You know it when you see it

You know it when you see it....a Quality Scouting Experience!

1. Strong unit programs, led by caring, trained adult volunteers, lead to quality experiences for Scouts
2. A quality Scouting experience for youth, especially when shared with parents and family results in retention
3. Retention results in more values transmission, leadership opportunities, service to communities, life lessons learned, time spent outdoors, and responsible citizens for our nation!

The formula is simple, right? What can we do together to insure quality program? It takes all of us (volunteers, staff, and parents) working hand in hand, committed to this easy formula. Strong units are easy to see and have similar “traits of success”. A few of these
traits include:

  • Personal achievement (AKA advancement)
  • Families/parent involvement (retention)
  • Constantly (and personally) invite other families to join (growing the unit)
  • Personally invite and train other adults to help out (even in small ways)
  • Monthly outdoor program
  • Summer camp program
  • Small group leadership (youth leadership)
  • Community service (teaches youth to “give back” at an early age)
  • Regularly recognize youth and adults
  • Always recharter on time

These “traits of success” are reinforced by the new “Journey to Excellence” award for units, districts and councils. I love the quality program traits that the new award encourages including % of youth advancing, % of youth camping, and adult leader training. The Journey to Excellence award can be achieved at three levels (bronze, silver and gold) and we encourage and expect all units to strive to improve so Scouting can in fact have the impact on youth at it highest level.

For as many great camping properties and programs we are blessed with in the Cascade Pacific Council, I believe we should be able to increase our youth advancement and youth camping %’s if we share in the vision. As an example, the “best” councils in Cub and Boy Scout resident camping % are head and shoulders above us, yet they can’t touch our camp properties and program offerings.

We typically have about 22% of our Cubs and 55% of our Boy Scouts participating in resident camp. The top ten councils in the country will have about 35% of Cubs and 75% of Boy Scouts. I don’t think most councils have the camps we do. Food for thought as we look to build a new strategic plan and make decisions on the future of our camps. We have unlimited potential if we set our sights high enough.

Thanks for “going for the gold” and for all you do for youth in Scouting!

By Matt Devore, Scout Executive 

[ Originally published in the Spring 2011 edition of Compass Points ]

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