In 2021 Northern Star Council is introducing a new program to replace Journey 2.0. The new program, Journey to Unit Excellence (JTUE), keeps many of the same elements of Journey 2.0 but is designed to help you and the leadership of your unit focus on what you can do to deliver the best possible scouting experience for the members of your Pack, Troop, or Crew. JTUE helps you identify and work on the things that you and your leadership team feel are important for your unit to make positive changes in your program that lead to continuous improvement in the quality of the scouting program for your youth, volunteers and scouting families.
With the emphasis on Units First and the movement to a school calendar cycle, JTUE gives you and your unit leadership control and ownership of the process. The time period for achieving JTUE status will also conform to the school academic year rather than the calendar year.
Summary of Journey to Excellence Program
The Journey to Excellence Program can be divided into three phases. The first phase is the Review and Reflection process which remains as the critical element of JTUE. Having an open and honest discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of your program and identifying and prioritizing specific ways to improve your scouting program are central to JTUE. This process is facilitated by the unit commissioner. The objective of the Review and Reflection is to identify three goals that the unit will work on for the coming year. These goals are approved by the unit commissioner and district commissioner.
The second phase consists of putting unit plans in place that include specific action items that will address accomplishing your goals. For example, if the goal is to recruit 5 new scouts, specific recruitment activities are included in the unit program plan to achieve this goal. Your unit commissioner should be consulted for ideas and to review your plans to ensure they address your goals.
The third phase is to work toward your goals by executing the plans you have put in place. Units will be recognized for achieving their goals – achieving one goal earns the bronze award, earning two goals earns the silver award and earning three goals earns the gold award.
The important point to remember is that JTUE is your program. JTUE challenges you and your youth and adult unit leaders to focus on continuously improving the scouting experience for the members of your unit. You will be allowed considerable latitude in the goals you set. You are encouraged to think broadly about your program and identify what are the most important improvements that should be made from the perspective or your scouts and scout leaders. The goal is to help us all focus more clearly on the mission and aims of Boy Scouts of America and deliver on these promises for our youth, our volunteers and our scouting families.
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law
The Aims of Scouting are character development, leadership development, citizenship training, and personal fitness
Instructions for Implementing Journey to Unit Excellence
Journey to Unit Excellence is conducted over an 18-month timeframe. The first six months, February – July, are spent identifying areas where your unit could improve, setting specific goals in those areas and making plans to achieve those goals. The following twelve months, Aug – July (the school year), are the timeframe over which you work towards your goals and earn recognition for doing so. The following cycle begins in February again so there is overlap in the process from year to year. Details of the steps are listed below:
Step 1 February – March
Work with your unit commissioner to identify who should participate in the Review and Reflection process. The Chartered Organization Representative should be included. Also, youth leadership should be included for Troops, Crews and Ships. Participants in the Review and Reflection should complete the Unit Leader Self Evaluation form* prior to the Review and Reflection.
Schedule the Review and Reflection. This is intended to be a discussion facilitated by the unit commissioner. The goal is to conduct an open and honest assessment of the unit and identify three specific areas where you, the unit leadership, would like to see improvement. From this discussion, three specific goals and suggested action items are identified. These are entered into the Council database using the Unit Goal Google Form*.
Step 2 April – July
Unit Leadership develops program, budget, and training plans for your unit. In making these plans, you should identify and include specific action items that address achieving the goals you identified in the Review and Reflection process. Youth leadership should be included in this planning process and challenged to achieve the goals. Your Unit Commissioner should be consulted for input into your plans.
Step 3 Aug – July (school year)
You and the unit leadership work toward your goals by executing the plans you have put in place. Your Unit Commissioner should be updated on your progress and can help if any issues arise. As you achieve your goals, this will be recorded in the google database.
Step 4 July-August
Awards will be presented to units achieving either bronze, silver or gold status by the Unit Commissioner or Commissioner representative at an appropriate unit, district, or council event.
*For additional resources, contact you Commissioner!