Troop Council “How To”
Troop Councils are central to great scouting!
Troop Councils are where YOU get a say in the things your troops and patrols do. This page is a great place for Patrol Leaders to get an understanding about what happens at TC.
Having an agenda (which is just a list of things to talk about and do at a meeting) will help you run your TC. Across to the right we have a sample agenda for you to start with – as a Word doc or a pdf.
Not all the items on the sample will be relevant for every meeting, so work out beforehand what you want to cover / get out of the meeting – then finalise the agenda.
Make sure the finalised agenda is distributed to everyone on the TC at least a week before the meeting, so they have time to get together everything they need to bring or organise.
What’s on the agenda also gives you an idea of how long to allow for the TC – 30 minutes before a Troop night / 1½ hours including dinner at McDonalds or going bowling etc / 4-5 hours over a weekend during the annual planning TC-only camp etc.
See our TC ‘WHERE’ page for location/format ideas.
Work out who will be:
- Chairperson (person responsible for running the TC using the agenda) and;
- Secretary (minute taker and agenda/minutes distributor).
The Secretary takes the minutes (notes of what was discussed and decided). Typing them straight into the agenda document will save time copying them out later. These should be distributed within two days after the meeting.
Gather info and resources together – see the TC ‘STUFF’ page for lists and suggestions.
Then run through the things on the agenda, and you’ll have a great TC and a fantastic program.
A FEW TIPS FOR THE CHAIRPERSON:
- make sure everyone gets a chance to have their say
- allow a bit of chat, but keep the discussions on track according to the agenda
- before you move on to the next item make sure that a decision has been made where necessary and that whoever is responsible for any actions has been decided on, as well as a timeline for action or reporting back to TC. Plus make sure that the Secretary or minute taker has had a chance to make notes
- make sure the Secretary has everyone’s email address to send the minutes out to
- at the end, set the details for the next TC and thank everyone for coming.
YOUR ANNUAL PLANNING TC CAMP:
This is the big TC for the year, usually held somewhere between November and January. Some Troops will have APLs attend too, so they can contribute ideas as well as get to know the TC members and what happens at TC better.
The purpose is to broadly map out the program for the coming year. Plan to have regular breaks to do other things like swimming, going to the park etc. At the start of each session let everyone know what you’re going to achieve from it. The sorts of things to cover are:
- Go through the District & Region calendars and work out activities you’d like to take part in and write these in the annual planner
- Using the information and ideas you each gathered at your Patrol Councils and the other references and bits and pieces of information from the suggested lists on the TC ’STUFF’ page, create lists of things you’re keen to do, like camps, target & proficiency badges, adventurous activities, nights out of the hall, where to go hiking, etc. A white board or big pieces of paper and markers can help with this
- Work out how many camps/weekend activities you will do as a Troop per term
- Come up with your term themes and the camps, activities and badgework that will fit with each
- Start filling in the Yearly Troop Program Planner (see link on the TC ‘STUFF’ page) with things where the dates are already set, like Straddie & Cohen Shield, major hikes/camps in the school holidays, the Fantastic Race, other District & Region events and anything else with specific dates
- After the above, fill in your planner with any preparation nights you need, like gear and trailer packing and hike skill development etc
- Fill in other Troop weekend camps and activities
- Fill in known Patrol Activity dates, including camps and activities, and proposed dates where details aren’t set yet
- Based on the term themes, other ideas you’ve come up with and badgework you want to complete, fill in the rest of your Troop nights
- For the coming term, fill in your Term Troop Program Planner (see link on the TC ‘STUFF’ page), including who is going to organise what
- For any other major activities for the year that need to be booked, work out who will do this and when by.
Your SL will usually then catch up with the other adult Leaders in the Troop to confirm their availability etc, then the yearly program and coming term program can be distributed to all the Scouts and their families.