This weeks Poll- The Annual Plan

In this weeks poll I want to know about your Troops annual planning session.
Your choices are:  Totally on the Scouts, meaning the Scouts put together the annual plan and submit it to the Troop committee to receive the support to run the program.  The PLC does the planning.
It’s all about the Adults, meaning the Scouts just take what the adults decide.  The PLC does not do the planning.
Lets go 50/50, meaning Adult input to the PLC and they split the planning responsibility.
As a primer, here is how our Troop handles the annual planning session.  We start our planning at Summer camp.  This is a great opportunity for the patrols to take a look at the previous year and get the most input from the patrol members.  Sometime about mid-week at camp the PLC will meet and discuss the input from the patrols.
After summer camp the PLC will again sit down with all the calendars and look at months, dates, and locations from the next years plan.  I sit in with them on this planning session to answer questions and offer advise when asked.
Once the PLC is satisfied they have a 12 month plan, they bounce it off me and then the SPL and I take the plan to the Troop committee.
The Troop committees job is to say “Great plan, lets support it” and that is what they do.
Our Senior Patrol Leader and the Patrol Leaders Council does the planning for the year.  That is the way it is supposed to happen, this is their program.  Having them plan their year gives them ownership, tests leadership, and then as the year unfolds and they understand the program, their monthly PLC meetings are better organized and the plan is executed by the Scouts.
It’s not always pretty and often the planning is painful to some… but letting the Scouts run their Troop is the way Baden-Powell intended it.

“The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his
patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”- Baden Powell

Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Our annual patrol planning session is a lock-in at our host church in December, when all the boys and most of the Committee spend the night. The boys then plan the year’s events, sometimes there is some debate between the boys and the Committee, but most of the planning is spent with the Committee in the back of the room moaning quietly to themselves! But eventually a consensus is reached and the Committee will try and help the boys bring about those plans. The boys are then allowed to play video games all night (the only time video/electronic games are allowed at a Troop event) and in the morning when the parents show up to pick them up, they cook us breakfast and they present the next year to everyone. It is the most looked forward to event on our calender!


  2. The troop left yesterday for its annual big event. They are spending this evening at Brooks Camp watching the brown bears at Katmai National Park. Tomorrow they will start their 75 mile hike of the Valley of 10,000 Smokes and climb Mt Novarupta. During the evenings this week they will start to talk about what they want next year’s big event to be. My best guess is it will be water related since this year it has been hiking. Several boys have been discussing a 10 day sea kayaking trip in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. In September when they plan the year the “Big Event” is always the first item planned. Then the boys start backing up from there so that the monthly events will be training for the big event. Then there is always a merit badge weekend in November, Camporee in October and May and a Freezeree in February for the younger boys while the older ones will probably do a 200 mile snowmachine trip. January and March will be remote winter camping of some type and April will probably be a snow sports weekend at the local ski resort. June will be camp and that leaves July or August for the big event of the year. In May and June we will probably hold two events per month so that we are in shape and have demonstrated the required skills that will be necessary for the big event. The boys will plan it and the scoutmasters will give advice when asked. Then the committee will do its best to make it happen. If necessary they will meet with the PLC to discuss the funding of the events and what it will take on the boys part to raise the necessary funds to make the events happen.
    Troop 300 – Second to None
    Bear Paw District
    Great Alaska Council


  3. On a Saturday in the middle of May the Scouts gather at my house and sit around the big table and make plans. Their goal is to create an annual calendar. The SM and the SPL kick things off for about 10 minutes and then the SM leaves to go sit on the porch with the rest of the adults. We start around 9:00am and Carol has lunch ready at 11:30 so they have about 2 hours to work. Generally they work pretty good for an hour then they start playing with the cat and looking things up on the computer and fiddling around with the grandchildren’s toys 🙂

    Anyway, about 11:00am the SPL comes out on the porch and presents a tentative calendar to the CC and SM and Outdoor Coordinator and anyone else that stayed to hang out. We just listen and nod and maybe ask a question. Then we all have lunch.

    Later the SPL will present the calendar to the whole committee at the August committee meeting. Meanwhile, the Outdoor Coordinator will usually start making reservations for the August and September campouts, if necessary. In August, the full committee approves the calendar and supports the annual program.


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