Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Thu, 17 Feb 1994 21:27:43 CST
Anne Riddick asked about "Quality status"....Kathie outlined the
basics, but let me go into a little more detail on this.
The BSA wanted to recognize units and local Councils that have met or
exceeded what the BSA called "benchmarks" as to how a unit should be
run and programmed and how a local Council should operate and produce.
It started with Alden Barber in the late 60s with the Presidential Honor
Unit Awards and from there, there were various versions of "Honor Units",
"National Presidential Honor Units" and the present "Quality Units".
There were sets of "standards" for each award, but basically if the unit
did what the program called for it to do, it would receive the award. The
earlier awards were simply a certificate and a ribbon for the unit's flag.
Council awards were a 10 percent raise for all professional members and
a certificate and flag streamer.
The Quality Awards, is a different thing altogether. The Quality Unit awards
are a group of standards that CHANGE each year with the national emphasis.
Like Kathie mentioned, in order for a unit to be rated as a "Quality Unit",
they have to attain or exceed 6 of the 8 "standards" listing in the
application. The unit is rated on this year's performance as opposed to
last year's and is rated across the board, i.e. all Cub Packs, all Scout
Troops, all Varsity Teams, all Explorer Posts, all Career Awareness Posts,
.....those in that local Councils. Volunteer Commissioners approve the
acheivement and signs the applications. In areas with no commissioner, the
professional District or Council executive signs.
When a percentage of the District's units attain Quality status, along with
the attainment or exceeding of the District's requirements, the District
becomes a Quality District and the professional(s) involved get a Quality
Incentive, based on the performance of the District in the past year (if they
"beat last year's achievers"). The typical requirements of the District is
to meet or exceed their membership, leadership, unit and finance requirements
and a couple of other things in addition to having a significant number of
units in their District to attain Quality Unit status.
Again, when a percentage of the local Council's Districts or Divisions
(divisions are used in Exploring, special divisions such as "low income"
or "special populations") attain Quality status, along with the attainment
or exceeding the local Council's goals over the past year, the local Council
is declared a Quality Council by the BSA Region they belong to. This is
A REAL BIG DEAL for the professional staff...equate this to landing a
multi-million dollar account. Each professional member gets a Quality
Incentive plus whatever the Region has set up for them to attain. Most
importantly, each person would be "set up" for future employment because
a Quality Council indicates that the professional staff has worked together
to attain at least 80 percent of all of the units in that local Council
as "Quality Units" and therefore, is running a quality program.
(I know that this conclusion makes little sense, but that's the way the BSA
looks at it....there are many units out there doing great programs that are
NOT Quality units...likewise, there are many Districts doing great things that
are NOT Quality Districts; and local Councils out there that do a great job
providing Scouting that are NOT Quality Councils...).
Also unlike the older awards, EVERYONE connected with the unit or local Council
has to BUY THEIR OWN AWARDS (except for the flag streamer). This is a rude
departure from the old Honor Unit awards, where there was a stock BSA
certificate made available that was cheaper and when signed (I have one
that was NOT signed by anyone except the imprinted Chief Scout Executive's
signature...whoo...what a honor there!), means just as much as a $4 plaque
that has to be engraved with the name of the unit. Also, the patches worn
by the members and leaders (Honor Unit, $.30 a piece; Quality Unit, $1.20
each) is more expensive than the past; finally, the idea that EVERYONE
connected to the unit DESERVES an award (yeah, I can agree with the premise:
everyone SHOULD share in this achievement, but not EVERYONE should have a
$4 plaque!) is not a good one when the budget of the unit don't allow for
But the Quality Awards *do* work, and more than 72 percent of ALL of Scouting's
units this past year have attained the basic unit award! (That's a lot
better than the 40 or 55 percent that got Honor Units in the past...)
We talked in more detail about the Quality Unit program, including a
description of the exact requirements used a while back here (I think that
was back in October or late September). Our archives should have a copy of
that particular string along with the "requirements" description for the
unit, district and local Council levels.
Glad you asked, Anne....keep it up!!
Mike L. Walton
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City