How to Take the Minutes of a Meeting

Minutes are a record of what happened, what was decided, and what actions will be taken

By Scouter Liam Morland, 1995

The minutes of a meeting are a record of what happened, what was decided, and what actions will be taken as a result of the meeting.

Minutes should be written for every meeting, and presented at the next meeting or beforehand. Minutes should be written in the third person, for example, the minutes should say "The Court of Honour decided..." instead of "We decided...". Minutes need not be typed on a computer. Readable handwriting is fine. The body of each topic should include the important points of the discussion and what action will be taken along with who will take the action and when it will be done. Someone who has never been to the meeting should be able to understand the minutes. Below is a generic set of minutes which shows the general format.

The minutes should start with the name of the committee that met and when and where the meeting was.

Viking General Council

Minutes for the January 10, 896 meeting at The Great Viking Hall.


Everyone who is at the meeting must be mentioned in the attendance along with their position and contact information.

Odin, Viking Chief, <> 123-4567


State who opened the meeting (the Chair), at what time, and any other details, such as the explanation for the absence of people.

Odin opened the meeting at 19:32. Introductions were made around the table. Thor was not present because he was playing chess with the King of Spain.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the last meeting should be read. Any changes or errors should be noted. The minutes have to be approved by the table.

Loki commented that 400 Vikings had travelled with him to Greenland, not the 500 reported in the minutes. The minutes were approved with that amendment.


Every executive member, chair of a subcommittee, or Patrol Leader should have the opportunity to report here on what they or their committee has been up to.

Chief: Odin

Odin reported that the conquest of Denmark was proceeding as planned.

Old Business

Any topic of discussion which has been discussed before is done as part of Old Business.

Ship Construction

The discussion of ship construction was continued. The table decided to increase the fleet to 200 ships. Odin cautioned that too many small ships were not as effective as a few large ones in battle.

New Business

Any topic that has not been discussed before should be discussed under New Business.

Dragon Slayer Award

Loki proposed that the table create an award for dragon slayers to recognize their contribution to society. Odin suggested the name of a designer who could design a prototype award. The table agreed to pursue this idea. Odin will talk to the designer before the next meeting.


This section should include who closed the meeting, at what time, and the time and details of the next meeting, if one has been planned.

The meeting was closed by Odin at 21:53. The next meeting will be on February 12th, 896 at the Great Viking Hall at 19:30.

The name of the person who took the minutes should appear at the bottom.

Minutes prepared by Loki.