Boy Scouts Popcorn Sale

Listening

One of the most important steps in the Ideal Year of Scouting is Listening.  In order to increase our retention and buy-in for the annual popcorn sale, units should ask their Scouts (and their families) what activities they would like to participate in during the following year so the Scouts have something to look forward to.

There are many ways to complete this process and no matter how the unit facilitates the conversation, the leadership should be open to hearing all suggestions during the initial brainstorming session.

The following suggested method of soliciting member’s ideas can be completed by the entire unit or by individual dens/patrols and the results should be given to the unit committee for the “Planning” step of the Ideal Year of Scouting process.

Suggested Listening Exercise Steps:

1. Ask Scouts and parents to bring their ideas for adventurous activities they would like to participate in during the next program year to a pack/troop/den/patrol meeting in April or May.

    

2. Prior to the meeting, gather flip charts and markers in order to take notes.

3. During the meeting, gather everyone’s ideas on the flip charts.  Try to get your Scouts and parents to think outside of the box.  Let them know that traditional activities like the Pinewood Derby or Summer Camp will be included automatically in the unit’s program plan.

4. Call for a 10 minute break and take the sheets to the side and eliminate suggestions that the unit cannot facilitate (too expensive, against BSA policy, not feasible – ex. “Go to the moon.”)

5. On a new sheet, re-write the remaining suggested activities with enough space for the Scouts and parents to vote on each suggestion.  Include other council or district activities you may know of that were left off.

6. Bring the new sheets back to the group.  Give each Scout and parent a strip of stickers.  Ask the Scouts and parents to put their stickers on their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice of activities to participate in next year.

7. Thank the Scouts and parents for their input.  Tell them that the unit committee will tally up the points, prioritize the activities during the annual program planning meeting, and share the final calendar with them soon.

Since you have all of your families in one place, this is also a good time to ask parents fill out a survey of their interests that can be used to recruit volunteers to help with the activities they’ve suggested.

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