2017 Journey to Excellence

jte_gold_250It’s rechartering time for just about everybody, and with it comes our annual self-evaluation, the Journey to Excellence.

With us since 2011. this program allows units to assess how they are doing compared to how high-performing units operate. It’s a set of eleven guidelines (nine for Venturing crews) along with a means to evaluate each item from basic to outstanding.

Each year, we look back on how we served our Scouts in the previous twelve months. It’s also a good time to look ahead to the next twelve and see where we can tweak and improve. The 2017 scorecards are available now.

Every year since the inception of the Journey to Excellence program, the national committee that oversees it has made some changes. This has caused troops and packs to shift their focus slightly in these areas to concentrate on the items that the scorecard measures.

The good news for 2017 is that the committee seems to have arrived at a winning formula, for there are very few, if any, changes going forward. Here’s a quick summary:

Cub Scouting

There are no changes to the Cub Scout Pack scorecard for 2017. Everything is exactly as it was on the 2016 scorecard, so packs should continue to measure up to the current scorecard standards. It also makes it easier to improve your existing performance – for instance, finding a way to go up a step in percentage of Scouts advancing.

Boy Scouting

As with Cub Scouting, no changes have been made to the eleven items on the scorecard. The only change that I can see is in the last item, which clarifies what qualifies as an advanced training course. Previously, the description mentioned Wood Badge or similar training, but the new specification is for a training experience involving five days or more and, besides Wood Badge, gives courses conducted at the Summit or Philmont training centers as examples.

Venturing

As with Cub Scouting, no changes have been made for 2017 in either the scorecard items or their point values.

The complete set of scorecards for 2017 can be found here, including those for ships, teams, posts, and councils and districts as well.

The JTE website has lots of other great information, including guidebooks (which replace the spreadsheets used in past years), a glossary, frequently-asked questions, service hours tracking, and council-specific planning tools.

Make sure your unit is using this valuable tool. Check with your unit commissioner if you have any questions about how to complete the form or to get his or her approval on your scorecard.

Finally, don’t forget to pick up JTE patches for everyone in your unit to wear on their uniforms. It tells everyone that you have a unit that meets the BSA’s objectives for quality service to our youth.


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