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Programme planning for small troops

Planning for a small group of 4 - 8 young people is different from planning for a larger group. There can, however, be some specific advantages to running a small group:

There can be some drawbacks and they should also be acknowledged:It is important for small groups to focus on the positives and to overcome the challenges.

Programme basis

The Balanced Programme is very flexible and can be adapted to work well regardless of the size of the group. The Challenge Awards can be organised on a collective, rather than an individual basis, so most, of the group can take part together. Fun and challenging activities should still be included in the Programme.
Successfully integrating young people in the planning process will undoubtedly reap great rewards. Some of the most successful programme ideas will come from the Scouts themselves. It is important, however, not to spending too long talking about what you might do, rather than actually ‘doing’ it.

Other programme ideas

A small group can offer the opportunity to include a larger number of evenings away from the meeting place, visiting places of interest, or local sport and recreation centre. A visit to the local campsite to take part in some of the activities could be arranged. All these ideas can be used to help develop a Balanced Programme and some may contribute towards a particular Activity Badge, or Challenge Award. Some of these events may appeal to some of the young people’s friends, regular 'bring a friend' events should be considered - both to increase numbers for the activity and possibly recruit more young people to the group.

Using available support

It is important to recognise and use what help is available from your own Scout District and other organisations around you. Your programme can be greatly enhanced by:

Doing your best

The biggest concern that most people running small groups express is that they are unable to offer everything that bigger groups do.  This worry should be firmly put to one side. There are many advantages to being part of a small group and some members may prefer it.
Secondly, if you are offering fun, challenge and adventure and giving your young people the opportunity to develop physically, socially, intellectually and spiritually, you are achieving the Purpose of the Association.
Be confident in adapting the Programme to suit your group’s needs. This is not an invitation to bend the rules of the Association but the opportunity to be realistic about the programme you offer.

Finally, if you are doing your best to offer a Balanced Programme to your young people and helping them to develop, then you are doing a good job.


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