As Senior Commander I like to be organized, and over the years I have developed planning tools I’d like to share with you here.
Establish your annual Outpost calendar.
I start by referring to the Calendar on the district Rangers website, marking event dates while making sure that I coordinate with my church calendar.
I also note the weeks that my Ranger Outpost does not meet; e.g., Thanksgiving; Christmas; Spring break, Summer months, etc. You should submit this calendar to your church office and distribute it to your leaders and parents. Post it to the Rangers notice board and on your church website. It might be a good idea to create a facebook group for your parents to join. You can add your events to it and invite boys by notifying the parents in the group.
Renew TracClub subscription.
Almost all the Outposts now download lesson materials online via TracClub.org. Be sure to renew the subscription for each Ranger Group you serve to avoid disappointed Commanders locked out of the expired system. Although you get way more than you need, remind all who have access to your account that you have a limited amount of downloads. They are to only access the materials they need.
Select merits for the year
This is where my “power tools” come in. I have spreadsheets for you to modify to suit your needs. Here’s the breakdown of what the boys need to earn:
(2) Leadership merits  lessons each.
(1) Skill merit [required (group color)]  lessons
(4) Skill merits (group color)  lessons ea.
(6) Orange/Brown Bible book Bible lessons  lessons
[ER] (25) Spirit Challenges
(for further suggestions on merit planning, download DR Merit Planner).
Write out the plan for each week.
Print merit instructor guide & worksheets from TracClub. These guides are not only jammed with fun activities and devotionals, they allow you to plug in the merits you choose to teach! Preview merit requirements: National Rangers website www.royalrangers.com> More Info > Advancements
Write on a print-out for each week and store them in a binder so that all the leaders in your group know which merits to prepare for; or if someone is absent; others may substitute.
For his Discovery Group, Randy has developed a regular schedule for the merits. This allows a comprehensive plan for the 3 years that the Ranger will be in your group.
The plan may seem to lean towards outdoor activities, and the reason is two-fold: the boys need these skills for camps; including FCF (if they choose that); and these are important life skills that are not typically taught in other venues. Also, some of the items are prerequisites for advanced skill merits in AR & ER are included; e.g., Firearm Safety.
Charter, it’s the right thing to do.
Don’t forget to charter as soon as the new year begins. Although the deadline is Oct.31; your benefits will not be available after Sept.1 until you charter. Due to cost, the district only communicate to leaders via email. Charter reports are our main source for our email database, so please ensure you enter leader information accurately. Thank you for sustaining this ministry through chartering.
Share the love.
Here’s a list Randy’s Planning Tools for download. You are welcome to contact him with any questions. If you have tools that might be useful to share with other outposts, please let Randy know.