“When you join a Patrol you become part of a worldwide brotherhood in which every member has promised to keep the Scout Law. Because of this it doesn’t matter if they speak different languages, are of different colours or hold different religious beliefs. When you meet Scouts at large gatherings, remember that they are your brothers and show by your actions that you regard them as friends.”
– Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of Scouting
I recently went back to Sandpoint, ID to the Inland Northwest Council to help my friend Scoutmaster Phil complete a Wood Badge ticket item. This ticket item was to bring in two outside speakers to the round table.
Not only is Phil a Scoutmaster, but he is also the Round Table Commissioner. So, this ticket was right up his alley. Phil went to the Inland Northwest’s Wood Badge course during Fall of 2010. He is a Bobwhite.
The crux of the night was talking about additional training, beyond YPT and Position based training. There was an Eagle Scout who talked about NYLT and what it is, why boys should go and what they will get out of it. I was asked to talk about Wood Badge and my experinces. Phil rounded out by talking about “World Wide Round Table”. Which I actually call the Virtual Round Table.
While I was there for the other topics and to help out my friend, I was there to see how “Other” Scouters did Round table. Not just going to another District within my council, but in a totally different Council.Baden-Powell believed that if boys had a common understanding as Scouts that when they grew into adults they would be able to relate and not cause War but create Peace. I am just continuing that legacy.
While both the NYLT and Wood Badge talks went as expected, it was Phil’s talk about the Virtual Roundtable and how we learn on our own. Phil related on how he listens to all the PTCMEDIA and Clarke Green Podcasts as well as reading blogs. Both he and I spoke about the MISS Show, Scoutermom, Cubmaster Chris, True North, Scoutmaster Jerry. The Melrose Troop Videos were talked about as well. Phil explained that he uses these resources to better his position and help the boys have a better experience. The handouts included links to this sites and to the US Scouting Service Project, Boyscout Trail, BALOO and many Cubscout areas. Phil also burned several of his favorite Podcasts to CD and handed them out to everyone who attended. His goal was to introduce them to other ways to learn. Things that they can do on their own.
The whole experience was great. Not only did I get to see Phil and meet his family, but also see how other Scouters do Scouting. I learned how other Roundtables, Districts and Councils operate. I realized what our problems are, happen in other locations. I was able to let them know that as well. What I have issues with, they had issues with. Coming to roundtable is not about getting the requirement for a Leadership Knot. It’s about undestanding. I did.
I learned that Roundtable has to be fun. At Phil’s Roundtable, they had an opening game, an attendance jar full of glass rocks (more later) and songs.
They have fun and do not have breakouts. We have breakouts for cubscout and boyscouts and have fun too. The glass jar is there to motivate people to come. When the jar fills up with Glass Rocks, then the next meeting they get CHEESCAKE! It took them four meetings to fill it up and they were on their way for another one very soon. How cool is that? Yes, our Cubscout breakout gets snacks, but wouldn’t it be cool if we did that for EVERYONE?
Would I like to change up our Roundtable? Sure, I have been going our Roundtable for about 2.5 years. I only missed three times. Once for Wood Badge and another two times for Den meeting outings. I know if it’s not broke don’t change it. But, let’s change it to add more exciting stuff to it….
I challenge you if geographically possible to go to another District and see their Roundtable.
Yours in Scouting