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BSA Troop 31 Los Altos, CA
Outing Guide

Easy Steps for Planning an Outing

Event Planning Worksheet

Event Signup Sheet

Event Flyer Page 1

Event Flyer Page 2

Example Event Emails

 Troop 31 Outing Planner

Thank you for signing up as a trip coordinator!  Here’s a planning template you can use that takes you through the steps to plan an outing.  Some outings might need more planning (typically not) and others may need less planning.  Please consider this only a guide and tailor it to you and your outing needs!  Most of all have fun with it!

Working backwards from the event, make a time line of when each step should occur.

60 - 120 days before event. (9 to 10 months for popular destinations such as Yosemite)

Step 1. Contact destination. Check with the destination to see if deposits, special permits or space reservations are required. Are there restrictions near the dates on which you plan to have the event? Make a list of important information about the event including: web site, contact name, address, telephone, fax, dates, costs, special equipment, parent release forms, space reservation dates and deposits.

Step 2. Set the date. If the troop has not assigned a date: e-mail the date(s) you are thinking of using along with the rough plan for the event to the troop adult leaders.  (I'll e-mail the troop leader list to you which you may copy and paste.) Some of the leaders may have information about past or similar events that may help you and/or someone may have information that may influence the date selection.

Step 3. Email outing flyer. Create a flyer with all of the event information: name, date, length, special considerations (swimming, cold weather conditions), special equipment, cost (highlight if a non-refundable deposit is required to reserve space), your name and contact information. Do not forget to encourage parent participation. E-mail the flyer to all Scouts and to the adult leaders. This announcement allows families to schedule the time and talk to their scout about the event.  Use this flyer at the troop meetings.

20-30 days before event date.

Step 4. Troop meeting announcement.

1.     Announcements are made at the beginning of each scout meeting. Tell the Scouts about the event and the date and that you would like them to sign-up if they are interested. The initial sign-up is to get a feeling on troop interest, the scout will be committed to the trip only when they pay for the trip.

2.     Use the outing announcement as the troop handout for the scouts to take home. Include a packing list, equipment list, liability release form or whatever else your event requires. Show the handout to the scouts and have a pile of them (40-50) on the table for them to pick-up after or during the meeting.

3.     Place the sign-up sheet on the main table and inform the Senior Patrol leader (SPL). Following the announcements, the troop will break and allow interested scouts to sign up for the outing.  You might want to stay near the signup sheet to answer questions and make sure the scouts pick up the flyers.

Step 5. Start a Summary.  You will be keeping track of the scouts, their payments, which cars they will be riding in, participant counts, number of reservations.

Step 6. Troop meeting announcement #2. Same as Step 4 (have more flyers available). Start collecting money (collected money goes to the troop treasurer.  Checks should be made out to “Troop 31”). As part of your announcement, read the names of the scouts who have already signed-up. There will be sign-ups and back outs because the parent will have or have not given permission to the scouts. (Your flyer is important for this communication.)

Two weeks prior to the event:

Step 7.  Last sign-up opportunity, final money collection.  About 14 days before the event. Read the list of scouts signed-up to the troop, collect the last of the money and finalize the driver list.  Any money’s that you personally put out (credit card charges) will be reimbursed by the Troop treasure.

Step 8. Get Tour Permit and Medical Books. The Scout District Council requests that a trip permit be applied for two weeks before a trip.  You can typically get it in within 7 day prior to the trip if you fax it in and request and immediate permit number.  You can print one out here, fill it out and fax it in.  Inform the Medical Forms Coordinator with your attendee list and car assignments and they will prepare and make available to you a medical forms book for each driver.  Finally, E-mail the "final list" to the troop leaders. Yes, everyone understands that there maybe a few adjustments after this, but several people need to start their work on your event. Various other Scout leaders will need to keep track of scout participation, scout requirements that might be completed and/or other training requirements that might be accomplished, YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS!

Step 9.   One week prior to the event: E-mail each attendee their trip confirmation, equipment/packing list.  Include driver information (cell phone numbers if possible) as well as car assignments  (see example emails).  This is not required but appreciated by many parents and this will save you a lot of phone calls with questions. An easy way to build your e-mail list is to download it from the private section of the website and create groups in your email client.

Please excuse the following, but ...

1. Plan ahead, Be Prepared.

2. Encourage parents to not only attend the event, but to participate!

3. Collect the money before the event date. A paid sign-up will be a participant!

4. You cannot have too much communication to the scouts and their parents.

5. Don't assume anything.  When in doubt communicate (phone, email, in person)

6. Put your name, telephone number and e-mail address on everything.

7. This should be fun. When it's not, get some help.

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Event Planning Sheet


______ Step 1 Contact destination.

______ Step 2 Set the date.

______ Step 3 Outing announcement email

______ Step 4 Troop meeting announcement #1.

______ Step 5 Start a summary.

______ Step 6 Troop meeting announcement #2.

______ Step 7  Last sign-up opportunity, final money collection.

______ Step 8 Two weeks prior to event, Tour Permit, Medical books, summary to the troop leadership.

______ Step 9  E-mail trip confirmation to each scout, (equipment/packing list)

Event Name:_______________________________________________________

Destination Information

Contact Name: __________________________________Tel:______________________

Web site: ______________________________________Fax:______________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

Important Dates:_________________________________

Costs/Deposits: _________________________________________ Refundable deposit?     Yes     No

Group size limitations?    Yes     No   Details:_______________________

Reservations required?  Yes    No      Details:_______________________

Special permit required? Yes    No    Details:________________________

Planned date, is it ok?    Yes    No    Details: _______________________________________________

Date restrictions near event? Yes    No    Details ____________________________________________

Event Flyer Information - (Have two names and contact information)

Start Date ______ Time ____ Location______________________        

End Date ______ Time ____ Will the scouts be taken home?   Yes    No

Destination: ________________________________________ Emergency Phone #: _______________

What to wear? _______________________________________________________________________

What to bring? (list?) _____________________________________  Bag lunch?   Yes   No  Costs?

_________________  Refundable?   Yes   No   ____________

Special equipment?   Yes    No   (List?) ___________________________________________________

Is Experience Necessary?   Yes    No       _________________________________________________

Sign-up and other dates: _______________________________________________

Special Forms?   Yes    No _____________________________________________

Web page for more information?   Yes    No ____________________________________________

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Event Name


                    Name                              # of Scouts Going          # of Adults Going

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Description:       Describe event including main event (skills advancement, hiking, kayaking, etc…), difficulty, and who it is targeted at (scouts, new scouts, parents, etc…)

Dates:                Start and end dates

Start Time:          Indicate start time and place (church parking lot).  Be specific on start time (meeting versus leaving time)

Return Time:      Indicate approximate return or absolute time

Adult Leaders:   Must have at least two adult leaders on an outing.  Put name, phone number and email addresses     

Cost:                 Include any fees or costs, indicate if adult and child costs differ.

Goals:               Describe goals of outing.  You can use descriptions such as:

Younger scouts – Work on tenderfoot, second class and first class skills including hiking, camping, cooking and knots skills!  Some pre-trip tasks for cooking/first aid skills may be necessary.

Older scouts – Work on leadership, teaching, and training skills!

Parents – Meet new parents/scouts, learn new skills!

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Example Outing Flyer – More Details

Hiking:          The hike should be around 3-5 miles depending on which trails we take.  Make sure to bring:

·       Good hiking shoes and socks.

·       Scouting 10 essentials.

·       Other items: sun screen, hat, fanny pack, water bottle, snack, scout handbook.

Camping:      This is a car camping trip so plan accordingly.  The camp facilities are rustic and include picnic tables, fire rings, running water and central restrooms.  Nights may get cool.  Bring:

·       Your own tents/ground cloth or arrange to share.

·       Sleeping bags, clothes, jacket, flash light, personal gear

·       Scouts, remember to bring your scout knives, mess kits and 10 essentials.

Meals:           There will be four meals.

·       Each person is responsible for a bag lunch on Saturday during the hike.

·       Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch on Sunday will be done through food groups and planned/executed through scouts working on their cooking requirements.

·       Everyone will participate in food groups (including adults).

·       Food groups will bring stoves, cooking pots/utensils, cleanup material

Skills:             We will be working on some or all of these skills.  Not everyone needs to work on all of these.  If there is something a scout needs to work on that is not listed, we will be happy to see if we can work on that requirement as well:

·       Tenderfoot requirements #1, 2, 3, 4b, 5, 9, 11

·       Second Class requirements #2a,b,c,d,e,f,g, 5, 6a,b,c

·       First Class requirements #1, 2, 4a,b,c,d,e, 6, 7a,b, 8a

·       Leadership skills will be discuss with older scouts

·       For those doing 2nd class #6b prepare a first aid kit, please have the kits completed before the hike.

·       For those doing 1st class #1 and #2, please study orienteering material

·       For those doing 1st class #6, please study plant identification material

·       Rope will be provided for knots skills

·       Backpacking stove will be provided for 2nd class #2e,f



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Example Emails

Initial Email announcement:


Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to send everyone notice regarding Troop 31's August "Skills Outing" coming up on August 18 and 19th.  We will be hiking in Muir Woods National Park in Marin county and camping out in Petaluma.  The goal of the camping outing is to provide an opportunity for the younger scouts to complete as many of their tenderfoot, second and/or first class requirements remaining and for the older scouts to provide training and leadership in the teaching of those skills.  This is a great opportunity for second class scouts to get their first class cooking requirements completed!  It's also an opportunity for parents to meet and get to know each other.  It's a guaranteed good time for all!  We'd love to have you come!

 Final Email confirmation:


Hi Everyone,

Here is the adult information regarding the TenderTrek Outing this weekend:

Total headcount: 5 adults and 12 scouts

Eric Elms is the acting Senior Patrol Leader


1)  Driver and Passenger information:

     Name            Cell          Driver's License        Car

      Artie Chang   650 776-3380    A1393806          '91 Nissan Pathfinder  Passengers: Michael Chang, Sean Craig, Vinh Nguyen


      Sean Kelly    650 224-7173    N8528326          '98 Honda Odyssey

Passengers: Ryan Kelly, Brian Huwe, Austin Puri


      Steve Murata  650 740-4693    P0743029          '00 Ford Windstar

Passengers: Michael Murata, Albert Hong


2) Tent Assignments:

      Artie Chang (self)

      Chuck Watson (self)

      Sean Kelly and Steve Murata

      Bill Gascoyne (self)

      Michael Chang and Charlie Watson


3) Food groups:

      Ryan Kelly: Charlie Watson, Brent Hughes and Sean Kelly

      Albert Hong: Michael Chang, Steve Murata, Chuck Watson and Eric Elms

      Sean Craig: Austin Puri, Vinh Nguyen and Bill Gascoyne




5) Please remember to bring your 10 essentials (and your scout book)

6) Please remember to be in the CHURCH PARKING LOT BY 8:30AM ON SATURDAY


7) People doing first class cooking:  PLEASE REMEMBER TO ASSIGN/BRING FOOD,



8) If you haven't paid, please bring $10/person on Saturday