Journey to Excellence

Now that the Centennial year is coming to a close, the “Centennial” Quality Unit award would likely be come obsolete unless there was a name change.  About a three weeks ago, I first heard of the new “quality unit” program from Scouting News.  So I started looking for information on how units would be measured on their quality.  At the time, there was no supporting information on — no surprise there.  At our October Roundtable, when we received our re-charter packets, our District Executive told us that a 2011 Quality Unit tracking sheet was not in with the other paperwork and alluded that there was a new process forthcoming — getting warmer.  Since that time, National Council has placed the relevant information on its website — finally some direction.  At our District committee meeting last week our Executive introduce the District guidelines that we will need to achieve for 2011 — it’s filtering down.  I am hoping at this month’s Roundtable, they go over the unit requirements — arriving at the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?).

Not only is the program name changing, the program itself is radically changing.  According to the BSA website, “Scouting’s Journey to Excellence is the BSA’s new council [district, unit] performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success and measure the performance of our units, districts, and councils.  It is replacing the Centennial Quality Awards Program as a means of encouraging excellence in providing a quality program at all levels of the BSA.

“Journey To Excellence…changes the basic way we measure and recognize success in the Boy Scouts of America by moving away from measuring process and moving to measuring performance (bold, italics mine).  In each area, the [unit] may qualify by meeting a specific standard or by showing measured improvement.”

Scoutmaster Clarke Green posted some basic information along with a link to a survey (aimed at Boy Scout leaders rather than Cub Scout leaders) to gather feedback on the program.  I will be curious to see how those results turn out.  He focused on the Troop requirements, here are the Pack Requirements.

I was very interested to see how our pack would fare using this year’s data and metrics.  At first glance, it seems to be a bit confusing but it does appear to be aimed more at performance itself rather than meeting numeric goals set internally by a unit (albeit approved by a commissioner and professional staff).  I have seen some comments around about a “Choose Your Own Adventure” concept since a unit only needs to meet 10 of the 13 criteria to qualify and then they can choose the level of award based on what extra effort it put into each category.

One thing I noticed as being uniquely different from the current quality award criteria is the Journey to Excellence has very specific performance areas in which units will measure their success.  Our pack, based on this year’s numbers, would earn the Gold level (but barely).  That gives us a decent benchmark as to what we need to continue to work on in 2011 to maintain the gold level status. 

As with any new roll out, there is a rollout schedule based on when a unit re-charters so not all units will be using the new requirements right away for 2011.

How does your unit stack up to the requirements?  How will this modify or solidify your current programming?  I’m curious to know how others will respond to the new program.


About jthoppe

Eagle Scout, Cub Dad (Former Pack Committee Chair, soon to be Tiger Den Leader, District Committee; enjoys TKD, softball and generally being outside.
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