Programme Planning


This module aims to provide you with the skills and understanding necessary to plan and run a balanced programme for their section over a three-month period.

By the end of this module, you will have an understanding of:

  • where to look for programme ideas
  • running a high quality, balanced programme over a three-month period
  • how to use a range of programme planning techniques
  • what needs to be considered when planning and running activities
  • how to plan an outline programme for a three-month period
  • how to assess awards and badges on the basis of ‘personal best’

Finding programme ideas

There are many different places where you can find ideas for your programme. These might include programme content online, internet search engines, magazines, newspapers, District events, Region events, books, previous programmes, other leaders, charities, or other Scouting resources.

You can also talk to other YLs about what they do in their sections.

Activity One

Go around your house and collect 5 random objects. Imagine you had these 5 objects in your scout hall and come up with a programme idea for each one. The more creative the better, try to pick objects that aren’t similar.

Evening meetings

To run a successful scout section requires a lot of planning. You need to have a plan for what to do each night of a term but you also need to know what you’re doing with an evening. Young people can get restless if they only have one activity to do for 90 minutes and they may get bored if it’s all badge work and no games. Planning out an evening meeting can ensure you keep young people interested in what they are doing at all times and they go home happy.

Think about the 5 Ps strategy. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

Activity Two

Plan out an evening meeting for your section. Pick a badge to do some work towards and some games to play. Remember to also plan in time for flag break and cleaning up at the end.

If you work with Beavers, you can see their badges here.
If you work with Cubs, you can see their badges here.
If you work with Scouts, you can see their badges here.

Planning a termly programme

There are three terms in every year and each one has different weather, daylight hours, events and public holidays. It can help make your programme engaging and memorable if you take these as opportunities for things to do with your section. Examples include Burns Night and Chinese New Year in Spring, outdoor activities in Summer, and Halloween and Christmas in Winter.

Whenever you are planning for, it is worth thinking about:

  • National, District and County, Area or Region events and activities
  • major projects and national programme initiatives
  • activities they’ve done before
  • new activities they might like to try

Activity 3

Pick a term of the year: spring, summer or autumn. Plan a 12-week programme for that term.

For each week record the Activity, a short description, the venue and what the objective is (so a specific badge or award).

Remember to check badge requirements and ensure your activities tick all the boxes so young people in your section can achieve awards from the programme in a single term if possible.

Think about the programme checkers we saw in Module G – would your programme pass?


You should now have the skills and understanding necessary to plan and run a balanced programme for their section over a three-month period.
You can upload the evidence for this module to OSM – we’ll review what you have done and update your YL training.