Pathfinder Planning

Jane Maddin
1st Orleans Pathfinders,
Orleans, Ontario, Canada

In the past years we have done a couple of things that let the girls be 'in charge' with some guidance from us. At the beginning of the year two years ago, I made a calendar of our meeting nights on white plastic that you can use dry erasable markers on.

Except that I marked the meeting dates (I tried to mark the dates that we would not have access to our usual meeting place too) and the camp dates on with permanent markers (bristol board, poster paper or flip chart paper would work just as well.)

Then I gave the girls each about 5 post it notes in various colours (I didn't realize I had so many cute ones until I dug them out for this purpose.) Then we let the girls have about 10 minutes to write down 5 things that they would like to do at their meetings that year. Things like Hallowe'en party, Christmas Party, Sing at the Senior Citizen's home, go roller blading, spend a Saturday in the winter going ice skating and sledding, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, white water rafting etc.

Some of these things would not be possible, and some would. Then we got the girls to stick their post it notes on the calendar at approximately the dates that they would like to try the activities.

Then we allowed the girls to read the descriptions of the positions on a 'Council'. I understand that the Council will no longer be part of our program this year, but I don't know what, if anything, it will be replaced with.

We had reference material available, much like your books, although I didn't have this amazing, wonderful, reference tool available last year or the year before!! So, just in case the girls couldn't think of a game, or a song or something neat for camping, or some neat recipe or craft, they could look something up. But I was constantly amazed at the knowledge that the girls already had!!

The next week I would bring back the agenda with their post it notes taken off and the things that they had requested filled in, where possible, and the things that they had forgotten added, like camp planning times before camp and challenge nights etc.