Roundtable Study Project Report

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Tim Acree

Daniel B. Maxfield
National Commissioner Service Roundtable Chair
dmaxfil@yahoo.com
Tim Acree

The Roundtable Study Project Team data collection process has been completed. Some 800 of you contributed to this effort, and the Roundtable Study Project Team thanks each of you!

Of the survey respondents, 36 percent were between 40 and 50 years old, and 43 percent were 50 years and older. Forty-three percent of the respondents were most directly related to the Cub Scout program, 44 percent were most directly related to the Boy Scout program, and 12 percent of the respondents were most directly related to Venturing. Here are some of those results:

Approximately 77.5 percent of the respondents believe that monthly meetings are most effective, but the following differences were noted:

Urban and suburban

Sixty-five percent of respondents fell into this category.

Hold monthly meetings held either year-round or during school months.  Determine what works best for attendees, districts or the council:  (1) holding roundtables preferably in the same place for continuity (87.7 percent) that last from one to one-and-one-half hours (pretty evenly split percentage as suits the attendees, district, or council), or (2) holding roundtables that begin with all attendees together and then break into smaller topical groups for most of the meeting (70 percent). Significant evidence existed that it is important to have a notification system developed via phone tree, email, etc., that reminds attendees—and perhaps provides an agenda—five to seven days prior to the meeting.

Rural

Thirty-five percent of respondents fell into this category.

Hold monthly, alternate monthly, or quarterly meetings (18 percent). Determine what works best for attendees, districts or the council:  (1) holding them in the same place, (2) rotating around the districts geography each time held, or (3) holding them in more than one place for each time held (with two or three roundtables conducted). For those unable to attend because of issues with distance, make the roundtable available through electronic means, such as a podcast or Skype. (Web-based options should be researched to discover what systems of this nature are already available and usable with a minimum of technology complications). Significant evidence existed that it is important to have a notification system developed via phone tree, email, etc., that reminds attendees—and perhaps provides an agenda—five to seven days prior to the meeting.

Other thoughts brought forward include the following:

  • Roundtable staff members must be high-energy people who know how to involve some or the attendees in the meeting activities.
  • Meetings must be well organized to maximize participant outcome and not be wasteful of people’s time.
  • Success depends on the talent and imagination of the roundtable staff and requires salesmanship to get leaders to come.
  • Roundtable staffs need training in time management, organization, and the use of multimedia tools.
  • Technology can provide the means to make available a substantial amount of resources to those who are not able to attend or who just want more information.

The study team is currently in the process of dissecting this information. Many topics will be discussed, but the following are currently under consideration:

  1. Is the name “roundtable” still an appropriate characterization of this program, or is there some other name that could better address its intent?
  2. Is an official position of assistant council commissioner for roundtables appropriate?
  3. What distinguishes a roundtable commissioner from roundtable staff?