Kevin V. Hunt
Scouting Historian, Author and Speaker, Scouting Veteran, Camp Director
Organizing the group to implement the program calendar is a key function to be completed after your program planning conference. You went through the effort to plan your program and now it will take additional effort and planning to make it happen. Rally your team together and go for it.
In these blogs we have been talking about the planning conference and how effective it can be to get you moving with your program. That was true with the Varsity Scout team that I’ve been sharing with you.
You can see that our team had made some good progress within a short time. We had a trained committee of parents who were ready to be put to work. We had a list in hand of the resources and the program capability to be found within the adults of our organization. We also had developed a one-year calendar of exciting activities.
For a more detailed description of the Annual Program Planning Conference you might wish to refer to PLANNING FOR SCOUTING PROGRAM also by the Kevin the blog author.
Within a day or two of our planning conference I typed our calendar for the entire year ahead. We had previously scheduled our next “parents meeting” where we planned to share with them the boy-built calendar.
At the next parents meeting we distributed copies of our yearly calendar to everyone present. This served two purposes: First, it showed our activities and that we had a going program. Secondly, it committed us all to the program and to our calendar.
After distributing copies of the calendar we discussed it in detail. We listed the activities and categorized them into the five program areas. Every activity on the calendar was assigned specifically to a committee member.
The committee member (Program Supervisor) and youth counterpart (Program Manager) were then given the task of making arrangements for each of their activities. They were to reserve the facilities, locate the needed equipment and plan promotion of the event.
You probably think this all sounds almost too good to be true, perhaps like a fairy tale dream that everyone would hope for. The neat thing is that it worked! We all had a great time making it work and just being a part of it all.
After the annual program calendar was built, we focused on a three month period only. Within the three month period ahead, we made a more concrete plan for our activities. This then became our pattern the rest of year.
Each month as we met (both youth and adult groups) we dropped the previous month and made more definite plans for the new third month of our calendar. As the third month was added to the three month block, the adults and youth managers started making their specific plans for the month’s events.
By the time that the activity was one month away, the final details of the activity were announced. That’s when we knew the exact time, the meeting place, what to bring, and what we’d do.
As mentioned earlier, I was able to just sit back and watch all this happen but of course I was always there to lend support or to give additional training as needed. A few times things fell through the cracks but overall our program worked very well.
I bragged about our team committee and boy organization throughout the district. I now could talk with conviction as I told others how the program was working for us.
Naturally we had to make occasional minor program changes when other groups (church, school, etc.) failed to plan ahead as we had done. We had to sometimes adjust to their schedules. This was a little disturbing since we had done our homework and they hadn’t. Overall, however, we worked our plan and it worked for us. It is a good system and I would recommend it to you. I have used my own Varsity Scouting team as the example for this blog but the same principles will work with any Scouting program – or any other organization for that matter. So, get your calendar, get organized, and go for it!
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevin
Excerpts taken from Kevin’s many personal journals and Scouting Trails books including “MR. Scoutmaster!”, “Keys to Scouting Leadership,” “Gnubie to Eagle Scout”, and others at his Scoutingtrails website. Connect with Kevin and read his articles on Scouting blogsites such as The Boy Scout, The Scouting Trail and The Voice of Scouting. Feel free to comment on anything you read!
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