Troop Program Planning

One of the key elements of all successful troops and an indicator of a potentially successful year would be the troop’s annual program plan and planning conference. Research has shown that a common element of a strong troop is a good annual program planned a year in advance that is then shared with all families in the form of a calendar. The important result of a shared annual program calendar is that a troop will attract more families and Boy Scouts will stay involved longer.

Preparation Steps

Use this document to accomplish an effective annual troop program planning conference. Click here. 

The Troop Annual Program Planning Conference

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what keeps Scouts in the program. They like to have fun, do really cool, challenging stuff, go places, and learn things, even though they might not want to admit it. That is what we call program, and it doesn’t just happen by chance. It takes planning and preparations, starting with your patrol leaders’ conference. Use these ground rules while discussing ideas at your conference, and you can add your own rules, too:
  • It is important to respect the views of each other. Listen and don’t interrupt.
  • Keep focused on your task to plan your annual program. Don’t get sidetracked.
  • Write out your ideas so everyone can see them.
  • Be in agreement.
Your plan will be a living, breathing document. For it to have real value, you must follow it, share it with everyone, and review it regularly to see if modifications have to be made. Good luck on another great year, and don’t forget to share your plan and calendar with every Scout family!


These tools will make it easier to create newsletters, revise calendars, keep youth members and families informed, and help youth members manage the troop more effectively and efficiently.

Boys’ Life Resources
Boys’ Life produces a number of useful resources such as a planning calendar, planning charts, and other program helps.

NEW! Troop Annual Program Planning Conference Guide 
Use this PowerPoint presentation to help guide your troop through its annual program planning conference.

Troop Calendar Template  (2016-2017) 
This template allows you to fill in dates and events important to your unit and the annual program plan. It can be saved, revised as needed, and printed or emailed, making it easy to update and share. When you first know about an addition or change to troop activities, add that to the calendar so it will always be up to date and ready to print or share.

Meeting Plan 
This template provides the framework for conducting efficient, well-run troop meetings.

Troop Budget Planning
These fillable electronic forms help make troop budgeting straightforward.
Planning Your Troop’s Annual Program Budget 
Troop Operating Budget Worksheet, available in PDF  and Excel  formats.
Guides to Unit Money-Earning Projects 

Program Features
The 48 program features allow units to plan meetings and events around activities that Scouts will find challenging and exciting.

Troop Program Resources 
Troop Program Resources is designed to serve as a planning tool for troop leaders. Its aim is to provide resources that contribute to making parts of the troop meeting more meaningful, engaging, and fun.

Troop Resource Survey 
Use this survey to help get adults involved with your unit even more engaged.

Training Courses
The Boy Scouts of America provides a wide variety of training for volunteers and youth members. From Youth Protection training (required for every adult no matter what position is served) to courses offered at Philmont Training Center.