities and we had a short discussion and maybe a few questions and ideas and then done. But the OP asked for new ideas and this, to me, was a critical limiting factor...we do seem to run out of ideas fairly quickly. But really, there are lots of things to do and as long as the boys have fun, those 'to do' things are all fine. They can be imaginative and simple and cheap. We made and flew kites, paper airplanes, went fishing, dug for worms, collected insects, had snake displays, visited the fire station (and just about every other kind of public service office), explored lakeshores, had scavenger hunts, listened for bird calls, identified animal tracks, tried to figure out what kinds of insects had splattered on windshields, or what kinds of birds had splattered cars and boat docks, the list goes on and on.

As for getting more participation, I stopped going to RT as a cub leader because of the way cub scouts were basically ignored in our district. It was a real 'downer' to go to RT and basically have backs turned to you. I can take a hint so I stopped going. You might want to check to see if anyone out your way feels the same.


Edited by packsaddle, 11 June 2015 - 12:40 PM.

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#6 blw2

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 01:42 PM

Now you've got me thinking @Anita1216, sounds like your round tables have been more .... well round than ours.  more discussion topic oriented.

 

Ours are a bit more regurgitation of info when you boil it down.  I think she does a great job with it though, for what it is.   Some info to present....

some cub specific announcements, dates, etc...

an example of an opening

meeting ideas

sometimes a short presentation of something.... such as places to take you pack camping, to be followed by a short open floor discussion of additional ideas...

We have plenty of opportunity to ask questions, but it's much more a presentation

 

I guess with good reason though, since I'm having trouble imagining a purely open discussion being all that interesting.... some obscure topic is chosen, that maybe I could care less about it..... or maybe that would have been helpful to me 2 months ago, but not so much now....

the presentation format lets the leaders share whats current and now....


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#7 SeattlePioneer

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 01:42 PM

My theory is that pack committee meetings and Roundtables should last no more than an hour.


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#8 mattman578

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:07 PM

I would love it if the round table's would cover and adventure category help the den leaders provide that adventure share ideas for science adventures what worked and what did not work  for there level  ideas for the field trips extra


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#9 Anita1216

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:12 PM

Back when I still went to RT, the cub breakout was best when it was short and sweet, as already mentioned. The person conducting that part had the theme and some suggested activities and we had a short discussion and maybe a few questions and ideas and then done. But the OP asked for new ideas and this, to me, was a critical limiting factor...we do seem to run out of ideas fairly quickly. But really, there are lots of things to do and as long as the boys have fun, those 'to do' things are all fine. They can be imaginative and simple and cheap. We made and flew kites, paper airplanes, went fishing, dug for worms, collected insects, had snake displays, visited the fire station (and just about every other kind of public service office), explored lakeshores, had scavenger hunts, listened for bird calls, identified animal tracks, tried to figure out what kinds of insects had splattered on windshields, or what kinds of birds had splattered cars and boat docks, the list goes on and on.

As for getting more participation, I stopped going to RT as a cub leader because of the way cub scouts were basically ignored in our district. It was a real 'downer' to go to RT and basically have backs turned to you. I can take a hint so I stopped going. You might want to check to see if anyone out your way feels the same.

From what we can tell, no one feels that way. We have regular people that show up but once their child moves onto Boy Scouts they start going to the Boy Scout breakout session. So there's a natural loss of people just because Cub Scouts is no longer needed.

 

Some of the activities you mentioned were good ideas but seem more like the boys are there to do it. Did your RT have the actual Cubs come along too?


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#10 Anita1216

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:17 PM

Now you've got me thinking @Anita1216, sounds like your round tables have been more .... well round than ours.  more discussion topic oriented.

 

Ours are a bit more regurgitation of info when you boil it down.  I think she does a great job with it though, for what it is.   Some info to present....

some cub specific announcements, dates, etc...

an example of an opening

meeting ideas

sometimes a short presentation of something.... such as places to take you pack camping, to be followed by a short open floor discussion of additional ideas...

We have plenty of opportunity to ask questions, but it's much more a presentation

 

I guess with good reason though, since I'm having trouble imagining a purely open discussion being all that interesting.... some obscure topic is chosen, that maybe I could care less about it..... or maybe that would have been helpful to me 2 months ago, but not so much now....

the presentation format lets the leaders share whats current and now....

That's usually why it seems after each topic there's an open discussion. It goes over well and as you mentioned, it gets the current questions answered because the question can't wait a month or however long.


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#11 Anita1216

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:19 PM

My theory is that pack committee meetings and Roundtables should last no more than an hour.

We have our length down pat. A lot of fun people show up so we usually go over an hour (not by much) but it's because we get off topic or whatever. There has not been 1 complaint about the length of the meeting, only how the content is getting old, which is why we're trying to revitalize the topics and bring some new ones in.


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#12 Anita1216

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:20 PM

I would love it if the round table's would cover and adventure category help the den leaders provide that adventure share ideas for science adventures what worked and what did not work  for there level  ideas for the field trips extra

We've tried that and it went over really well. We were actually thinking of each meeting featuring 1 adventure from each rank and ideas on how to do it, places to go, etc. Does that seem along the same lines/something you as a Scouter would feel inclined to go to to get some ideas?


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#13 Twocubdad

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:27 PM

DON'T MAKE ME WATCH GLUE DRY.

Seriously, for years, CSRT was craft night. The little granny lady who ran it always had a craft for us to make. And we, in fact, made the craft. I usually played the jackass and took the same pieces and made something different -- like taking the Styrofoam balls destined to become a snowman and making them into a family of Jack In The Box characters. She got PO'd at that.

Seriously, keep in mind you're dealing with adults. As for crafts, show me the finished product, give me the printed instructions and materials list. If you really must, make one yourself, but do it the way the cook things on TV, with the various stages pre-made so you can compress the construction time.

I would think this year, especially, it would be important to help the folks with the new pre-planned Cub program. I imagine a year or two from now that will get repetitive, but for now...

And don't discount discussion. What is the idea of a Roundtable after all? But it's your job to steer the discussion. Ask everyone to share their favorite Go See It, pack camping spots, campfire programs, B&G ideas etc. That can be the most beneficial part of the meeting.
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#14 mattman578

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 02:36 PM

DON'T MAKE ME WATCH GLUE DRY.

 I usually played the jackass and took the same pieces and made something different

 

Twocubdad I want to go to your round table meetings


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#15 Stosh

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 04:03 PM

My theory is that pack committee meetings and Roundtables should last no more than an hour.

 

And no chairs allowed.  Everyone has to stay standing.  Meeting's over when the first person leaves the room.


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Stosh

 

There's a reason why I don't always answer the phone, doorbell or comments on forums.  :)


#16 SSScout

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 04:34 PM

Our District has TWO separate RTs, on the same night, same location.  No joint meeting, no "breakout".

 

Boy Scouts is me.  Cub Scouts is Jeff.     We each have our own  email list, send out our own weekly eNews.  We email announce the RT place, time, topic, and lots of other interesting stuff .  Jeff runs CSRT  like a Pack Meeting, When you arrive, you sign in and take a bead for your necker, (a lot of beady neckers here!)  give a buck in the jar, and take a copy of the Monthly Program Suggestions (gleaned from lots of sources. Jeff has assistants!) and Baloo's Bugle.  A skit (folks are "drafted" into the skit as they arrive, especially new faces!)  opening germane to the next month's theme. Then official announcements (Real short) and onto a crafty thing, and then maybe a "guest" that also goes along with the theme.   Fireman in turnout gear,  doctor /paramedic talks about health issues on hikes and campouts (Cub family campout),  docent from an overnight venue (historic ship), that sort of thing.  OCCASSIONALLY we meet jointly, like recharter training, or the new program material as it affects both sides of the aisle.  And he closes it with maybe an award and  a "Cubmaster Minute".  He tries to have a snack or if there is a discussion , he will throw candy to the folks that ask a good question (they're all good!) as encouragement.  (I throw old camp patches).

Our attitude is if it would be interesting to me, it can be interesting to you.  When I took on the BSRT, it had been done by an ex-government bureaucrat who had not wanted to do it, so the RT had devolved into a boring oration of Scout announcements and Powerpoints on camp hygiene and such.   I invited a podiatrist to discuss blisters, boots and socks  and the rest is history.  Doubled attendance over the past year, and folks email me to ask about THAT topic or to be added to the email list.

 

The Official RT BSA site is a good suggested outline, but hey, you are there, they are not.   "Make it interesting and they will come" so long as you have them on your email list and make the RTNews worth looking at.  I even get stuff to include off this raggedy site!


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#17 blw2

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 02:49 PM

....., you sign in and take a bead for your necker, (a lot of beady neckers here!)  ......

 

 

Sounds like a well run show, but what sort of bead do you put on a necker?


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#18 Anita1216

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:54 AM

DON'T MAKE ME WATCH GLUE DRY.

Seriously, for years, CSRT was craft night. The little granny lady who ran it always had a craft for us to make. And we, in fact, made the craft. I usually played the jackass and took the same pieces and made something different -- like taking the Styrofoam balls destined to become a snowman and making them into a family of Jack In The Box characters. She got PO'd at that.

Seriously, keep in mind you're dealing with adults. As for crafts, show me the finished product, give me the printed instructions and materials list. If you really must, make one yourself, but do it the way the cook things on TV, with the various stages pre-made so you can compress the construction time.

I would think this year, especially, it would be important to help the folks with the new pre-planned Cub program. I imagine a year or two from now that will get repetitive, but for now...

And don't discount discussion. What is the idea of a Roundtable after all? But it's your job to steer the discussion. Ask everyone to share their favorite Go See It, pack camping spots, campfire programs, B&G ideas etc. That can be the most beneficial part of the meeting.

I've been in that same boat! Someone volunteered to run a Roundtable once and it was painful. We made those colorful window hanging things and it just hurt being there. Trust me, I am all for crafts, but I can find this stuff on Pinterest, or I'd rather pass a finished product around and have her say "It was super simple- you just need blah, blah and blah and it takes about 20 minutes. Our Tigers and Wolves loved it!" Or whatever she had to say.

 

Our RT is definitely more discussion driven. We like to know what everyone is doing, where you're going, tricks on how to get parent involvement, etc, but our topics just seem to be running out!


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#19 Anita1216

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 07:57 AM

Our District has TWO separate RTs, on the same night, same location.  No joint meeting, no "breakout".

 

Boy Scouts is me.  Cub Scouts is Jeff.     We each have our own  email list, send out our own weekly eNews.  We email announce the RT place, time, topic, and lots of other interesting stuff .  Jeff runs CSRT  like a Pack Meeting, When you arrive, you sign in and take a bead for your necker, (a lot of beady neckers here!)  give a buck in the jar, and take a copy of the Monthly Program Suggestions (gleaned from lots of sources. Jeff has assistants!) and Baloo's Bugle.  A skit (folks are "drafted" into the skit as they arrive, especially new faces!)  opening germane to the next month's theme. Then official announcements (Real short) and onto a crafty thing, and then maybe a "guest" that also goes along with the theme.   Fireman in turnout gear,  doctor /paramedic talks about health issues on hikes and campouts (Cub family campout),  docent from an overnight venue (historic ship), that sort of thing.  OCCASSIONALLY we meet jointly, like recharter training, or the new program material as it affects both sides of the aisle.  And he closes it with maybe an award and  a "Cubmaster Minute".  He tries to have a snack or if there is a discussion , he will throw candy to the folks that ask a good question (they're all good!) as encouragement.  (I throw old camp patches).

Our attitude is if it would be interesting to me, it can be interesting to you.  When I took on the BSRT, it had been done by an ex-government bureaucrat who had not wanted to do it, so the RT had devolved into a boring oration of Scout announcements and Powerpoints on camp hygiene and such.   I invited a podiatrist to discuss blisters, boots and socks  and the rest is history.  Doubled attendance over the past year, and folks email me to ask about THAT topic or to be added to the email list.

 

The Official RT BSA site is a good suggested outline, but hey, you are there, they are not.   "Make it interesting and they will come" so long as you have them on your email list and make the RTNews worth looking at.  I even get stuff to include off this raggedy site!

I like the necklace idea. Everyone loves wearing beads and is a great topic piece for other leaders- "Why do you have those beads?" or  "Where did you get those beads?". Great idea!

Like you, we don't typically meet jointly. We have a beginning meeting with everyone to discuss Council events and such then we break out. BS side does what they do and we do what we do which is usually a discussion and maybe some reading materials that go along with the discussion. I like the guest visitor idea. It'd be a great way to advertise too how easy it is to get someone to come to a meeting and the kids get things marked off in their book.


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#20 Anita1216

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 08:00 AM

Sounds like a well run show, but what sort of bead do you put on a necker?

I would image pony beads? That's usually what the kids get at Day Camp at each activity. Even those tri beads would be good, you know those ones that kind of nest?

http://www.ebay.com/...?lpid=82&chn=ps

This seems like a good deal too, then they kind of get to pick their bead- http://www.walmart.c...981552&veh=semĀ 


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