Youth group meetings, retreats and activities must be planned out in advance so that you know what you want to do and accomplish within a particular amount of time. The best way to document your plans is by creating an agenda. Agendas are like lists that map out the order of the discussions or activities that you wish to do during your time together. By giving youth an age-appropriate agenda, they can follow along to see what types of things happen next.
Write the name of your youth program at the top of a standard letter-size document. Put the date beneath it, along with the starting and end times, if applicable. Also include the location of the program.
List the activities or discussions in the order you want them to occur. Each individual activity or discussion point should have a bullet or a number next to it. In list format, an example is, "I) Icebreaker activities, II) Getting To Know You Welcome Packet Review, III) Group Workshop..."
Come up with the list of activities and discussions in a logical order that makes sense sequentially. The agenda will be followed from the top down, so the activities and discussions should flow smoothly.
Include items on the agenda that you may have not had a chance to discuss at the last meeting or retreat. Dedicate a portion of the agenda to these follow-up items. You can create a new section at the bottom of the agenda and label it "Previous Discussion Items" or "Follow-up Items."
Allow time in the agenda for youth to take a small break, especially if this is a long meeting or retreat. Unlike adults, youth may not be able to sit through long periods of time and still maintain focus and attention successfully.
Dedicate the end of the agenda to a question-and-answer session for youth. This is where youth have a chance to gain clarification about things that confused them or ask questions about what was covered.
Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.