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It's a Wonderful Life!

by Rob Stewart - The Leader - Outdoors - April 1996

No, the title was not my idea. It was first used as the name of a video that Scouts Canada produced several years ago. We created the video to give new Scouters (and perhaps experienced leaders needing a refresher) help when planning outdoor activities.

The planning guide outlines five steps that will make almost any outdoor experience with your colony, pack, troop, company or crew a positive one. You'll find it useful regardless of the age of your group or the type of event you have planned.

This outline gives only a bare bones starting point for your planning. Your team will need to fill in all the dozens of details which go with organizing any event or activity; but don't be discourages by what appears to be a daunting task. It gets easier every time you do it.

Step 1: Purpose of the Activity

Step 2: The Site

Step 3: Build the Program

Step 4: Leadership

Step 5: Other Considerations

If your outside activity extends beyond an evening meeting night, make sure you consider the points below.

Outdoor Resources

When planning fun, exciting and challenging outdoor activities, many resources are available to help speed the process. The booklet accompanying the It's A Wonderful Life video lists many books under a variety of headings. These include astronomy, plants, amphibians and reptiles, insects, birds, mammals, environmental education, camping, canoeing and cooking. The Fieldbook for Canadian Scouting is also a comprehensive source for information and ideas.

Many councils across the country offer training courses designed to increase your outdoor skills, knowledge and comfort. Find out about courses in your area. Alberta's 21st Century program is and excellent example of a multi-level course designed to meet the needs of Scouters in all sections. For more information about it, call 403-283-4993.

The outdoors is a wonderful place to deliver our programs. It's the number one reason kids join the Movement. Get them out there.

"Reproduced with permission of the Leader magazine and the author."

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