Every government, company, business, internal department, office, project, client and employee has metrics to live by and report. I just got done with my annual review and projection for 2014. The Boy Scouts of America is no different. The BSA just got done delivering the 2013 Report to the Nation. There is even a report for the Cascade Pacific Council for 2013.
So, how does Council and National get all of this data? One of the main ways the Council gets this data is through Journey to Excellence! Is your Scout Unit filling it out? Besides giving data to Council, why would I want to do this?
As I stated in the last post about Annual Planning, it’s a good road map, guide or review of what your Unit should be doing. It also helps find a weakness within the unit. So, what does the Pack JTE track?
Advancement, Retention, Membership, Outdoor Activities, Trained Leadership, Camp, Service Projects, Leadership Planning, Webelos transition, Unit Budget, Pack & Den & Committee Meetings, Fitness & finally Charter Renewal. That is 13 metrics that National and Council are tracking. This was the same as 2013. But for 2014 is it a tad different in “how” the metrics are reported.
As you can see the layout is completely different in 2013 on the left, compared to 2014 on the right.
In looking at the 2013 and 2014 JTE, it looks like National is wanting more specific Data and some comparison between the two years. Having prior data will help a unit identify a weakness or strong point in the program. For 2014, the JTE wants to know dates/location and # of Scouts for Service Projects. Also if that data was entered into the JTE Service Website. The Data/Location of the Outdoor Activity. Who is trained or not trained. The date of Pack & Committee Meetings. Summertime Pack Award earned and the Fitness Program.
The interesting required info being asked is:
Who are the Leaders, Does the Pack have a Den Chief, Webelos-Troop Activity, Webelos Transitioned and has the Pack invited the Unit Commissioner and Charter Org Rep to a Meeting.
Here are the easy points:
If you promote and hold an Activity for SummerTime Pack Award, that is THREE and you earn the Summertime Pack Award. Hold a Bike Rodeo for Fall Round-up that is four. Hold a Raingutter Regatta that is five. Your done.
If your Unit does Scouting for Food, that is one. Plus it’s OUTSIDE. Any Conservation projects count. If you take a Pack Hike, that is another. Just have the Scouts do a Leave No Trace Project as they hike and help clean the parking lot. Done and it’s OUTSIDE!
Keep Track on Internet Advancement. It gets loaded into Scoutnet and Council will love you. If you use Packmaster, I would suggest updating Internet Advancement as well. You can then print off the Award list and go to the Council Scout Shop and have a shopping list.
If the Adult Volunteer isn’t Trained, the Pack needs to know why. Do you really want an untrained leader outside of Youth Protection in the Pack? Do they know the program and why things are done? The more the Adult Volunteer knows the easier the Pack will run and the program will be a lot more fun.
If you hold a Spring Recruitment, that new Tiger Den Leader and other Adult Volunteers have a longer time to get trained and understand the program than in the Fall.
Annual Charter Renewal Process:
Yes, it takes awhile to get everyone signed on the dotted line. Chasing the Charter Org Rep that you only see this once a year for them to sign something. Making sure that YPT is up to date. Plan ahead and get it down.
The new bit: Do you have a Unit Commissioner? Do you invite them to a Committee Meeting, Pack Meeting and Outing? No? You should. They will help you navigate the waters when you have questions.
Invite the Charter Org Rep. Yes…this person actually controls and owns the Scout Unit. They can replace anyone on the Committee. They also sit and vote on the District and Council Committee as a member.
The Journey to Excellence is here to help point out what a Unit should be doing. A lot of these points are here because a lot of Units just do not know what they should know. Most of this stems from not being fully trained for their position, going to Roundtable and having a Unit Commissioner help them.
If you are a Scout Unit without a Unit Commissioner. Call or find out who you District Commissioner is and tell them you want one. If you do not know who your District Commissioner is, call Council and ask for your District Executive. If you do not know what District you are in, tell them your a Pack and your Unit Number. The Council people will be able to look that up. This is what I did when I took over as Cub Master. I went to Roundtable, found the District Commissioner and asked for a Unit Commissioner. I got one that night.
My only GRIPE about the 2014 Journey to Excellence is this. In the “Help” section of the spreadsheet is this note: “Although Macintosh systems can edit data, they are unable a this time, to use the check boxes and option buttons due to ActiveX incompatibility.” WHY? Why have ActiveX? If anyone at National reads this, please make it SIMPLER to edit/input the data. I use a Macintosh and it’s easy. A lot of people use Macintosh and are the CC, CM, COR and DLs. Do not make it harder to get the data.
So…go get the Journey to Excellence and start creating a great program