use of many skills….
A Scout troop recently made a bus tour of the Southeast. Most nights the troop camped in parks and campgrounds. The four patrols set up their camps in their usual fashion without difficulty.
One night the troop stayed in a motel. The Scoutmaster told the senior patrol leader that five boys would sleep in each of seven rooms. He then gave the Senior Patrol Leader the task of assigning boys to rooms.
The Senior Patrol Leader laid out seven pieces of paper and announced that Scouts should sign up for their rooms and select their own room leader.
Before the Scouts began moving into the rooms he Scoutmaster asked to see the room assignments. The Senior Patrol Leader was very proud of what he had done and handed over the sign-up sheets. The Scoutmaster then discovered that two rooms had only five boys between them, and five boys had no place to sleep at all. Of course, the problem was quickly solved, but how did it come about in the first place? Poor planning!
Someone must have known in advance that staying in the motel would involve different arrangements than the usual patrol setup. You can’t just pull into a motel and register 40 people in an instant. How could it have been handled better?
In this case the patrol leaders’ council should have done the planning, not just one person. The first task was to consider the situation: 35 boys in seven rooms, each room with a room leader. Next, the resources should have been reviewed: five beds in a room, four patrols of eight boys plus the Senior Patrol Leader, assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and quartermaster. (Do you see an obvious plan already?)
Planning is almost always faster and easier if you know what you are planning. More specifically, you have to know what you are trying to accomplish. So in considering the task, think about the outcomes. What do you want to happen? What will be the result? Will there be more than one desired result? If so, will they conflict?
As a plan develops, you need to consider alternates. (For instance, what would this troop have done if it turned out that some rooms held four and others six?) Have a Plan B ready in case something upsets your plan.
Finish your plan, make assignments, and write the plan down so everyone can understand it.
To plan anything, follow this course:
You can use these steps in planning just about anything: a hike, teaching a skill at a troop meeting, a window display, summer camp, a service project. After a while the six steps will come to you naturally.
Improve every time you plan by evaluating what you did last time. How can you do it better? Did you use all available resources? How do you know? Were all alternatives considered? Did everyone participate? Did they enjoy it? Were they satisfied with the outcome? Did everyone understand the plan?