JTE. Why?


How is your Unit doing?

Question. If you were lost and didn’t know how to get to your desired destination, what would you do?  (By the way, there is no GPS, compass, or cell phones with a map app.) What if someone gave you a map that would help you figure out where you were, show you where your destination was, and then laid out a plan for you to get from point A to point B?

What would you say if I told you that there is a road map for your unit that would help your unit be successful? Would you be interested? Would you care? Would you use it?

What does success look like? How do we know that the program we are providing the boys is the best quality program possible?  If we look, and our unit isn’t the best it can be, how do we identify the steps we need to take to improve.  After all, our boy’s deserve the BEST we can offer.

The answer to all these questions is the Journey To Excellence (JTE) system.  JTE is a road map and a yearly planning guide to help every unit make small and systematic improvements so that boys have the best Scouting experience possible.

Why should you, as a leader, care about the JTE?  For one thing, it can help make your job easier by helping you focus on the things that are important.  It can help committees look at the long term planning of a unit.  It can help unit leaders focus on helping those young people who need help advancing, as well as focusing on their own development as a leader.

JTE helps us put into perspective what is most important in our units. It helps us prioritize things like summer camp attendance over when the next elections will take place. JTE helps us focus on allowing the Unit Leader to do what they do best, and that’s work directly with the youth in their unit.

So often, I come across leaders who are STRESSED out because they are juggling so many balls.  They feel personally responsible for making sure that every kid has all their advancements updated in the computer, that their camp registration paperwork is all filled out, they have current health forms, payments for camp have been collected, that Youth Protection Training is up-to-date on everyone, the tour plan has been filed for the upcoming camp out, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

These leaders, though they are trying hard, have a high burn out rate.  We cannot seem to keep them long enough so that they can see their true potential in Scouting. What these Unit Leaders are suppose to be doing is working directly with youth. Helping them plan and execute THEIR program. Walking them through the steps of team development, helping them celebrate their successes, and working with them to not repeat their failures.  A leader gets to this point when they have tenure and support.

The bottom line is, our Scouts deserve the absolute best program possible, and the JTE form is the road map to helping every unit find success.  Please use the JTE form at every unit leader meeting, committee meeting, and Unit Key 3 Meeting to help plot a path to success.

If you want a successful unit, JTE is the answer. Every journey begins with a small, but significant, step.  Be BRAVE. Take a small first step. Download the JTE form, take a look at it, use it at every committee meeting, and plot your path to success.


Author: theprofessionalscouter

I am a professional Scouter, having worked for the BSA for 12 years. I started my career in 2006 as a District Executive with the Nevada Area Council headquartered in Reno, Nevada. In 2009, I moved to the Chief Seattle Council, in Seattle, Washington to serve as a Senior District Executive and then as a District Director. In January of 2016, I transferred to the Great Salt Lake Council to serve as a District Director.

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