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High Adventure - What to do if the Scouts don't want to plan?

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Eamonn - one question. What are the "7 Steps"? I feel I should know these, but I have always felt the only dumb question is the one not asked.(This message has been edited by NIscouter)

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You are of course correct, the bathroom on a boat is indeed "The Head" a term used for both male and female heads.

But we have only very small boats.

In trying to follow LNT, if there is a facility's near by we encourage our Scouts to use it.

NIscouter - The Steps:

1. Consider the task. This involves what has to be done, who does what, when, where, and how.


2. Consider the resources. What time is available? What are the skills of the group? What equipment and supplies are needed and available? What other items should be considered?


3. Consider alternatives. What happens if something goes wrong? What are the emergency procedures? What is the alternate plan? Could the alternate plan be better than the original plan?


4. Reach a decision. Who has the responsibility? Is a poor decision better than no decision? Is no decision a decision? Is a group decision best? A decision usually is needed at every step in the process.


5. Write down the plan. The act of writing down an action plan may cause it to be revised or refined. The final plan might need considerable discussion.


6. Put the plan into action. All too often, great plans are formed but never followed.


7. Evaluate. Evaluation must take place all during this process. As each step is taken, it is evaluated against the previous steps to assure that the original task is still being considered.


Of these 7 steps I consider step 6 to be the most important. After all what's the point if nothing ever happens?

I'm also big on Step 7. However it does need to really be a well run reflection and not a finger pointing or session that is about placing blame.

This is where the real learning takes place. Some units call this "Thorns and Roses" and ask those participating to come up with the best thing that happened and the worst thing that happened. I kinda think at times this only skims over the surface and I'm not really keen on Scouts trying to look for the worst thing that happened.

Reflections can be over done. They were real big in WB before the course changed and there was a joke that asked "How many Scouter's does it take to change a light bulb?"

"Eight, one to change the bulb and seven to reflect on it."

We could without a lot of effort go over the list with the project you have in mind /at hand.

If so just yell!!

While I think of it.

We could talk about setting our Scouts up for failure.

I don't think I am capable of doing that on purpose, no matter how great a lesson it might be.

If I see or notice that something hasn't been done I will kinda hint around till such a time as it gets done.

At times the Scouts will do things differently than I might have done, sitting back and seeing what happens is hard for me, but I work really hard at it.

Some adults just can't accept this and never will. You need to do everything in your power to keep them away from the Scouts doing the planning.

From what you posted it seems that the Committee is more interested in the final outcome than they are about what the Scouts learn on the way. - You will have to find a way of keeping them happy while keeping them in their cage.

You might also want to look at the 7 steps of problem solving.

Solving a problem is a type of planning, developing a plan is a type of problem solving. Substitute the word problem for the word task, and the seven steps can be used in either case.

When faced with a specific project to complete or a problem to solve, a process known as "verbal rehearsal" works well and is easily understood by boys. Here the members of the group literally "talk it up" as they decide how to approach the project or problem. As in classic problem-solving, seven steps are involved.

1. What is the problem? A problem is any situation that a group may need or want to do something about. A clear understanding of the problem. is needed before the group can set a goal.


2. What's our goal? A goal redefines the problem into a positive statement that answers the question, "What do we want?" A goal must be important to the group and must be realistic, not based on wishful thinking. A real goal should require the groups best effort, and members should feel good after reaching it.


3. Stop and think. Here the group should stop talking and allow each person to examine the problem and goal before continuing to the next step. Often boys--and adults--take the first suggestion that is offered and jump directly into action. If group members take a few moments to think and form their ideas. they will be

able to add some original thought to a plan to be followed.


4. Make a plan. A good planner is always looking for options. The ability to think of a large number of possible pathways to reach a goal is an important skill. "What happens if... ?" examines the consequences of a particular course of action. For each alternative there are pros and cons. Once the alternatives and consequences have been discussed, a decision is made on a start-to-finish plan.


5. Do it. Action must follow the planning. if the group has discussed the plan in enough detail, each member will know how to proceed.


6. Keep at it. Nothing worthy of achieving is gained without endurance. The group must recognize that before a plan is abandoned, sustained effort is needed. Sometimes only a small adjustment in the plan is required to make it work.


7. How did it go? Was the goal attained? Did we give our best effort? What might have been changed? It is important to evaluate the entire problem-solving process so that the result will be a better plan next time


Someone spoke about eating an elephant? This is a lot easier if you have a plan and the plan has everyone eating a little bit.

All too often, this youth led idea becomes the SPL doing all the work -That isn't how it should work.



(This message has been edited by Eamonn)

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One of the topics I found the most useful that was covered at Wood Badge was the 5 stages of Team-based Project Planning.


The 5 steps are:

1. Project Overview

2. work breakdown structure

3. activity assignments

4. putting the plan into action

5. project closeout


The way it was presented at WB could be used at any level of Scouting.

They gave each Patrol a blank sheet with each step on it.

We had to do a project and fill out the form.


The project was to build and launch a rocket from a 2 liter plastic soda bottle.

Not only did we have to present the Rocket to a team of experts (the staff) we had to show that the form had been filled out also.


I plan on doing this for the Ship to learn planning.

This could be done easily for Cubs also by having each Den Leader fill out the form with the boys.




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Have to admit that when we have done the WB Project Planning, the project has got in the way. Everyone seems to want to jump right in and complete the task.

While the task is fun and the Staff go a little overboard to make it so, it lacks challenge. Kind of like making plans to eat a candy bar.

The five steps are much the same as the 7 steps, but I happen to think that the 7 work better with youth members.

For our QD training I had a fellow who used to be the project planner for ABB cover planning. He is an old time Scouter, has been the Scoutmaster for a lot of the old WB courses and an engineer (Also our Area President) I was worried that he was going to come up with some project that would have to do with engineering and be way over the Scouts and my head (not hard in my case!!) I was very surprised when the project he came up with was to make an apple pie!! The number of small steps needed to make a apple pie meant that they really had to think about what they needed to do, in what order they needed to do them, writing the plan down and assigning tasks and responsibility for who was going to do what.

I like the idea that it really did show how good planning and team work pays off.

Once they had made the pie, they baked it and ate it.

If I were re-writing the WB course, I'd replace the rocket with a pie. But no one has asked!!


Maybe if you grab your group,and ask them to plan to make a pie and then make it -They will then grasp the idea of planning? Have all the stuff needed on hand, while the pie is baking you can cover other stuff.


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Since we do not have an oven in the meeting room, it would have to be a dutch oven pie. It would be a challange as I am learning to use dutch ovens myself and have never baked a pie in one!


Great replies - this is the type of stuff I was hoping to get. Too bad I can't pour that next cup of coffee for you guys around the fire.

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