| 1 Year to 1 Month Planning
|Effective planning is the key to providing a program that meets the goals of Scouting. Effective planning is the difference between a program that offers a single layer of fun compared to a program of varies activities that challenges and encourages rewarding experiences. The Beaver program should place emphasis on activities which encourage the youth to:
- Develop a sense of belonging and sharing in small group activities
- Develop a sense of cooperation through non-competitive activities
- Appreciate nature
- Be healthy and have good feelings about themselves
- Express themselves in a confident manner
- Experience and express love and joy
- Find examples of God's for them and the world
One of the challenges that the leadership team will face, is the ability to provide a programming environment that stimulates and challenges the youth, and makes them wish to return each week, and participate to the fullest extent. This is particularly important when sections have returning youth who are progressively maturing, and demanding more attention, and challenging activities. This will be especially prevalent for those youth who are in their last year of Beavers, Cubs, or Scouts.
To further add to the demands of delivering a rewarding and challenging program, the leadership team cannot simply rely on the adage "it worked well last year" - as returning youth will remember events and declare themselves bored.
WHY MAKE A ONE YEAR PLAN?
A one year plan allows the leadership team to develop a program that:
- Encompasses "themes"
- Allows long range planning and "foresight"
- Allows program to be broken into Medium and short-term planning phases
- Encourages a focus on program costs and budgeting requirements
- Encourages input from all members of the colony leadership team
- Encourages input from a KIM or KEEO that may be used by the leaders
An illustration of how a one year program plan is broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces is illustrated in image #1: "1 year program planning phases"
IMAGE #1: 1 year program planning phases
There are several steps that can be reviewed when attempting to make a year long plan. These are as follows:
This is simply the description given to the steps needed to plan your year. Obtain a calendar which shows the weeks between September and June and perform the following actions:
- Highlight the weekly meeting
- Highlight the regular scouting group events, (Ex: Beaverees, Scoutrees, Fund-raising, Baden Powel evening, etc...)
- Highlight the provincial council events (Beaver snow fest, Camp events etc..)
- Highlight investiture evenings for new youth and leaders
- Highlight swim-up and linking activities for white tail beavers
- Highlight special days (Ex, mothers day, Halloween, recycle week etc...)
- Highlight national events or celebrations (Ex: Remembrance day, Christmas, Easter etc...)
- Highlight school holidays (Ex: March break, Easter and Xmas breaks etc...)
Before long, the leadership team will begin to see a one year program that already has a significant number of events that are fall into the 'pre-planned' category. This will leave the leadership team with blank slots in the program year that require filling. These remaining evenings can be filled with the following ideas:
- Programming around 'themes' (Ex: activities that are designed to last more than one evening. Examples make include 'Transport", "Animals", Spring
- An outdoor activity should be held at least once a month
- Activities which promote community service should be incorporated into the Beaver program (Ex: Visits to retirement homes, local fire, police homes etc...)
- Consider using the JUMPSTART programs to plan monthly themes
Once the outline of a 1 year program has been generated, the leadership team should continue to jot down all the ideas that come to mind, and build a reservoir of ideas. This is called "over programming" and it is provides the leadership team to have backup planning ideas that may allow interchanging of program direction as the colony program year progresses.
Once the selection of program ideas is finalized, the next important step is to flesh out the first three months of the 1 year program. This is called "Medium Range Planning"
Medium range planning is typically called the act of planning the first three months of the 1 year program. Medium range planning shall involve the following activities:
- Review each program element to see if it meets the requirements of the Scout Program Standards
- Pencil in program activities to specific dates for each of the three months
- Discuss/brainstorm among the leadership team the selected program activities/themes (This reveals how each member of the leadership team views each of the program activities - thus bring the greatest amount of creativity
- Research the activity - this may mean that the activity cannot be completely detailed until more information is gathered about the activity. This will often mean that one of the leadership members will be assigned to do the research.
- Decide on the objectives of each weekly program activity and determine what elements you want the youth to understand, and the activities that help promote that objective.
- Choose the materials and resources that you wish/plan to use to help deliver the best possible experience for the beaver youth. This could be choosing a guest speaker, a community event, or even a location where the activity will take place.
- Choose the methods on how to deliver and/or present the weekly program. These methods are the GAMSOCS (Games, Playacting, Music and Songs, Storytelling, Outdoors, Crafts and Spirituality)
- Review the budgetary needs for each of the weekly program activities, and determine whether there are sufficient funds available, whether adequate resources are available or fund-raising is required.
Once the leadership team has conducted the above steps for each of the weekly activities, the leadership team shall then do the following:
- Assign ownership of each weekly activity to each member of the leadership team
- Ensure that weekly program activities are evenly distributed to all members of the leadership team
- Ensure that each member of the leadership team understands that they are required to provide a plan which details how their weekly assigned program activity will be conducted within a regular weekly colony meeting
At this point in the programming activities, the colony leadership teams can make the following choice:
- Leave the detailed planning of each weekly colony meeting to the assigned leader, knowing that the assigned activity will be planned and promoted for review ahead of time
- This is an option available to the leadership team that has past experience and confidence drawn from working with each other
- Move into the SHORT-RANGE PLANNING Phase, where the leadership team shall prepare detailed plans for a specific time period - such as a month at a time
- Combine both SHORT-RANGE PLANNING for specific program periods or activity themes and leave other programming activities to the experienced leaders.
Short range planning typically involves planning activities for a short time period - for example, one month of colony meetings, or perhaps a weekend activity. Short range planning may be done by a single leader on their own, for their assigned weekly meeting, or as a joint effort between leaders when planning a set of weekly colony activities that may be based on a theme which runs across more than one weekly meeting.
The chief element of Short range planning is to 'dry-run' the activity / theme / objective that has been selected. Previewing the activity may be considered as:
- Dry run construction of the craft ahead of time, to see whether it too challenging or too easy for the different beaver tail groups
- Checking the time that the activity will consume during the colony meeting
- Ensure that all material resources are available and on-hand (Example: enough scissors for each of the youth)
It is considered a wise move by the leadership team to build in contingency when making short range plans. This is called contingency planning. This type of over planning allows the leadership team to take the beaver who has finished their activity ahead of the others, and occupy their time in the most appropriate manner which challenges them and also avoids disruption. The same can be said of the beaver youth who is bored, or just doesn't want to participate in the activity to the planned.
BUDGETING FOR YOUR YEAR
An essential part of a 1 year year plan, is to estimate the costs that are likely to be incurred. The leadership team should be aware of the following elements regarding budgeting:
- Funds available for your colony with your bank account
- Funds that the colony will receive per Beaver registered youth
- Funds that are collected in the forms of dues per week
- Budget for uniforms, crests, books etc....
- Budget for resources that are needed to replenish or purchase for indoor activities (Ex: paper, scissors, crayons, pencils, glue etc...)
- Budget for resources that are needed to replenish or purchase Resources available for outdoor activities (Ex: suitable high visibility vests, sports gear, posts, pylons etc)
- Number of leaders required (important when considering linking activities where leaders have to attend)
- Number of active parents needs for outdoor activities
Balanced against this influx of money, will be the weekly outlay that the colony will require for purchasing of resources, number of people required for the activity to be managed safely and successfully.
After constructing the 1 year long range plan, 3 month medium range plan, and the short term plans, the leadership team must review each planning activity with a fiscal approach.
The leadership team must ensure that funds received are tracked on a weekly basis, and all expenses are accounted for. For this fiscal responsibility to be met, it is essential that one or more members of the leadership team be designated with the responsibility to look after the colony fiscal needs.
Fiscal planning will be made much easier if the leadership team implements a Financial Record Book, which tracks funds received, and funds that are paid out.
The Leadership team should, as good practice, present their propose operating budget to the Group or Section Committee for review. This will also help with budgeting and planning fundraising activities, and also what part your colony or section can plan in fund raising activities.
If it appears that your section will be going over budget, notify the Group or Section Committee, as appropriate fund-raising activities may need to be planned, or a change in program activities required.
FUNDING YOUR PROGRAM YEAR
Balancing the fiscal needs of your section is an important element of leadership responsibilities. The leadership team must understand that the Group or Section Committee is largely responsible for funding, and the activities that are associated with it, but also realize that the colony must participate in the activities to receive the funds.
There are several key areas of fiscal management that the section is required for review and understand in order to plan for funding activities:
- Funds available for your section with your bank account
- Funds that the section will receive per registered youth
- Funds that are collected in the forms of dues per week
- Know and plan to participate in major Scout fund raising days
- Apple days
- Scout Hot chocolate
A section may participate in additional fund raising activities, however, the activity must abide with specific rules and must be approved by the Group or Section committee. These rules are:
- Scout uniform must be worn
- Scout fund-raising must be raised for Scouts only, and not for a third party
- Scout fund-raising must be held with an approved sponsor. (Example: Beer Store/Cigarette stores are not allowed)
- Fund-raising activities must be set for goal and age appropriate
- Fund-raising activities do not conflict with Scouts Canada
When participating in fund raising activities, it is considered good judgment to notify the parents that their youth are participating in a Scout sponsored fund-raising activity. Parents should be notified why there is a need to participate in fund-raising activities, the goal of the fund-raising activity and the activities that the youth will be involved with. For example, it would be considered in-appropriate for a youth to:
- Handle large sums of money
- Lift heavy loads
- Attend the fund-raising activity for more than 4 hours
- Travel a long way to and from the fund-raising site
- Be delegated excessive responsibility
When parents are willing to participate, parents should be asked to monitor and supervise their child's participation.
Jumpstart programs are a fast way to gain program development ideas. Jumpstart programs provide an entire months worth of program material. Jumpstart programs contain an easy to follow outline and identify all the material resources that are needed. You can find Jumpstart programs at the Scouts Canada shop.
|| Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:30 pm
||All times are GMT - 5 Hours
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