Re: Quality/Honor Unit
alan houser (houser@CEDR.LBL.GOV)
Mon, 24 Oct 1994 12:21:48 PDT
Paul Whitfield <paul.whitfield@DAFBBS.COM> asks:
>I would be interested in hear about how Scouters and Scouts feel about Quality
>Units - is it desireable?
To me, it signifies that the troop leaders are trained in the principles of
delivering the BSA program to the youth, that they use the advancement part
of the program, that they have an active outdoors program, and that the
boys plan their own program. At least, that's the theory. In fact, only
the first part -- trained leaders -- is absolutely required. And in my
experience, that is usually the part that determines whether or not the
troop earns the Quality Unit award.
In my experience as a unit commissioner, I have one troop that gets Q/U
every year. They have an active, thriving program, but despite an appearance
of boy planning, it is an adult-run program. They have been doing the same
thing successfully for 65 years and it works. It is a smooth operation --
a tell-tale sign of an adult-run program. But it works for the most part,
and the Scouts do quite well.
My second unit does not have trained adult leaders and it shows. While they
have an excellent outdoor program, and in the 3 years I have been working
with them, they have moved more toward boy planning and boy-run, the leaders
do not understand the program. There is almost no advancement (the SPL,
despite 5 years in the troop, is Scout!) and they wonder why they cannot
put together successful recruiting. By the way, I am continually amazed
that almost no parents show up for the courts of honor -- which reinforces
my feeling that they see Scouts as another place to dump their kids.
Incidently, they have had to cancel several trips because they could not
get enough parents to drive! They are on their second Scoutmaster since I
began working with them as UC, but I have not been able to convince them
to get to a training program. It always conflicts with an outing, and if
the SM doesn't go on the outing -- who knows what might happen, if anything?
[Note to Jim Sleezer: because this troop did earn Quality Unit in the distant
past, it got marked as such in the Council computer, and no one seems to know
(or care) how to change it!!! The DE does know it is not, and he doesn't
report it in his statistics.]
My third unit is a new troop, chartered by Chabad, an Orthodox Jewish group,
and their leaders have not been trained -- but only because our Council
will not put on a training course that does not take place on Friday night
and Saturday. They are very concerned about using the BSA program correctly
however, and I see a lot of promise here. Now that they are in their
second year, the SM is stepping back from his role in the first year and
having the Scouts take on more of the responsibility for the operation of
the troop. This is another troop, however, with very little parent
support, with only the SM, the CC, and the CR taking an active role.
My own troop, of course, is a Quality Unit with every requirement passed.
A boy-run troop is not necessarily a smoothly running machine, and I have
to bite my lip sometimes, but the Scouts seem to be having a good time at
the game of Scouting here. The troop has tripled in size since my son and
I arrived 4 years ago. We had two Eagles last year, one this year, and
could have as many as five or six in the next two years. We use the JLT
program in the troop, and some Scouts have attended the Council weeklong
course. Once, when I was new in the troop from Cub Scouting, and before
I was trained, I was soundly reprimanded by one of the Scouts for interfering
in what was their responsibility, and he was right.
back to Paul:
>What types of annual changes are there?
For 1994, a new mandatory requirement is added for Packs and Troops:
The last change I recall, but it's a bit hazy, is that there be registered
and trained assistants to the unit leader. I think it was there before, but
became required about 4-5 years ago.
>Who decides whether or not a unit qualifies?
At recharter time, the person handling the recharter works with the unit
commissioner and goes over the check list. The requirements are very
specific (sorry, I don't have them with me) and provide workspace for
calculations (membership increase, advancement rates, Boy's Life subscription
Alan R. Houser ** Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop 24 ** firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City