Voice of the Scout

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Several years ago the director of a wildly successful and popular Cub event was asked, “How do you do it?’ “It’s easy,” he replied. “Just find out what they want and give it to them.” That’s just what Voice of the Scout is all about.

The Voice of the Scout program will capture the experiences of our members and volunteers during a 10-week survey period in both the spring and fall. Surveys will be sent to leaders, chartered organization representatives, parents of Scouts, and Scouts over age 14. To receive a survey, someone in the Scouting household must have email information on file in the BSA ScoutNET system. The information will be aggregated and displayed at unit, district, council, area, and region levels on a new VOS dashboard available to council employees and board-level volunteers.

Council employees can share feedback results with commissioner staff and district committee members for appropriate, actionable coaching of unit leadership at the summer and fall unit health reviews. This feedback will help units and the BSA be continuously aware of what members and volunteers want, so we, at every level, can find ways to meet and exceed their expectations. The end goal is to discover what we need to do to, operationally and strategically, to make sure every unit is a great unit while maintaining the values of Scouting.

Our main role as commissioners will be similar to our role in JTE, to communicate and promote the use of Voice of the Scout to unit leadership. The unit Key 3 (chartered organization representative, unit leader, and committee chair) should encourage and inform parents about the importance of the Voice of the Scout survey and encourage them to complete it. Consider the impact it could have: the unit leader will have the opportunity to make changes in the program before it’s “too late.” Small adjustments now can avoid major overhauls later. It won’t be a mandatory part of JTE in 2012, but it will be in 2013. And besides, who wants to wait to have a better unit?