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Journey to Excellence Concepts - Factsheet

In 2019 I updated the Journey to Excellance (JTE) concepts training factsheet. I thought unit commissioners and units might enjoy this piece of JTE history and a useful training factsheet. @Bill_W, Editor.

Journey to Excellence Concepts


What is Journey to Excellence ? ­­­­

Scouting’s Journey to Excellence (JTE) is a planning, performance, and recognition program for councils, districts and units. It is:

  • A method for RECOGNITION,
  • A framework for PLANNING, and
  • A source of GUIDANCE

The JTE program was launched 1 January 2011 and replaced the Centennial Quality Unit recognition program.

What is its goal?

Its goal is to align unit, district, and council performance to maximize results in key performance areas that are directly related to producing a successful, growing, and sustainable Scouting program (such as membership retention, financial strength, camping, and advancement).

What is its purpose?

  • Provides the template for planning an effective program.
  • Encourage and reward success in districts, councils, and units.
  • Measure performance versus process.
  • Achieve Scouting’s mission of serving more youth with a higher-quality program.

Tri-level recognition program


The philosophy from the start of JTE has been to set up a system where 10 percent of the councils, districts and units (Note 1) will achieve gold status, the next 40 percent will achieve silver status, and the next 30 percent will achieve bronze status (Note 2):

  • Bronze – Effective = 20th percentile to the 49th percentile
  • Silver – Excellent = 50th percentile to the 89th percentile
  • Gold – Exceptional = top 10 percent­­­­­­

Learn more about JTE (current scorecards, resources, etc.)

What is it based on?

The standards are based on the Kaplan and Norton balanced scorecard, which was selected in 1997 by the Harvard Business Review as one of the “most important management practices of the past 75 years.”

What is measured?

(Note 4)

Performance Standard

This measurement is designed to recognize improved performance and advance a status level when warranted. Performance standard is a factor in most, but not all criteria.

(Note 5)

Determined Standard

This measurement sets benchmark values to determine gold, silver, and bronze levels.


How are JTE benchmarks set?

Each year, a group of volunteers and professionals get together from across the country to look at the actual data from the past three years in every criterion. As achievement improves, the benchmark will get more challenging. If achievement has slipped, the benchmark will move down to match the achievement. In this way, as councils. districts and units improve each year, they will be challenged to improve even more. Being realistic, if performance slips, the benchmark will be reduced to match the trend.

Sources for this document

  • Awards > Journey to Excellence , Boy Scouts of America, web page, 2019
  • Scouting’s Journey to Excellence, Boy Scouts of America, 513-011 (tri-fold brochure), 2014 Printing, /filestore/mission/pdf/513-011_Trifold.pdf.
  • Journey to Excellence , Strategic Performance Office, Boy Scouts of America, web page, c.2010 (as of 2018).
  • Sibbet, D., 75 years of management ideas and practice 1922–1997, Harvard Business Review , 1997, 75 , p. 12.

Notes: (and some editor’s opinion)

  1. “councils” was changed to “councils, districts and units” in 2019
  2. The JTE model allows for 19% of groups at each organizational level to not receive any JTE recognition.
  3. A report tool for districts, councils and above. (2021 note: Use of this tool was discontinued due to BSA reorganization.)
  4. Images in this section are from the legacy JTE tool.
  5. On the graph the direction arrow and percentage change are a comparison with the value 12 months previous.


© 2014 Boy Scouts of America


Created 2014-2019, Updated December 2021, version 2021-12-01-G DRAFT

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