By Stewart Schow
May 04, 2017

Varsity Scout Leaders Day Book: Day 27–Make a Yearly Plan

TASK: Learn how to use the Varsity Scout Annual Planning Tool with youth leaders where they are involved in developing the plan for the next program year. 

Yearly planning has been a part of Scouting for longer than I have been associated with Scouting.  To start is article let me share you this story.   I was a Scout leader had six children and working full time plus doing some consulting on the side.  My life was busy.  In September we did our yearly plan.  I worked into my schedule all the overnight, Hikes, biking trips and others.  I also put on my yearly calendar all my family activities, birthday, Pack meeting, concerts that needed my attention during the year.  This we published to all Scout family so they had the calendar as well.

One day when I was doing some consulting a business manager l’ll call John.  John wanted to schedule out time for me to come to his office to do work.  Luck for me I had all my Scouting and family date already on my calendar.  And about every other month when John suggested a date.  I had to explain that time was already scheduled for a Scout activity and we choose another date.  At the conclusion of our session John said to me, “You scheduled out so far. I’ve never seen someone so well planned.”

That helped me understand that planning as taught by the Boy Scouts is a tool that helps we keep my own life under control.  That is also why it is so important that the long term plan be followed.

Now let’s look at some of tools we get from Boy Scouts to help us in our plan process.

In the Varsity Leaders Guidebook we read the follow.

 “At an annual program planning clinic, team members discuss and select the program features the team wants to do in the coming year. Varsity Scout teams can choose from among the following high-adventure and sports features and then devote their energies to it for a three-month period. Each high-adventure feature leads to an ultimate adventure, such as an extended backpacking trek. Intra-team games and competition with other Varsity Scout teams may highlight sports features. Upon completing a feature, Varsity Scouts should have gained proficiency in the high-adventure activity or sport and may receive Varsity Scout letters and activity pins to acknowledge their achievements.”

Creating an annual plan occurs at the Annual Program Planning Clinic.  At this time Team members are giving opportunity to brainstorm ideas of future team activities.  By breaking our Yearly Plan into quarters and using a program feature to be the theme for that quarter then we can focus on activities with purpose.  For those who are associated with unit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they use a term called Priesthood purposes.  Each activity should have a Priesthood purpose and not be just entertainment.  Varsity activities meet that when we focus on supporting the one or more of Five Fields of Emphasis

After the Brainstorming session and a list of suggested activities are accepted they then are categorized by the Five Fields of Emphasis.  The Team leader’s council then creates the Quarterly calendars with Quarterly goals for each program feature.    Then individual program manages are given the assignments to start planning in detail what will occur at each week in the quarter.  Once the first quarter is planned in detail then the next three quarters are planned in general.

The best practices is that as a quarter is completed the new quarter is added out a year and the general planning takes place and you are always out 12 month in general plans and as each quarter move up on the calendar that detailed planning is occurring so that when a new month is entered the detail planning for that month is complete.

Use the Annual Varsity Scout Team Planning Chart below as a way to display the Quarterly Plans for the Varsity Scout year.  This also helps to identify holes the planning to executing process for team meeting.  You can find more information about the Annual Team plan in the Varsity Leaders Guidebook pages 183 – 188.

You can take the annual Varsity Scout team planning chart and break it into the Quarter for more detailed planning.

Make sure you include Team recognition nights, Parents meetings, and your own personal activity calendar, School activities and vacations in the calendar.

It is important that the yearly plan culminate in a Yearly High Adventure activity.  This gives each quarter a goal to reach for.  As a unit the team needs to be working for goal to reach the vision of the Captain and the Coach. With each quarter pointed to this vision and the plan each month and week toward this overall Vision for the team to perform.

Your goal is to get your yearly plan to be published in parents and your family.

MOnth one

Week 1 Week 2
Week 3  Week 4

Stewart Schow
Author: Stewart Schow  | Utah National Parks Council Varsity Scout Committee Chairman




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