Adding to what Dan mentioned, at least in our Troop the PLC at the annual
planning conference plans to go to specific venues for specific activities
that aren't necessarily covered in the Troop Program Features.
The meeting plans don't account for things like supplemental activities or
things outside the norm. For instance, our Troop is sponsored by a VFW
Post. In November, they do a ceremony honoring veterans and remembering
MIA/POW's and ask the Troop to assist with a flag ceremony and the
construction of a "tiger cage" for the event. Yea, this is "pioneering"
but not like any pioneering project most have ever seen or in any books, and
the Post has a specific plan to the flag presentation that is different from
what the Scouts normally see. So one or two meetings in late October or
November fall off the chart as far as planned activities go.
And this is just one example.
I think Dan makes a good point in that for many Troops modifying the Troop
Program Features to fit the actual situation is harder than just starting
from scratch and working up a program (that will probably need to be
modified before the first activity is completed).
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> On Behalf Of Dan Kurtenbach
> Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2010 3:41 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] RE: BSA Training: Model vs Reality?
> Regarding Troop Program Features, the point was that, for whatever reason,
> troops don't seem to use them. I can only give you my own opinion of
> and speculate about why other troops don't use them.
> My opinion -- (1) They are written for a big troop with multiple patrols,
> including patrols of all three types (New Scout, regular, Venture). (2)
> campout program plans assume good weather. (3) The meeting plans
> assume that everything listed there gets done within the time allotted and
> everyone knows about and does everything they are supposed to. Yes, the
> plans could be adapted for each troop's circumstances, but that would be
> much work as just coming up with your own plan.
> Speculation on why other troops don't use them -- (1) Poor initial
> Taking a look at the list of features right inside the cover (and on the
> cover), what are energetic, adventuresome, outdoor-oriented boys going to
> Program features for Business, Citizenship, Communications, Cultural
> Awareness, Forestry, Health Care, Hobbies, Leadership, Mechanics, Nature,
> Physical Fitness, Public Service, Safety, Science, Special Cooking, and
> That's nearly half of the Program Features. Who wants to do a month-long
> Boy Scout program (and campout) on the theme of Business, or Health Care,
> or Safety?
> Booooorrrrrriiiiiinnnnnnngggg. (2) The programs, especially the
> are over-scheduled. A typical campout program has boys scheduled from
> 6:30 AM to
> 10:00 PM. That looks like work, not fun. (3) The Program Features look
> they would take a lot of work and advance preparation and planning to pull
> Why can't we just go camping, cook some food, play some games, and have
> a campfire? (4) Most troops already have lots of resources to draw ideas
> from without needing Program Features; things like past troop activities
> things that leaders hear about from other leaders and ideas for activities
> the boys come up with themselves. Really, the problem in planning a troop
> program is not coming up with ideas, it is whittling down the ideas to a
> manageable number. Program Features aren't needed for ideas.
> Dan Kurtenbach
> Fairfax, VA
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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