Excellent Scout Units know that a great program doesn’t just happen: packs must take the time to plan and organize for the year ahead.
Planning helps prevent conflict and last-minute problems, and ensures a safe, successful program. Unit Annual Planning meetings ideally take place in May, June, or July to ensure that everyone is ready for the next year of Cub Scouting!
WHO CREATES THE PLAN?
- For Packs, the Adult Leaders and the Parents should meet to discuss the program plan for the year
- For Troops and Crews, the Scouts should be creating the plan. Scouts BSA and Venturing is youth-lead, with leaders available for guidance and resources.
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 (For Troops and Crews, both youth and adults) to communicate it, which is why a communication plan is also crucial.
WHEN SHOULD SCOUTS AND FAMILIES RECEIVE THE PLAN?
New Scouts and their families should receive a copy soon as they join. All other Scouts and families should receive it at the first September meeting.
Before the Meeting
GATHER THE PEOPLE: Invite all pack committee members, den leaders, and parents to a meeting to plan your pack’s program calendar.
GATHER THE INFORMATION: Collect dates for the upcoming year (holidays, school events, district activities, leader trainings, and community activities) and put into a master calendar to be reviewed and discussed at the meeting.
Check out the Northern Star Scouting 2021 Planning Calendar Guide for information Council programming, activities, and highlighted opportunities for your unit!
During the Meeting
EVALUATE LAST YEAR
Review what the pack did last year, month-by-month. Do you want to do those activities again? What events went well? Did we go to camp? Did we sell popcorn? Use this research to help guide what you might want to keep, replace, or improve.
CREATE AN ACTIVITY WISH LIST
Brainstorm activities your pack might want to do this year. Think of new and exciting things to do.
Is a particular activity something for an individual group or the unit as a whole? Could the activity be incorporated into a meeting? And so on. Take a vote on which activities to include on the meeting schedule, and then add the activities to your calendar.
Ask for volunteers and record who will be responsible for each event. This would include names, like “Bob Smith” will be in charge of the Blue & Gold Banquet. This is also a good chance to assign responsibilities at pack meetings to dens.
FUND YOUR PROGRAM
Set a budget based on the activities planned, number of boys who are likely to advance, and the number of youth and adult members in the pack. Determine your approximate yearly expenses and plan enough fund- raising activities to cover these expenses, including
- FUNDRAISING: We recommend having a goal of how much you need to raise based on your budget. Popcorn is the official fundraiser of Northern Star Council. Every pack, troop, or crew should have at least one fundraiser but also be careful not to spend too much of the year fundraising.
- CAMPING FEES: Attending camp is the highlight of the year for most Scouts. Camp fees range from $10 to $200, depending on the age level and the camp. It’s important to budget for this great experience.
- SPECIAL ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS: Blue and Gold Dinners and the Pinewood Derbies are just some of the special activities you might want to do. Scouts and families anticipate these events so determine in the budget whether they’re covered entirely by the annual budget or if special participatory fees are necessary.