Committee chair timeline: September

september_200Now that school has started, many troops that scale back in the summer are in full swing again or are about to, and a new year of camping and activities is underway.

Since starting this series of articles a few months ago, I’ve been highlighting the things that the committee chair should remember to do during each month. For a reminder as we get the fall season underway, here are those things that you should be doing each month:

  • Plan and prepare for your monthly committee meeting. Prepare the agenda, soliciting input from your committee on any topics that need to be covered. The agenda should cover reports from committee members and the Scoutmaster, a financial report from the treasurer, an advancement update, a camping update, any old business left over from previous meetings, and any new topics that need to be considered. Distribute the agenda, along with the minutes of the previous meeting, to all committee members a week or so before the meeting.
  • Ensure that everything’s on track for this month’s campout – payments to the camp, equipment hauling, permission slips and payment from Scouts, and drivers to and from. Work with the Scoutmaster to arrange for enough adult participation – at least four is good; many more increases the chance that the adults will get in the way of the Scouts.
  • Look ahead to next month and make sure camping reservations are made and anything else that’s needed in advance is take care of.
  • Make sure that boards of review are scheduled for any boys who need one.
  • Go over the bank statement with the treasurer and determine if you are on track budget-wise.
  • With your Scoutmaster, attend Roundtable!

Now, on to September’s specifics:

  • Catch up with your troop’s Webelos resource person (or if you don’t have one, recruit one from last spring’s new crossover parents). Help him or her with contact information for the packs in your area, particularly the Webelos den leaders, as they often change from year to year. The Webelos den leaders should be provided with a list of dates for your fall and winter activities including courts of honor, troop meetings and any events such as camporees or campouts where the Webelos Scouts would be welcome to participate with your troop. Troops which maintain contact with Webelos dens are the ones who are most successful at receiving crossed-over Scouts.
  • In the same vein, make sure the pieces are in place for events where you plan to invite the Webelos. Camps should be reserved, equipment in order and recruiting materials updated and on hand.
  • Go back to your mid-year Journey to Excellence assessment and review it with the Scoutmaster. Look at any items that you met or improved over the summer, such as advancement, long-term camping participation or service. Find out where you need to improve during the rest of the year. In most councils, the completed assessment can be turned in as early as October, and is usually due by mid-December.
  • Review your adult leader training status, which can be done through your unit dashboard (https://my.scouting.org). Work with your troop’s training coordinator to ensure that the required training is completed. Top leaders (Scoutmaster and committee chair) must be trained in order to recharter for 2014, and all leaders must be trained in 2015.
  • If your council holds a food drive or other community service project, appoint someone to oversee your unit’s participation. Publicize the event to your families and promote it as the date approaches.

If you can think of anything I’ve left out, please share your September to-dos in the comment section.

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


2 Responses to Committee chair timeline: September

  1. Michael J Dulle

    It seems to me you are putting more on he Committee Chairman’s to do list than he/she is responsible for. While he/she is responsible for the troop operation he/she should have staffed the committee with a responsible Scoutmaster, outdoor/campout coordinator to insure the camping program is carried out. The SPL has a key role in the campout program as well.
    A well run scout troop is one that insures the boys are involved in carrying out the meeting and camping programs. I think the second bullet should be re-written to include all the players.

    • Michael,

      Good point. The committee chair isn’t personally responsible for doing all the things on the list, but should have some oversight or at least knowledge of what’s being done by the committee members. The outdoor coordinator handles the actual arrangements that the committee needs to make, but certainly the boys should do as much as they can. That extends to choosing a camp and finding out what facilities are available, short of making the actual reservation. More and more councils are doing camp reservations online, which requires a login and credit card payment or deposit, so that aspect is being taken away from the boys. They can still browse online and find out what’s available (lots easier than before, where they had to make phone calls and get reservation forms sent out).

      Transportation is another area that the committee is responsible for, but the Scouts should take a role in that as well. Rather than the transportation coordinator assigning rides, he or she should ensure that those who are driving are qualified and insured so they can be listed on the tour plan, and let the boys ask their parents to drive and sort out who is riding with who.

      While committee roles are fairly well-defined, there can be some overlap in areas of responsibility between the committee and the Scoutmaster and assistants. For example, the committee outdoor coordinator could work with an assistant Scoutmaster who helps the Scouts with camping arrangements.

      The monthly lists are general checklists of things the committee should be aware of, since the committee’s role is to support the Scoutmaster and the program. The goal is to try to ensure that the adults don’t fail to provide the resources the boys can’t provide for themselves.

      Thanks again for a great observation and thanks for reading!