Some of us spend an inordinate amount of time worrying over the entertainment quality of troop meetings.
Some of us are actually running the meetings – this is a big no no. A Troop meeting is not a television show hosted by the Scoutmaster.
Here’s some thoughts from an old Scoutmaster’s Handbook on Inquiry.net
As the years have gone by, some Scoutmasters have set this Troop Meeting upon a too elevated pedestal. They have spoken of it reverently; they have spent hours and hours in perfecting its programs and have seemed to consider that the conducting of a Troop meeting successfully once a week was the whole idea and purpose of the Scout Movement-that by running a fine, lively meeting on Friday nights-or Tuesdays or Thursdays-their work was done for seven days.
There never was a falser idol set up than this glorification of the weekly Troop meeting to the exclusion of other forms of Scout activity.
We must keep clearly in mind at all times that the weekly Troop meeting is but a means to an end. It is not an end in itself. Its business is not to be the Scouting of your Troop for a week. Its business is to make Scouting for a week-to inspire it, to pep it up, to give it purpose and activities, to make it extend all through the week in each Patrol’s and each boy’s life.
We can’t accomplish much actual work in one and a half or two hours every week, but we can use those hours to motivate every other hour of the same period. And by motivate we mean to stimulate activity by providing a motive to every boy and every Patrol …
… The Troop meeting can have great value by simply bringing the boys together for a common experience. It can make them feel they belong together, as parts of the whole big Scouting Brotherhood
More from the One Minute Scoutmaster
The young man was still puzzled. “Okay, let’s go back a minute. If you guys do everything without the SM’s guidance, how do you know what to do at meetings and activities?”
“I thought you’d want to know that.” Rob grinned. “It’s really simple. We know because we all sit down together and plan everything. We mostly come up with the program plan, but he provides the materials and some suggestions. But everybody has to agree on what we’re going to do, and everything we agree to gets written down. Everybody keeps a copy so that there’s no doubt later of who agreed to do what.
It takes a lot of work for us, but we get to do what we want to do, not what a bunch of adults think we should.”