WHY AN ANNUAL PLAN?
Planning is the first step to a successful pack, troop, team, crew or post program. "Planning," means that a group of people from your unit "thinks" about general flow, themes and activities before the start of the program year. The two key factors are: 1) involving the right individuals in the planning process (those who will be carrying out the activities) and 2) holding your annual unit-planning meeting by August 1st.
HOW TO PLAN
At your Annual Planning Meeting, your key leaders will want to follow these 4 steps:
1st – Consider the specific needs of your unit.
2nd – Review your resources.
3rd – Plan your unit’s calendar.
4th – Build a budget based on your unit’s calendar.
STEP ONE - CONSIDER THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF YOUR UNIT
Using a large piece of newsprint and felt pens (or dry-erase board), your adult committee needs to brainstorm and reach consensus on the following questions:
1) What were the activities we did that we want to repeat? Why? 2) What were some of the mistakes and problems last year that we do not want to repeat? 3) What new themes or activities do we want to incorporate into next year's program? 4) What are the special needs of our unit? Tenure? Advancement? Fundraising? Membership? Parental Help? 5) How can we meet these needs?
STEP TWO - REVIEW YOUR RESOURCES
Resources come in many forms. Listed below are resources available to every pack, troop, team, crew and post in our council. They are to serve the purpose of helping your unit accomplish the objectives you've established based on your needs. Many “needs” can be met with these resources. A few will require "creative resources search". Resources to consider are: the Program Planning website, Your Unit Commissioner, District Volunteers, Roundtable Meeting, District Volunteer, and District Executive.
STEP THREE - PLAN YOUR OWN UNIT'S SEPTEMBER TO AUGUST CALENDAR
You've identified needs and reviewed resources to serve as a means to fill those needs. Now, what do you want to do and when? Before completing this last step in the planning process, your group needs to feel comfortable with STEP ONE (the needs of your unit) and STEP TWO (resources available). Planning your calendar will be a natural result of going through these previous steps. Use the Program Planning resources provided at the Program Preview.
STEP FOUR - BUILD THE UNIT BUDGET
Use the Unit Budgeting tools available on the Council Website tswcbsa.org under Program Planning. There is a Pack Budget Detail or you can use the “Ideal Year of Scouting” brochure. Plan to sell enough popcorn to cover all the costs in the unit. If your unit sells more, then you can provide additional program benefits. Be sure to SHARE the budget with all leaders, committee members, PARENTS, AND SCOUTS.
MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED
1. Planning references materials (Council Calendar, Unit Program Helps, Quality Unit Application and Popcorn Sale Promotion and Commitment Card).
2. Calendar of local activities (personal, community, and school calendars).
3. Supplies (poster paper, felt-tip pens, blank paper, pens, and masking