This year will be the first year that the Boy Scouts of America has rolled out the Journey to Excellence. If your in a Leadership position within your Unit, and your not aware of this, start your research. It’s the replacement to the Quality Unit Award program. There is a lot written already about the JTE on several websites outside of Scouting.org. So, I am not going to re-explain it here.
I am going to talk about JTE as it pertains to my position as the Training Chair within my District. As the Training Chair, I get a report from Council that shows me all the latest training records for the district. It also contains all other Districts. A very interesting set of records.
Using some quick math here are our stats. 554 registered positions. (There are duplicate people since they might be an ASM and WDL or a CC/CM in seperate units. Hence, I am not using People.)
Within the Packs, there are 189 positions and only 42 are fully trained. The requirements for fully trained are listed here from Scouting.org’s website of www.scouting.org/training. This covers every program within the BSA. If your local Council has a different set of standards, please consult your Council Training Chair. Overall, that’s 22% of the positions trained in Packs alone. In District out of 554, only 147 are fully trained (by Council’s terms). As a District we are at 26.5%. To obtain Bronze Status as a District for JTE, it’s 40%. Last time I was in school 70% on a test was a C. Pretty lame.
What to do? Well, I have just written a note to my Program Chair with a copy to the District Chairman and District Executive pointing all of this out. I stated that my goal for this year is 40%. It’s Bronze level. Next year it will be 50%.
To point out how simple a task I view this is, let’s look at what Silver is for CREW.
Have an Advisor, an associate Advisor, and a committee with at least three members. All have completed This Is Scouting, Fast Start training, and Youth Protection training or, if new, complete within three months of joining.
That is Silver. So, why not make it mandatory at the Unit level to have EVERYONE take all that training. You can do this ONLINE as with the Boy Scout, Varsity and Pack training. (this is taken from my personal MyScouting.org account)
For the Pack Gold Level JTE you need this: Silver level, plus pack participates in BALOO training and in OWLS training. (Note: I could not find any BSA info to link to. ) If you do not have anyone who has taken these trainings, then your Pack will not get Gold in that area, which could be what you need to get Gold as a Unit if your short in other areas. Currently in the Pack that I serve as Cubmaster in, myself and a Webelos Den Leader both have BALOO and OWLS. Along with ITOLS. I will talk more about the difference between OWLS and ITOLS and why they should not be lumped together along with BALOO.
District Training: The district Key 3 and district committee have completed orientation or training plus Youth Protection training (YPT). New members complete YPT before joining and orientation or training within six months of joining. I believe we all have met this with the exception of District Committee Training. To which, I have one planned for. We just need to set a date & time. If the District Committee does all of this and meets as scheduled, we will be at least Bronze for this year.
So, training is a big deal. It’s not something that people should take lightly. Granted the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs were bought, built and flown on the lowest bid. Look at what NASA did with the barest of contract spending limits. Now, just think of the barest of training that the BSA can get by with. Look at what can be done if we give a little bit more of our time and energy to get and be trained at the level we need to be but also EXCEL at! Look at the reward that the Scouts will get if we do.
The Cubscout Motto says it very well. “DO YOUR BEST”