Not a whole lot happening this week at all for Scouting in my world. As we don’t have a Troop meeting on the 4th Mondays of the month, this tends to be a little slower time for me and for all the Scouts and adults in the Troop. And that’s OK in my book. Very soon, it’ll get pretty busy with camping, and the summer madness.
Tonight I put together the final report for our District after gathering data from the survey I put together for the Roundtables. Interesting results, to say the least. Some people were very honest about stuff, and other took it as an opportunity to tell the Council just what they think of our program. Some of the answers made me giggle, as they just didn’t make much sense to me, but I put them all in the report so everyone can see what our volunteers think and feel about the current Roundtable situations.
I read a comment by a fellow blogger, Clarke Green the other day about Roundtables, and I’m starting to wonder if Roundtables – the traditional monthly meetings – are past their prime, and need to be re-thought and re-tooled to accommodate today’s Scouting leaders. Our District is huge (covers parts of 3 states) and although we’ve been holding several Roundtables each month, the biggest issue for Scouters attending seems to be distance.
Roundtables have traditionally been used to pass information on at a District level. Before cell phones, internet, e-mail and other technologies this was pretty much the only way to ensure that leaders had the information they needed. It was also a really good way to add supplemental training and even some required training. With the majority of training being available online these days, it’s hard to offer much training that will interest people to attend.
I’ve already thrown out the questions to our Council about web meetings – and other forms of communication that might better serve our District. In fact, that was one of the question on the survey. There wasn’t one favorite answer, either. It seems like there’s a mix of people who still want that face-to-face meeting, just less often it seems. There are those who would prefer just electronic communications (podcasts, newsletters, ‘online roundtables’). I hope we’re able to do some, if not most of these things soon.
I’m not saying get rid of the traditional Roundtable all together. I’m saying we need to re-evaluate the purpose of Roundtables. We need to figure out what our Scouters need now – and not just rely on what has typically been done. If we’re able to move in the right direction for the majority of them, I think we’ll see more participation in Roundtable, and possibly in all Scouting events at the District and Council level.
“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.”