Tools and advice to help you plan your Programme

Programme Planning

Need help planning your Programme? In this guide we've covered all aspects of Programme planning to get you started. 

As a leader with other responsibilities outside of Scouting, you probably find yourself occasionally scrambling around the day before a Scout meeting trying to organise activities. It’s safe to say we’ve all been in that position. Although you might succeed in pulling off a fantastic night, preparing in advance comes with great benefits. In this blog, we cover some of the tools that are available to help you plan and execute your Programme. 


The Scouting Programme is designed and structured to help you deliver a quality Programme, which supports all young people to develop in a broad range of areas.  Working towards the Challenge Awards (or Challenge Areas for Explorers) helps you do this while covering the main themes of the Programme; outdoor and adventure, world, and skills.  Many Leaders find it useful to focus on one Challenge Award per term, and this is a great way to support more of your section to achieve their Chief Scout’s Award.

If you don’t already, it might be worth organising Programme planning dates for the year ahead, with your leadership team. If you have a Young Leader in your section, don’t forget to involve them too!  

Planning events and expeditions well in advance, means that you are likely to get what you want before the seasonal rush, and gives you time to ensure that the venue and activities are accessible for all the young people in your section.

Examples and templates

To support you in your long term planning, here are some example long-term Programme plans and a template that you can use to map out your Programme.  

There is also a template for planning your evening Programme, along with an example.

Generating Programme Ideas

Generating Programme ideas

Remember to get the young people in your section involved in generating and planning Programme ideas- it is their Programme after all.  Planning youth forums in your section provides a great platform for young people to share their activity ideas and express what areas of Scouting they want to explore more. Voicing their opinions in a friendly environment allows young people to develop confidence and leadership skills.

Have a look at our section specific Youth Shaped Scouting resources for loads of fun and engaging activities to help you plan and review the Programme in partnership with young people. There are Youth Shaped Scouting resources for Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorer and Network Scouts for you to use with your Group. 

There are many adventurous activities you can do throughout the year, and our A-Z of activities provides the information you need to know about how to run the activity.  Alternatively, Make.Do.Share and Scouting magazine are full of fun, easy activities to do with your Scouts.

If you are a Network member, why not use some of these hints, tips and resources to help plan your own Programme. Don’t forget to use to plan and participate in exciting Network opportunity’s across the UK.

Badges support

The activities you plan should help your Scouts achieve the badges and awards designed for their section. Our Badge Support blogs are posted every two weeks to help you deliver badges or awards.  Badges or awards that are sponsored also often come with an activity pack. Make sure you are covering a range of badges and awards so you have a quality Programme.

Further Support

Further support

Remember, your Group Scout Leader is there to support you. If you need further support, contact your Assistant District Commissioner for your section, or another local supporting role.

If you’ve identified that your Region, County or Area needs support with a certain aspect of the Programme, for example, supporting young people to achieve their Chief Scout’s Award, the UK Programme Support Team may be able to provide support, through workshops or attending meetings. You can request support here.       

Is my Programme as good as it could be?

To ensure you are delivering a quality Programme we’ve developed the Quality Programme Checker tool. Use this tool to review your Programme. It will highlight its strengths as well as areas you could improve on. The climbing wall of youth involvement is another tool you can use to see how effectively you are involving young people in Programme planning.

Last but not least…

A great way to check and improve your Programme is by simply asking your young people what they think of it. By taking on board their thoughts and opinions you are guaranteed to develop a Programme they will enjoy. 

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