Seven ways to improve your committee meetings

meeting_f_250The unit committee is where the business of the pack or troop takes place. While the Scouts are busy doing the things Scouts do, the adults are taking care of things like finance, logistics, equipment and recordkeeping. And just like any other committee, meetings are unavoidable. In fact, we’re expected to meet monthly to help ensure that the business is taken care of.

Committee meetings can be a real drag if they’re not conducted efficiently. They can go on and on with little focus, not getting much accomplished other than frustrating the participants. So to keep your committee meeting from keeping the minutes and throwing away the hours*, try the following: Continue reading “Seven ways to improve your committee meetings”

Summer topics to think about now

checklist_200Although Scouting is a year-round activity, many troop and pack committees don’t hold regular meetings during the summer months. There’s either just not enough business to make holding a meeting worthwhile, or there aren’t enough committee members around to be able to get anything done.

If your unit committee follows this pattern, there are a few things you should consider before you adjourn for the summer. Now is a good time to think about putting them on the agenda for your next committee meeting. Continue reading “Summer topics to think about now”

The dreaded data dump

dumptruck_250You know the routine. It happens every month.

The committee gets together for the monthly committee meeting. The meeting gets off to a late start because the chairman waits for stragglers (not a good idea, and the subject of another article). The treasurer goes into great detail about who has paid for camp and who hasn’t, how much last month’s groceries cost for each patrol, and who owes what.

The advancement coordinator goes down the list of each advancement item that was signed off, who earned merit badges last month and how many Scouts haven’t advanced in the last six, nine, or twelve months. (Or in a Cub Scout pack: Johnny earned a belt loop. Jorge earned a belt loop. Rajiv earned a belt loop….)

Then, someone joins the meeting late and everything gets repeated. Continue reading “The dreaded data dump”

Is your committee on mute?

silently_200Meetings are almost universally despised. For most people, unless they absolutely have to be there (the committee chair, for example), they either attend grudgingly or find a reason to skip out. Unless a meeting is compelling and productive – and participants are engaged in the process – you might as well go home.

So how do you slog through the routine of a monthly committee meeting without causing your committee members to “check out” and put you on mute? Continue reading “Is your committee on mute?”

Course correction for your journey

JTE-White_250A few weeks ago I answered a question about whether a unit should rearrange its adult roster to take advantage of points available on the Journey to Excellence. By registering a den leader as an assistant Cubmaster instead, the pack would qualify for additional JTE points and possibly a higher level.

It’s not a good idea to fudge the numbers this way, because it doesn’t accurately reflect where your unit stands, and takes away an opportunity to realize where you can improve your service to your youth members.

While you shouldn’t try to optimize your JTE score this way, you can certainly use it to suggest a course correction for your Journey in the coming year. Continue reading “Course correction for your journey”