Jump to content

Is Your Unit Rated?

Recommended Posts

UC, I agree with recruiting outside of Webs. Kudu says it best, "Cub Scouting is a filter".


I've come to realize that spending all our efforts on trying to get Webs to come to our troop is largely a waste of time. Not that we won't work with the packs, but we're done putting all our eggs in one basket. We do not have access to the middle schools (6 - 9 grade).


We do have some large non-denomination churches in our area, we are working with them. The adults have always done the recruiting leg work, with the scouts doing the open houses and activities with the Webs. I think the church group recruiting will consist of the older Scouts talking with the boys. Hopefully the result will be similar to yours.


This is where the Journey to Excellence and out troop part ways. They consider Webs recruiting important enough to award 200 points for 5 Webs. Between the two packs we have near us they'd be lucky to have 5 webs total, and 5 different troops fighting over them!

Link to post
Share on other sites

E732 --


"Recruit 5 Webelos Scouts" is only one achievement, at the Gold level, in the "Webelos-to-Scout Transition" category, for the JTE. You can easily earn the gold level without meeting the Gold level requirements in all 13 categories.


Got to remember, this is a "Journey" - the purpose is to gradually improve the units. And, you can most certainly expect that these requirements will change as the program matures.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm well aware of how the program works. Spent a few hours downloading forms, reviewing FAQs, and listening to webinars. Then spent an hour at a committee meeting figuring out how we're going to deal with the Journey. We will revisit in May to see where we are, another hour spent on something non productive. Some categories we have little control over or they just make work for the troop leadership with no real benefit, example Budget.



They are not interested in helping Bronze units, refer to FAQ question #5:

Q: I see the tiered ratings as a detriment to some troops. Graduating Webelos or their parents could use the JTE rating to judge troops and only go to those with a gold or silver rating. Has this been considered?

A: This could happen. With the Journey to Excellence award, every troop will be working to improve so that the graduating Webelos, or new boys, will have GOLD or SILVER troops to pick from." (emphasis mine, by the way we have figured IF we participate we will be Gold so no sour grapes here)


Listened to the Webinar too where it's stated that if too many units get Gold they will tighten up the requirements.


"Be very careful how you spend other peoples time or else they will have no time to give."


I don't believe publicly rating units is the answer.


What are Districts and Councils going to do to help Bronze units? My experience has been no help at all.





Link to post
Share on other sites

E732 --


Sorry to hear you say that your District has been no help at all. When I was a Scouter in NCAC we did our best to help all our units. (And, yes, I lived in Maryland, Patuxent County.)


If all our units make the Bronze level, I will probably dance a small jig first! That means they have been listening, and are delivery a good scouting experience! After that, I'll worry about helping "bronze units" get better, and unrated units making bronze the next year.


But, since neither you, nor I, know how the "levels" will be designated on the JTE distinctive insignia, I think you are putting the cart before the horse when you think that Webelos will "know" what the ratings are for each Troop. Could they? Maybe. But as I said before, during my tenure as SM, I was never even once asked if we were a quality unit by a prospect or parent. They wanted to know what our program was, where we were going, how often we camped, how the Troop and Patrol meetings might conflict with Sports or School. (And I served as a SM twice, in different states and Councils, so I was not isolated to one geography.)


You've indicated that there are few Cub units in the area, and you do not have access to the middle schools. Well, I'll tell you that's not true. You may not have "direct access" to those middle schools, but you have indirect access by your Scouts, and they are really the ones that need to "sell" the program to their friends anyway. Sure, being able to have a School Night for a Troop is handy -- but I can accomplish the same thing with a Troop Open House where each Scout brings at least one friend and their parents! In fact, with a Troop of 15-20, you get a better attendance than most of the School Nights I attended at Middle Schools this year!


If you don't have a UC, you need to speak with the District Commissioner and see if they would assign you one -- sounds like you need some new ideas to help jump-start your initiatives.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I must not be the only one putting the cart before the horse on concerns over using ratings to recruit since it's number 5 on the JTE FAQs.


The figures could be manipulated if needed and no doubt some will do so, WE WILL NOT!


Advancement - Need to put one more advancement on the books to make Gold so let's push Johnny Tenderfoot through to 2nd Class. Lowers standards, sends the wrong message to the Scouts.


Retention - Need to have two more boys on the roster to make our 85% reregistered so lets just pay for the two boys we haven't seen for a year (this was actually suggested to me by a District rep.). Not truthful, doesn't do anyone any good for the long term but helps the short term goal of making Gold. Cost the troop money better spent on the active boys.


Building Boy Scouting - See above, you have to retain before you build.


Trained Leadership - This is one thing that gets me ticked. I have two under age 21 Eagle Scouts ASMs going to college out of state. How in the world are they suppose to attend ILOS and SM Fundamentals!? I will not drop them from the roles, they occasionally show up. Last year one spent the week at summer camp and ran our New Scout program. ASM is an honorary position for them with the hopes that after they get through college they'll be active again. Just toss 'em out? Not gonna happen.

Does my treasurer, secretary and COR really need Fast Start and This is Scouting? Somebody tell the Professional Scouters in Texas that these people have jobs and families! We should be thanking them not piling more on them!


Web to Scout Transition - Not a problem for a troop with a pack attached to it (yes the concept of feeder packs still exists here). We have 5 troops, two large, and 3 small and two large packs. Guess where the Webs usually go (although we got 5 last year).


Budget - Dues X Members - Registration = Budget. PLC does the math, Gold. We have never had a budget and I fail to see how this will help us. We spend money as needed. If the PLC thinks we need new tents they do a fundraiser to earn the money for them (now there's a new idea, boy led). If it's something I think we need I purchase it at my own expense, I don't mind. And by the way the only folks that have a right to see our budget is the CO.


Court of Honors - We do it 4 times a year but I don't think we need to. What happens if the PLC doesn't want to do Court of Honors at all, or maybe just one? (Remember, boy led).


Again, be very careful how you spend other people's time...Lot'a time being spent here, somebody gotta figure all this out.


I don't think B-P had this in mind when he said "Scouting is a game with a purpose"


By the way I'm enjoying this discussion, nothing personal. I just don't think this is the way to go. I've spoken with other SMs around here and they don't like it either. This info just hit us as we recharter by 12/15. I had a jump on it because I read these forums. We start the JTE 1/1/11.


Let the games begin!






(This message has been edited by Eagle732)(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Always remember one thing when dealing with DEs - their goals, and their pay are affected by (1) Number of new scouts, (2) number of scouts retained, (3) funds raised in the district. Face it, they are marketing folks - and many are not looking out for the best of their units.


My "experience" is -- in spite of UCs coming around in April & September when they should be checking on the progress to quality awards -- 85% of the time, that does not happen. Will some "type A" leaders be monitoring things every minute of every day -- yes, but in practice, most folks will look at the goals at re-charter, and never look at them again until they re-charter next year.


Other than the Centennial Quality Program, the "standards" have always been set by National (heck, you should see the standards for a Sea Scout Ship to make Flag honors).


Do I think all unit leaders should be trained? Yes, I do. They can do 90% online (for your CoR), and your Committee Members can do 100% online. Not like in the old days where you had to attend training. (I am teaching a "complete" training course for CoRs in February - and it will cover every course they need to be considered "trained." It will be done in 3-1/2 hours -- hardly a hardship. The District next to us teaches the same course three weeks later.)


Your college age ASMs should be able to "test out" of IOLS (especially if they were active scouts, and it sounds like yours were) - and nobody says they need to take fundamentals training in your Council - they can do that at a council local to their college. Heck, we even teach it at Summer Camp here, just for that reason!


You can accomplish these things, but people need to "want" to do them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweet mercy.


Green, Amber, Red, Black? That's the battlefield information reporting system the Army has been using about 30 years or so to summarize status.


Would I put it on paper in public? HECK NO


If I assess a unit I serve at risk, I'm going to quietly contact my ADC, my DC, and perhaps my DE. My role in Scouting is to support, to offer resources, to offer assistance ... not to me a bad cop

Link to post
Share on other sites

John, this is my point. I don't think we should be publicly rating units. Clearly that is what is in the works. The powers to be were so concerned over sending a clear message that they chose to use the "Olympic" method of ranking (Bronze, SIlver, Gold) instead of the Boy Scout ranking method (Bronze, Gold, Silver). This was discussed on the webinar. The reason given was that the Olympic method is more recognizable so there would be no misunderstanding what units were #1. Different color borders on Quality Unit patches, graphics for your website, all in the works. How long before the rankings are on the District's website?


Rating units is an easy way to track them, it's done now, but it is private. The purpose is to help the ones that need help, allocate the resources in the most efficient way. I'm all for that. I'm not for this (not that it matters).


Fortunately units can opt out at their next recharter. My committee was so ticked off by the additional paperwork, tracking and comparing advancements to calculate ratings, making budgets etc, etc, that they are ready to toss in the towel! I don't blame them.


It's interesting that when I called the Council's information desk they knew nothing about the JTE. They transferred me to the the Advancement Chair's office, I left a message. Two weeks later and no return call.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have questions, you should be speaking to the Director of Field Services, or the Assistant SE if your Council does not have a DFS.


We have been "rating units" Nationally for YEARS. JTE is not new, just a new program. The quality unit system existed when I was a Scout (60s & 70s).


Seems to me folks are getting too excited about all this.

(This message has been edited by UCEagle72)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please refer to my previous post "it's done now, but it is private."


I am aware of the old Quality Unit program. In the past you either made QU or you didn't and pretty much every unit that tried made it.


During my adult time in Scouting (1976 to present) I cannot recall a system that publicized different levels of quality. Can you?


You can choose to believe this is the same program with a different name if you like.


(This message has been edited by Eagle732)(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be interesting to see how the unit react to recieving recognition in the new JTE program. Will the Gold level units brag to themselves? Will it provide an edge in recruiting Webelos II's? Will the units that don't get enough points take a look at what they are doing and try to improve their program?


I see the gold/silver/bronze recognition as another data point. I don't see it replacing the system I use now to assess the health of a unit. Not all units are going to want to participate in JTE. And, there will be some units that will get the points needed to recieve recognition, without meeting the intent of the objectives.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A new scout or scout family could careless or what the unit ratings are. They care if the boys are having fun, it is safe, no sexual preditors around and the group is active.


Besides who cares what anyone else thinks of your unit.


I heard some comments about my cubs at a council event.....ya know who cares. Sure they were throwing snowballs and getting wild..... OMG they were having fun on council property.



red green purple......who cares, probably the same guys worried about the alumni knot........


I got more important things to worry about like the pending pinewood derby and Blue and Gold banquet entertainment.........

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Now I have heard of Sea Scout ships being rated, depending upon if they were traditional Sea Scout, non-traditional with a sailing focus, or non traditional with a non sailing focus ( i.e. scuba, oceanographic, etc) "


That really wasn't rating them.


Basically, from the 70s on, Sea Scout ships were informally gathered into one of 3 "fleets": Blue (traditional), White (non-traditional sailing), and Red (everything else). AFAIK, this grouping is more or less dead, as anything in "red" would more likely be Venturing Crews, as well as some "white" ships as well (there are sailing & scuba Venturing crews who have no interest in being ships).


This is little different from the gathering of Explorer Posts into various groups (High Adventure/Outdoors, Fire/Rescue, Law Enforcement, Engineering, etc).




Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...