Troop Program Planning
Start Your Troop's Year Off Right
Program planning is critical to your troop's success. The good news is it's also simple.
Why do we plan?
We plan so we can deliver a high quality program to every Boy Scout and
his family. Setting an annual program plan, complete with a weekly calendar,
provides direction for the troop and helps meet the goals
Scouting. It also makes the best use of volunteer time, which makes
it easier to recruit more parents as volunteers in the future.
What should the plan include?
The plan should reflect the following goals:
- Ensure 100% of youth and adult participants complete Youth Protection Training.
- Ensure 100% of adult leaders are trained for their position.
- Ensure 100% of youth leaders are appropriately trained.
- Ensure all Boy Scouts have the opportunity to attend summer camp.
- Ensure all Boy Scouts have opportunities for leadership.
- Ensure all Boy Scouts have opportunities for rank and merit badge advancement.
The plan should include the following dates:
- Troop Fundraiser (Popcorn in September and October)
- Weekend campouts and activities (at least monthly is recommended)
- Courts of Honor (four per year)
- Snow Base or North Wind Winter Camp (January, February, or March)
- Webelos Crossover Ceremony (coordinated with pack or packs)
- Friends of Scouting Presentation (in November, December, or January)
- High Adventure Trips
- Weekly Troop Meetings
- Monthly Patrol Leader Councils
- Monthly Committee Meetings
- Monthly District Roundtable (leader workshop including training and program updates)
- District Events, including Camporee and Merit Badge Saturdays
What else should be considered?
- Plan to avoid conflicts with school calendars, community events, and other Scouting events.
- Review last year's program: what worked, what didn't work, what was missing?
- How will this plan be funded?
- How will this plan be communicated to the families?
Who creates the plan?
First and foremost, the Scouts should be creating the plan. Boy Scouts is boy-lead, with leaders available for guidance and resources.
When is the plan created?
You can create the plan anytime, but the general rule of thumb is to create one over the summer at an Annual Planning Meeting.
Who should receive the plan?
Every Scout and every family in the program should get a copy of the new plan. It's up to the leadership (both boys and adults)
to communicate it, which is why a communication plan is also
When should Scouts and families receive the plan?
New Boy Scouts and their families should receive a copy soon as they
join, whether crossing over from a pack or joining new. All
other Scouts and families should receive it at the first September
meeting. Remember, the plan should be created by the boys.
Completing a program plan, along with a funding plan, is the second Guidepost for Journey 2.0.