A mid-year checkup

Depending on where you are, school is probably out, or will be out soon. Packs are wrapping up their program year and reminding parents of the summer’s planned activities. Troops are still meeting, though perhaps on a relaxed schedule, and are getting ready for summer camp, the highlight of the year. But in general, the pace of activities steps down a notch or two.

There’s one thing you should consider doing before heading for camp, or for the lake, or hitting the road for that summer vacation: Do a mid-year checkup of your unit. Continue reading “A mid-year checkup”

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. Continue reading “2017 Journey to Excellence”

Course correction for your journey

JTE-White_250A few weeks ago I answered a question about whether a unit should rearrange its adult roster to take advantage of points available on the Journey to Excellence. By registering a den leader as an assistant Cubmaster instead, the pack would qualify for additional JTE points and possibly a higher level.

It’s not a good idea to fudge the numbers this way, because it doesn’t accurately reflect where your unit stands, and takes away an opportunity to realize where you can improve your service to your youth members.

While you shouldn’t try to optimize your JTE score this way, you can certainly use it to suggest a course correction for your Journey in the coming year. Continue reading “Course correction for your journey”

Should you skew the numbers?

jte_numbers_200I heard from a pack committee chair, who asked me:

Our unit commissioner was helping me with our charter renewal and suggested that we register one of our den leaders as an assistant Cubmaster instead. He could still function as den leader, but it would make our Journey to Excellence numbers better. We’d get another 50 or 100 points if we did. Sounds like a good idea. What do you think?

Journey to Excellence is a tool for evaluating how well your unit is serving youth. It measures a dozen or so objectives and assigns points depending on whether your unit meets the objectives. It’s not perfect, but as measurement tools go, it’s pretty good. It was carefully thought out  and developed by an experienced team of volunteer unit Scouters and commissioners and is adjusted each year to improve its effectiveness Continue reading “Should you skew the numbers?”

Journey to Excellence 2016

JTE-White_250As we approach the end of the year, packs, troops and all other units are working to compile their statistics for the 2015 Journey to Excellence evaluation tool.

Yes, it’s best to think of it as a tool to help your unit identify its strengths and weaknesses, and guide you to make the changes necessary to improve your service to youth.

Each year, the team of volunteers that manage the Journey to Excellence process evaluate the previous year’s statistics, correlate the results with the aims and goals of our movement, and make adjustments to try to help move closer to the ideal goal of a well-run unit. Continue reading “Journey to Excellence 2016”