There have been multiple questions about the Journey to Excellence program and how it may be impacted by COVID-19 and the stay-in-place orders and school closings associated with trying to mitigate the spread.
Below is guidance that has been released by the National Council from the National Assessment and Evaluation Committee.
“Journey to Excellence is a program that is most useful when it is first used for planning for the year, and then it is used to monitor progress during the year. Of course, JTE serves to evaluate performance at the end of the year and plan for the following year. Planning for most units, districts and councils took place early this year. However, all of us have had to re-plan based on what we can now do. We need to continue virtual Scouting, virtual advancement, virtual meetings, etc. while honoring social distancing. There is a huge amount of creativity and use of the Scout Oath and Law going on toward that end.
In the interim, units, districts, and councils should use the Journey to Excellence standards in addition to other planning tools, but all should be tempered with realism and with the need for safety for all. As far as revisions to the Journey to Excellence standards and/or changes in the requirements for Gold, Silver and Bronze, it is premature to make any such decisions. As the coronavirus threat is diminished, the JTE requirements will be reviewed to determine how it can be most helpful toward resuming Scouting activities and moving forward in 2020. As always, JTE should be helpful and encouraging to all in Scouting.
There are many great on-line and virtual Scouting programs now being offered by our councils. In the Scouts BSA program, for example, many councils are making merit badges available by remote instruction and then remote counseling. To help facilitate this, the Program team has made some advancement modifications, referenced in this FAQ. Some merit badges like Public Health, Emergency Preparedness, Safety, First Aid and others would appear particularly relevant. There is also the opportunity to do service, particularly for the elderly, educators, health care providers and public servants like firefighters and police personnel in our communities. We need to be safe and keep our Scouts safe, but there is still much we can do.”
For more details, read the Bryan on Scouting article on Journey to Excellence here.