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It’s not just a numbers game. The BSA’s new evaluation metrics help councils, units, and leaders focus on ...

The Main Thing

by john r. cl ark photogr a phs by michael roy tek /bsa f il e s

CHANGE HAPPENS. And make no mistake: Change is sweep- ing the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America. A blocklong parade of BSA volunteer leaders and profes- sional staff at May’s National Annual Meeting stated—

repeatedly and often

forcefully—that the status quo has got to go. Nowhere was this more

evident than during Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca’s emotionally charged closing address at Friday’s General Session. In

front of a rapt audience in the main ballroom of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, Mazzuca’s teleprompter displayed his prepared remarks. But he never delivered them. Instead, he spoke from the heart. As if etching an exclama-

tion point onto the day’s exhaustive agenda of speak- ers citing Scouting’s urgent need to take a new path, Mazzuca drove home his point with fervor no one could misunderstand. “It is time,” he said, his voice rising. “We have the courage to take this movement where America needs to go. “It is time!” he repeated.

“We stood up and we said, ‘Darn it! We’re going to do it right!’”

Right—as measured by

17 carefully crafted new benchmarks for gauging the performance of everyone and everything involved in shaping a quality experi- ence for young people in Scouting—for the 21st century and beyond. The journey is the destination. “Trust me,” Mazzuca said. “If we do this right, this journey will never end.” No doubt you’ve heard a little or a lot about Journey to

Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca tells leaders, “When I look at all we’ve got on the drawing board, I’d love to go back in time and join again today. What a thrill that would be.”


Excellence ( source/Commissioners/Journey. aspx). It’s not another slogan, nor another campaign, said leaders from both the volun- teer and professional ranks. Rather, JTE is a long-term strategy to bring out the “per- sonal best” of every Scout and Scouter through a continuous focus on improvement. As Mazzuca put it, the “bogey [criteria for improvement] will continue to move. And we can always be better than we are today.” A diverse task force of

volunteers and professionals, chaired by Northeast manage- ment consultant and regional commissioner Hab Butler, developed the JTE program. “They began with a simple

premise: Every Scout, current and future, deserves a great Scouting experience,” said BSA President Rex Tillerson. Driven by metrics and

built with standards based on the respected Kaplan and Norton Balanced Scorecard, JTE will measure the ability of councils and units to “produce a sustainable, quality program that youth members enjoy every week in their local units,” said Tillerson.

“The BSA is developing

many tools, metrics, and dashboards to support us. But we must never forget that the program is all about the Scout. How do they feel

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