One of the ways we keep the focus on local teams is through area-wide gatherings called Raise the Roof Roundtable Dinners. A representative sampling of Scouts, Team Counselors, Counselors, community coordinators, team builders, district representatives, council representatives, and council administrators come together to discuss issues of interest once every 4 weeks. National representatives when available attend.
A cross-section of each of our participants comes to each Raise the Roof Roundtable Dinners because it would not be feasible for hundreds of people to meet at once and it gives the participants a chance to meet new people and share their point of view.
Dinner is Served
The Raise the Roof Roundtable Dinner is a dinner meeting. Although it need not be a dinner meeting, dinner permits the attendees to spend time together in small groups. Ideally, each table should be filled with one representative of each type of attendee. There are various choices in preparing dinner. One method: invited Scouts from different teams prepare dinner. Of course this will mean a limited number of Scouts will be cooking for a large group of people and may not get much time to join in the discussion. Another option is that everyone can contribute a dish, with some being responsible for the entrée, some for side dishes, some of drinks, some of napkins and plates, etc. A third option is to cater the event or schedule the event in a restaurant.
Places to Hold the Raise the Roof Roundtable Dinner
A restaurant, school cafeteria, local meeting hall, church or temple, or assembly hall are good choices. This permits everyone the chance to ask real questions informally. After dinner, everyone can ask questions and appropriate representatives can answer. Follow-up is important to all the attendees when answers require more detailed information than time permits or when the answer is known. One positive outcome can be the development of an informal network of the attendees who attend a particular meeting. For instance, attendees of each meeting can participate in attendee only forums on the internet, permitting the attendees to continue to bond and work together toward improved communication and the exchange of additional ideas.
Remember there must be room to set up tables for dinner, therefore a place that already has tables, such as a cafeteria, is the optimum choice. Otherwise, someone will also need to be responsible for renting or bringing enough tables.
The chosen location should also be accessible for all the guests. It should be a central location and of course if any challenged participants, whether they are Scouts, or adults need accommodation, the event must be held in an accessible building. Ideally, an accessible location will always be utilized.
The Purpose of Raise the Roof Roundtable Dinners
The Raise the Roof Roundtable Dinner removes the middle man and tears down the curtain between different levels of participation. We have purposefully designed our Scout Programs to make sure the participants at the local level, where it all happens – Scouts, parents, Team Counselors, and Counselors, have multiple opportunities to have their voices heard and improve our Scout Programs. The Raise the Roof Roundtable Dinner is one way we strive to better enable open exchange of ideas.
Everyone knows these dinners are happening and can prepare questions ahead of time. We particularly want anyone is who is not having as much as FUN as they could in our Scout Programs to attend. Some Scout Programs and organizations send only their best to a meeting like this. But how are we to know how to improve if we do not ask those who want improvement? We encourage suggestions and value participation. Each member is valuable and we want to know what they have to say. This is the reason a representative sampling of each level of our membership is invited.