Program Change Warning (Was: RE: QUALITY UNIT) (LONG)
Wed, 27 Nov 1996 19:34:46 -0600
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone (though, from my overflowing email box,
many of you aren't having a great week!!)
I've just started this morning to answer all of my personal email and I have
OVERRUN with email reference the Quality Unit Award, both from the list
and the 68 emails I've received privately concerning some aspect of the program
and some suggestions on ways to deal with the new policy.
This posting is in three parts to overcome the 200 line limit. This posting
the warning on the change that your Council DID receive LAST WINTER (and
which along with the uniform and document access changes, I've reported here
on the list, although I have been VERY CAREFUL NOT to mention "Quality Unit"
by name). The entire program was *supposed to be renamed* the National
Quality Program Awards (NQP) and there were to be new insignia and new
requirements for the program to be applied to ALL of the units, including
for the first time, Learning for Life and Career Awareness Exploring units
exempt from the past Quality Unit program awards).
The next posting will contain some thoughts on ways you can overcome this
drastic change and where did it come from. The final posting will answer
the more common questions I've seen here on the list and which were posted to me
privately (and those of you whom posted privately to me, you KNOW that I won't
give out your Council nor city/state without your permission)!
Back in January, after the BSA's annual tally of membership, there was a
very disstressful trend: we were losing TOO MANY youth members across the
Not as in "well, we can make it up in the coming fall with a heavy promotional
campaign", but rather "there's no way we can really raise these numbers no
matter what we do". So, the word went out to your Council that in order to
WHAT WE HAVE NOW, and until a task force which has been meeting since
last August finishes their work and make some really good recommendations (like
BRINGING BACK THE BSA'S PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONALS!!),
the Quality Unit Award requirements would undergo some "tweaking". Because
at the time, there was a lot of discussion on renaming and relaunching the
common BSA deal: rename the program, like Project SOAR to "BSA Conservation
Emphasis", add some nice new brochures and redesign a patch, and retool the
requirements to meet the award...and *volla*, a NEW PROGRAM) as "something
National Quality Awards", all I stated was to make sure to attend and pay
attention during your Council's annual program launching in August or
September as there would be a SIGNIFICANT set of program changes.
Some you would like (the shirts, the consoldation of publications, etc.)
Some you will wonder what in the world those people been using!
This is significant.
Many Council Executives, upon seeing the new requirements, simply ignored the
consequence that it would have on the unit leader that has been doing his or
her best to MAINTAIN what they have. As written here several times before,
the Quality Unit requirements allowed for some flexibility in meeting the
membership requirement. As long as you gained ONE new youth member over
last year (the
"beat last year" thinking; if you gain ONE new unit or member in the past
quarter, it will spur you onward to gaining TWO in the next quarter because
you've already proved to yourself that you can gain one....), you were "good
to go" and could order
the Quality Unit insignia and receive the honor of being called a "Quality
Not only that, but the membership requirement was OPTIONAL. Now it's
REQUIRED, but only the wording has changed. The old wording was that you
were planning to recharter with an increase (as in one youth member) over last
year. The new wording is that you will MEET or SURPASS your previous
charter's youth membership figure. To *me*, its the same except that NOW it's
REQUIRED for the honor.
Someone stated that their Council's interpreting it as starting in the NEXT
program year; your Council Executive is a wise man, and I wouldn't want to
tell him his business, but he should pay close attention to the memo which
served as the cover letter for all of the materials sent to his Council back
in July: "...these new, exciting plans and policies will take effect with
the start of the new program year" (its on the fourth paragraph down, last
sentence). The "new program year" started for the vast majority of local
Councils on 1 September or 1 August *1996*. What he MAY be telling you is
that your charter may not come up for renewal until 1997, and therefore you
don't have to worry about it until then....but this is a NEW POLICY.
By the way, Councils and Districts must go by this "increase of membership"
requirement as well in their new Quality District and Council requirements.
It's across the board.
Your Council SHOULD have told you this, and I am really surprised that many
of you were knocked off-guard by this new change. I cannot apologize for
your Council's professional staff nor volunteer leadership....I can only
apologize for not
being able to tell you SPECIFICALLY that it was the QU program which has been
"targeted as a way to return growth back to the program".
Please don't lay this at the feet of our professional staffs....they have
been really busy at the local as well as the national level, trying to
figure out what to do about this massive loss (okay, to you and me, 3
percent or so is NOT a massive loss; to
*them*, we might as well cut off our toes or fingers!)
The next posting will address "So, NOW we have to meet this figure. How?"
Sorry for the delay!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle)
(Brigade) Signal Officer, TF 21, 21st Theater Army Area Command
Kaiserslautern, Federal Republic of Germany
"everything I say is "on the record"; speaking ONLY for myself unless indicated"
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
professional inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org
-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City