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Venturing Forums / Roundtables

As Venturing continues to grow across the country it is vital to ensure that the same backbone of service and support is provided to Venturing leaders. A roundtable provides a great opportunity for Venturing leaders to meet each other, network, and share ideas for crew events. This also makes for a great marketing aspect in recruiting new Venturing leaders and units, in that new individuals immediately have a peer network for questions and ideas to spark their program. It is customary that roundtables are organized and supported by the commissioner staff. In order to fulfill this mission it is necessary that these commissioners are fully trained in Venturing, and preferably have unit leadership experience with the Venturing program.

It is highly recommended that Venturing roundtables be held in conjunction with Cub Scout and Boy Scout Roundtable meetings. This provides a 'silent' marketing of the program by reinforcing the fact that Venturing is indeed "Scouting's Next Step." As a number of Boy Scout leaders may have dual responsibility between a Troop/Team and a Crew, it may be convenient to have a Venturing roundtable after the Boy Scout Roundtable. Depending on the density of Venturing crews in a geographic area, it might be more practical to have a Venturing roundtable at the council level.

Youth Involvement

Youth play a critical part in the Venturing program. The relationship between adults and youth in Venturing fosters a collegial dependence on each other. In planning for a Venturing Roundtable, the district committee should decide on what role the youth will play. Recognize that there are equally valid points in favor of involving youth in Venturing Roundtables and in making such Roundtables for adults only.

Reasons for Advisor only Roundtables

  • Desire of adults to network with other adults
  • Ability to discuss wider scope issues
  • Ability to discuss difficulties of the youth among other adults
  • Avoid youth burnout with too many meetings

Reasons for youth inclusion at Roundtables

  • Venturing is youth led
  • Provides opportunities for youth to network with other adults
  • Let's youth take responsibility for their program
  • Youth presence at meeting makes Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders ask questions about Venturing.

The Purpose of the Roundtable

1. To provide unit leadership with the will to do—the morale, enthusiasm, inspiration, and vision that periodically renew the desire to serve youth.
2. To provide the skill to do—skills, techniques, information, program ideas—the know-how that makes for successful unit operation.

People will want to come when:

  1. There is a genuine sense of fellowship. They need to feel that they are wanted, that they are important, that they belong.
  2. There is a separate, helpful session for each program phase. Cub Scouting people are not much interested in discussing Boy Scouting, nor do Venturing leaders want to spend the evening watching Cub Scout demonstrations.
  3. They get specific helps they can use during the coming month.
  4. Learning is largely by doing or watching instead of just listening. The ideal is to let the individual watch and then practice.
  5. A dependable schedule is maintained. This means both a regular night and a regular hour for opening and closing. Roundtables early in the month allow time for other steps in unit program planning before the end of the month.
  6. Every item in the program has been thoughtfully planned, carefully prepared, and snappily executed. The most important factor in next month's attendance is this month's program.
  7. Physical arrangements are good.

To ensure a good program:

  1. Plan and assign parts well in advance.
  2. Build part of the program around next month's theme.
  3. Use competent masters of ceremonies to preside.
  4. Include practical items that unit people can make use of.
  5. Use unit people to put on the program.
  6. Use some activities that involve the participation of everyone.
  7. Emphasize action and doing rather than sitting and listening.
  8. Make it the place to get program material.
  9. Include fellowship and morale features, and have refreshments at the end of the program.
  10. Keep it positive. Feature success.

To secure full attendance:

  1. When organizing each new unit, explain how roundtables help the unit.
  2. Be sure the roundtable program is practical and fun.
  3. Involve many people in the production of the roundtable.
  4. Provide good publicity before and after each roundtable.
  5. Recognize attendance, and give credit for good attendance—both individual and unit.

Commissioner participation:

  1. Recognition by the commissioner staff that the roundtable is their party at which they are hosts.
  2. Recognition by the commissioner staff that the roundtable is a basic part of their job.
  3. Each unit commissioner should feel responsible for the attendance and participation of the people from his or her units.
  4. Agreement in the commissioner staff that assigning a roundtable commissioner to a roundtable does not relieve others of all responsibility.

Resources

  • Venturing Roundtable Guide No. 34342
  • District Roundtables, No. 14-633B
  • Continuing Education for Commissioners, No. 33615E
  • Commissioner Administration of Unit Service, No. 34128E