Northern Trail District

An open letter to the Unit and Adult Leaders of our Packs, Troops, Posts, Teams and Crews:

Roundtables (and Forums) have been a longstanding monthly event in every District. Northern Trail is no different in that we have attempted to provide a Quality Program for the leaders of the units within our District. As many of you know, attendance has not been good for any type of unit, for a couple of years despite our efforts to make the programs interesting and convenient. Recently, we changed our Combined Roundtable day to the 2nd Tuesday of the month, aligning ourselves with the monthly OA meeting. During the inaugural meeting, there was some pushback from some leaders who were in attendance on the change of day.

Our mission, with Roundtable, is to Educate and Inform our constituents (you, the unit-level leaders) about developments and changes within BSA, Circle Ten and Northern Trail. Our methods have been to publish informative newsletters from some of the Roundtable Commissioners, Announcements at the combined portion of the Roundtable and Program elements for the Roundtable breakout sessions by unit type. The measure of our performance has been in attendance from our units. Clearly, we have improvements to be made based on this measure of our performance.

I’ve heard several arguments as to why attendance is poor: Roundtable is on the wrong day; our newsletters are t oo informative; the Northern Trail Newsletter and Web Site eliminate the need for attending. To these arguments I suggest, at least for the last two, that you should try sending someone to the Roundtables to experience the program elements. This last month, the Advancement Chair for Northern Trail had a very informative (and eye-opening) discussion regarding the Facts and Fiction of the Boards of Review for Troops and Crews. If you missed that meeting, you didn’t get any of that from any of the Newsletters or from the Web Site.

As to the day of the month we should meet: You Tell Us what works. Our Roundtable Commissioners and I are fully committed to providing the quality Roundtable you deserve and it does no one any good to have it on a day people cannot attend. Parenthetically, Unit Leaders, if you have a conflict, take the responsibility to identify someone from your unit to attend instead (or even bring them with you when you do attend).

Here’s what I need you to do today –
Tell us what day of the month works best for you. Send that information to me and CC: your Roundtable and Unit Commissioners. In the past, we had the 3rd Thursday and then the 2nd Thursday. Recently we changed to the 2ndTuesday. What day actually works? The Roundtables do not have to be combined – although that does help the Commissioners deliver more efficiently – so tell us what works for you. Give us 3 choices. The 1st Tuesday is already the Commissioners Staff Meeting and the District Committee Meeting.

Unit Commissioners: Your attendance at Roundtable ensures a visit with any of your Units attending. Your vast experience is invaluable to the Roundtable and you can help make a big difference in a short amount of time.

Thank you,


Joe Tavares
Northern Trail District Commissioner

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