Re: Troop Planning
ralph romig (rwromig@PPCO.COM)
Wed, 12 Jul 1995 15:54:22 -0500
>How can I get my PLC to plan troop activities?
I don't know what will work for you, but let me describe what we are doing.
It works for us.
We set aside an entire weekend in January for the yearly planning session
(actually we plan about 18 mos) the PLC and the SM and ASM's arrive on
Friday evening for an indoor sleepover. The first evening is set aside for
brainstorming. The troop buys pizza for all the participants. The adults
bring in literature for the boys with camps, activities, etc. We don't
start to narrow down ideas till the next day. We list things we like to do
and things we might like to try. Boys come up with the ideas. Leaders are
moderators and can provided idea sources. Then the next day we start to
actually work out the schedule. We list themes we'd like that the ideas
listed the night before can fit into.
We then begin to match themes with months. There is some adult interaction
(for instance the boys wanted to schedule canoeing in February (it doesn't
work even here in Houston)) Once the themes and major activities are
matched up, the remaining weekly planning becomes a cinch.
We break it up every so often with games and team building exercises. At
the end of Saturday we have it outlined. The Scoutmaster takes the notes
and presents it to the committee the next week for approval.
It becomes a great team building exercise for the boy leaders as well as a
great and fun way to get the boys to plan the year.
>Along similar lines, what can be done to encourage the PLC to schedule
>some patrol activities, or inter-patrol competition, during troop meeting
Do you mean intrapatrol activities or interpatrol activities? Our meetings
typically include a patrol corner where each patrol can work on the upcoming
campout planning or any other activity such as advancement, etc. The
meeting usually has some non competitive game time or a scoutcraft game.
>Uniform wear is sporadic. Opening ceremonies are invariably a
>recitation of the pledge, law, and oath. (I've nothing against the
>pledge, law, or oath, but I've nothing against some variety or
Uniform wear has been a constant theme. It is the responsibility of the SM
and the committee to establish uniforming standards for the unit.
We don't have any significant troubles with uniforming. All boys are in
full uniform (except we go class B in summer mos because it's so hot in
Houston) We have a written uniforming policy. All new parents are informed
of the policy before joining. (If it's a financial burden, we have a
uniform pool to help out) If a boy shows up without a uniform piece, he is
politely asked to get it. Boys must show up at BOR in full Class A uniform.
There is a book of ideas on openings and closings. Get some ideas from your
Roundtable staff. (Someone help me out here with a book title?)
We don't have much originality in our openings either, but closings tend to
have a little more variety because they get assigned to individual patrols.
Try buying the book for the Troop, put it in the SPL's hands and ask him to
try some of the ideas in the book over a few weeks. Then get some feedback
from the Troop during your Scoutmaster's minute to see what they think about
the different openings and closings. If you get positive feedback, the SPL
should hear it and be encouraged to continue with a little variety.
>The troop just completed the team building exercises and training in the
>SM troop training materials, so the scouts know what is expected (at
>least in theory).
I think the key to planning is making it fun. I think the key to uniforming
is having a policy and expecting and enforcing that policy to be maintained.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City