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In 2011 it was recognized that roundtables nationally were
having difficulties. Thus, the Roundtable Task Force was created. It
spent much time surveying Scouters around the country. The results
were very clear and included the following:
- Roundtable needed some organizational/structural
attention at the council and district levels.
- Roundtable must be well organized so as not to waste
- Announcement time must be reduced
- Roundtable must provide actionable content that
includes training and program content.
- Technology usage should be explored as to how
to extend the distribution of materials, especially
to those not able to attend.
The organizational/structural changes were announced
in October 2012, were outlined in the winter 2013 edition
of The Commissioner, and are posted on the Commissioners
website on the Roundtable Support page.
The 2013–2014 roundtable guides were developed with these
concepts in mind. The guides were rolled out at the National Annual
Meeting in May 2013, and some of the changes were outlined in the
spring 2013 edition of The Commissioner. Links to the guides are
also on the Roundtable Support page. (Note that the Roundtable
Support page has been fixed and updated with new material. Please
visit at http://www.scouting.org/Commissioners/roundtable.aspx.)
What is new in these guides? There are four planning outlines
that provide options and flexibility to planners in meeting geography,
time, and other constraints. In addition, it is being recommended
that all roundtable program groups have a common opening with
a major "big rock" group topic presentation before splitting into
separate program groups. These group topics include charter
renewal, special needs, and weather awareness. Also, specific
program group "topics of interest" were developed to assist leaders
with behavioral issues, long-term camps, and religious emblems and
awards, among other topics. In the Cub Scout Roundtable Guide,
a fabulous set of materials was designed to assist den leaders with
exciting program ideas. Finally, the Troop Program Features series
is being redesigned and some of these materials should be released
by January 2014.
The technology issue discussion has begun but will require
some extensive review of what others are doing and what is and
isn't working. This is addressed further in the "Roundtable Delivery
Methods" article elsewhere in this issue and will be the subject of an
ongoing review for the next several months.
Releasing the guides in May should give councils time to review
the agenda and content recommendations and make plans to
conduct a councilwide annual planning conference so all districts
are ready to launch an exciting September/October format.
Update work for the next set of roundtable guides will occur
between September 2013 and January
2014 and will be ready for publication by
May. Changes will include additional big
rock topics, additional program group
topics of interest, and updated/additional
Cub Scout program ideas. Also included
will be an expanded technology section
and other adjustments to current materials
based on input received from those of you
using the materials.
If you have not yet reviewed the 2013–2014 guides, it is highly
recommended that you do so. If you have already done so, we
want to get feedback about what works and what doesn't to help in
making effective revisions for the next update. Also, we would love
to hear success stories! Please send thoughts/comments to Dan
Maxfield at email@example.com.
Good roundtables equal better programs in units, which equal
increased youth and unit retention. These are Journey to Excellence
goals that roundtable can affect. We hope you have a great year of