by Martin Eliasson
2007-07-11 15:55:57

Efficient Scouting: One Standard Personal Equipment List

Lessons learned while preparing for Jiingijamborii.

I'm not sure if it's true or a good urban legend, but rumor it has that at Toyota manufacturing plants you will find a lot of old equipment becuase Toyota values the short switchingtime of simple equipment.

A variation on this theme I've discovered while working with our scout group is the one-for-all personal equipment list.

The personal equipment list

Whenever a hike or camp is organized, one usually supply with a personal quipment list for things like sleepingbag, clothes, fork, spoon... The exact contents of the lists differ because you need slightly different stuff for different occassions.

Now, our scout group decided early 2007 that we would only supply our scouts with one list for all occassions with the instructions: "think for yourselves". If you think you will need something more, add it. If not, take it away. (our scouts are ages 13-15 so they have imagination enough to solve such a task).

Fast forward three hikes and we come to the preparations for Jiingijamborii (the national jamboree for swedich scouts 2007). The preparations was a little bit chaotic because we didn't get all information from the organizers and so the personal equipment list which were supposed to be given out with all camp information to our scouts arrived late.

It turned out that most of our scouts had alreday begun (or as in one case already finneshed) packing because they assumed it was the one and only personal equipment list as usual.

Lessons learned

It's a lot more robust and flexible to have just one standard personal equipment list for all occassions which brings me to the Toyota link: one standard tool that can be used in many situations makes for shorter switching time and more flow in the day-to-day business compared to a bunch of specialized machines (having one list for each occassion).