For Scouts, meetings are important moments for sharing with other group members. It is the occasion to bring older and younger Scouts together and the ideal time to welcome new Scouts. Some meetings go beyond the group and are held on a national or even international level.
In this article, you will find the key steps to organising a Scout meeting to make a magical moment out of it!
1. Define the date and place
The date and place of your Scout meeting are two of the most important elements to define beforehand. As a first step, make sure that no other Scout meetings are planned on the chosen dates, or at least they are held in a different area.
Secondly, as your event involves families and children, make sure it is during the school holidays or choose a weekend so everyone can attend your Scout meeting. A simple and effective way to select a date is through a survey. You can use a CRM tool to send this survey to potential attendees and review the responses.
The Scout meeting is held outdoors, so remember to have an alternative in case of bad weather. Summer and spring are the ideal seasons to organise such an event.
To choose a suitable site, you must check whether it is possible to camp there and whether there will be room for everyone. Please note that families may not stay overnight. To choose in which area of Canada to organise your Scout meeting, you can search for active Scout groups in Canada on this website.
2. Communicate about the event
To ensure everyone can participate in your Scout event, it is essential to communicate basic information to potential attendees. You can use an online registration tool to know the exact number of attendees. This will be of great help in planning the logistics of your event.
Send invitation emails to your database. Before sending them, you will need to determine whom you want to attend:
● Only current Scouts?
● Former Scouts?
● The families of current Scouts?
● New Scouts or people thinking about joining the movement?
Do not underestimate the importance of social media. For example, Facebook has a handy event functionality. For example, you can include posts with photos from previous meetings to encourage people to sign up.
You can use a tool like Weezevent to create a mini-site for your event where you can gather all the necessary information. Using the media, especially the local press, is also an excellent way to publicise your event.
3. Organise logistics
An essential part of a Scout event’s organisation is logistics: managing the preparations, ensuring security, preparing the meals, etc.; these are all elements you’ll need to consider.
Scout meetings require planning meals. You can choose between a picnic or a full meal. If it is the first one, families can arrange to bring what is necessary for each of them. However, if you organise a full meal, you must provide enough food for everyone. You can try to find a sponsor or partner who can offer you ingredients or even prepared food.
Remember that the preparation of meals is subject to strict sanitary regulations. The young members and their supervisors usually prepare meals. They must be trained in food hygiene. Teach the youngest members using a “learning by doing” methodology.
Also, bring some extra tents and sleeping bags in case any of the members have forgotten theirs or have any problems. As safety is your top priority, don’t hesitate to make a speech at the beginning of the meeting to explain the basic rules everyone must respect
4. Prepare activities
You can organise many activities at your Scout meeting. Some activities require more preparation than others. Planning a general activity and then several games that are easier to prepare is a good idea to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Of course, you have to consider the age of the Scouts present and even make mixed groups to make it interesting for everyone. Younger children may need to be accompanied by an adult.
A fun activity is the treasure hunt. To do this, you will need the following:
● One compass per team
● A treasure
● Elements for marking on the ground, such as chalk for painting signs.
Each team will have to follow a different route but the same distance to reach the treasure. You will have to plan and prepare the routes and hide the treasure. For the older ones, you can even include riddles to figure out the next direction to follow at each stage of the path to make the game a little more challenging.
You can then organise simpler activities such as dodgeball or “two truths and a lie”, allowing the Scouts to get to know each other better.
5. Thank the attendees
Remember to thank everyone who attended at the end of your Scout meeting. To do so, you can write a thank you e-mail and send a satisfaction survey. It is essential to know the strengths and weaknesses of your event to improve the next one.
Remember to add new people to your contact list. Post a photo or video of the Scout meeting on your social media and tag the attendees.