Committee meetings: Staying organized

Organization is essential to running a successful committee meeting. Nothing says that you are unprepared like not having the agenda, reports, documents of past actions, troop or pack policies, and other essential items.

Here are some things you should bring to the meeting:

  • A few copies of the agenda and any reports for those who don’t have their own copies (by e-mailing all documents in advance, members can print their own copies). Don’t forget to have your own copy of everything in front of you.
  • A wristwatch or clock
  • Previous meeting notes, minutes and agendas in case you need to look up action taken at a previous meeting
  • Troop calendar and your own personal calendar, plus troop rosters and other records, a copy of the troop policy book or handbook, and any troop records or documents that are pertinent to any of the discussion topics.
  • A copy of the Troop Committee Guidebook
  • A notebook to take your own notes – and take lots of notes. Don’t rely on the secretary to write down everything that you feel is important. Your notes are also a cross-check on the secretary’s minutes. (I usually fill up three or four pages during a typical committee meeting. I also jot down who was present.)
  • A gavel, to call order if discussion is getting out of hand. Signs up is fine but a gavel is much more direct.
  • A copy of Robert’s Rules of Order, to answer any questions of parliamentary procedure if things are prone to get particularly sticky on your committee. Available online at www.rulesonline.com

As any craftsman knows, you have to have the proper tools in order to do a great job. Equip yourself with the tools you need to run an efficient and successful committee meeting.

Next: Committee functions, structure, and training

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