Re: Quality Units and what it means
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 02:00:24 GMT
At 06:37 PM 11/24/96 -0500, Tom Petrik wrote:
>When a Pack, Troop, Post or Ship is a Quality Unit it means that they are
>meeting _at least_ the minimum of the requirements to be a unit that is
>offering a good Scouting program. Those 10 items are the things that allow a
>unit to operate efficiently, to keep its program in line with the National
>guidelines, and to continue to grow. Anybody who says "not everyone can do
>it" has missed the point. The requirements are simple and _there is no reason
>any unit cannot do it_.
I beg to differ. Many of these items channel the units energy and activity
into areas which are beneficial for the organization, rather than for the
individual Scouts - more Scouts in the program has a benefit for the new
Scouts, but not necessarily for those already in the program. A troop can
absolutely run a quality Scouting program even if nobody gets Boys' Life.
It MAY be a good magazine, but it certainly isn't integral or essential to a
quality program. Trained leadership, youth protection I'll give you. While
I believe that the outdoor activities make it much easier to deliver the
Scouting promise, I could even make a case that you could effectively
deliver the message without those activities. Thus, the QU program channels
your energies where they want you to go, which may or may not actually have
an impact on the quality of the program you deliver to the youth.
>As Service Team Chair (Exploring's equivalent of a District Commissioner) for
>a relatively small Exploring District I can guarantee you, the Posts that are
>not completing these requirements are presenting an Exploring program, but
>not a _Scouting_ program. You can use the example of the local schools - any
>class or even an entire school could take as their goal to teach the kids to
>"do their best" but is that a Scouting program? It lacks the guidance, goals,
>and skill development (and in my case social development) that Scouting has
>built in, and that it measures using the Quality Unit form.
Are you saying that if my unit goes from 50 to 51 at charter time (all other
things being met) it IS delivering a Scouting program, but if it should
happen to recharter with 49 it is not? How can anybody even entertain such
a notion. Once a troop gets above a certain minimal size (it needs to have
at least 2 patrols) it is possible to deliver the promise no matter what the
size of the unit is and bigger is not necessarily better. As many others
have said, a unit can get too large so that its meeting space is not
adequate, so that it no longer has sufficient equipment or leadership, etc.
This requirement is totally arbitrary and, in many cases, totally outside
the control of the unit.
>The required items changed? Change your outlook toward your program and try
>to complete it, not cry about the change. Find an adult to take
>responsibility for the requirement you haven't been able to complete, which
>appears to be membership growth if I follow the thread correctly. So now
>every unit that can't grow gets a membership chairman (who might even attend
>the District Membership Committee meetings, what a unique concept) who comes
>up with new ideas and places to try to attract youth. Share the ideas here,
>not the complaints.
So I should divert resources that are currently being used to provide a
quality program for the boys who are currently in my unit so that I can
expend them on recruiting efforts so as to meet the arbitrary standard. As
I see the end result of that I will be offering a lower quality program to a
larger number of boys, but I will qualify for the QU recognition. Seems
backwards to me.
For 80+ years Scouting has taught that there really should be no need to
recruit because the quality of your program will have your Scouts bringing
down their friends and the unit will be self perpetuating. Now that doesn't
always happen, but the best way to have a growing troop is still to have an
exciting program with a dedicated corps of youth and adult leaders. Scouts
WILL bring their friends down, even in this day of negative image and peer
I don't disagree that we should be expanding the number of boys we reach,
but we should not be doing it at the expense of the quality of the program
we offer or to meet some arbitrary goals.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City