Share your suggestions for improving the 2019 Journey to Excellence scorecards

Continuous improvement is a big part of Scouting. Whether you’re 8 or 80, you’re never really done learning to be a better Scout.

Continuous improvement is a big part of the BSA’s Journey to Excellence standards, as well. Rather than rolling out the same JTE scorecards every year, the JTE team meets yearly to make any necessary improvements to the formula.

But they don’t complete this process in a vacuum. The group of national, council and unit-level volunteers that soon will meet to craft the 2019 JTE standards wants your input.

Any leader who wishes to share feedback for improving the JTE scorecards should do so by sending an email to You have until June 15, 2018.

Wait, what’s JTE?

Scouting has a lot of acronyms, and we at Scouting magazine do our best to spell things out for you.

Journey to Excellence, or JTE, lets volunteers see how well their unit is meeting the goals of Scouting.

By tracking their progress on a JTE scorecard — like these 2018 scorecards — leaders can check in regularly to make sure they’re delivering the best possible program for their Scouts and Venturers.

Scouts, Scouters or Venturers in units that receive bronze, silver or gold JTE recognition can wear the corresponding patch on their uniforms.

For more on what JTE is and why it matters, read this.

Some guidelines when sharing your feedback

Have something you’d like to suggest about the JTE scorecards?

First, read this guidance from the JTE team.

  • Generally, JTE is well received and is considered to be measuring the correct factors that represent what Scouting should be doing. Major changes are unlikely.
  • Remember that gold status represents exceptional Scouting. Silver is excellent Scouting. Bronze is effective Scouting. Seeing gold scores across the board isn’t expected or realistic. Silver is very solid performance at every level.
  • There have been critiques that Journey to Excellence is too complicated with too many “moving parts.” There are some criteria which might be made more accurate, but that could require additional complexity.
  • When there is a suggestion to add something, the review group asks, “What should we then take out?” Normally, the answer has been that everything already in there is of high priority.
  • Ideally, at every level, JTE factors are things that should be known anyway. A unit really should know how many of its youth advanced during the year. A council should have recorded how many of its youth went long-term camping during the year.   Documenting JTE performance should simply involve recording what is already known.
  • Like everything else in Scouting, JTE should be fun. It should be fun to plan to get better, then to actually do it, and then to be recognized for it.

Please send in your suggestions to Every suggestion will be read carefully and considered.

Thanks to Neil Lupton for the info.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.