University of Scouting January 2008 ± DBBrown Presentation

David Brown Troop Committee Chair Troop 577 & Assistant Advisor Crew 577 University of Scouting January 5, 2008

Course Overview
y BS-21 Planning the Troop Program
Discuss the elements for planning the troop s annual program. This session will encourage the timely evaluation of all activities using the weekly and monthly patrol leader s council meetings.


y David Brown y 5 years of BSA adult leadership: ASM-Merit badges, SM, TC Chair, and Assistant Advisor Venturing Crew y Tell me about you: y Name y Current adult leadership position in Scouting y Level of experience with Troop Planning y What is the one thing you want to learn today?

The Patrol Leaders' Council (PLC)
y The PLC, not the adult leaders, is responsible for planning and conducting the troop's activities. The PLC is composed of the following voting members: senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, patrol leaders, troop guide, Venture crew chief, Varsity team captain. y The troop's activities are selected and planned at the annual program planning conference. The troop's yearly plan is then submitted to the troop committee for approval. The troop committee either approves the plan or makes alternative suggestions for the PLC to consider.



Five Steps of Annual Troop Program Planning
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Do your homework Get patrol input Hold an annual planning meeting Consult with the troop committee Announce the plan


Do your homework
Conduct a Troop Resource Survey


Other Planning Items to Consider
y Boards of review y Courts of honor y Year-round recruiting y Monthly activities y Service/conservation

plan y Webelos-to-Scout transition

project y Troop Junior Leadership Training y Planning for Diversity



Your Primary Planning Tools
y The Scoutmaster Handbook y Troop Program Features y Troop Program Resources y Circle Ten Council and District calendars y Get a copy of each school s calendar and compare y Other calendars (church, charter organization, etc)



How to Plan for Diversity
y As Troop Leaders we need to recruit and retain Scouts

and other Adult Leaders without consideration for:
y Religion y Race y Age (up to age 18 for Troop, 21 for Venturing) y Sex (Venturing Crews)

y A diverse Troop is stronger and able to expose scouts to

broader opportunities, ways of thinking and cultural issues that they will face in the world as adults.

How to Plan for Diversity
y What are some ways you can name that would make

our Scout Troops more diverse or expose them to diversity concepts? Share some examples of activities you have tried or contemplated to encourage diversity.
y Your time to participate!


Outdoor Programs = Retention


Types of Outdoor Activities
y What are typical Scout outdoor activities? For younger Scouts, less-

rugged activities are more appropriate as they begin to acquire outdoor knowledge and skills. These may include: y Day hikes Reasonably short hikes (3 to 10 miles) in terrain without a lot of elevation gain or loss. y Service projects Daylong projects that may be related to conservation, food collection, building shelter, or healthy living activities. y Patrol activities A Boy Scout patrol or Varsity Scout squad may hike or camp with other patrols or squads in the unit or, with the permission of their Scoutmaster and parents or guardians, may hike or camp on their own. Or go bowling, see a movie, etc as long as it is follows the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Outdoor Activities Con t
Troops that plan and carry out outings once a month attract and retain boys at a much higher level than those that have fewer outings during the year. y Camporees Councils and districts plan camporees and other outings during the year that give Scouts an opportunity to test their knowledge and skills in competitive events with other troops and patrols. y Jamborees Every four or five years, the Boy Scouts of America hosts a national Scout jamboree. More than 40,000 Scouts and leaders from across the country participate in this 10-day event filled with the most popular and highest quality outdoor activities Scouts enjoy. To participate, a Scout must certain minimum age and rank requirements.
y Weekend overnights


Outdoor Activities Con t
A high-adventure experience includes at least five nights and six days of trekking in wilderness and other rugged, remote locations. Trekking may include backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking, horse packing, mountain climbing, ski touring, rafting, kayaking, or a host of other outdoor adventures. Minimum age requirements are typical. y Summer camp Summer camp is what many Scouts enjoy most. Camp programs provide numerous opportunities for Scouts to earn merit badges along their advancement trail. Resident Scout camping includes at least five nights and six days of fun outdoor activities.
y Council high adventure


Outdoor Activities Con t
The BSA operates national highadventure bases and programs. With two locations in the Florida Keys, the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base offers a variety of aquatic and boating programs. The Northern Tier National High Adventure Program, based in northern Minnesota with two satellite bases in Canada, provides a variety of canoe treks and programs. Philmont Scout Ranch and the Double H Ranch in the mountains of New Mexico provide excellent backpacking treks. Minimum age requirements vary, but most programs are rugged and designed for older Scouts. y Unit high adventure The highest level of challenge for a troop or team is to plan and carry out its own high-adventure experience. These activities for more experienced Scouts are planned and implemented by youth members with coaching from their adult leaders.
y National high adventure

Example Annual Planning Meeting
y There are many approaches to preparing an annual program plan for a

troop. This agenda is offered as one method that has worked well. Some troops have this meeting in early January and plan a program for the full calendar year. Other troops follow the National BSA guidelines and have their planning meeting in the fall and follow the school year. ‡ 8:00 - 11:00 PLC Planning Meeting ‡ 11:00 - 1:00 Scoutmaster Lunch ‡ 1:00 - 3:00 Troop Committee Meeting


PLC Planning Meeting
The PLC should review with their Patrols in advance: y What activities went very well last year? y What Scouting Skills does the troop excel at? y Which activities had shortcomings? What improvements are needed? y Do any Scouting Skills need special attention in the coming year? y How well are the meetings run? Is it a "Scout led" troop? What improvements are needed? y Are any training needs identified? y Report from the Advancement Chairman: Is the troop lacking certain rank related activities? Are there any specific Eagle required merit badges that a number of Scouts lack? y From a list of activities done over the last three years, which should be repeated? y Any new ideas?

PLC Planning Meeting (con't)
Goals y What specific goals does the troop want to accomplish in the following year? For example: improve open fire cooking skills. Or travel lighter with less use of bulky troop equipment. y Does the PLC want to name a theme for the program year? Such as: backpacking, cycling, or canoeing. Such themes can be used to prepare for the troop high adventure trip the following year.


PLC Planning Meeting (con't)
Troop Calendar - events with known dates y Winter camp (December) y Scouting for Food (February) y Golden Acorn (March) or Troop Junior Leader Training y Scout Show (May) y Summer camp (June/July) y Council Merit Badge College (summer) y Philmont or High Adventure (summer) y Council or District Camporee y Scout Sunday y Order of the Arrow calendar events (Call out, Vigil, Brotherhood) y Troop service projects planned

PLC Planning Meeting (con't)
Troop Calendar - new activities for this year y Outdoor program for the months without an activity already planned y Other troop service projects y Court of Honors (after summer camp; after winter/merit badge camps; third in the fall) y Troop elections (every five to six months) y What merit badges does the PLC want to focus on at the meetings this year? Troop Calendar - future years y High Adventure activity for next year - what preparation must be done now? y High Adventure activity for the year after next - what are the possibilities?

Scoutmaster Lunch
y Lunch for Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters y Any problem areas that need to be discussed among the uniformed

adult leaders? y What are the troop's equipment needs? y Review of proposed outdoor program and acceptance of responsibility by at least two adults to act as Tour Leaders for each of the scheduled events. (Reduces the work that the Scoutmaster has to do later in carrying out the troop program.)


Troop Committee Meeting
y The Senior Patrol Leader should present the proposed Troop Calendar y y y y y y

to the Troop Committee for review and approve Remember the Annual District meeting and dinner and schedule time to identify adult leaders for recognition and/or service awards Review funds needed for the proposed new equipment Annual troop fund-raisers (garage sale, popcorn, wreaths, other?) Summary of proposed service projects Troop dinners in conjunction with the Court of Honors Adult leader training, including Roundtable and University of Scouting


y Don t forget to communicate your Troop s approved

Annual Plan using the Troop Scribe y Remember to send the Plan again periodically as a reminder and to inform new scouts of upcoming events y Distribution list should include: registered scouts and parents, Chartered Organization representative, District Commissioner, troop alumni and troop webmaster



Monthly PLC
y The PLC generally should be meeting monthly. y The main purpose of the monthly PLC meeting is to operationalize the

activities planned for that upcoming monthly (campouts, service project, each week s main activities, merit badges to be taught, etc) y One of the outputs of the monthly PLC should be a weekly plan of what is happen at each week s scout meeting. y I recommend that the PLC meeting 15 mins early and stay 15 mins after each and every weekly scout meeting to prepare and debrief how that night s meeting went and to remind PLC members of upcoming items for the following week.


Troop 577 Summary of Weekly Troop Activities 2007-2008
Month Activity / Campout
27 to 31st - Winter Camp 27th ² Shelter 31st ² NO TROOP MEETING

Topic ² Merit Badge
Sign-up at

December 24th ² NO TROOP MEETING


7th ² 7:30 Troop Meeting 12th to 13th ²James Ray Campout 14th ² 7:30 Troop Meeting 21st ² 7:30 Troop Meeting 27th ² 2:30 Roland Salatino Eagle COH 28th ² 7:30 Troop Meeting

Plan for Campout Orienteering MB & Rank Requirements

Ceremony in St Luke Chapel Reception in Scout Hut



3rd ² Troop Meeting 28th to 29th - Troop Garage Sale

OA Election ² We must have at least 33 scouts (including Venture) in attendance



Five Steps of Annual Troop Program Planning 1. Do your homework 2. Get patrol input 3. Hold an annual planning meeting 4. Consult with the troop committee 5. Announce the plan


Additional Resources
y BSA Weekly Troop Meeting Plan form: y y y y y y BSA Merit Badge Counselor worksheet: BSA Campfire Program form: BSA Troop resource survery: Good examples of an Annual Calendar: ual_Planning_Worksheet_2007-2008.pdf Boy Scouts Building Greatness One Man at a Time: Boy Scouts Outdoor Program:


David Brown Cell 214-208-0080 Home 972-392-2133 Email:


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