Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What is a Venturing Crew "Annual Program"?

Annual Program Planning

The Annual Program is simply what we do as Venturers.  EVERYTHING we do. whether it's fun stuff, service, meetings, crew activities or Scouting events.  Sometimes the Program gets lost in the rush of Scouting schedules. First you have to start with the Annual Program buckets.  Lets break it down.

These buckets can be simplified into a well known Venturing acronym, ALPS.

  1. Adventure: Camp outs, outings and Scouting events
    • Outings: Camping, Backpacking, over night travel, Tier II, etc.
    • Day Trips: hiking, museums, movies, putt putt, Tier I, etc. 
    • Large Scouting Events: Area and Regional events, Council VOA events, National Jamboree, World Jamboree etc.  
    • Super Activity: Also called Tier III event (4 days or more) - High Adventure Camp, week long trips, YOUTH MUST PLAN, A traditional summer camp where everything is pre-planned might not be a Tier III.  
  2. Leadership: ILSC (Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews) and NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) AND implementation of the whole Youth Led Venturing Program itself.
  3. Personal Growth: Crew Leadership, Advancement opportunities and training like Goal Setting and Time Management.
    • Fundraising: Fundraising events need to be the Venturer's choice, not the committee/adult's. Crew ownership of the Fundraising is an important part of the program. These involve salesmanship and leadership skills that every Venturer should have.
  4. Service: Multiple Crew service projects should be scheduled over the year, include at least one for your Charter Organization. This provides character development through Community service, Charter Organization service and scouting service/promotion. Again, it is important to let the youth decide which projects to do. 

Preparation for the Annual Planning Conference (APC) starts with a survey of the youth of which activities they'd like to do.

Then you will need to gather some things for the APC:

  • Youth Survey
  • Program Capability Inventory
  • Council Calendar
  • High School Calendar - we have Scouts from 5 or 6 School Districts
  • High Adventure Camp or Jamboree Information
  • Venturing Handbook
  • Training Calendar
  • Troop/Charter Calendar
  • Program Features Vol. I, II & III

Utilize the Venturing BSA's official website for Program Planning where you can find forms, calendars, budgets, spreadsheets and step by step guidance for Program Planning.

Next Level Tips 

Use your calendar to develop a basic skills instruction plan with the Table of Contents fron the Program Features book. For example,
you are planning a Backpacking trip, the month BEFORE the trip you will have skills instruction on Backpacking from the Program Features book. You just need a TOPIC for each month. Details can be worked out at the monthly Officer's Meetings.

Distribute the calendar to all parents and youth.  Even better, have an online calendar like google calendar.

Have an APC camp out or retreat away from your normal meeting spot. This will allow for more creativity.

Good luck and remember, the best thing you can do to promote your crew is a good program!

Below is an example of one of our past Annual Program Plans:

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