I have been Roundtable Commissioner for the last 4 years and have been very
successful in revitalizing our roundtable that was much the same shape that
yours was. We got maybe 6 to 8 of the good old boys coming and sitting
around shooting the bull.
Here is what I have done:
- For three months in a row we offer two Eagle required merit badges and one
non-Eagle required merit badges for Scouts. I limit the class size to 15
and have extra adult help for the counselor. In most cases we offer two
classes for each merit badge so we serve about 60 to 70 boys a quarter to
work on merit badges. I am an Eagle Scout and believe that all merit badges
need to be earned and not given. With the number of boys we require that
they complete the Merit Badge worksheet available on line and require them
to complete this so that the counselor can be sure that they have done the
necessary work. It is impossible to have 15 boys give 15 different answers
to discussion questions so the use of the worksheet is great. I provide the
counselor with a complete roster for the class with address, phone, email
and Scoutmaster information to the counselor. I also provide the counselor
with an excel spreadsheet with the requirements listed and the boys name so
that they can keep a record of the progress of each boy(this is the way to
do it as there will be some that won't complete the merit badge in the time
frame and you need the records). We also use the blue cards. I am sure
that you understand that you can't do all of the work in the class and that
there is outside work necessary to complete a merit badge.
Registration is handled online by sending me an email. I accept email
registrations only. I use the time stamp on the email to determine who gets
in and who is on the waiting list. I set the merit badges for the
roundtables from September through May so that everyone can make the
necessary plans. I open the registration on the first of the month prior to
each quarterly roundtable and I close it on the 15th of that month. That
gives me time to send the boys information and to get the information to the
counselor. I keep a waiting list in case someone drops out. I always
respond to the boy and his scoutmaster if he has been accepted for the merit
- We also offer one Webelos Activity pin at each Roundtable and we get 20 to
30 Cub Scouts participating.
- Venturing. We don't have many Venture Crews so we don't do anything for
them but as we continue to get more crews that will be an added feature.
- In the Adult Roundtable sessions we offer two sessions that are each 30
minutes long. There are normally 5 to 6 sessions so that an adult could
pick up two sessions. The sessions have to be geared to information that is
attractive to the adults. That is a topic for another post. Maybe we are
wrong in not following the Program Guides for Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting
but are units tend to do their own thing.
- You ask how does this improve attendance at your roundtables? The boys
need to get there and get home so most of the adults that provide the
transportation stay for the Adult Roundtable sessions. Four years ago we
averaged at most 10 people coming to Roundtable. This year we have averaged
50 to 60 adults, 20 to 30 Webelos and 60 to 75 Boy Scouts.
- We also have monthly drawings for door prizes for the youth and adults in
attendance. At the May Roundtable we have a drawing for some nice door
prizes. At the May roundtable drawing, the adults earn chances in the
drawings based on attendance at the roundtables during the year. This is an
added bonus that encourages attendance throughout the year as we give some
really nice prizes.
We have really had great participation from our merit badge counselors and
they are having a good time working with the boys.
] On Behalf
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:38 PM
Subject: [Scouter_T] Getting Scouters to Roundtable
I am looking for ideas on how to get Scouters to Roundtable . . . possibly
with ideas of what might attract them. Our RT is DEAD.
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