Roundtable Update

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Daniel B. Maxfield
National Commissioner Service Roundtable Chair

The 2013–2014 Cub Scout and Boy Scout roundtable planning guides have been in use now for almost a year. Here is some of the input we have received about them during the year: the four planning outlines that provide options and flexibility to planners are a good plan structure that many have used directly or adapted slightly to local needs; a common opening with a major “Big Rock” group topic is very popular; specific program group interest topics are effectively meeting group breakout needs; the Cub Scout program features and pack resource materials have answered the request for more specific materials. In fact, one comment received was that “there is almost too much material.” That is the kind of problem we like to have!

The 2014–2015 roundtable planning guides are now available on the Commissioners website. A team of very dedicated volunteers worked diligently on this project for several months. Changes include new Big Rock topics, new program group interest topics, and updated/additional Cub Scout program ideas. An outline of what is in this next edition of the guides is listed below for planning purposes. Many wonderful ideas came from those of you using the materials, and they have been included in this next set of guides. Also included is an expanded technology section that we hope will assist some of you in finding more ways to include those who aren’t able to attend on a regular basis and a beefed-up Internet reference section.

Finally, the Roundtable Support section of the Commissioners website has been updated with some broken links fixed and some new materials added. Of note is the section that archives last year’s Big Rocks and interest topics. We hope this will allow councils and districts to reuse materials as needed. Check it out at

The technology discussion continues. This is an evolving field that doesn’t solve everyone’s attendance issues but may help some of you find ways to reach out further. It is addressed in another article in this issue and will be an ongoing feature for several newsletter editions.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for the roundtable conference at Philmont June 15–21.It is being taught by two experts on this topic, and you won’t want to miss this opportunity.

2014–2015 Roundtable Planning Guide Topics Outline

Big Rock Topics

  • Community Service
  • Leveraging BSA Literature for a Better Program
  • Parent Engagement
  • Role of the District Committee in Unit Support
  • Effective Advancement
  • Preventing Leader Burnout
  • Role of the Unit Commissioner
  • Trained Leaders—Why and How

Boy Scout Special Interest Topics

  • Order of the Arrow
  • BSA Program Awards
  • Eagle Scout Service Projects
  • Troop Elections
  • Sustainability
  • Trailer Safety
  • Scouts With ADD/ADHD
  • To Uniform or Not to Uniform: That Is the Question
  • Troop Annual Plans and Budgets

Cub Scout Core Values and Themes

September—Cooperation Under the Big Top
October—Responsibility Dollars and Sense
November—Citizenship Give Goodwill
December—Respect Stars and Stripes
January—Positive Attitude Yes, I Can
February—Resourcefulness Litter to Glitter
March—Compassion Aware and Care
April—Faith Soaring the Skies
May—Health and Fitness Backyard Fun
June—Perseverance Go for the Gold
July—Courage Under the Sea
August—Honesty Play Ball

Cub Scout Special Interest Topics

  • Join Scouting Night
  • Bobcat Badge
  • Blue and Gold Banquet
  • Flag Etiquette
  • Age-Appropriate Activities
  • Den Chief Program
  • One Oath and Law
  • Getting Ready for 2015–2016—General
  • Getting Ready for 2015–2016—Advancement General
  • Getting Ready for 2015–2016—Rank Specifics
  • Getting Ready for 2015–2016—“Duty to God” Adventures
  • Summertime Meetings—Year-Round Program
  • World Brotherhood of Scouting

We would love to hear more success stories and solicit your comments about the roundtable guides! Thanks very much to those of you who have contributed during this last year. Please send thoughts and comments to

Good roundtables equal better programs in units, which equal increased youth and unit retention. These are Journey to Excellence goals that roundtable can impact. We hope you are having a great year of super roundtables! The youth in our units deserve the best!