Plan > Do > Review > (P > D > R >) – means better activities, more fun, and your section or small team gets to choose and be involved in organising its own adventures. It helps ensure everyone has a fun, challenging, adventurous and inclusive time in Scouting. To ensure our Scouting activities are consistently improving and actively involving young people in decision making, P > D > R > is a programming tool that Scouts can begin using today!
The role of youth in leading, and adults in supporting this process will look a bit different from section to section; remember it is about involving youth meaningfully in the whole process. But what does P > D > R > actually look like at a section level? A Cub Leader from WA has been using P > D > R >, and she’s written an article on the benefits and how it works.
I must admit, I initially thought the concept of Plan > Do > Review > for use in the Scouting context was laughable, and I did laugh. Plan > Do > Review > is used in my current field of work as a cyclical process of continuous improvement, and the more I thought about it, the more I could see why we should consider it for Scouting.
My biggest concern was how it could possibly fit my section. As a Cub Scout Leader, is the expectation to educate the Cub Scouts about this process? Well that’s not going to happen! I am a realist and I could not fathom how that would work when some Scouts still can’t tie their shoe laces. So there’s the thought that started it all – learn by doing.
The question of planning, previously completed through the pack council, was how could we broaden that for every cub to be involved? The Cub Scouts had a planning session in their small team, then all information came back to leaders. We asked the youth to vote for their ideas by moving South for yes and North for no. Each vote was tallied on the blackboard to find the highest activities that the Scouts wanted to do. This was completed at the end of term so the next term plan was populated with their ideas, which still included the opportunity for badge work to be covered. Cooking rated highly on the things they wanted to do.
The following term consisted of health and first aid topics (hygiene in the kitchen featured highly). On one night, we had an excellent base rotation night with the kitchen safety covered off amongst other things. Safety with washing up and knives, a menu planning and equipment planning night, covering the food groups, food pyramid and then a mammoth cooking and eating night.
On the night we cooked, photos were taken of the Cubs tables which assisted with the Review phase. One group did not ask for any equipment – no pots, pans, spoons or bowls – obviously this made their night harder as they had to barter for the extras that they required to complete their meals. When they realised that planning meant EVERY aspect, they learnt to think about what they would need for the next time.
At the end of term we had an enthusiastic Cub Leader dress up as a reporter to interview the Cub Scouts on what they had liked about the term, what they remembered and what they had learnt.
We should embrace Plan > Do > Review > process to assist us in our youth led approach, as these Cubs had some amazing ideas just waiting to blossom!
The best thing of all was that the youth told us they had planned the term and we as adult Leaders had done very little! Their ownership of the term plan was excellent, attendance was improved, and of course we had a huge amount of fun!
Cub Scout Leader