a publication for commissioners and professionals

Spring 2021


Chris Beaver
NCS Roundtable Support Chair

Empowering Unit Leaders Through Times of Change

At this point a year ago, many of us were not necessarily familiar with virtual meeting platforms. Now, we use these online spaces frequently to maintain our connections with each other. We commissioners need this connection and networking to support each other and the units in our care. Virtual gatherings are not the same as meeting in person, but the accessibility we now have helps us break down barriers that might have existed previously. For example, time constraints and transportation challenges become less of a hindrance when we have access to an online meeting space. Needless to say, the changing face of gatherings has been eye-opening for us all.

Today, as we strive to meet the needs of our units, the ability to adapt to the changing times and various methods of communication is essential. Supporting unit leaders through the give and take of information, informal training, and networking is essential now more than ever. The volunteers who provide the Scouting experience to young people need our help to be successful, and the roundtable program exists to lend that guiding hand. As we anticipate those changes and challenges that our unit leaders confront, let us empower them to embrace change and lead the way forward.

We know that advanced planning is one of the keys to success. In the past, we tended to plan our roundtable programs a year ahead, and to a certain extent we know of agenda items that are cyclical — Pinewood Derbies, blue and gold banquets, summer camp, etc. However, there are some challenges that arise for units and require our timely attention as commissioners. The ability to pivot, in the language of our times, gives roundtable commissioners the agility and flexibility to meet the needs of our units. So by planning three to six months out, we can guide and empower those we serve. For your convenience, we created advanced planning worksheets for either a three- or six-month timeframe. These can be found under the planning resources section of the Roundtable Support webpage. We hope you will find these guides helpful as you adapt to the changing needs of your units. Roundtable is unit service, and you are an essential part of making sure everyone has a great experience in Scouting!

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