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”

Succession planning for Scout units

recruitment_200On Scout Sunday, I visited the Blue & Gold Banquet of a Cub Scout pack that I am the commissioner for. The pack is well-run, with exciting and interesting activities planned in advance throughout the year. Most of the Scouts received advancement recognition or awards of some kind, and all dens took part in the entertainment segment of the program. Each den has a den leader and parent help. The most important observation I made was that the boys are having a great time.

None of this came about by accident, of course. Den leaders have stayed with their dens throughout. The Cubmaster has only been on board with the pack a couple years, but having been an active leader in other packs and troops before moving to our community, he naturally fit right in.

During the course of the evening, the Cubmaster made an announcement that there would be a parent meeting this coming week. Continue reading “Succession planning for Scout units”

Preparing for next year’s journey – Packs

JTE-White_250The Journey to Excellence quality-check program has been with us for a few years now, and we have become accustomed to minor tweaks from year to year. For 2015, however, the changes are a bit more sweeping, though nearly all active units will be able to qualify for at least the Bronze level recognition.

First, you should review your pack’s or troop’s performance using the 2014 Journey to Excellence scorecard. If you find you fall short in some areas, it might be possible to make some changes now to ensure that you meet the 2014 requirements.

The 2015 JTE scorecards are out now, and as always, there are some changes. Continue reading “Preparing for next year’s journey – Packs”