Running a Good Planning Seminar or Meeting

In a Pack, the planning meeting/seminar is usually a subcommittee of adults. In a Troop the planning is done by the youth members, guided by SPL and the Scoutmasters, and approved by the committee. It’s recommended to make this an all-day seminar. With brakes and sack lunch. It could be broken up into several meetings however momentum might be lost. Tell participants to come with new ideas and surgeons. Bring flyers, articles, and an open mind. Don’t forget to bring something to write on. Have the following items at the planning seminar:

  1. School calendars (Elementary, Middle, and High Schools may have different schedules.)
  2. The Council and District calendars
  3. A copy for everyone, of the JTE for your unit
  4. Last few years of your units past calenders

Make an agenda that covers the following:
Planning – Make sure you have some big event or camping every month. Troops decide on a Summer Camp and which month they plan to go.
Membership – Plan out a recruitment effort every month. Put Den Chief training on the calendar.
Program – Meeting should be planned with advancement in mind. Camping is key.
Leadership – Recognize completed training of leaders at COH or Pack meetings.

Most Packs follow the school calendar and take the summer off. Then struggle to restart every year. Planning day events each month will help keep the Pack together. Schedule a time for Day Camp. In a Troop, the planning is done by the youth and approved by the committee. The committee should approve it or send it back for more revisions or details. The committee can make a budget and fundraiser goals can be set.

💲 Budget & Fundraisers – Scouting should never be a burden on the family’s bank accounts. Communications should be published to all parents, leaders, and Scouts. This is Friendly, Courteous, and Kind.

🌐Planning resources for your next Scouting year: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/08/06/download-these-planning-resources-for-your-next-scouting-year/
📄 2020 JTE Cub Scouting (Pack): https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2020-JTE-Pack-Scorecard.pdf
📄 2020 JTE Scouts BSA (Troop): https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/2020-JTE-Troop-Scorecard.pdf
📄 2020 JTE Venturing (Crew): https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-JTE-Crew-Scorecard-Updated.pdf
🎬 JTE Find Out What It Means to Me: https://youtu.be/EHmOmpgJ76Y

ScouterStan Podcast on Anchor

The Patrol Method?

Baden-Powell is accredited with developing the “patrol method” originally for the British Army shortly after his success at Mafeking. His military career was changing into more of a training officer, shortly before going into the “Scouting Scheme” (as he called it) full time.

Baden-Powell’s Definition from “Aids To Scoutmastership”: “The patrol method is working when the adult acts as a guide, mentor, and counselor to the youth, helping them by word and example to lead one another, to influence one another, to encourage competition and excitement so that the Scouts grow as a group and as individuals.”

“The patrol system is not one method in which Scouting for boys can be carried on. It is the only method.” 

 Lord Baden-Powell, Scouting’s Founder

Things to remember about Patrols:
✔ Troops can have as many patrols as the membership require (6-8 Active Scouts).
    ⫸ The limiting factor is usually equipment.
✔ Patrols will have it’s own name and logo, flag, and patrol yell.
✔ Many troops will have a “Green Bar” Patrol for the troop’s youth staff headed by the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL).
    ⫸ Youth staff in the PLC (Patrol Leaders Council) that are not a Patrol Leader already.
✔ Many troops will have a first-year patrol, that the other patrols can recruit from after 1st Class.
✔ It’s not recommended to restrict age grouping as in “Senior” or “Venture” Patrol. Without constantly mixing in new members. Otherwise, this type of patrol is setting its self up to phase out (age out).
✔ Make sure that tent sharing restrictions of YPT are kept in mind.
✔ The Scoutmaster conference is a good time to find out what the new Scouts opinions on patrols.
✔ The patrol assignment is recommended too and approved by the Scoutmaster or the appointed ASM.
✔ All patrols have a Patrol Leader, Asst. Patrol Leader, Grubmaster/Cook, Logistics/Engineering Specialist (Quartermaster), and my favorite… Morale Officer or Branding Specialist (Cheerleader).
✔ Patrols can go on activities and camp independently from the troop. (Everything must be approved by the Scoutmaster and within YPT of course.)

⚠️ Political Correctness Warning: The writings that are referred to in this video, may contain objectable material. Keep in mind that these materials were developed by individuals from the late 1800s. It would be unfair to put our current day judgment on Individuals and their writings from the past. Using common-sense you can still obtain enlightenment from their works. 

📄 Aids To Scoutmastership PDF: http://www.whitestag.org/files/bsa_pubs/Aids_to_Scoutmastership.pdf

🎬 Who Was Baden-Powell?: https://youtu.be/OY9pv8iF4wg

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Your Unit Advancement Team?

Advancement is one of the eight methods used by Scout leaders to help youth fulfill the aims of the BSA. A new or small unit could use the committee secretary as an advancement person temporarily. Eventually, the advancement team is developed by the parent leaders of the unit.

  • Additional advancement team members will give more opportunities for proper interactions.
  • Scheduling boards of review for rank advancement.
  • Delegation of record-keeping and leader interactions.

Most Packs rely on parents to submit advancement records to a designated leader. This changes to youth submitting records directly to a Troop or Crew advancement team of adult leaders. Cross over parents (Cub Scouts to Scouts BSA) needs to understand this advancement system.

The troop committee can vote in an Eagle Project subcommittee. This subcommittee should have tradesmen experience and organization skills. This will help determine the project’s feasibility and scope. The troop committee chairmen oversee all subcommittees and still signs off on approved projects.

With the introduction of Scoutbook, everyone is involved with the process. Advancement people can run reports, submit records, and acquirer badges from Scoutbook data. Leaders can check records and work with the scout on advancement needs. Parents can work with the Den Leaders on advancement.

🌐 Guide to Advancement: https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/

🎬 Scoutbook? The Official Scouts BSA Online Unit Management Tool: https://youtu.be/uMdqEVgH-cM

🎬 Understanding Scout Facing or Backstage: https://youtu.be/9DHD1zcdCH0

Camping Mode on Your Smartphone? Scouting and your Mobile or Cell Phone

Mobile phones are a way of life these days. Scout units need to think of setting up rules that will help make them less intrusive.

  • Pocket computers with all the good & bad information on the world internet.
  • Communicator with voice, email, text, and more.
  • Entertainment console with gaming, video streaming, and music. (over 80% of you are viewing this on a phone right now…)
  • A digital camera with video and high definition photography studio.
  • The number one device for generating and consuming any social media. 

“No wonder people are addicted to them…”

”Ever been “Google Checked”? – That’s when your teaching or saying something and your student googles for the answers and often gets contradictory information.

“Nomophobia” – The fear of being without a mobile phone.FOMO? – The Fear Of Missing OutOne solution is to establish that your Scout unit is a

“Phone Free Zone”. All mobile phones are silenced or put in “Camp Mode” (Turned off) at meetings, ceremonies, and all outings. This can be backed up with coherence to the Scout Law and the Outdoor Code. – – – Courteous, Kind, and Obedient. – “Be considerate in the outdoors.”

Adults MUST silence their phones at all times or turn them off. [ Be the example, not the exception. ] Some Scout units allow their Scouts to have them in the car or bus on the way to camp. They are turned off and locked up while camping and available again for the return trip. Mobile phones are expensive and a big responsibility. Most summer camps are remote and don’t have good cellular coverage anyway. Scouts that need to use their mobile phone at camp as a camera (cinematograph, movie-making MB). Should check them in and out from an adult leader.

⚠️ Important: I don’t recommend using a mobile phone for “homesick” Scouts to call home. This only increases and escalates the stress on everyone.

Additional information on Smartphone addiction:
📄 HelpGuide Smartphone Addiction PDF: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/smartphone-addiction.htm?pdf=12397