If you haven’t done so already, planning for 2017 with your Section can be an amazing fresh start to the New Year! New ideas, new goals and new adventures for you and your Group to explore. Start with the winter cycle and make planning for it fun and exciting for your whole Group. In Scouts Canada’s Program Quality guide, it states a Venturer Company should have 1 outdoor meeting per month, 2 outings / events, 2 leadership meetings and 1 Program Quality Standard assessment. This may sound overwhelming at first, but it is only a guide to help you get you started. Below are some tips and tricks I would recommend to get you on your Path to planning your winter cycle.
In order to make the planning and leadership meetings fun, create a game out of planning your next cycle. On a small piece of paper, put all of your ideas down and throw them into a container (e.g. snowshoeing, skiing, providing food for the homeless). Next, have members of your Group play a game of charades with the ideas! After that, discuss with them and see which activities your Group can accomplish, keeping in mind the Program Quality guide.
Another trick to planning for the next cycle is doing it ahead of time. Camps don’t plan themselves (even though I am sure we all wish they did), so make sure your Group is ahead of the schedule. Allocate the amount of time it will take to accomplish the goal, and create an Expedition Team for each of the outings. In my Group, we have 6 Expedition Teams planning events we are attending or want to attend. Some of the events are happening in the coming year, and others in the future. This makes it super easy for parents to find a contact person to talk to the events about, and getting the youth ready to have their adventures.
Make great use of the cycle you have and take advantage of the weather and everything around!
The last tip to planning for the winter cycle is to do things you can only do in the winter. Anyone can go to the movies at any time of year, or go bowling, but you can only go snowshoeing, tubing or sledding in the winter! Make great use of the cycle you have and take advantage of the weather and everything around!
My company planned out our winter cycle in November 2016. We made sure to follow Scouts Canada’s Program Quality guide and assigned Expedition Teams towards each of the events we wanted to go on. We planned two camps, three outdoor trips, and five outdoor meetings for the winter cycle. Our first winter camp just happened, and we had a blast! We rented out a cabin in the mountain, played cards and went snowshoeing. It is the winter adventures and memories that make the winter my favourite cycle of the year.