It’s all about asking the right question…
When it comes to Scouts planning activities there are two major threads of observations I hear about:
- They don’t plan at all, they are incapable OR they plan the same things over and over.
- People contact me asking what new ideas for activities I may have because they are worried that Scouts will be bored, or that they will lose older Scouts because the program is the same all the time.
If you are asking yourself those questions I have the answer for you – it doesn’t start by asking your Scouts “what are we going to do?” there’s a much more important question to ask first.
In This Podcast
Scouts and Planning [5:45]
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Craig Snodgrass (Scoutmaster, Troop 1, Altadena, CA) says
Thanks for describing the fundamental thinking behind planning. You helped me along these lines a month or so ago and your advice to focus on “doing what scouts do” has helped me deliver a more engaging program. I remain curious, however, about annual planning. Taking a queue from “7 habits”, to “Begin with the End in Mind” suggests a Troop Annual Calendar is a deliverable of Annual Planning. Do you know if there’s any consistency among the calendars of troops with successful participation on outings (say, +60%)? Agreed, they’ll all have placeholders for “doing what scouts do” – camping, hiking, service projects – but how frequently & how many? Do their PLC’s plan as many or few activities as they wish? Or do their Scouters give their PLC’s guidelines (outings per month, or per season) regarding how much is too few or too many to plan for? As you point out, scouts these days have an abundance of alternatives, so whatever the PLC plans for needs to be compelling. Any additional insights would be most welcome. Thanks for all your help, Clarke!
James Miller says
Very useful and encouraging Podcast Clarke. Struggling right now through some planning, organization and comfort levels around “safe to fail” and found this issue particularly helpful. In particular the cautionary note to avoid the “back in my day..” gloom and doom twitch. While I’m not sure I agree that there’s been no substantive changes around membership, volunteer engagement, or support from state and federal government it is important to understand the boys come to us in the world they live in not the one we say in our youth. Most helpful Scouter focused training I’ve ever had; really hit the spot!
Clarke Green says
“it is important to understand the boys come to us in the world they live in not the one we say in our youth” excellent thought!