Your core team is where the thinking begins: how will you use Inquiry in the Community resources in your council? As such, a group with diverse representation from the different functional areas of your council is best.
Some smaller councils have skipped this step, instead conducting their first professional development and planning session with all of their membership, volunteerism, and program (MVP) staff at once. If your council is skilled at working cross-functionally in different teams, this may be a good step for you. We recommend, however, that you use a core team approach if your combined MVP group would be more than 20-25 people; otherwise, the planning can become trickier to manage.
We suggest the following membership for the core team:
- All of your staff who manage volunteer learning/training.
- Representatives from your major pathway teams (however this is structured in your council).
- Representatives from those staff that manage your recruiting.
- A representative from fund development (we find that councils think more broadly about including external partners and leveraging this project for external funding when fund development staff are included).
- At least one member of your executive team (the COO or similar role is often a good fit).
- Your project lead.
- Your curriculum lead (if not already included in the above groups).
Core Team Checklist:
- Read the Overview, Why Inquiry in the Community, and Implementation sections of this website that are relevant to your position.
- Participate in the professional development and planning session for the core team.
- Think broadly about how your council can model inquiry science - and the three processes - in your council's different "connection points" with volunteers. (A "connection point" occurs any time you have direct or indirect contact with current or prospective volunteers. Examples of connection points include: recruiting events, service unit meetings, parents dropping off girls at camp, events a volunteer attends with their troop, adult workshops/trainings, newsletters, etc.)
- Take the lead (possibly with another core team member) on engaging others in identifying, planning for, and implementing ways to incorporate our resources into a given connection point. As an example: you might elect to incorporate our curricula into your volunteer workshops/trainings. You would then lead the team that makes the curriculum changes, provides professional development for your group of volunteer facilitators/trainers, and engages those volunteers in identifying ways to support the delivery of the curricula.
- Develop timelines for implementing our resources in your given connection point. Your timelines may include the following: providing a professional development and planning opportunity to a group of staff and/or volunteers; altering your existing resources, such as curricula, patch programs, or camp staff training; or collaborating with other teams working on related connection points.
- Develop a plan for gathering feedback as you implement. This can be as simple as a post-workshop survey for volunteers experiencing the curriculum or a focus group with key volunteers in your council.
- If needed, work with the curriculum lead and/or project lead to provide a professional development and planning session for other groups of staff and/or volunteers (examples: service unit team members; camp staff; membership staff; volunteers who work with recruiting.)
- Guide your staff/volunteer team in accomplishing the tasks set out in your timeline(s).
- Share any successes and challenges with the rest of the core team and the project lead