From the original thread:
I realize we’re wandering off of the OP’s topic, and it might be good to continue this discussion under a thread title that’s more related to this discussion (e.g. “Ideas to improve roundtables and other inter-unit communications”).
Honestly, it’s a struggle to find leaders from our unit who are available (i.e. have time they are willing to spare) to attend Roundtable. We generally all wear at least two hats (including our COR) just within the unit, and spend a lot of outside-of-meeting time coordinating all of those moving pieces. Toss in the other things our kids do, plus our own jobs, and we end up scrambling every week. I’m sure that sounds totally unfamiliar to every other scouter on this discussion server. ;^) Our roundtables have recently gotten closer to our unit, though, so we may see an uptick in attendance from units in our immediate area if it’s not a 25 minute drive each way. Unfortunately for other units in the district, that means that they now have the 25 minute drive.
If we’re going to ask our leaders (and/or scouts) to come to Yet Another MeetingTM, we need to make sure we’re providing value for that meeting. Not to throw our roundtable commish under the bus (because it’s really not all on him), our roundtables end up being of highly variable “value” (i.e. some of them could be handled as email announcements rather than in-person meetings; some are very helpful, particularly for new leaders; some have important information about upcoming events like camporee,…).
One thing that we are working on, for example, with our OA chapter is improving value for the meetings by doing things that the youth want to do. Why is a scout/venturer going to come out on another school night for another hour-long meeting (even if it is only once a month), when there are so many other obligations already on his or her plate? Why is their parent going to permit/facilitate that extra trip? I feel the same way about scout-related meetings as I do about work-related ones: If I can’t tell you why we’re having the meeting and provide a convincing reason you should be attending, I probably need to reconsider the meeting, its planned contents, or the invitee list.
- What suggestions do other leaders (or scouts!) have for improving Roundtables or other events/processes where unit adult leadership and/or scouts can communicate across unit lines?
- What’s working well for you/your district?
- What have you tried that didn’t work well, and were you able to identify why it didn’t work well?