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Company Development: Age Group Check

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

As the Cheshire Cat said to Alice “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will get you there”. Or as another clever person said “a goal without a plan is just a wish”.

Planning for your Company development can feel like another thing to do in an already hectic schedule. But actually, if you turn it into a social event with the staff from each section getting together, it can be fun. Also, we know from what volunteers have told us that having a plan and achieving their goals is incredibly satisfying. Planning allows us to keep the bigger picture in view, and if done on an annual basis provides a fantastic opportunity to celebrate successes as we look back, and be bold as we look forward.

There is a ready-made tool for you to use which is on the website and can be found here:
leaders.boys-brigade.org.uk/pdfs/companydevelopmentscheme.pdf

Here’s an example taken from the Company Development Scheme handbook:

Goals for coming
session

What do we want to achieve?

Who is the lead
person for this goal?

By when should the goal be achieved?

1. Anchors

Recruit 6 more children

Joanne

By the end of October

2. Juniors

Visit to Christmas
pantomime

Tom

By the end of December

 

Getting together as a Team

How about getting the staff together from each section, or all together if you’re a smaller Company and setting up a brainstorming session on what you want to achieve?

Including your Children/Young People

Remember to include your children/young people, either by consulting them on their ideas before you meet, or invite them along to part of the meeting. You could use a “cool wall” where ideas are written on post it notes and stuck on a wall ranging from “ice cool” at one end to “so uncool…” at the other. This should spark a lively debate – and you’ve demonstrated participation. Tick that box!

Anchors Section

  • What went well last session?
  • What could be improved?
  • How do we involve the children in planning and evaluating the activities (Very Important! The seeds of participation are sown here)
  • What trips, visits, adventure activities could we plan?
  • Do we need funds? How can we raise them? What is our target? How do we involve parents and carers?
  • Are we using awards?
  • What new programme activities can we include?
  • Could we introduce more choice for the children?

Juniors Section

  • What went well last session?
  • What could be improved?
  • Do we need new leaders with skills to enthuse the children? Would some of the parents have skills they would share?
  • How do we involve the children in planning and evaluating the activities (if they’ve come up through Anchors, how do we demonstrate to them that they can now be even more involved in choosing and evaluating?)
  • How will we introduce overnight activities? Weekends away?
  • Are we using “free play” as part of the programme?
  • How do we provide more exciting/new activities through the programme?
  • How do we involve Junior section children with recruitment? Can we do a “bring a friend” night?

Company Section

  • What went well last session?
  • What could be improved?
  • What will retain young people in this age range?
  • How can we share the running of the Company with these young people?
  • How do we build choice, autonomy and consultation into the programme?
  • Could we organise an overseas trip?
  • Could we start DofE awards?
  • How do we raise funds to enable all young people can attend camps etc?

Seniors Section

  • What went well last session?
  • What could be improved?
  • What will retain young people in this age range?
  • Who wants to take on a position of responsibility/leadership? Who could be encouraged and supported to do so?
  • How can we challenge ourselves to hand over the decision-making to our Seniors? How do we support and enable them to develop their potential?
  • How do we respond to their needs and wishes?
  • Can we develop a strong peer support network…and begin to stand back!
  • What regional/national/international opportunities are available? KGVI? Regional camps and events?
  • Does the programme need to be challenging and awards-driven? Or a place to hang out and chill to get away from home or school stress? (Hint: ask them!)

At the end of your brainstorming session make sure you don’t lose all that energy and creativity. Write your goals into a plan
(Reminder: the Company Development Scheme handbook has a template all ready for you).

Remember! Keep your goals SMART
Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-framed
Good luck! Planning is the way to turn wishes into achievements.

Karen Jay
Director of Youth & Children’s Work

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