Journey into 2020

The end of the year is hectic, with packs, troops and crews wrapping up their roster review, collecting membership fees and filing their recharter paperwork. It can be a big job, especially if there’s lots of turnover either with youth members leaving as well as joining. And getting those disclosure forms is causing a lot of gray hair – almost as much as trying to figure out how to pay registration fees that have doubled with funds that are most likely already collected.

Sometimes relegated to an afterthought is the Journey to Excellence scorecard. A one-page checkup on the health of your unit, JTE is a handy way to see where you’re doing well and where you might consider improving. When you sit down with your unit commissioner and go over the form, you can gain some valuable insight into how to help your unit better serve your youth. Continue reading “Journey into 2020”

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?”