How many of your scouts or venturers are participating in the quadrennial National Jamboree at the Summit, Bechtel Scout Reservation, West Virginia?
One item to add to the scout’s toolkit is the Jamboree App. The Summit is a Wi-Fi friendly zone. Scouts are encouraged to use the system for many purposes.
Make sure you download the app before you go, so you can use it at arrival!
As I have noted in the past, technology is changing the experience of scouting.
A constant debate among scouters is how to manage this change. This is decided at the unit level.
Some of troops forbid technology on outings. Some allow technology.
Which is the correct answer?
Only your PLC and troop committee can answer that question.
My recommendation is that this question should be reviewed annually by the PLC.
More and more troops are looking at technology as a good way to teach the Scout Law in practice.
One unit only allows technology to be used at camp for scouting related purposes.
Another allows it if it obeys the Scout Law: helpful, kind, etc.
Other units outright prohibit it. What do you think? Come comment on Facebook @CACNorthStarCommissioner.
Did you know that you can access my.scouting.org through an iOS app?
There is a YouTube video to give you a preview.
You can. How good is it? Well, it is BSA tech.
Give it a whirl, and let’s know your thoughts in the comments below.
The functions available vary based on how you are registered with BSA.
Previously, we posted about a training video for online registration.
Now BSA National has rolled out a dedicated webpage for training on the new online registration system. Take a look. Make sure your unit’s ready for the new system.
This will be extremely handy in preparing for rechartering.
Remember all new application that have completed processing prior to October 1, 2016 will be automatically entered into the Internet Rechartering system. That cuts down on a lot of risks of error in the rechartering process. The electronic registration means that the October 1, 2016 deadline is easier to meet with less paper-flow management.
In an effort to make the District current in its social media, posts from this website will now post to a Facebook page, too.
We realize that many individuals and units rely on Facebook as their primary communication method. For those units, families, and scouts, distributing valuable information easily through Facebook is highly desirable.
If you find an article timely or interesting, please “Like” the post. This will increase the number of people who can receive the same value.
As we enter the Fall Recruiting season, we will be using social media to push information to prospective families and scouts to learn more about what we offer. Sharing good posts for those audiences will allow us as a district to leverage information shared to persons who would not normally see our posts.
For example, a mother may have a new Tiger Cub in Pike Township also on a new soccer team. She joins a Facebook group for the soccer team. As a result, the new friends on Facebook may see a link to a photo of her son in a scout uniform. The next week, the new friends may see that the Tiger Cub mom liked an article about an upcoming hayride for scouts. The next month, they see an article about how scouting improves a boy’s cheerfulness and trustworthiness.
All of these examples are useful marketing for us. Very few took more than a few “Like” clicks for the young mom.
So, please have your unit’s Facebook page “Like” our new page. We would love it!
At last week’s Roundtable, I had scheduled outgoing Unit Commissioner Andrew Linden to speak about using Social Media in Units. I was also scheduled to leave town at the same time. Due to a miscommunication, Andrew went to the wrong church. My apologies to Andrew for not confirming the locations. Thank you to Andrew for preparing his notes and forwarding them to me so that you can still receive the benefit of his efforts.
Thanks again to Andrew for his effort. After the presentation, Andrew is leaving his position as a Unit Commissioner to help start a new veteran-support chapter in the local area, while he and his wife are expecting a baby. Good luck to Andrew and his new family. We hope to see him back in North Star soon!
Don’t forget to get your new leaders trained online at My.Scouting.org or with in-person classes from Council and its Districts as listed at the new Council Training Hub website. This training is required for Rechartering.
If you run a training session, please add it to the new Council Training website.
August 12, 2015MyScouting Tools Maintenance
On Thursday, August 13, from approximately 8 AM to Noon CT, MyScouting Tools will be inaccessible. During this timeframe a maintenance notification will be displayed on the webpage. This maintenance will make improvements to the My.Scouting data base. Please direct any questions to the Member Care Contact Center at 972-580-2489.
This year, the Journey to Excellence (“JTE”) scorecard will be required in Rechartering. In April District Commissioner Jeff Heck emailed a link to a self-assessment form to each unit. An article about this email was posted on this blog.
JTE and the self-assessment are two parts of the same process. National council’s goal with JTE is to encourage units to become more self-aware of what elements of their programs work well and what elements need a boost. JTE scorecard is designed to help units see where these elements in a simplistic scoring method. The self-assessment is designed to take those simplistic scores and translate them into actions that improve the unit in a meaningful way.
Let’s take a look at what has been recent experience versus how this process is supposed to work. We will use the example of a Cub Pack.
Before JTE and self-assessments, the Pack Key 3 (i.e., Chartered Organization Representative (“COR”), Pack Committee Chair, and Cubmaster) were expected to sit down and agree on the principles and personnel used to run the Pack. They were expected to read through all of the manuals for Cubmasters, Committee Members, and COR and figure out what needed attention. What often happened is that some of the Key 3 had read everything, some had read only what applied to them, and others read nothing. When the Key 3 did meet, there was no clear agenda on what the Pack’s principle focus for improvement should be.
Where a Unit Commissioner was assigned to the Pack, the Commissioner would sometimes offer some verbal guidance or an outline on how to proceed. More often than not, especially in North Star District, the Pack Key 3 neither knew what a Commissioner was or who was assigned to the Pack.
With the new JTE and self-assessment combination, the Pack is asked to have a dedicated meeting for the Pack Key 3 and the Unit Commissioner every six (6) months. The agenda is to review the a self-assessment form with focus on identifying the Pack’s strengths and weaknesses today and designing a plan for improvement over time. The self-assessment form emphasizes identifying specific areas that a healthy pack needs to thrive. Within those areas, the Key 3 are asked to describe what specific tasks that they would like to undertake, who will be delegated primary responsibility, and when the deadline for completion will be.
This process is designed to mimic the business planning processes of any healthy organization. The process is broad in scope of what needs to be reviewed. The process is systematic in its regular method of assessment to avoid complacency or reckless ignorance. The process is brief in documentation necessary. The process is clear on delegation and responsibility to avoid confusion or omission.
With these a self-assessment forms in hand, JTE scoring should be much similar. The categories in the JTE scorecard and the self-assessment match up nearly identically. Within an outline of an action plan from the self-assessment form in mind, the JTE scorecard’s intent and focus is much easier to decipher. The expectation is that a regular self-assessment with clear delegation of responsibility and accountability will make the scores on the JTE scorecards go up as a natural consequence of successful planning.
Rather than using the sample form on this page, please print out your own form from the link emailed to you (or contact your Unit Commissioner to send you a new link). This form from my.scouting.org will be automatically populated with some of the BSA’s records about your unit. This will allow you to double check your unit’s records versus BSA’s and make sure that you know your unit’s training status.
The District Commissioner’s Service is working hard to prepare our units for October’s rechartering and the added requirements of preparing the JTE scorecard. Please discuss with your unit’s Key 3 when they can meet to review your self-assessment and invite your Unit Commissioner to attend. Attend a District Roundtable or Commissioner’s Coffee to learn more.
Michael A. Crothers, Area 6 Training Chair, which is over Crossroads of America Council, reported this morning that:
On Monday morning at 8am Central BSA’s Information Delivery Group plans to start an upgrade to my.Scouting. As a result of the installation ELearning training will be unavailable for most of the day Monday August 10. Please pass along to your unit leaders that they will be unable to take YPT or other online courses on Monday. This announcement has also been posted on the myscouting.org landing page.
But here is the Good News: After we complete this work on Monday then volunteers will be able to take online courses from the new my.Scouting in his/her MyDashboard. There will be 4 new tabs in the MyTraining menu selection.
- The first one highlights the 3 Youth Protection Trainings available. And when you click on the Take Course button it takes you to the training.
- The second tab “Training Center” allows you to take all online trainings.
- The Requirements tab lists each of your positions and the trainings required for each position
- And the Completions tab will display all training you have taken.
As a reminder in addition to council and district training chairs, all commissioners – as well as unit Key 3 0 have the ability to input training in the Training Manager Tool.