Journey to Excellence, commonly called JTE, began in
January 2011 as a replacement to the Quality Unit Award.
—JTE uses a predetermined, nationally established minimum
level of expected unit performance.
—A balanced approach and key performance indicators
measure outcomes from our programs, not just process, with
increased emphasis on the youth experience in the units.
—This includes camping, advancement, retention, and
increasing our market share of served youth.
• JTE is designed to help your unit deploy a great program.
Those who achieve the Gold level award are very likely
high-performing units, because JTE assesses key elements
of unit success such as:
—Advancement—Since we know this is key to encouraging
our youth members and retaining them
—Camping—Since the outdoors is a critical learning
environment for our members
—Service projects—Which build citizenship and character
as well as support our local communities
—Training—Especially for adult leaders, so we can execute
the program with excellence
—Membership and recruiting—To build sustainable units
and increase the share of youth we serve
—Retention—To keep the youth we recruit and strengthen
—Leadership—To ensure our units are well run with a
broad base of volunteer support
—Budget—To allow our units to offer the programs our
youth want most
• These elements are weighted differently, depending on what
matters most in your program. For example, advancement is
weighted less for Venturing crews than it is for troops or packs.
• The goal is to see improvement in your unit over many
years, with improvements each year in the key areas where
your scores were not at the top level.
• Each year the forms are updated, and the minimum
expectations at each level also increase, in line with
expectations for continuous improvement.
• The JTE program forms are available on the scouting.org website.
—Also available are worksheets that can help your unit
easily calculate its scores. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/JourneyToExcellence.aspx
—Some of the data is provided by our local professional,
based on what is entered in key Scouting tools such as
Online Advancement. This is one of the reasons 100
percent use of Online Advancement is very important for
—The rest is provided by the unit based on your program plan.
• But JTE is more than just a scorecard for the award. It serves
many functions in your unit. A forward-thinking unit leader
might use it as:
—A framework for planning your unit program calendar.
The standards are based on the minimum expectations
that successful units use to operate their programs, so the
Gold level can be a good minimum goal for your unit.
—A method for evaluating your unit and identifying how
you can improve your program offering, leader training,
recruiting and retention levels based on the targeted
levels. Bronze is a minimum, and Gold is ideal.
—An assessment of how you’re doing compared with other
units. It’s an opportunity to share ideas with other units
on the areas where you are doing well, and the areas
where you would like to improve.
—A guide to identifying areas where you might execute your
unit program better. It works in conjunction with advice
and counsel from your commissioner.
—An early warning of potential problem areas where you
might want added help. This is especially important in
areas where your unit is not achieving a high score.
—A benchmark for ideas and tips from other good units in
• With that in mind, the charter renewal process is a good
opportunity to review the JTE form for the upcoming
program year at a unit committee meeting.
—Use it to help set goals for the program year ahead.
—Mark those goals complete as you progress through the year.
—At year end, your JTE form will be complete, and it will
reflect the progress you made during the year.
—Tracking your progress enables your unit to plan for
success by building on your strengths and improving your
weaknesses until you are consistently achieving the Gold