Meeting Plans & Ideas: PROJECT PLANNING

Project Planning Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Printable PDF file of Meeting Plans & Ideas for Project Planning

OBJECTIVES
This month’s activities should:

  • Identify the five stages of team-based project planning.
  • Help Scouts prepare an effective project overview.
  • Highlight the importance of selecting an appropriate approach or method.
  • Show Scouts how to avoid the activity trap.
  • Enable Scouts to develop a work breakdown structure.
  • Enable Scouts to implement and track a project plan.

LEADERSHIP PLANNING
As a leadership team, you may want to discuss the following items when choosing project planning as your program feature during your planning meetings.

Troop Meeting Planning Form
Click above for fillable troop meeting planning form.
  • What project should we do as our main event?
  • Who do we know with experience in this area?
  • What planning resources do we have available to us?
  • How do we explain to our unit that the process is just as important as the project?
  • Do we have a source for rain gutter regatta materials?
  • To meet our needs, what should we change in the sample meeting plans?

PREOPENING IDEAS

Preopening Ideas on Troop Program Resources

  • Have Scouts meet individually with adult leaders to review their advancement status and set a SMART goal related to advancement.
  • As Scouts arrive, have them sit down with an experienced leader and be exposed to the process of planning an Eagle Scout service project
  • Invite someone who is knowledgeable about the William T. Hornaday Awards to introduce the awards and discuss the process of planning Hornaday projects.
  • Set up for the recycle regatta.

OPENING IDEAS

Opening Ideas on Troop Program Resources

GROUP INSTRUCTION IDEAS

Project Overview—Goals and Objectives

  • Introduce the five steps of program planning.
  • Explain the project overview and how it summarizes the goals and objectives of the project. Define SMART goals. Identify how projects involve stakeholders, team members,
    project sponsors, and a project manager. Explain how objectives are steps to accomplish the goal.

Safety, Work Breakdown, Structure, and Responsibilities

  • Explain what “measure of success” means.
  • Discuss assumptions and risk.
  • Brainstorm safety concerns for the upcoming project.
  • Explain how objectives are broken down into accomplishable tasks.
  • Introduce the Unit Money-Earning Application, the Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Application.

The Activity Trap and Putting the Plan into Action

  • Explain the activity trap and how a project might go beyond its scope.
  • Discuss how to track progress and make adjustments to the plan as necessary.

Implementation and the Closeout Report

  • Explain the purpose and importance of a closeout report, which should cover what went well, what didn’t go well, and what can be done differently in the future.

SKILLS INSTRUCTION IDEAS

3 Categories

Project Overview—Goals and Objectives

  • EssentialNOTE: This module uses a variation on a rain gutter regatta to practice planning skills. Remember that the real goal is learning the process. The actual race is mostly for fun.
    — Discuss the upcoming regatta race.
    — Plan individual boat designs made from recycled materials using the standard sailboat design.
    — Brainstorm designs, develop a project overview, and write SMART goals for a recycle regatta.

  • ChallengingIn addition to making a sailboat from recycled material, brainstorm additional propulsion assists such as prop or jet power.
  • Brainstorm designs, develop a project overview, and write SMART goals for a recycle regatta with extra propulsion.

  • AdvancedExpand the possibilities by brainstorming and planning an expanded race course that might involve multiple rain gutters, pumps, and waterfalls.
  • Brainstorm designs, develop a project overview, and write SMART goals for a recycle regatta with an enhanced course.

Safety, Work Breakdown, Structure, and Responsibilities

  • EssentialReview the purpose, plan, goals, and objectives of recycled-boat design.
  • Determine the safety issues.
  • Determine the materials needed for the boats.
  • Assign responsibilities for procurement of materials and for construction.
  • For practice, fill out a fundraising application.

  • ChallengingReview the purpose, plan, goals, and objectives of recycled-boat design with additional propulsion.
  • Determine the safety issues.
  • Determine the materials needed for the boats.
  • Assign responsibilities for procurement of materials and for construction.
  • For practice, fill out a fundraising application.

  • AdvancedReview the purpose, plan, goals, and objectives of recycled-boat design with an enhanced course.
  • Determine the safety issues.
  • Determine the materials needed for the boats and enhanced course.
  • Assign responsibilities for procurement of materials and for construction.
  • For practice, fill out a fundraising application.

The Activity Trap and Putting the Plan into Action

  • EssentialUsing the previously prepared project plan and the procured materials, begin assembly of the recycled regatta boats.

  • ChallengingUsing the previously prepared project plan and the procured materials, begin assembly of the recycled regatta boats with assisted propulsion.

  • AdvancedUsing the previously prepared project plan and the procured materials, begin assembly of the recycled regatta boats and the enhanced rain-gutter course.

Implementation and the Closeout Report

  • EssentialFinalize and prepare boats for competition.

  • ChallengingFinalize and prepare boats for competition.

  • AdvancedFinalize and prepare boats and course for competition.

 

BREAKOUT GROUP IDEAS

Getting Ready for the Main Event

  • Menu Planning (if applicable)
  • Duty Roster Planning (if applicable)
  • Patrols discuss what special items they will need for the main event.

Preparation for the meeting’s game or challenge

GAME AND CHALLENGE IDEAS

Library of Games and Challenges on Troop Program Resources

  • Pasta Jelly Bean Tower
    Materials: Dry spaghetti noodles and jelly beans for each team
    – Method: Each team’s task is to build a tower using pasta noodles and jelly beans. In fact, the only direction the teams are given is: “Build a tower out of jelly beans and pasta.” Each team is given 10 minutes to complete the project as far as they can. They are then asked the following questions:
    1. What was the main goal of your design?
    2. Was it a SMART goal?
    3. Did you plan what you were going to do, or did you just start building?
    4. Would it have helped to have had more specific directions regarding height, structure, or design?
    Scoring: Discuss the process by which the towers were built. Have the groups vote on which tower was best.
    Notes: After the activity, remind the Scouts that the process is what is important. The point of the challenge was to practice the steps in project planning, not to build the coolest tower.
  • Ice Accident
    Materials: For each team, a 10-foot rope, a Scout stave or broom handle, and a blanket
    – Method: Casually arrange the equipment in a corner of the room so it’s ready for use, but don’t draw attention to it. Have each team place a Scout “victim” in a prone position at the opposite end of the room. Announce that these victims have broken through the ice and that it is up to each team to rescue its victim and to render first aid.
    Scoring: As the game progresses, note the following: 1) whether the ropes and staves were noticed and used, 2) whether (simulated) rescue breathing or CPR was given, 3) whether the victim was treated for shock, and 4) whether medical help was summoned. The group with the best performance and time wins.
    Notes: Have a discussion about how much planning went into the rescue. Determine where planning skills could have been used.
  • Overtake
    Materials: Two basketballs or playground balls
    – Method: Form a circle and count off. You must have an even number in the group. All even numbered members in the circle form one team, and all odd-numbered members form the other team. Hand a basketball to a member of the odd-numbered team. Give the other ball to the even-numbered Scout on the exact opposite side of the circle. On signal, Scouts must pass, not throw, the ball clockwise to members of their team (every other Scout). Both balls will be traveling in the same direction. The object of the game is for one team to pass its ball faster than the other team and eventually overtake the other team’s ball.
    Scoring: The team that can overtake the other team wins.
    Notes: If time allows, play multiple rounds and have the groups discuss between rounds how they can improve their performance.
  • Recycle Regatta (See Information)
    Materials: Capped rain gutters, boats made from recycled materials, hoses, buckets, and water source
    – Method: Using the five steps of project planning, build regatta boats using recycled materials. The boats are then moved by blowing on the sails through straws. For those using the challenging option, include propelled boats. The course can be simple filled rain gutters, or everyone can use the course that the advanced group designed.
    Scoring: The winner should be determined by using an elimination system. But also judge which groups and individuals best used the planning process.
    Notes: This module uses a variation on a raingutter regatta to practice planning skills. Remember that the real goal is learning the process. The actual race is mostly for fun.

CLOSING IDEAS

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Project Planning Information Troop Meetings Main Event

For Adult and Youth Boy Scout Leaders