Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ryon_Nayr@email.com

how to conduct a yearly program planning with a "tough bunch of scouts"

Recommended Posts

I am thinking about how to conduct the yearly program planning. We have all younger scouts that have problem staying on task. they can barely make it though a 15 min PLC. any ideas to keep them involved and on task? I am thinking of first listing activities we want to see in our troop in the next year and voting on 12. then voting on 12 monthly themes. Then maybe deciding which ones are practical. then putting activities to dates. In the past the troop has never been able to stay on task and finish on 4 nights (90min each) and the SPL has planned the year. I dont want this. What about seeing how fast we are going and adding a saturday planinng session if needed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an approach you may wish to try, it may have a little more of a directing style of leadership, but I think once you get rolling, you can slip into supporting, delegating and coaching. This takes a little prep work but if you do it, it will reap rewards

 

One of the problems with planning for a year is that younger scouts see a year as almost an eternity, and for some kids who dont know what they will do tomorrow, a whole year just seems impossible to plan. So, break it down for them.

 

On a huge sheet of paper make a calendar for the 12 month period you are going to plan. List each day, all 365 days (unless it covers a leap year February like 2004) Mark on the Calendar your regularly scheduled troop meetings in black magic marker. Identify weeks with no meeting due to holidays etc, mark these with an X. Find out when the fall camporee, Klondike derby, spring camporee, other district and council events are and put these down in pencil.

 

Have the sheet of paper on the wall when the PLC comes in. They will see the entire year represented in a single place. They will see their regular meetings already filled in. Now the task of planning for the year seems like it can be done.

 

Ask about the troop attending the Camporees, Klondikes, COuncil/District events. The PLC has to agree to attend, but let them voice it. If they agree, then write on the calendar over the dates the event occurs. If they dont want to attend, ask them what they want to do that week end, get some kind of event. Dont let it go as we will do something, identify the activity and delegate getting info on that activity to a scout. Put his name on the calendar along with the event on the dates. You may wish to establish a goal of a camping trip a month with another day activity a month as well such as scouting for food.

 

With things like camporees, klondikes and summercamp, you should be able to come up with 12 activities fairly fast. Add a canoe trip, back pack trip, winter cabin, etc (just suggestions, you have the guys decide). Then, once your activities are all down, you start on meeitngs. Well, if you do have a canoe trip planned for October, then you need a menu planned and provions bought by when? You can look at the calendar and see when it needs to be done. You might have a few preparation meetings, do safety afloat etc. Have a Bike HIke? Needs safe bike riding instructions, maybe have a presentation on quick repairs, etc. Once you see what the group wants to do, the preparations will fall in naturally before hand. Select your themes first or second, its up to them, You can record everything, along with responsible people on the sheet. No person gets more than one or two things to do. When you are done, the huge sheet gets saved and is displayed at every meeting, so kids can see what is comming up, but you also break it down to a single sheet of paper for the scouts personal calender to have at home. Put on it who is responsible to do what items.

 

I know this sounds like a lot of work, and the prep work is, but when you start writing things down on the paper and dates get filled in, and people assigned, I think you can get some group dynamics going. They can see what they will do and when, its better than a scribe writing on a single sheet of loose leaf paper.

 

I hope I described this so you can understand. Next time the SPL brings the paper and have the PLC elect a moderator and run the meeting and you watch, This boy run stuff might just catch on

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OGE,

 

Your suggestion seems so much like what our Troop does, I wonder if you copied from us (or maybe we copied from you?).

 

I only have one thing to add. I'm guessing that you were intend on discribing the planning process, and figured this point is the next step. But it's important to remember, because good planning will turn into bad execution without it.

 

Follow up.

 

Once the plan is made this way, you have a group of people who are committed to making it work because it is their plan. Unfortunately, that commitment doesn't always maintain the same intensity weeks and months later. And this is not a problem just for boys. Adults do the same thing quite often.

 

Once the plan is made, and commitment is made to accept responsiblity for small parts of the plan, it has to be the leader's (SPL's) job to follow up, enough a head of time to effect change if something is amiss, to verify the assigned person is meeting his commitment. Usually, this means the SPL verifies at PLC meetings a few weeks to a month in advance that the PL is confident that his Patrol has things under control. The Patrol Leader should have checked with the Patrol member(s) assigned to a task to make sure they are on schedule. If all verify they are doing well, then the Troop should expect the plan to come off with little or no problems. If somewhere the chain is weak, than following up enough before hand should allow enoughtime for corrective action.

 

Ryon, and any other Scouts who monitor this forum,

 

What OGE described, and what I added, are two of the charecteristics that go into successful business people. Someone who knows how to run a meeting, make a plan, get commitment, follow up, and see the plan through has advantages in the business world you can't possibly imagine. Of course, I know your goal is more short term (get the calender planned). But if you practice this, you will not only do a good job, and not only will that job have been easier, but you will have learned a skill that easily 90% of adults don't have.

 

Good luck Ryon. I have seen a number of your questions, and they are very insightful. I bet you are a fine leader!

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, I would like to think GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike) but the key may be in the slogan, if you want a fast efficient way to do something, assign it to a lazy man. I will allow forum members to decide which is the case.

 

Ryon, what you are developing is sometimes called a PERT Chart (Program Evaluation Review Technique) the US Navy pioneered the technique while working on Polaris Submarine Missile Program*

 

You set a goal and then work back to include everything you need to accomplish the goal. Use it, it works.

 

 

* In respect to accuracy, here is a link referencing the Polaris program, I wouldnt want to claim anything I cant back up

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci331391,00.html(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OGE,

 

Although I've heard of PERT, I can't recall in what context. I think it was in relationship to Critical Path Planning, but I might be wrong. The process of working backwards from a required completion date I have always called a Gannt Chart.

 

Scouts who make 1st Class get a lesson from me in this technique with the hope that they apply it to working on Eagle. Most don't bother, but a couple have, and have been very pleasantly suprised by the results planning like this has made.

 

As to GMTA, I'm not so sure in this case. I still have a long way to go to prove I belong in any catagory titled "great minds".

 

But thanks for the nice word.

 

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Idea, a large visual to help keep everyone on task!

I would also suggest you bring your school calendar to try and work around or with days off school and holidays.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×