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mds3d

Your problems with JTE

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I generally agree with the quantitative vs. qualitative arguments. 

That said, I think JTE creates a lot of make work for leaders.  For example, if I submit a charter in year 1, and again in year 2, then things like retention and recruiting should be automatically recorded for my unit.  Same for advancement and Webelos-to-scout transition.  Leaders have already turned in all the paperwork required to calculate those numbers.  Requiring unit leaders to gather a bunch of data for a paper form at the end of the year is crazy.

The metrics for things like weekend camping are of limited value.  As suggested above a unit saying they have 10 weekend campouts a year is meaningless.  At a minimum it should be something like percentage of scout nights camped.  If a unit has 10 scouts, and runs 10 2-night outings, that's 200 scout-nights camped maximum.  If we're going to use a quantitative measure then gold should be something like 90% of scout-nights camped.  The long-term summer camp metric is better.  These numbers should be automatically generated from Scoutbook if we're going to say it's the system of record.

Same argument for service projects.  Pick a number for a standard, say 10 hours of service projects per scout per unit.  My hypothetical 10-scout unit would then have a metric of 100 service hours per year so gold would be 90% of scout-hours available.  Generate the unit score automatically from the JTE system (assuming of course that system was actually integrated with the rest of BSA IT). 

Trained leadership should be a generated number from the BSA IT systems.  That information already exists in some system.

No unit leader should ever have to fill out a JTE scorecard.  The BSA IT systems should generate that information after each recharter season from the available data.

 

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10 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

To me, the relevant question becomes - what's the most effective way for the BSA to encourage a struggling unit to set goals and prosper.  I don't think it's a bureaucratic form.  My hunch is that it's the BSA having people who can work collaboratively with the units to set goals and succeed.  Simply passing them a checklist and saying "go succeed" is wishful thinking.

When adults are confronted with decisions without information, they think methodically. So, a methodical checklist should be the very minimum of information they can rely on. Most units used the "Tour Permit" as a checklist. What of the checklist did they have? Also, I've said many times that the best way to drive broad habits of policy in all the units is through training. If the items of the checklist are taught and supported in training as actions of a quality unit, the units will likely reference it. At least to some degree. And, when a unit is struggling, the first check of the program would be the checklist. So, "go succeed" is not a request, it's an integrated part of the process.

Barry

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40 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

As I see it, there are really only a few constituencies that matter: the Scouts, the parents, the volunteers, and the chartered org.  I expect that none of them care about JTE.  So, for a great many Scouters, there's a big question of why even bother?  So you recharter but don't do JTE - so what? ...

So, let's give points for things that they may care about. For example, during the year, to each score, add:

+3 points for each scout who attended any district camporee

+5 points for each scout who attended a council camporee

+1 point for scouts who attended one camporee in his own district/council

+7 points for each scout who attended a area/regional camporee

+11 points for each scout who attended a area/regional/national/international jamboree/camporee

+13 points for each scout who staffed a summer camp

+17 points for each (established, not ad hoc) patrol that competed in district/regional/area camporees

+19 points for each established patrol that placed first in a summer camp uniform inspection

+23 points for each established patrol that placed first in a summer camp scout-craft competition

+29 points for each third place award by any established patrol in any district/council/regional camporee

+31 points for each second place award by any established patrol in any district/council/regional camporee

+37 points for each first place award by any established patrol in any district/council/regional camporee

+41 points for each patrol contributing to another scout's project

+43 points for any scout found helping a little old lady cross the street

+47 points if aforementioned scout never bragged about it

+53 points for each game organized and lead by an established patrol at any summer camp or district/council/regional camporee

+59 points for each song organized and lead by an established patrol at any summer camp or district/council/regional camporee

+61 points for any cool hike or campout or project by an established patrol, as recorded by the troop historian

+67 points if the historian's article makes it into a district newsletter

+71 points if the historian's article makes it into a council newsletter

+73 points if the historian's article makes it into Boy's Life or Scouting Magazine.

+79 points if the historian's article makes it into the WOSM's page.

+83 points for each patrol that carries on its name, flag, and cheer from the previous year.

Divide total score by number of established patrols. Best score in the district earns silver exclamation point to sew after the troop #s.

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43 points to help little ol ladies doesn't seem like enough. The rest is ok I guess. Will consider each item as the discussion continues. :excl:

Barry

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@DuctTape I didn't really mean to defend it.  I was trying to give my thoughts after some others had responded without putting them all at the beginning.  I help my units through JTE every year and don't get a lot of pushback so I don't have personal experience with the problems with it. 

 

@walk in the woodsI do wish that it was easier to track these things without a separate worksheet.  Most of this stuff should be automatic. I like your idea for tracking camping and service hours. 

@ParkManTheoretically, Unit Commissioners are supposed to be the people working collaboratively with units to set goals and help them meet them.  The Commissioner Corps is struggling at best in many districts however. 

 

The truth is that I should have the opportunity to talk with someone influential over JTE after the first of the year.  I doubt my voice will mean much in that context but I wanted to see what issues people were having and realized I could ask here. 

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1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

43 points to help little ol ladies doesn't seem like enough. The rest is ok I guess. Will consider each item as the discussion continues. :excl:

Barry

I think it is too much, by one. The answer is 42. 😁

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From my Troop and District experience: JTE achieves nil and little interest from good and not-so-good units.   Issues include:  More paperwork (example - Unit JTE Guidebooks alone are 27-34 pages long), Too complicated (example - many cannot calculate Retention, Confusion (between calendar year and charter year reporting period) and it’s assumed earning a JTE patch is an  incentive… for most it’s not. 

In particular (and my pet peeve):  Council already has much of the information, such as Membership Building, Retention, Advancement, Leadership and Training and Long-term camping that could be provided to the Unit.

What I’ve done in a District role and I suggest to others:  Once a year mail a short letter to Unit Leader (CM, SM, etc), CC and COR reporting their JTE metrics known to the District & Council.  If they are so inclined, they can continue the JTE process.  For those who do not pursue: the Commissioner/District staff does “triage” and helps those they can… not to fill out JTE forms, but to improve the unit planning, membership, program, etc.

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JTE is an artificial adult measurement.  I'd bet that less than 5% of Scouts can tell you what JTE stands for.

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On 12/17/2019 at 5:31 PM, mds3d said:

What are your complaints about the program?   Is it the targets themselves?

Good question. But maybe a better question would be what would make JTE better? In order to do that there's another question that needs to be answered: How do the methods achieve the aims? JTE does not measure any of the aims, or goals, of scouting. All of the suggestions above relate to digging down to how the methods help troops achieve their goals. Since the BSA does not mention how the methods achieve the aims there's very little knowledge of what makes a good troop. I mean, a good troop is one that achieves the aims with the largest number of scouts. Sure, character is subjective so it's hard to measure, but at the same time the number of campouts a troop goes on each year has little to do with scouts growing in their ability to take on responsibility.

Best of luck talking to whomever early next year. Please, invite them to join this forum. While we are a group of curmudgeons and anyone from national that comes here better have fireproof long johns, there is a lot of experience here.

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Having patrols and patrol leaders tells little or nothing about leadership development, now an aim.  Having patrols democratically plan their own program, program led by elected leaders, and democratically plan the troop program as representatives of their respective patrols,  program led by elected leaders, probably has a positive effect on achieving leadership development and on leaders understanding of representative democracy - what was once "citizenship" in the USA.  So give "points" for actually using Scouting methods.

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41 minutes ago, JoeBob said:

JTE is an artificial adult measurement.  I'd bet that less than 5% of Scouts can tell you what JTE stands for.

Advancement requirements are also an artificial adult measurement.  Trouble is, JTM measures nothing significant actually functioning, Scouting wise.

 

I have found that some Scouts have a canny idea of what JTM  really means.  Most haven't a clue.

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