Meeting Plans & Ideas: COPE

COPE Information Troop Meetings Main Event

Printable PDF file of Meeting Plans and Ideas for COPE

This month’s activities should:

  • Teach the goals and objectives of COPE.
  • Introduce the Full Value Contract© and the concept of Challenge by Choice.
  • Show Scouts and Venturers how to implement the principles of COPE in your unit.
  • Teach Scouts how to be effective spotters.
  • Give Scouts the chance to have fun playing initiative and trust games and participating in low and high COPE elements.

As a leadership team, you may want to discuss the following items when choosing COPE as your program feature during your planning meetings.

Troop Meeting Planning Form
Click above for fillable troop meeting planning form.
  • Where can we find a BSA COPE instructor to help us?
  • What COPE facilities are available to us? Does our council have a course or a council COPE committee?
  • How do we schedule time on a COPE course?
  • How much will it cost to schedule time on the course?
  • How far in advance do we need to make a reservation?
  • What changes should we make to the sample meeting plans that would fit our needs better?


Preopening Ideas on Troop Program Resources


Opening Ideas on Troop Program Resources


What is COPE?

  • Lead a discussion on what COPE is and what it is not. Include one or two simple warmup games as examples.


  • Use the EDGE method to teach spotting. Discuss how proper spotting is an essential part of COPE safety. Discuss potential risks for both the faller and spotters.

Game Night

  • Discuss goalsetting and planning and how COPE activities can benefit the unit as a whole.

Gearing Up

  • Demonstrate how to put on a harness and helmet.
  • Discuss belay commands.


3 Categories

What is COPE?

  • EssentialDiscuss the eight principles of COPE, the Full Value Contract, and Challenge by Choice.

  • ChallengingReview the above information.
  • Make a list of the specific principles your unit needs to improve upon.

  • AdvancedReview the above information.

Set goals plan on how to improve specific principles your unit needs to work on.
Select some initiative games your unit can play.


  • EssentialPractice commands and stances.
  • Practice spotting in groups of no less than four.

  • ChallengingPractice commands and stances.
  • Practice spotting in pairs and small groups.

  • AdvancedWork with the Essential or Challenging group to practice spotting.

Game Night

  • EssentialDiscuss how the Full Value Contract and Challenge by Choice apply in activities beyond COPE.

  • ChallengingDiscuss how the Full Value Contract and Challenge by Choice apply in activities beyond COPE.

  • AdvancedDiscuss how the Full Value Contract and Challenge by Choice apply in activities beyond COPE.

Gearing Up

  • EssentialPractice properly putting on a harness and helmet.
  • Review spotting and belay commands.

  • ChallengingReview the above information.
  • Learn how to size a harness and helmet.

  • AdvancedReview the above information.
  • Learn how to maintain high-course and climbing equipment.


Initiative Games

Getting Ready for the Main Event

  • Menu Planning (if applicable)
  • Duty Roster Planning (if applicable)
  • Patrols discuss what special items they will need for the main event.

Preparation for the meeting’s game or challenge


Library of Games and Challenges on Troop Program Resources

  • Traffic Jam
    Materials: Enough cloth, plywood, or cardboard squares for the members of each patrol, plus one additional square
    – Method: Place the squares an easy step from each other in a straight or slightly curved line. (A curved line lets participants better see what’s happening.) Two patrols face each other. One patrol stands on the squares to the left of the unoccupied center square; the other stands to the right. Both patrols face the middle. The challenge is for the patrols to switch sides, obeying the following rules:
    1) Scouts may move to an empty space in front of them; 2) Scouts may move around one person who is facing them to an empty space; 3) Backward moves are illegal; 4) Any move around someone facing the same direction as the mover is illegal; 5) Only one Scout at a time may move.
  • Willow in the Wind
    – Method: Have 8 to 10 Scouts stand shoulder to shoulder in a circle with one Scout (the “faller”) standing rigid (arms crossed with elbows on chest and fingertips at shoulders) in the center. Remaining rigid, the faller falls slowly in any direction. Before the faller moves very far off center, the people in the circle redirect the faller’s body to another arc of the circle. This fall-catch- push sequence continues in a gentle fashion until the faller is relaxed (but remaining rigid) and the people in the circle have gained confidence in their ability to work together toward handling the occasional weight shift of the faller. Change positions so that everyone who chooses can be the faller.
  • Cookie Factory
    – Method: With hands outstretched, a participant dives upward and forward, facedown, into the hands and arms of two lines of spotters. After the catch, the spotters juggle/roll the faller faceup and lower the person’s feet to the ground, gently raising the faller to a standing position.
    Notes: Spotters should alternate the positioning of their hands with the hands of spotters facing them. Have participants use proper commands. Make sure the area is free of obstructions.
    Variations: After rolling the faller onto to his or her back, spotters “conveyer belt” the faller down the spotting line, with spotters moving to the front of the line after the faller’s feet have passed them.
  • Everybody Up
    – Method: Have two Scouts of approximately the same size sit on the ground facing each other so that the bottoms of their feet are touching, their knees are bent, and they are tightly grasping each other’s hands. Challenge the pair to pull themselves into an upright standing position without touching the ground with their hands. If the pair succeeds (most will), ask the two to include another participant and try standing up with three Scouts, then four, etc., until everyone in the group has been included in making an attempt.
    Variation: Try the same activity with Scouts sitting back to back with their arms linked.


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COPE Information Troop Meetings Main Event