I really like to plan ahead. When I try to do things at the last minute it just doesn’t work out for me. So whenever I finish up a year as a den leader, I lay out a plan for the next year right away. We had our last Bear den meeting last week. Our Pack Pow Wow is on Friday. My den will be receiving their Webelos neckerchiefs. So it is time for me to plan.
My main concerns when planning ahead are setting our meeting dates and laying out a play to help my den achieve their next rank badge. I set my meeting dates in advance for two reasons.
- I need to reserve a meeting location at our parish, which is our chartering organization. It is a busy location and reserving rooms well in advance means I get my choice of place and time.
- I don’t have an assistant den leader, so the parents have to take turns being my “second adult” at meetings. Setting the dates means they know exactly when they need to be available or if something comes up, they can look at the schedule and make a trade, knowing the date they are trading for.
Our Blue and Gold banquet always corresponds with Scout Sunday, so I am setting my goals accordingly. My first goal is for all of them to earn their Webelos badge by February 2011. My second goal is for all of them to earn their Arrow of Light award by early January 2012.
After setting my meeting dates and reserving rooms, my next planning step is to make a list of the things I plan to work on at the meetings. I usually choose an activity badge to focus on at each meeting. At some of these meetings, there will be additional time to work on other Webelos badge or Arrow of Light requirements. I like to build in some time for a game or craft related to the activity also, especially if the activity badge is one of the less “hands on” ones.
Here is the plan I have laid out. I know this might seem a little crazy, but laying out a whole rank like this has worked for me as a den leader in the past. And sometimes as things go along a date gets changed or a topic swapped. But overall, I will probably stick to this plan. When parents sign up for which meetings they are helping with, they will know which activity badge we are working on. That is helpful if they have a job or hobby related to one of the badges.
Webelos 18 Month Plan
June 10, 2010: Start Traveler
July 8, 2010: Finish Traveler
Aug 12, 2010: Start Craftsman
Aug 21, 2010: Visit nature center, start Naturalist and Forester
Sept 2, 2010: Start Citizen
Sept 9, 2010: Finish Citizen
Oct 7, 2010: Start Fitness
Oct 14, 2010: Finish Fitness
Nov 4, 2010: Start Communicator
Nov 11, 2010: Finish Communicator
Dec 2, 2010: Start Engineer
Dec 9, 2010: Do a Craftsman project or two (Christmas presents!)
Jan 6, 2011: Finish Engineer
Jan 13, 2011: Start Scientist
Feb 3, 2011: Start Sportsman (basketball season)
Feb 10, 2011: Finish Scientist
March 3, 2011: Start Showman
March 10, 2011: Finish Showman
April 7, 2011: Start Athlete (hoping for nice weather)
April 14, 2011: Start Outdoorsman (might be close to Camporee time)
May 5, 2011: Do a Craftsman project (Mother’s Day present)
May 12, 2011: Finish Athlete (it has been 30 days since we started)
June 2, 2011: Finish Sportsman (baseball season)
July 7, 2011: Makeup session – finish up odds and ends of badges which they didn’t complete due to missed meetings or not doing “homework”, get some additional Boy Scouts to work with them individually. Those who don’t need to make anything up can work on supplemental awards
Aug 11, 2011: Scholar
Sept 1, 2011: Start Readyman
Sept 8, 2011: Finish Readyman
Oct 6, 2011: Start Handyman
Oct 13, 2011: Finish Handyman
Nov 3, 2011: Start Artist
Nov 10, 2011: Finish Artist
Dec 1, 2011: Finish Outdoorsman
Dec 8, 2011: Makeup session and Troop visit
Jan 5, 2012: Troop visit with parents. Troop will hold new parent orientation.
Jan 12, 2012: Make Arrow of Light awards
As you can see, I plan on doing many of the activity badges with them. Some of the badges (Aquanaut, Forester, Naturalist, Geologist) are done completely or in a large part at summer camp. But even if they miss a few meetings or don’t go to summer camp, they should be able to earn their Webelos badge and Arrow of Light on schedule. Then they will be ready to cross over to the Boy Scout troop.