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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

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These should be planned and produced as though they were stage shows because that is what they are with Scouting in the spotlight. The speakers are the cast, there is a programme and there is an audience which has come along for what they hope will be an interesting and enjoyable occasion.

Unfortunately not every local Scout Organisation thinks of meetings in theatrical terms. The results are unplanned, unrehearsed, disorganised events, which disappoint everyone and discourage attendance on future occasions.

So as not to waste what should be a unique opportunity for direct communication with the public, the first essential is to start planning early in a logical sequence

Once you establish clearly the purpose of having a meeting, everything else will fall into place, whether it is the Annual General Meeting, a launch for a new project or an open evening. Whatever the occasion, detailed arrangements may differ, but the principles will apply to them all.

If you have your own premises, all being well, its use as a formal meeting place will have been allowed for in the design and the necessary facilities included in the construction and fittings. If this is not the case, or you have to use alternative premises because you have none of your own, you should look for somewhere which is:

a) Large enough to seat your audience comfortably
b) Well ventilated and with heat control
c) Suitable for any displays, film/slide show etc. you propose
d) Well lit, with controllable lighting (and blackout facility)
e) Built with adequate toilet/cloakroom facilities
f) Quiet and unlikely to suffer from interference from outside
g) Equipped for dispensing refreshments
h) Near car park facilities.

When the date, hour, place and outline programme are decided, it's time to plan the guest list and invitations. Issue general invitations four to six weeks before the date of the meeting. Get Members to follow up, where possible, with verbal reminders to parents and friends so that you can get an idea of the likely acceptances. Check more formally with representatives from the sponsors, community leaders and other special guests. Very special guests such as the Mayor and civic officials and guest speaker will need the longest possible advance notice if they are important to your meeting. You may have to pick a date to suit their convenience as well as avoiding clashing with other local interests. Write to local newspaper editors enclosing a copy of the programme and inviting their representatives to attend.


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