Looking to do an event for a troop or group but don’t have any ideas? This badge program lists ideas to jump start your creativity. Even if you don’t like the event, pull out the ideas you like to create your own unique event.
For help planning your event, see the Enrichment Project badge programs “Event Preplanning” and “Event Planning.”
NOTE: This badge features events where volunteers do the work and the costs are kept to a minimum.
1. Family events.
Family events are a challenge. You may be trying to entertain participants from a wide variety of ages and experience. Explore activities that everyone enjoys to make the event a positive experience. Be sure that you have some activities that are less / more difficult so everyone feels engaged or that encourage family members to work together to achieve a final outcome.
NOTE: Family events may be part of a large, multi-ability event (Step 7) with plans on each family being a smaller unit within it.
2. Father / daughter events.
While these types of events may be popular, you’ll often see them advertised as “He and Me” as many families do not have a “father” available and an uncle or older brother may attend instead. Make sure to limit the age range of your “father” participant.
Themed dances are extremely popular, but don’t be shocked if the dads gather and talk instead of dancing. In addition to dances, father / daughter duos can do many of the activities listed below under “event types.”
3. Mother / daughter events.
Mother / daughter events tend to celebrate more feminine pursuits like spa days and shopping events. The participants spend time bonding and talking, so think about adding in some time for this. Discuss with your potential participants what kinds of events they are interested in. You might find they are tired of the same old “girly” events and looking for something new.
4. Father / son events.
Father / son events tend to be more rugged. My brother and father went hiking in the Appalachian Mountains and sailing in the Florida Keys with the Boy Scout troop. Sometimes just creating an event, like a haunted trail at camp, can be an activity for them to share.
Don’t follow the traditional ideas blindly. You may find that they have more fun cooking together or gardening than doing more “manly ” activities.
5. Mother / son events.
Mother / son events can be activities you do together, outings and more. Make sure both can contribute to the activities. Be sure to plan some bonding / talking time into the events as well.
6. Individual events.
Sometimes your events will revolve around individuals. Try to narrow your focus by including only certain individuals based on gender, age, organizational level, etc. This will allow you to tailor your events to their abilities and interests.
For example, when creating events for Girl Scouts, we’ll often do only one program level so all of the girls can be engaged as they are at a similar skill level.
7. Large, multi-ability events.
You can make events which allow you to invite large groups of people. If you decide to run this type of event, be sure to review the activities and, if they are not easily completed by everyone, provide helpers or shortcuts. For example, if I’m teaching how to make paper flowers, I’ll provide an option of paper punches for younger kids who have difficulty with scissors.
8. Road trip.
Traveling can be fun . . . especially if you’re going someplace new. You can have a destination in mind with activities when you get there or just drive and explore an area. You can practice reading maps, create a photo journal of your travels, enjoy a scavenger hunt or finding the coolest spot for a picnic.
Camping can be indoor or outdoor. For first time campers, try your backyard as a starting point to get used to sleeping in a tent. Many camps offer buildings you can sleep in instead of tents. Find out what kind of camping facilities you have nearby so you can progress to a full outdoor adventure.
10. Slumber party / sleepover.
Not ready for camping yet? Try a slumber party or sleepover. You might combine this with a movie or game night. If you have any special requirements that need to be taken into account (like no shoes inside or lights out at 11 PM), be sure to let all your participants know.
11. Movie night.
Go to the movies or stay in with popcorn. Perhaps provide activities that go along with the movie like making wands and scarves for an all-night Harry Potter movie night. Make sure to make the experience enjoyable for everyone.
We attended a Harry Potter event with other girls / adults and the sound quality was so poor on the movie that any noise drowned it out. Lesson learned — always test your equipment before using it at an event.
12. Game night – BINGO, Bunco and more!
Find a game (or games) that you enjoy. Review the number of people who can play and how you can adapt that game into an event. Here’s a short list to get you brainstorming.
Perhaps you just want to practice basic cooking skills – indoors or outdoors. Try everything from baking to grilling to solar cooking. You might want into include fire building, building a stove or other activities to make it a more fulfilling activity.
14. Spa and makeovers.
Spa days tend to focus on relaxing. Makeovers focus more on changing how you look. Often, these types of events are a collection of activities from both. You can make items to do the spa / makeover, ask professionals to give presentations or even use a local business and schedule a small groups to visit. What other ways could you do a spa or makeover event?
You can watch games such as baseball, baseball or soccer. If you want to participate, try roller skating, bowling or miniature golf. Find out what’s available in your area so you have to do minimal planning.
16. Parks and zoos.
Local parks and zoos allow you to explore the outdoors — from animals to playgrounds. Explore the programs your local parks offer for small and large groups. Can you ask for a special presentation for your group?
17. Walks and hikes.
Exploring nature can be fun. This can be a simple walk / hike through an urban or rural area. If you want to make your event more memorable, try biking, geocaching, letterboxing or orienteering.
Spend some time together building a race car (pinewood derby), models, LEGO® kits or even outdoor props for the holidays. The time you spend together will be wrapped up in the final pieces you produce. You can even turn this into a judged contest.
Explore what kinds of performances you’re interested in attending or participating in, including:
- Skit night
20. Craft night.
You might find a single craft / single night event is to your liking. If you enjoy the craft, you might change it into a monthly event where you learn different crafts or techniques of a single craft. There are many crafts you can learn in a short time such as cardmaking, rubber stamping or jewelry making. You can also follow a monthly theme to focus your crafting.
21. Holiday event.
Celebrate your favorite holiday by featuring traditional activities or create your own unique event. You might decorate an area for others to enjoy or craft ornaments for a local nursing home. Try hosting a cookie swap for Christmas or a costume party for Halloween. What is your favorite holiday? What kind of event will help you celebrate it?
22. Snow date.
Plan a snow date. Activities you can do outside in the snow include:
- Building snowmen
- Snow art (with colors)
- Snowball fights
What other snow-based events can you come up with?
23. Play date.
Play dates can be free with no specific activities. Use your imagination and items on hand for a special time. Games like tag and telephone require no items to play. Providing simple items like paper and crayons allows a play date to become a creative, imaginative adventure.
24. Service / volunteer.
Are you passionate about animals? Excited about helping the homeless? Then a service or volunteer event might be for you. Don’t worry about raising money. Instead, focus on what you can do to help out.
For example, we worked at a learning center painting and cleaning the building / surrounding area to give a neighborhood a facelift one weekend.
Interested in highlighting the achievements of one or more people? A ceremony can include performances, speakers, and more. What kinds of ceremonies could you present? Can you include activities to make your ceremony more memorable to your participants?
26. Workshop / classes.
Depending on the subject and time allowed, you may want to teach the class as a whole or provide stations where your participants can move around and complete projects. Make sure you have someone who can explain the subject in detail and ask questions.
27. Lectures / debates.
You may have a speaker come in and give a presentation, ask two people to give opposite views, provide a video, or do a reading. Be sure to provide new information or a topic that will interest your listeners. Allow time afterwards for discussion between your participants.
28. So much more.
This is a small sampling of ideas to get you started planning and hosting an event. You can find many more ideas by searching the Web, checking with local organizations or even discuss previously attended events with friends and family.
Sites to Explore