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New 2011 Performance Recognition Program

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What I see interesting is the seeming disconnect with either how the Boy Scout advancement program is presented in the literature and the requirement of handing out badges at a Court of Honor. Do the folks that come up with this stuff not know the rest of the material or are they trying to simplify things, or is it that many units already do it "wrong" and so they simply are going with that, or is it that they are actually trying to change the "right" way of handing out awards. Reference Advancement Policy and Proceedures manual where it states that boys shall be recongized several times upon completing advancement.... "present the boy with his badge (merit or rank) as soon as possible after completing the advancement...."

 

At my Dist. Committee meeting last night our DE gave us a printout of all the webinairs for unit folks which was a short list and each is limited to 100 people by preregistration and that seems to not even scratch the surface of getting the info to units. Perhaps a good spinoff would be why BSA does not use their built in comissioner structure to roll out this new award. Seems like they are using a shotgun approach to get this out.

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Overall it looks like a step in the right direction, though with a couple technical errors (are these forms the final versions? Or still in draft form?) Personally I would have liked to have seen a higher standard for number of short-term camping trips, PLC meetings, and more emphasis on youth leader training (just looking at the Troop-level requirements), but this definitely seems like a big improvement over previous "quality unit" programs.

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"Personally I would have liked to have seen a higher standard for number of short-term camping trips, PLC meetings, and more emphasis on youth leader training (just looking at the Troop-level requirements), but this definitely seems like a big improvement over previous "quality unit" programs. "

 

Part of the Journey to Excellence program is continuous improvement and review of the requirements. At the council level, for example, the plan is that each year, the standards will be reviewed and set for the next year based on the performance for the previous year. So based on actual performance, the standards will likely be higher in succeeding years. I would anticipate that the standards for Troops may well go up also.

 

However, the Gold standard for Troops currently calls for 10 short term overnight campouts per year, the PLC meeting 10 times per year including an annual planning meeting and at least one Scout attending NYLT. That's pretty tough and frankly, there aren't many Troops that do that much.

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However, the Gold standard for Troops currently calls for 10 short term overnight campouts per year, the PLC meeting 10 times per year including an annual planning meeting and at least one Scout attending NYLT. That's pretty tough and frankly, there aren't many Troops that do that much.

 

The NYLT requirement is not a problem for our troop as we generally send two boys to NYLT every summer, which is the standard number of slots available in our council. However, 10 camping trips is a lot, and we just miss making it even though (by our standards) we go camping "every month." We generally go camping on the third or fourth weekend of the month, and at that time in December most of our families are otherwise occupied and would rather not have part of their family going on a camping trip, so we do not camp in December. (There is a one-day district first aid event earlier in the month, so we are still active, just not camping.) In July, we spend a week at summer camp, so no short-term camping then, and then we take August off so as not to conflict with families' vacation schedules. So, unless the week at summer camp counts as "short term camping", which I don't think it does, that leaves us at nine.

 

One question this (and other criteria on this form) raises in my mind is: What are units' attitudes going to be toward "settling" for the "lower" level awards (bronze and silver)? Are most units just going to say, well this is our program, and we get what we get? Or are they going to change their program, in our case by adding a camping trip in December or August, in order to achieve the gold level? Or is there going to be a huge nationwide uproar that causes national to reconsider this? (I am not betting on that last option; a lot of grumbling maybe, but not a big uproar.)

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Do we have pictures of what the things look like to recognize bronze, silver, gold? How noticeable will a given level of accomplishment be?

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"Do we have pictures of what the things look like to recognize bronze, silver, gold? How noticeable will a given level of accomplishment be?"

 

Nope.

 

I would think for cost/simplicity, that have different color borders on the patch would be the way to go.

 

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This program does not start until Jan 1, 2011.

 

The only thing that has been released yet is what the criteria will be for the awards.

 

To get further information, I suggest you attend one of the Webinars which start tomorrow.

 

Here is the webinar schedule -

 

http://www.nwtcbsa.org/images/stories/pdf/jte_roll_out_schedule.pdf

 

Here is where you go to register for a webinar -

 

http://journey-to-excellence.kintera.org/district-unit

 

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"Do we have pictures of what the things look like to recognize bronze, silver, gold? How noticeable will a given level of accomplishment be?"

 

Hopefully, National will put same team on this as is working on Geocaching Merit Badge. :(

 

Teach your PLC to plan and execute the program and let whatever awards take care of themselves...eventually.

 

Another $0.02

 

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Ahhh ... the pamphlet & MB design for Geocaching were announced today ... http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2010/10/design-of-geocaching-merit-badge-pamphlet-released.html

 

I have also managed to get a copy of the JTE standards for Ships - http://www.box.net/shared/y1bl1k2ocm

 

Apparently, the standards for Teams have not been released (per an email from National).

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What areas of specialization does a ship have to choose from? Isn't a ship already a specialized venturing crew? There is nothing in my manual about areas of specialization, maybe they have something in the new manual that is supposed to be coming out?

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I applaud the change away from self-set goals. Setting some clear guidelines for units to meet will make the award much more meaningful.

 

Looking over the Pack criteria, it all seems reasonable and if we applied it to the last year our pack would've earned Gold. However, I'm not really happy with #3 Buidling Scouting. We're already a fairly large pack (over 40 boys) and we don't really want to grow any bigger. Full Pack events like PWD, our Overnight, and B&G are a little crowded right now as it is. Our goal is to maintain our pack size, but we are not being aggressive about growing it. To earn beyond the Bronze level, we would need to grow to a size that would start detracting from the program.

 

But that's just one nit. Overall I like the criteria and the weighting of the point system. Retention, advancement and outdoor activities are all highly weighted, while shuffling paperwork is of minor importance. It's a good direction.

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Hello JM,

 

I'm sorry if I"m stating the obvious, but I'm sure you realize that you don't need to achieve Gold in every standard to rate overall Gold. If you make Gold in most areas and Silver or Bronze on others, you'll make overall Gold.

 

So if you believe that your Pack is the size that you want, there's no requirement to grow even to make Gold.

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dScouter15 seems to think it's too easy and NJCubScouter seems to think it's too hard. Does that mean that by the "Goldilocks standard" :) it's just about right to start?

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Neil: Actually I am really not sure what to think about it yet. All I was doing was making a few comments and asking a few questions. We'll see how it turns out. As for my own troop, it's someone else's issue. My job is to coordinate Boards of Review and committee reviews of proposed Eagle projects.

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