Activity Guidelines

St. Patrick Troop 380
Day and Overnight Activities
Planning and Execution Guidelines
18 September 2001

Troop activities, especially overnight camping and adventure outings, are the primary recruiting and retention attractions of boy scouting. As such, these events provide the greatest teaching and learning opportunities with regard to instilling the scouting values into the young men of the troop. In the not too distant past, the planning and execution of these events have had various problems regarding aspects such as scheduling conflicts, poor publicity, poor planning, equipment needs, adult participation, etc. As a result many activities were cancelled, postponed, or poorly attended.

The purpose in establishing a SOP is to improve troop activities by firmly and fairly delegating the roles and responsibilities for the planning and execution of each activity to the patrol level instead of by a few individuals who consistently stepped in because no one else would.

NOTE: Please make no mistake, Troop 380 is a “boy lead troop”. As such, it is vital that the boys who are in charge of an activity maintain the overall responsibility in accomplishing the necessary tasks.

3.1 Calendar Planning: September of each year, the troop will assemble a committee consisting of individuals from the Senior Troop Leadership level, Patrol Leadership level, Scout Master and Assistant Scout Masters, and Troop Committee to plan the upcoming year. Events will be defined and activities scheduled.

3.2 Delegation Assignments:
3.2.1 Upon successful completion of the planning calendar, the Senior Troop Leadership, in conjunction with the Scout Master, will assign event “champions” for each scheduled event. Delegation will usually be at the patrol level. Depending on the event, patrols will be selected based on age appropriate considerations; e.g. complex outings to the older patrols and simpler day events perhaps to the younger patrols.

3.2.2 Complex or reoccurring activities such as summer camp, courts of honor, Philmont, etc., will be retained by the senior troop leadership, scout master, assistant scout masters, and troop committee members on an as needed basis for planning and execution.

4.0 PATROL ACTIVITIES – Delegated Roles and Responsibilities:
4.1 Patrol Coaches: For the activities assigned at the patrol level, the patrol coach will provide necessary mentoring, coaching, and checking to verify that all aspects guaranteeing a successful outing are carried out in a timely and organized fashion. The patrol coach should make sure that whatever is necessary to be done, is in fact, being accomplished but not doing it. As President Reagan repeated throughout his presidency during the demise of communism, “trust but verify”.

NOTE TO COACHES: Please make no mistake, Troop 380 is a “boy lead troop”. As such, it is vital that the boys who are in charge of an activity maintain the overall responsibility in accomplishing the necessary tasks.

4.2 Patrol Leader:
The patrol leader for the event (or assistant patrol leader in case of absence) in close conjunction with the patrol coach, delegates all activity planning and execution roles and responsibilities to a patrol member(s) or he himself, takes the lead.

4.3 NOTES TO: Coaches & Patrol Leaders:
It is very important that the roles and responsibilities be clearly defined to all delegated parties by taking necessary time at the regular scout meetings. Ask for feedback to assure that the scout(s) fully understand the assigned tasks and schedules. If more than one scout is assigned to the activity, there should be clear definition with regard to who has the assigned lead and roles of each supporting scout. Avoid any overlap of duties

4.4 At this step it is vital that the patrol coach participate in the communication process at the necessary level to assure that proper, accurate, and timely information is disseminated amongst troop members and other impacted adults.

A checklist is provided for both indoor and outdoor activities (link to checklist). Please refer to this document to assist in the planning and execution of all Troop 380 events. Below are some key items and notes brought forward from the checklist.

5.1 Get the word out
– Publicize the activity
– Talk it up
– Provide testimonials on what to expect
– Make it fun
– Define the focus intended for rank advancement, badges, etc.

5.2 Event Sign-ups
– Provide time (3-4 weeks) for scouts to decide / get permission to participate
– Provide ample time (about 2 weeks) for the scout to get parental permission and commit
– Get parents involved as needed to drive and/or participate (1 week prior)

5.3 Reservations
– Make sure events subject to group rate discounts or needing reservations are made well in advance � investigate early!

5.4 Logistics
– Plan, Plan, Plan
– Make sure required equipment is planned for, acquired, or reserved.
– Make sure parental permission forms are on the web 1 week in advance of the event and turned in at departure time.
– If merit badge potential exists for the activity, make sure appropriate counselors are made aware and included as necessary in planning & execution.
– Events requiring significant individual knowledge and preparedness (overnight canoe, overnight backpack, repelling, etc.) – GET THE WORD OUT � PREPARE THE SCOUTS � LET THEM KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. Teach them how to pack (e.g. cold weather trips, overnight backpacking trips, etc).
– Make sure BSA Tour Permit forms are submitted and approved one week prior to the event. This means leadership, safety, and driver requirements are met. The troop Outdoor Activities Coordinator / Quartermaster can submit the tour permit application on behalf of the assigned patrol.

5.5 Execution
– Set the departure / return time and location � PUBLICIZE IT CLEARLY
– Provide last minute notifications and clarifications if needed prior to events. This effort will never hurt and better guarantee success!
– On the day of the event, the responsible scout & adult activity leader should arrive prior to the assigned meeting time to assist in the routine Q’s and A’s, roll call, collection of permission slips, etc. in order to depart on time.

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