Journey to Excellence

Complete Your Journey To Excellence Worksheet!

Please complete your JTE Worksheet and email it to me (rick911@bresnan.net) no later than 5pm on Monday December 30th. If you need help please contact your Unit Commissioner. If you are unsure who that is, send me an email. Unit Commissioners, please reach out to your unit Key 3 and facilitate the completion of JTE by Monday!

Unit Recharter

Congratulations to Pack 143, Troop 007, Troop 28, and Troop 110 for finishing your recharters! Thank you all for your hard work.

If your unit is not listed above we need please submit your paperwork by Friday, Dec. 13.

If you need help with please call Sandra, 282-1129, or myself as soon as possible. We are available to help you over the phone and in person. If you are not sure who in your unit is responsible for recharter please call your committee chair or Sandra.

Background Check logo

Background Check Disclosures & Authorization Form

This week Scouting volunteers received an email asking them to submit a background check authorization form. This new form required for every adult volunteer in the BSA. A signature is required for this document.

In the Lewis & Clark District, we are asking units to submit these Authorization Forms with their Unit Recharter paperwork. A form is needed for every registered leader including: Scoutmasters, Assistant Scoutmasters, Committee Members, Cubmasters, Assistant Cubmasters, and Den Leaders. (Lion and Tiger Adult Partners do not need an Authorization.)

District Volunteers (District Committee members, Commissioners, etc.) please submit your Authorization to me (Sandra) or the Council Registrar, Lucy.

Here are some answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about this new Disclosure form:

Is the BSA doing credit checks on volunteers?

No. The BSA will only use these signed authorization forms for approval to obtain a criminal background check. State and federal laws regulating background checks and consumer credit checks require that both items be mentioned on the form since a full background check includes both parts. Again, the BSA is only using this form for authorization to obtain a criminal background check.

Why is this being done now?

Starting in 2020, rechecks will be performed every five years, but it will take several years to recheck all leaders. Unfortunately, technical limitations and changes in the law over the last five years prevent us from using existing authorizations from older applications. As such, new disclosure had to be sent and new signed authorization forms obtained. Rechartering provides the best window to collect and verify they have been received before the council processes the recharter application.

What about volunteers that are not registered with units?

All currently registered adults and employees who have not had a criminal background check in the last five years will be rechecked. Council registrars will individually track district and council registered employees and leaders. (That should also include merit badge counselors). Those registered only at the National Council level will receive instructions on where to submit their authorization forms.

What about those who did not get the forms by e-mail?

Scout executives were provided with advance instructions on how to ensure every volunteer receives this information. They have the forms, which should be printed and passed out at roundtables or other meetings. It is important that each volunteer receives both the disclosure form as well as the authorization form. However, only the authorization must be turned in with the charter renewal form for units. District and council volunteers should submit the authorization to the council service center unless the council issues other instructions.

What about those with multiple registrations?

Only one authorization form per person needs to be collected and retained by the council .

What happens if a unit leader does not provide an authorization?

Leaders who do not provide new authorization will not be able to renew their registration. Council registrars should be instructed not to renew any adult without first confirming that a new signed authorization form is on file at the council service center.

Why can’t the volunteer just reply to the original e-mail and attach their signed authorization form?

The best way for us to ensure compliance is to require that the council registrar verify that a signed authorization form is physically in hand before processing a unit?s recharter. This removes much of the potential error and associated penalties that could result from other methods. We recommend that the registrar retains background check authorizations forms in a separate straight alphabetical file separate from your current background authorization file. This will facilitate the process of ensuring that a current form is on file at the council service center before posting their registration.

Are there different forms for different states?

Federal and state laws prescribe what must be in the disclosures and how they are to be provided. A form compliant with federal and various state laws was sent to all volunteer leaders except those in California. Leaders with a California home address or whose council territory includes California received California-specific forms due to the specific requirements of California law.

Can the council accept a faxed copy or scanned copy sent via email of the signed authorization?

Yes, so long as it is legible and is sent by the individual who signed it. It must be printed and saved the same as an original.

Can the council accept an electronic signature?

Digital signatures from third-party providers are acceptable. They must be printed and stored the same as the original. E-mail confirmations, permissions or typed names on the form are not acceptable substitutes for wet signatures.

Can the council accept an electronic signature?

Digital signatures from third-party providers are acceptable. They must be printed and stored the same as the original. E-mail confirmations, permissions or typed names on the form are not acceptable substitutes for wet signatures.

What about unit renewals that have already been processed or will not recharter until after January 1?

For unit renewals that have already been posted because the unit renewal date was prior to the email notification or the unit renewal date is after January 1, authorization forms still need to be collected as soon as possible. All new authorization forms should be received by December 31, 2019.

Can the council require the forms be collected at the unit level and not sent to the council service center?

Yes. The council can require the forms be collected at the unit level or by a designated unit representative.

Commissioners' Wreath

Looking for a Few Good Volunteers!

Do you know someone who used to be involved in Scouting, either as a youth, parent, or volunteer? I would like to talk to them about volunteering as a Unit Commissioner in the Lewis & Clark District. If you have suggestions of someone who could be a good candidate to serve as a Unit Commissioner, please shoot me an email, or text: steve@dogiakos.com or 406-203-4679.

What is a Unit Commissioner? A commissioner plays several roles, including friend, representative, unit “doctor,” teacher, and counselor. Most importantly, while experience in Scouting is helpful, a willingness to listen and help are key. We can train Scouting skills, but being a good listener and helper are a lot harder to teach.

Continue reading “Looking for a Few Good Volunteers!”
District Meeting Cover Photo

August District Meeting at the Scout Office

The District Meeting, Thursday August 1, will be at the Scout Office, 820 17th Ave S, Great Falls MT.

The Order of the Arrow Chapter meeting is at 6 p, followed by the District Meeting at 6:30, and the Commissioners meeting at 7:30. Commissioners meeting is a new commissioner training, only new commissioners need to attend. 

We will be meeting in the basement so please use the lower door and parking lot.

District meeting Agenda for August 1

  1. Opening (5 minutes)
  2. Commissioner’s Report (10 minutes)
  3. Reports (20 minutes)
    • Order of the Arrow
    • Summer Activities
    • Fall Camporee
    • Scout Fall/Halloween Event (Oct. 19, 20, 24 or 26)
  4. District Executive Report (5 minutes)
    • Fall Recruitment
    • JTE
    • Awards
  5. District Chairman’s Minute
  6. Adjournment

Journey to Excellence

May 2019 Journey to Excellence Status

The May 2019 Journey to Excellence (JTE) metrics have been released and I want to update you on our current status of the District. The Lewis & Clark District is currently ranked as Silver with a score of 1350 out of a possible 3000. Mountain Valley District is currently leading the Montana Council with 1375.

There are 16 JTE categories. We are ranked gold in 4 categories, silver in 5, bronze in 2, and unrated in 5. We have 6 months to increase our score to gold– we are only 300 points away!

Gold

We are doing great in these categories and are currently gold:

  • Youth Retention: We are up in retention by over 10%! This is measured by the number of Scouts who remain registered one year later.
  • Cub Scout Camping: Thank you to all our Cub Packs for reporting in your camping numbers! Keep it up. If your pack is camping we need to know. This is measured by the Cub Scouts who attend Day Camp, Family, and/or Resident Camp. If your Pack does a family camp, please let Sandra know!
  • Scouts BSA Camping: This is the percent of Scouts who attend summer camp (out of Council camps counts!), go on high adventure campouts, or serve on camp staff. This is measured by attending any long-term camp, high adventure experience, specialty camp, Jamborees, or serving on camp staff.
  • New Unit Growth: We have a new Scouts BSA troop in Great Falls and a new Cub Scout Pack in Dutton! This is measured by the number of existing and new units which remain registered for one year.

Silver

Silver categories are places we can work to improve:

  • Membership Growth: We are currently at 2.64% growth! That is amazing and with a strong fall recruitment season we can expect to bump that up into the gold range of 3%. But we need each of you to help because every new Scout is going to count. Please consider inviting your friends and neighbors to your next Scout meeting! This is measured by the total number of youth registered compared to last year.
  • Community Service: Scouts are doing so much service BUT it is not being recorded! If you are not entering your units service into the Service Hours Reporting System it does not count! Entering service data into Scoutbook is not enough, and is only for advancement purposes – it DOES NOT count toward this metric. This is measured by the total number of service hours performed by youth, leaders, and other participants divided by the total number of youth.
  • Unit Contacts: Our unit commissioners are out there working hard to serve every unit in the district. Commissioners: don’t forget to log those visits! We are currently leading the Council for number of contacts. Gold is achieved by 40% of all unit in the District having 6 visits. This is measured by the number of units receiving 6 or more visits/contacts reported via Commissioner tools then divided by the number of units. To be counted, the unit needs a total of at least 6 logged visits in the calendar year.
  • District Committee: Our district committee is solidly silver. To reach gold we are really going to have to work. We need 10 additional members and one more vice chair. Does your unit have a member on the district committee? We would like all of our units to be represented! This is measured by the number of registered district committee members (14/21/32 for bronze/silver/gold) the number of registered vice chairs, and if the district chair and commissioner positions are filled.
  • Unit Leadership Trained: Currently, 53% of our direct contact leaders (Cubmasters, Den Leaders, or Scoutmasters) are trained. We need to increase that number to 75% to move up to gold. This is measured by the number of direct contact leaders divided by the total number in that position.

Bronze

Bronze level categories is where we really need your help!

  • New Member Recruiting: Every new scout helps us toward this goal. We have big plans for the Fall but we win in this category by recruiting our friends.
  • Cub Scout Advancement: 52% of our Cub Scouts advanced so far this year. Did all of your pack’s advancement get entered? What is your Pack doing to ensure that every Tiger-Webelos earns their Bobcat Award? This is measured by the total number of Cub Scouts earning at least one rank during the year, divided by the total number of Cub Scouts.

No Score

No score areas are a place for the biggest improvement, or they are metrics that get scored once a year.

  • Scouts BSA Advancement: Only 21% of Scouts in the advanced one or more ranks so far this year! Please input and award those advancements as they happen. We will need at least 50% of our Scouts to advance to reach gold! This is measured by the total number of Scouts in Scouts BSA earning at least one rank during the calendar year divided by the total number of Scouts BSA Scouts. Ranks include: Scout to Eagle.
  • Fundraising Performance: Is input in December of each year. Lewis & Clark District’s goal is $45,000. We have so far raised $22,000. This is a binary metric: either we achieve our goal or we do not. This is measured by the Council determined standard for each district for the amount of money raised.
  • Fundraising Manpower: If it is entered, this is only input in December of each year. This data was not entered last year, it is unclear if it will be entered for this year. This is measured by the Council determined standard for each district for the number of volunteers involved in fundraising activities.
  • Community Impact: Is input once each year. It is unclear why this data is not measured in Montana Council. This is measured by the total number of youth divided by the total youth in the area.
  • Unit Performance: Is input once each year. BUT this is where your unit’s JTE score factor in! This is measured by the total number of units that are rated bronze and above, divided by the total number of units.
Take YPT

Final Call: District Volunteers, Complete YPT!

If you are a District volunteer (Merit Badge Counselors, Commissioners, District Committee Members, Lone Scout Counselors) and have not renewed your Youth Protection Training by Thursday, June 27th you will be dropped from the District Roster.

If you are unsure about your YPT status, please contact our District Executive, Sandra by text or phone at 406-282-1129

Headshot of Rick Silva

Commissioning Leadership 2019

Hello! I’m Rick Silva, and I’m your new District Commissioner. I wanted to share a few points with you:

  1. Steve Dogiakos is my Assistant District Commissioner – Congrats Steve!
  2. Face To Face District Commissioner Meetings will be held Quarterly right after the District Meetings.
  3. Face To Face District Roundtables will be held Quarterly right after the District Meetings.
  4. The other 4 OPEN meeting slots will be used for other District Trainings as needed.
  5. With the use of technology, a good number Commissioners who live out of town, and using less paper necessary information and updates can be received by e-mail, text, blog therefore making it unnecessary to hold monthly meetings.
  6. We are trying to recruit rural Commissioners for the non-Great Falls units. If you know a candidate for Commissioner in Dutton, Choteau, Fairfield, Fort Benton, or Cascade, please contact me or Steve
  7. Please contact Steve (steve@dogiakos.com or by text 406-203-4679) to make sure you’re on the Commissioner email/text lists.
  8. If your picture is not up on the District Volunteer Board, please contact Steve and send him your preferred photo.
  9. The next Commissioner Team meeting will be held on August 1st at the Council Office basement immediately following the District Committee Meeting