Kevin V. Hunt
Scouting Historian, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Scouting Veteran, and Camp Director
We’ve been talking about Program Planning and how it is or should be the central focus of the New LDS plan for older boy programs. I’ve tried to share the basics of how to develop a planned program for a year or more. That was a part of Varsity Scouting and Venturing and is even more important as we phase into the new LDS program for Teachers and Priests.
For two or three years now, there have been Young Men activity ideas on the lds.org/youth activities website. But the question is, have you visited and perused this material. If you have not done so already, this would be a great time to spend some time there. The new materials for older boys – as shown at present on the website – reference back to these materials that have been there a while – but are now new again with the current focus.
As both a former Varsity Scout Coach and a Venturing Adviser, I found the material garnered there to be informative and exciting. There is a plethora of activities that should get any young man (and his advisers) exciting and involved.
I spent some time today reviewing the material and there is some good stuff there. I highly recommend it. Here is the link: Great Activity Ideas on lds.org
I found, for instance, a variety of listed categories of program ideas. These include:
Temple and Family History
Communication and Relationships
Sports, Camping and Outdoors
Worldwide Youth Events
Arts, Music and Dance
Stake and Multi-Stake Activities
So, how is that for a list? And under each of the above sub-headings, there are listed a multitude – of from five to over twenty – specific activity or program ideas. So, be sure to drill down under each heading. I counted over 160 different activities that could be done. So, if you did one of them every week (which would be a bit challenging), it would take you nearly three years to do them all. And these are just suggestions to get you thinking. I am sure that there are many more fun things that you can do together with your Young Men. If you have the brainstorming session that I refer to in my annual planning material, you and your Young Men could come up with a list equal to or greater to the one on-line – and which allows you to meet the needs of your own young men. The website also allows you to add some of your successful activities. So, if you come up with something good, pass it along for others to use.
In your planning, too, it is a good idea to survey your young men. See what they really want to do and then build your plan around those interests and needs. And if you have the boy who only has “create a bird list” on his activity board, you sure ought to plan an activity around birding – and let him be the program coordinator for that evening. (And after that, he’ll probably come to the next activity … and then maybe you can put him in charge of something new for another time.)
So, what it really boils down to is that there are a lot of resources and ideas out there for you. So, don’t wait around for someone to show you a new program. It is already there. Get the edge and go for it yourselves. Why wait for the new calendar year. Get something going today!
It really isn’t that challenging. The big thing is to have a planning conference and plan for as long a period as you can. And as you plan and implement the plan, you will begin to see some really great results. You will definitely reach the goals and objectives of the new program and you will touch lives as you spend time with the young men. That’s what it’s all about!
Best wishes along your Scouting Trails … Kevinthescoutblogger
See this link for an introduction to Kevin the Scouting Trails Blogger. Blogging articles have 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! Find Kevin on Facebook at: Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.
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