Leader Tips for Running a Good Meeting


Youth Leader Tips for Running a Good Troop Meeting

  • Prior to the meeting, review the Troop meeting plan with the Scoutmaster.

  • Keep the meeting moving. if the proceedings of one part of the meeting seem to have run out of energy, move on to the next.

  • Start the meeting on time.

  • Take charge of the meeting. Scouts will follow your lead.

  • Stay focused on the program feature of the month.

  • When you are ready to move from one part of the meeting to the next, use the Scout sign to gain the attention of all troop members.

  • Praise Patrols when they have done something well.

  • Set a good example by wearing your BSA uniform to Troop meetings.

  • When Patrol members are watching, be supportive and positive in your comments to Patrol leaders, if you feel the need for constructive criticism, speak with Patrol leaders in private.

  • End every meeting on time.

  • Review each meeting to see what can be improved in the future.

  • Don’t wear out favorite pre-opening or inter-patrol games and activities. Try new challenges. 


Adult Leader Tips for Effective troop Meetings

  • Troop meetings must have variety, action, and purpose.

    • Variety. Don’t get in the same old rut. Help the senior Patrol leader mix in surprises now and then–a special visitor, for example, a fresh activity, or perhaps a chance for the Troop to make homemade ice cream. Keep a file of resources and ideas that can add spice to meetings.

    • Action. Boys spend much of their day sitting in school. Get them out of their chairs at troop meetings. Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Scouts should be involved in learning basic Scout skills. Keep in mind that all Scouts, regardless of their age or experience level, should be active participants, not just observers.

    • Purpose. Troop meetings should be built around a purpose; for example, helping Scouts prepare for an upcoming activity or event.

  • Many meetings can and should take place outdoors.

  • The Patrol that was assigned the previous week to be this week’s service Patrol should arrive early enough to prepare the room or outdoor area for the troop meeting. At the end of the meeting it is the service Patrol’s responsibility to put everything away and return the meeting space to its original condition.

  • The SPL is in charge of every Troop meeting. Help him plan ahead, coach him along the way, but stay in the background and let him be the leader.

  • Encourage the SPL to start and end meetings on time–90 minutes is the ideal.

  • You and the youth leaders can use the Scout sign any time the Troop must come to order, especially when shifting from one part of a meeting to another. Keep it effective by using it sparingly.

  • Don’t wear out activities the Scouts enjoy. If the Troop has a favorite game, keep things lively by alternating it with other games now and then rather than relying on the same one every week.

  • During the planning stages of skills instruction, remind instructors that demonstrations are most persuasive when they show rather than simply tell. If a troop instructor is going to explain how to load and carry a backpack, he should bring the gear and the pack to the meeting.

  • Hands-on. experience is an especially effective method of teaching. Coach instructors on the importance of involving Scouts as participants in skills instruction, not simply observers. Plan ahead. Will a Patrol need a plant identification book for nature study? Will each Scout need a length of rope to learn a new knot? Instructors should get in the habit of gathering their materials ahead of time.

  • Coach youth leaders to keep meetings moving at a fast pace. If an activity or project is not working well, suggest that the boy leaders end it and move on to the next item of the meeting plan,

  • Keep the length of the Scoutmaster’s Minute to not much more than just that-a minute. Just as you ask youth leaders to plan well for efficient meetings, give some thought ahead of time to how you’ll manage the meeting’s close.

  • End the meeting on time. Leave the boys wanting more and they will be eager to return the next week.

  • Unless they’re been invited to take part in a specific part of a meeting, visitors should be observers only. Don’t allow them to disrupt the flow of events.

  • The recognition and encouragement Scouts receive from their Scoutmaster is a crucial part of their development. At every meeting find something positive to praise about each Patrol–well planned presentations, proper uniforming, a good opening ceremony, or even something as simple as arriving on time.

  • Support youth leaders in a positive manner during meetings. If you feel the need to correct or criticize, save your thoughts until after the meeting and then find a productive way of teaching boy leaders how to be more effective.

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